CORONA, Calif. — On Nov. 2, California will go to the polls with many tough decisions to make, including whom to elect as our next California governor. Reluctantly, I believe Republican nominee Meg Whitman is the better choice over Democratic nominee Jerry Brown.
Without a doubt, the race for California’s governor has been a hotly contested campaign between the two top nominees, Whitman and Brown. I personally found the tactics of both campaigns morally repugnant and reprehensible due to their extreme negativity, especially on Whitman’s part.
Still, the question comes down to which candidate is best suited to lead Californians through the challenges we face now and ahead into the future. More specifically, we need to decide which candidate has the business savvy and leadership prowess to move California’s economy forward.
The last two governors of California were Democrat Gray Davis, a career politician, and Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, a former actor. Neither one of them seemed to demonstrate the business savvy or leadership prowess to push California’s world-class economy forward in the challenges of the 21st century. Likewise, as governor of California from 1975 to 1983 and more recently as mayor of Oakland from 1999 to 2007, Brown faced tough economic conditions and proved unable to make a significant difference in terms of economic development. In contrast, Whitman has a proven track record of leading in tough times.
According to her campaign bio, Whitman graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1979. After brief but successful stints with a list of Fortune 500 companies like Proctor & Gamble, The Disney Company, and Hasbro, Whitman topped off her business career as president and CEO of eBay, which, under her leadership, grew from 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion in annual revenue. Whitman accomplished this feat by leading her Internet-based company through the trying times of the dot-com crash, demonstrating the creativity and leadership prowess to move an organization through tough economic conditions. For that reason I believe Whitman is the better choice for California governor.
This is not to say that Whitman and the State of California and its economy will suddenly jump forward after she is elected. In fact, given that Democrats control both the California state senate and state assembly, if elected, Brown could have an easier time pushing through his agenda. Whitman on other hand will likely face an uphill battle. First, she will need to find a way to deal with the Democratic-controlled state legislature — a task celebrity Arnold Schwarzenegger found challenging at best. Next, if she could somehow convince the legislature to go along with her stance on relief from the state pension fund, there is a chance she could face strikes from union-led state employees. This is not to mention further pressure on moral social issues like the legalization of gay marriage and recreational use of marijuana, both of which she claims to oppose.
Still, this election is not about what is easy but what is best for California given its current situation and what is best is a Governor with the business savvy and leadership prowess to devise creative solutions and move the people forward together to economic recovery and beyond. Brown has not shown in the past that he has that ability, Whitman has and that is why I believe Whitman is the better choice for California governor.
Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary -August 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meet Meg Whitman Meg 2010 Website.