Come On Meg, Just Give Me The Money

by DavalosMcCormack on March 26, 2010

I’m a big fan of democracy. I also like money. Thanks to Meg Whitman I think I’ve found a way to combine two of my favorite elements in one. And everyone wins. Well, almost everyone.

In case you don’t know who Meg Whitman is, meg_whitman_wideweb__430x283 she’s the gal who helped turn eBay from a small company into a thriving global concern. Along the way Meg made a handsome little fortune for herself. Hundreds of millions of dollars to be precise.

Now Meg is using that money to try and get herself elected governor of California. So far she’s spent almost $40 million of her own money setting up a campaign staff, running ads on TV, radio and in newspapers and magazines.

The latest polls show she is way ahead of her rival for the Republican nomination, and in a dead heat with Jerry Brown, her likely Democratic opponent for governor.

But while some political pundits say that rapid rise in public polls show that her lavish spending is paying off, I’m not so sure. Think about it, she is $40m out of pocket and still only level with Jerry Brown – who has spent next to nothing so far. Meg still has loads of money in the bank, but it looks like she might have to shell out another $40m if she really wants to win.

So, here is my suggestion. Don’t waste it on TV and radio and newsprint ads Meg. Just give it directly to us voters. My vote isn’t for sale, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rent it for one election cycle.

Instead of giving that money to TV stations and other media outlets that are owned by giant corporations that really don’t need the money, give it to us ordinary working stiffs.

That will do two things. One, it will make us all a little happier and get you some easy votes. And two, it will mean we don’t have to listen to incredibly boring ads on TV for the next six months.

Let’s do a little arithmetic here.

There are some 24 million people in California who are eligible to vote, but only around 17 million are registered and actually vote. About 31 percent are registered Republican so they’ll vote for Meg anyway, 45 percent are Democrats, so they’ll vote for Jerry. And around 20 percent of us are independents.

Assume the Republicans are motivated by all that is going on in DC to get out the vote (particularly as they so rarely win anything in California), and that many Democrats are demoralized because the hope and change they hoped to see hasn’t come along as fast or as comprehensively as they would like. That means Meg only has to influence a small group of independents to vote for her to win.

I would say – and this is for purely self-serving reasons you understand but hey, if you can’t make political calculations based on self-serving reasons when can you! – that she only needs around 3 percent of us independent minded folks. So, if my math serves me right then 3x – 17.3 divided by the square root of 20, subtract your age, multiply by the number of beers you drank last night = $27,356. cash-pile-notes

That’s how much, or rather how little, Meg has to shell out to get my vote. And it’s a guaranteed expenditure. No need to buy an ad during ‘American Idol’ hoping I’ll watch and be persuaded (I never watch) or getting a radio spot on KSFO hoping I’ll listen (I never do).

Come on Meg. This is a sure thing. Send me the cheque. I’ll send you my vote. It’s democracy in action. With the emphasis on the crass.

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