Steve Poizner's "Mount Pleasant" No. 5 on Bestseller List

Steve Poizner finally beating Meg Whitman at something

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    Controversy surrounding Steve Poizner's book Mount Pleasant may have helped sales, but it remains to be seen if it's helped his campaign.

    Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner's book about his year teaching at a high school in East San Jose, "Mount Pleasant," is short on political intrigue -- but that doesn't mean it hasn't been long on controversy.

    Either way, it has achieved something significant -- a No. 5 ranking on the New York Times bestseller list, suggesting that sales have far outpaced those of his Republican gubernatorial nomination rival, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, and her book "The Power of Many."

    Don't imagine that it means the book is selling millions, however. A spot on the bestseller list can be managed with sales in the low five figures, leading the campaign to deny that it's buying up copies to drive up the book's popularity ranking.

    For the record, this reporter received a copy of the book, and it was shipped as a sale from Amazon and not directly from the campaign. Authors generally receive a number of copies of their own book for promotional purposes and personal sales at book signing events.

    Those book signing events have proven a little problematic for Poizner, who faced crowds of angry Mount Pleasant students and administrators at an appearance at a San Jose Barnes & Noble.

    However, considering the sorry state of public education in California and beyond, there's certainly real interest in education reform that could be boosting sales.

    Poizner still trails Whitman mightily in polls, but in an appearance at Google on Tuesday said that his campaign was now spending $1 million a week in advertising to counter Whitman's multi-million dollar advertising spree over the last six months.

    Jackson West is about half way through his copy of "Mount Pleasant."