Queen Meg: Culture-Jamming Whitman

by National Nurses Movement

Wed Jun 02, 2010 at 04:27:44 PM PST

If this were a monarchy, Meg Whitman’s $1.7 billion Wall Street fortune would make her rich enough to rule.

Fortunately, we live in a democracy—and candidates like Whitman, the billionare corporate CEO seeking to become Governor of California, remain reliant on the votes of the very people they fleeced.

Enter Queen Meg, a satire campaign that’s being taken by the California Nurses Association to media markets across the state—and a Facebook page near you.

Here she is asking a crowd and TV reporter, "We can’t afford our democracy, so why not try a monarchy?"  Please friend her today!

The goal of this campaign is to highlight Whitman’s extensive ties to Goldman Sachs, and to notorious former California Gov. Pete Wilson. Whitman's prospects for establishing her reign in the Golden State dwindle if the real story about these ties becomes widely known.

The Pete Wilson angle was unveiled today, at a press conference outside Wilson's Los Angeles home.  As the Los Angeles Times reports

The California Nurses Assn. ad on Spanish-language radio in Los Angeles will not run often but its backers believe the message is lethal.

The ad replays Whitman's own English-language radio ad about illegal immigration, where she speaks out against amnesty, sanctuary cities and taxpayer-funded benefits.

"Illegal immigrants are just that: illegal," Whitman says in the ad, which also features praise from former Gov. Pete Wilson, Whitman's campaign manager. Wilson is viewed as a pariah among some Latinos because he championed a 1994 ballot measure that would have ended taxpayer benefits to illegal immigrants.

Republican strategists said Whitman needs to address the issue immediately to avoid alienating Latinos. GOP candidates must win a generous proportion of them to succeed statewide.

"If she can't resolve it, I question whether she's electable, regardless of how much money she spends," said Allan Hoffenblum, who publishes the nonpartisan California Target Book.

CNN explained that our band of Queen Meg campaigners were bringing the message directly to Wilson's Los Angeles home. They noted:

Wilson – who is reviled by many of the state's Hispanic voters for his support of the controversial anti-illegal immigration proposition 187 – endorsed Whitman, and he's featured in a campaign ad positioning Whitman as tough on illegal immigration, which has become a pivotal issue in the last days of the Republican primary. The group has translated the Wilson-Whitman ad into Spanish and will begin airing it on Spanish language radio – no doubt hoping it will turn off Hispanic voters.

This event follows on the heels of yesterday’s kickoff by Queen Meg of her Royal Coronation Tour.

Here's how CNN described it:

More than a dozen protesters wearing blond wigs – designed to look like Whitman's coif – blew whistles and held signs that read "Rich Enough to Rule 2010" and "Only the Rich Deserve Health Care." Leading the group in chants of "let them eat cake!" were a tiara and tux clad couple waving like royalty


Or as the Sacramento Bee put it..."Meg Whitman meets Queen Meg in Westminster"

"Take Back Sac" went mano a mano with "Meg for Queen" at high noon Tuesday, as about 50 protesters from the California Nurses Association and the California School Employees Association disrupted an outdoor rally by Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.

The site of the clash was the parking lot of the Asian Garden Mall in Westminster, where Whitman addressed about 150 people, many of them from the city's giant Vietnamese community.

While the unions have showed up before at several Whitman events, the open-air location of Tuesday's rally gave the protesters a rare chance to get in the candidate's face. A bus adorned with the words "Queen Meg" also drove -- slowly -- many times around the block.

Whitman delivered an abbreviated version of her standard stump speech while flanked by large signs reading "Take Back Sac." Or at least she tried to. About 30 yards away, from the sidewalk of Bolsa Avenue, the protesters chanted, blew whistles and did everything they could to drown out Whitman's speech.

At one point, the protesters chanted, including one person through a megaphone, "Meg for Queen!" while Whitman pledged, "I will take on those special interests."

Funny, that was the same dismissive verbiage used by Whitman's predecessor, lame duck Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger who infamously dismissed nurses as a "special interest" when we protested his attempt, at the behest of the California hospital industry, to roll back "safe nurse ratios" that cap the number of patients a nurse cares for, and that has the effect of guaranteeing a patient access to their nurse. Schwarzenegger lost that fight in the courts, the streets, and in the arena of public opinion.

Meg Whitman has vowed to take on regulatory protections for patients and Californians in general, including ratios, including her pledge to cut University of California staffing back to 2004 pre-ratio levels.  

A recent study found that these ratios would save thousands of lives if other states followed California's model.

Nurses—and their character Queen Meg—will do what it takes to protect these ratios, to stop the attacks on California's diverse population, and to ensure that California's democracy isn't bought by a would be monarch.  

Please help by becoming a friend of Queen Meg on Facebook.