Cam-Pains: Whitman Boosts Lead, Hahn Cries Foul

Meg Whitman has opened up an even wider lead on opponent Steve Poizner

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Meg Whitman has reasons to smile, as after a bad week in the press she still pulled ahead in the polls.

    In the latest Field Poll, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has surged farther ahead against Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner in the Republican gubernatorial primary, with a 49 point lead, 63 percent to 14 percent.

    In an October Field Poll, Whitman's lead was only 45 percent to 17 percent.

    The poll was completed on March 15, during one of Whitman's worst weeks on the campaign trail and before the debate held Monday evening in Orange County.

    That was not the only number that was good news for Meg. The poll showed her in a statistical tie with Attorney General Jerry Brown, leading 46 percent to 43 percent.

    That left a Brown spokesperson to quip, "Meg Whitman has been campaigning for a year and spent $40 million and what it's gotten her is that she is in a dead heat with Jerry Brown."

    Poizner's campaign promised that, eventually, Republicans will be "hearing a lot about Steve and his positions."

    A Public Policy Institute of California poll is expected soon, providing more data on the relative viability of the candidates.

    In the Lieutenant Governor's race, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn's campaign issued the text of a formal complaint to the Fair Political Practices Commision via email accusing San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom running afoul of fundraising statutes by asking for money from donors who already donated the maximum amount to his failed gubernatorial campaign.

    Responding to via email to questions, the FPPC said it hadn't yet received a complaint, but said that it could be working its way through the system. Once it is received, a decision to investigate will be made in 14 days.

    Both races could hinge on the question of money, and not in the sense of how much advertising the campaigns can afford -- 87 percent of American voters feel that wealthy donors have more influence over politicians than voters.

    As for the possibility that a Newsom win could leave the current Board of Supervisors with the power to appoint his successor as mayor? Well, Newsom's plan to put it to the voters instead doesn't seem to be going anywhere, leaving an attempt to move any inauguration to state office back his only hope to cut critics like Supervisor Chris Daly out of the process.

    Jackson West's favorable-unfavorable rating is probably in the toilet.