Whitman attacks nurses in Kos ad

by National Nurses Movement

Wed Sep 01, 2010 at 04:02:43 PM PST

Kos readers in California may have been startled to see banner ads today from someone who you can bet does not start out her mornings booting up her computer to read the latest blogs on Kos – Meg Whitman.

In one large ad, Whitman attacks nurses and the California Nurses Association for our challenge to her candidacy – and our portrayal of her as the arrogant "Queen Meg." The ad links to a website her well-heeled consultants have created attacking CNA and nurses, recycling the greatest hits from the union busting crowd. She also has another ad on Kos attacking Jerry Brown.

That Whitman would buy space, especially to denounce nurses, on Kos, not exactly her political base, is telling on multiple levels.

Whitman has so much money – she has already raised more than $160 million, much of it from her own pocket, and spent more than anyone running for any office other than President – she can’t find ways to spend it all. Here’s an idea, give some of it to the 40 percent of eBay employees whose jobs you outsourced.  

By attacking CNA, nurses and Brown on Kos, Whitman’s handlers hope to discourage progressive voters from turning out and mobilizing others for the November 2 election – their apparent strategy for the recent announcement of a major Bay Area ad blitz.

Whitman is just a bully (more on that in a minute). If she’ll savage nurses, those people who we all depend on when we are sick, hurt, and at our most vulnerable, who’s next? Assaults on the disabled, the poor, children? (Oh right, she’s already there with her promises for deeper budget cuts.)

Whitman is still fuming over the incredible march and rally CNA sponsored to commemorate the 90th anniversary of enactment of the women’s suffrage amendment, the most significant reform for women in U.S. history.

Presumably Whitman was not happy to see her pathetic voting record exposed again, or to have a drumbeat of women pointing out that her campaign platform, which can be boiled down to shifting more resources from what to her are the obvious frills of education, healthcare and the safety net, to further enrich her corporate chums with more tax shelters and tax breaks.

In case you couldn’t join us, check out our photographic record of the event.

And this short documentary:

Kos has been acquired in a hostile takeover by eBay. (OK, that may be a stretch)

Ultimately, one of the biggest questions it raises is the character issue, one that has received far too little attention in the media coverage of the campaign.

Do Californians really want to elect to the highest office in the state a candidate whose track record shows over and over a propensity to bully subordinates and use her wealth to attack and try to destroy any dissenting voices.

What’s next, an enemies list?

Except she already has one, with these names on it:

Young Mi Kim, the eBay communications staffer who Whitman paid $200,000 for a confidential settlement following an altercation that neither Whitman nor eBay has yet to explain.  

Whitman claimed it was just a verbal spat and a "misunderstanding". Many believe it was far more. "I don't think someone gets $200,000 when they're verbally pushed," Barbara Lawless, a former president of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, told the San Francisco Chronicle in June. Concerned shareholders have as called upon eBay to open up its records and provide full disclosure of what happened and any similar incidents. It probably won’t surprise anyone to hear that eBay and Whitman are stalling and stonewalling and refusing to disclose.

Whitman’s GOP primary opponent Steve Poizner. Last January Whitman’s top adviser Mike Murphy, the same guy Whitman lured away from Poizner’s campaign after coincidentally sinking a boat load of cash into Murphy’s film company, said through e-mails that Whitman would spend $40 million to destroy Poizner’s reputation if he stayed in the race.  

Unions. Whitman has made unions, and public employee unions in particular, a major target of attacks throughout her campaign.  Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reported, she threatened to bankroll another initiative to block the ability of unions to engage in political activity. Apparently only wealth individuals, like Whitman, and her corporate allies should be able to participate in elections.

San Francisco and other sanctuary cities. Whitman promised to "crack down on sanctuary cities like San Francisco" in the infamous "Tough as Nails" on immigration ad campaign she funded starring Pete Wilson.

The California Nurses Association and our members.

During the primary, CNA created the mythical "Queen Meg" to parody Whitman’s  profligate campaign spending and presumption that she was entitled to be crowned governor, despite her lack of experience in public life or even the interest it takes to show up to vote. Presumably with her corporate jets she could have made it to the polls, and she could certainly afford the postage for a mail in ballot.  What qualifications did she have for office beyond her enormous wealth and monarchial presumptions.

Whitman’s response? Demanding the home addresses of CNA members, a fake phone survey to nurses attacking CNA, an anti-CNA Whitman web site promoted with attacks on other websites, now including Kos... and most recently a Republican caucus Senate bill to gag free speech and limit the ability of nurses to participate in continuing education classes, unless the curriculum could be dictated by Whitman and her cronies.

Californians deservedly defeated Richard Nixon nearly 50 years ago when he thought he should be handed the governor’s office. But his spirit lives on in Meg Whitman.