Meg Whitman

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

A friendly reminder as Californians go to the polls today: Included on GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s “public safety” advisory committee is Kern County, California DA Ed Jagels, the man who put 25 (at least) innocent people in prison. This presumably is the sort of person Whitman would have advising her on criminal justice issues should she become governor.

Oh, and while she was head of eBay, the company formally advocated throwing people who play online poker in jail.

I don’t know that her opponent today is any better. But those are two pretty good reasons not to vote for Whitman.

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43 Responses to “Meg Whitman”

  1. #1 |  Bobnormal | 

    Hey Radley, I have a great idea, if you don’t know the issues in Ca. do us a favor and STFU. You are usually a bright guy please don’t insult your readers with half baked drivel about candidates that don’t/won’t represent you in the first place.
    BTW Poizner is the other guy, whom I’ll be voting for,
    Bob

  2. #2 |  Andrew S. | 

    @Bobnormal — Huh? He’s just pointing out a fact about Meg Whitman which is true. Though they don’t even touch the surface of why any thinking human being should stay far, far away from even considering voting for her.

  3. #3 |  Tom Rhodes | 

    I don’t really like either of them. What about Jerry Brown? He actually has a lot of good platforms to support, including a rather angry rant about the war on drugs: http://sonic.net/~doretk/Issues/97-04%20APR/jbdrugwar.html

  4. #4 |  Invid | 

    Bob, thanks for the input. I recommend you look up the definition of drivel so you can use it appropriately next time.

    Good luck with that voting thing.

  5. #5 |  JS | 

    I wonder how many Meg Whitman’s and even Mike Nifong’s there are out there in positions to ruin people’s lives. Good work as always Radkey!

  6. #6 |  SJE | 

    Against which we have, for example, Carly Fiorina, who spied on the personal phone calls of the executives and board members. I fail to understand why she was not prosecuted, except for being wealthy and well connected to the party in power. Lets just say that I cannot see a Senator Fiorina being libertarian on police accountability or warrantless wiretaps.

  7. #7 |  SJE | 

    Sorry, wrong race. Nevertheless, I cannot understand why anyone would vote for her.

  8. #8 |  Jon Gray | 

    I wish I cared about anything in life as passionately as @bobnormal cares about outsiders staying away from CA politics. Jeez.

  9. #9 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Hey Bob!

    Radley pointed things out about the person (purely observations backed up with facts). He mentions nothing about “issues”. Please don’t insult the readers with your driveling.

    BTW successful troll is successful

  10. #10 |  Dave Krueger | 

    If we put them in prison, then they were guilty. And if bomb them, then they were insurgents.

  11. #11 |  SJE | 

    And if a person in authority did it, it must be OK.

  12. #12 |  SJE | 

    USA: too many sheep, which is why people keep getting fleeced.

  13. #13 |  Throw me down the stairs... | 

    throwing people who play online poker in jail

    …my hat. :-)

  14. #14 |  Michael G MD | 

    No Libertarians running? They must choose the least of two evils? That sucks!

  15. #15 |  Bill | 

    #6, correct me if I’m wrong, but everything I’ve seen indicates that it was Fiorina’s successor, Patricia Dunn, who instigated the phone record acquisition at HP, and she was charged with four felonies, though the charges were later dropped.

    On this one, don’t correct me, ’cause I’m not wrong: HP’s investigators did not engage in wiretapping, as your post might lead some to believe. Rather, they obtained lists of call information, which is to say, what calls were made to what numbers, and the times of the calls. There was no actual wiretapping, just fooling/bribing phone company employees and/or computers into giving up the information.

    I’m NOT saying that what they did wasn’t wrong, just clarifying the details.

  16. #16 |  Cynical in CA | 

    “I don’t know that her opponent today is any better. But those are two pretty good reasons not to vote for Whitman.”

    Yes, you do know. You know the answer to that question. It has been demonstrated and proved ad infinitum, ad absurdum. Her opponent today is no better, no worse. They are all the same — rotten to the core. You should know better. Just admit it already. The game is rigged, it’s the only game in town, but no one’s forcing you to play. You have only yourself to blame for your own disappointment.

    The two pretty good reasons not to vote for Whitman are two pretty good reasons to NOT VOTE period.

    Unless and until everyone walks away from the State, society will continue its death spiral.

    Every Californian should remember to do his/her duty and ignore the State today. It’s the only solution.

  17. #17 |  SJE | 

    #14: Bill, thanks, you are right that it was not wiretapping, but it is still a violation of privacy. It was my understanding that Fiorina was more involved and that if Dunn had faced jail time that she would have fingered Fiorina. A lot of people were fingering Fiorina until she left. I also cannot believe that this was OK’d by Larry Sonsini, founder of a huge Silicon Valley VC law firm, who sat on the board. The whole thing stunk.

  18. #18 |  SJE | 

    My suspicion is that the Feds did not want to get involved in this because they had just been exposed for their own, more eggregious wiretapping, and didn’t want the attention. You can imaging the HP execs on the stand saying that what they did was not only reasonable, it was entirely patriotic.

  19. #19 |  Nando | 

    The fact that Sarah Palin is endorsing her is also a big thing to consider, IMHO.

  20. #20 |  Bobnormal | 

    YAY! My first troll award, actually I’m just tired of people s–t talking about a state nobodies cares about, other than the butt of jokes.
    California politics sucks, don’t rub it in

  21. #21 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    On top of that, Meg wasn’t exactly the kind of boss you wanted to work for. Tech Industry friends at Ebay (current and former) don’t hold her in high esteem.

  22. #22 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Bobnormal,
    I care deeply about CA. Gorgeous women, great wine, superb weed, decent fishing, and the epicenter of the porn industry.

  23. #23 |  SJE | 

    Bobnormal: why is a complaint about Meg Whitman a complaint about California? If nobody cared about California, no-one would care about Meg Whitman.

  24. #24 |  Jon Gray | 

    @Boyd Durkin

    I wish the first item on your list and the last item on your list weren’t so far-removed from each other in reality.

  25. #25 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I’m with Cynical these days, I just can’t be arsed to participate in the corrupt and farcical elections anymore. We just get slight variations on the same fucking assholes.

  26. #26 |  Cornellian | 

    Does this make Radley an Outside Agitator with respect to California politics?

    Whitman and Poizner are both pretty bad but it doesn’t matter because neither of them can beat Jerry Brown.

    I really wish Campbell beats Fiorina for the Republican nomination for Senate but he won’t. Republican primary voters aren’t smart enough to pick the guy who has a chance of beating Boxer. Instead they’re going to nominate a woman whose main qualification is being fired from Hewlett Packard.

  27. #27 |  Sean L. | 

    #10 Dave – Yeah, because you know, correlation = causation.

    #16 Bill – “I’m NOT saying that what they did wasn’t wrong…” Then I’ll go ahead and say it. If your statement is correct, that they only pulled called numbers and times, then they did nothing wrong. Any company should be able to examine its own records at any time. Don’t like it? California is an at-will employment state — anyone can leave a job at any time.

  28. #28 |  SJE | 

    Sean: Unfortunately, HP did not just examine the call records of its employees.
    1. HP got the information from the phone company on private numbers
    2. It was from members of the board: these are not employees, but are members of the corporation who are elected by the shareholders. We can argue as to the scope of their rights, but one of their jobs is to keep an eye on the management. Thus, if Carly Fiorina is doing something wrong, it is up to the board to investigate. If the CEO can snoop on the board, then the CEO can torpedo any investigation of wrong doing. Boards are already too weak.

  29. #29 |  Bill | 

    Sean (#27), I’d agree with you if it was HP’s own phone records, but it wasn’t: it was the records of board members’ own telephones. IIRC, the investigators essentially impersonated the board members, whether on the phone or via the phone company’s web site, and requested copies of their phone bills. At one time, this was actually a gray area in the law, but thanks to these antics, not any longer.

  30. #30 |  SJE | 

    Put another way, the CEO works for the board, not the other way around.

  31. #31 |  Graham Shevlin | 

    The theory that a CEO works for a board of directors is a quaint fiction in most US corporations, especially the many corporations where the CEO is also the Chairman of the board of directors, which is just about the most egregious conflict of interest that one can imagine.
    The real clue as to the loss of accountability in corporations is that when a CEO departs or is fired, the members of the board of directors who were responsible for hiring the CEO are almost never held accountable. Most CEOs are simply doing what they were incented to do by their employment contracts. The BoD is responsible for the contract, and thus accountable for the CEO’s behavior. In the case of HP, the BoD gave her a ludicrous amount of money and a free hand to behave as she saw fit, then they essentially fired her, but none of her supporters on the BoD were ever really held accountable for the decision to hire her in the first place.

  32. #32 |  Duncan20903 | 

    If it weren’t for TC2010 I’d think Whitman a mortal lock given how effed up is the CA gov’t and by extension the economy and how effective the ‘I’m a CEO of a successful multi-billion dollar company and I’ll put use that approach to make the economy work again’ could be.

    Anyway, I think those most likely to vote for TC2010 are also likely to vote for Brown. While I acknowledge that he is the consummate flip-flopping politician I do think he’s slightly less evil than Whitman, and he sure does know how to get himself elected. OK I really don’t care about the CA politicians but I do think that the TC2010 Ballot Initiative has significant importance to the rest of the country whether it passes or fails. I’m dreading the backlash against the Ds because it might bring the neocons out to vote in large numbers while finishing any chance that TC2010 has of passing, but also hoping there’s enough smart people in CA to realize that Ms. Whitman will screw up the State gov’t even more than Mr. Brown bringing out the support for TC2010. Frankly, Mr. Brown is probably a good placeholder as he can change his political philosophy at the drop of a hat.

    I recall listening to Mr. Brown speak in the 1992 New Hampshire primary for POTUS. I asked him if he would back getting needed medicine to the sick and suffering, and he said ‘Not only that, I believe in complete legalization of all drugs and that anyone should be able to buy what they need without any prescription”. Now he doesn’t believe that anymore. I’m not sure if there are many political issues that Jerry has never supported.

  33. #33 |  Ray | 

    I don’t see much to like with any of them, but it seem a little obtuse to say “don’t vote for her even though the other choice may even be worse.”

  34. #34 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I don’t see much to like with any of them, but it seem a little obtuse to say “don’t vote for her even though the other choice may even be worse.”

    Its not that the other choice is any worse, they are all pretty much the same.

    Tell us what great changes Obama has made?

    War on Terror–still going on
    Gitmo–still in business
    Iraq–we are still there
    Afghanistan–still there
    Budget deficits–bigger than ever

    Difference between Obama and Bush: one’s black the other is white. That’s really all there is. Obama has more or less pursued pretty much all the same policies Bush has, but with a bit more gusto.

    Your vote does not matter, because who we elect does not matter. But feel free to participate in the charade if it gives you warm fuzzies.

  35. #35 |  JS | 

    great post Steve!

  36. #36 |  Ray | 

    Steve:

    I agree, no difference in the R guy and the D guy.

    But it’s still obtuse to say, as Rad did I don’t know that her opponent today is any better but to still imply that a vote for Whitman is the worst choice.

    It may be, it may not be, and I understand that it’s fun to shoot from the hip and say they’re all crooks, and you can’t trust this or vote that, blah, blah, and I agree with that as well.

    But in the end you still haven’t said anything. Thus the obtuseness of the whole idea. Actually adding something worthwhile would be to compare her and the other crook she’s running against instead of just saying I don’t know that her opponent today is any better

    Otherwise you and anyone espousing such thinking are no better than a talk radio guy just ranting that everyone is stupid. Um, yeah, okay, but now what?

  37. #37 |  In California, Whitman celebrates GOP nomination for governor while attacking … | Bill Gao | 

    [...] Meg Whitman victory speech sound like? A sample has been leaked. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ Meg Whitman | The Agitator 15 hours ago A friendly reminder as Californians go to the polls today: Included on GOP [...]

  38. #38 |  zendingo | 

    ray:
    the system is rigged, like in a casino. to only way to avoid losing is not to play, winning is not an option.

  39. #39 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Jagels, like most other ritual abuse witch hunters, have the typical tough-on-crime attitude of “kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out“. But the saddest part of all is the fact that voters reward that sick justice-be-damned approach with repeated approval. In the public brain, cops and prosecutors wear the white hats and, for the most part, any news that contradicts that predisposition is filtered out before it penetrates their consciousness. And, of course, ambitious self-serving politicians capitalize on that mentality, knowing that, when it comes to politics, words speak louder than actions.

    From my perspective, someone who exploits the public’s fear of sex crimes for his own personal gain is no less a sex predator than anyone else who victimizes children and families. The utter devastation and misery they visit on innocent families is no less real than if they had hauled some child out in the woods and raped and killed him. And the public that rewards it is just part of the same class of people who lynch blacks, beat up gays, gas Jews, and crash planes in to buildings.

  40. #40 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #36 | Ray — “Otherwise you and anyone espousing such thinking are no better than a talk radio guy just ranting that everyone is stupid. Um, yeah, okay, but now what?”

    Colorful metaphors aside, once one embraces the idea that the system is designed to be broken beyond repair, the true adults can start brainstorming ways to replace the system or form a new, healthy system of their own.

  41. #41 |  SJE | 

    Graham Shevlin: I agree that the BOD is usually just a fig leaf. However, this is not an argument to further weaken them. I am aware of a lot of situations in which the BOD forces out the CEO or other executives, but you just don’t hear about it much because they are trying to keep it quiet. I am all for greater BOD accountability: in the World Com case, the CEO went to jail and the BOD members WERE held financially accountable for their failure to oversee him.

  42. #42 |  Steve Verdon | 

    But in the end you still haven’t said anything. Thus the obtuseness of the whole idea. Actually adding something worthwhile would be to compare her and the other crook she’s running against instead of just saying I don’t know that her opponent today is any better

    Otherwise you and anyone espousing such thinking are no better than a talk radio guy just ranting that everyone is stupid. Um, yeah, okay, but now what?

    I’d like to at least point out that I didn’t use the word stupid. I don’t think the people in power are stupid. Greedy, venal, cowardly, corrupt, I’m sure we could come up with a far longer list of adjectives, but I’d not put stupid on there.

    Nor do I think people are stupid. I think people have been fooled into thinking that democracy is great, but as I like to point out while democracy may be the best form of government save for all others that have been tried, that sure is goddamned low bar. Its like saying a dog shit sandwhich is the best shit sandwhich there is….but it is still a shit sandwhich.

    As for “now what” now nothing. People who participate in the system, the game–i.e. you–are the ones who legitimize it and allow it to continue to grind along. We can’t change the system because the current system grants power to a small group of people, power over the rest of the people and as Lord Acton noted, power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is even the best intentioned person is almost surely going to be corrupted by the very system he has set out to change/fix. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, whomever….they all become captured by the very system they decried early on.

    So nothing can or will be done (at least I see it as really damn unlikely) to change course and stop things. Read the last chapter of de Toqueville on the type of tyranny that can take place in a democracy. When you read it you’ll think he wrote it…mmm…maybe within the last decade or so. He’d look at the writings of people like Cass Sunstein and say, “Yes, that is the type of thing I had in mind.” It is even more obvious in England. And to be clear, I’m not talking 1984 boot in the face type of tyranny, well not for most of us anyways. I’m talking about the type of tyranny where the government nudges you, molds you, transforms you slowly but inexorably and removes more and more decision making from your control….for your own good of course.

    And along with it we’ll see ever increasing government revenues and hopefully budget deficits. Eventually the whole thing might collapse under its own inability to feed itself. Of course, that is the most dangerous time. The people in power are the only one’s sanctioned to use violence at will against the rest of us, and they like that power. When things start to look bleak for them they might start “eating the seed corn” and by that I mean thee and me.

    Now, feel free to keep playing this rigged and hopeless game (at least with a high degree of probability), but I don’t want to play anymore, at least by going to the ballot box. I’d much rather sit home, watch television, be with my family, read, log in to an MMO, have a glass of scotch, or whatever. Hell, just falling asleep on the couch with the dog wins out every time.

  43. #43 |  AJs | 

    THANK YOU for pointing out Whitman and Jagles connection… being from Kern County, this is near and dear to my heart… there comes a time when it seems appropriate to advocate for the lesser of two…

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