Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman on Tuesday called her voting record "atrocious," and explained for the first time in detail why she failed to go to the polls.
"I should have voted and I didn't," Whitman told KCRA in Sacramento in an exclusive, one-on-one interview at the El Macero Country Club in Davis. "And I think the reason is, for many years, I wasn't as engaged in the political process and should have been."
Whitman, who spoke to the Yolo County Republican Women Federated, said she didn't vote largely because she was busy with her husband, children and jobs. The billionaire former eBay CEO also said she moved around a lot.
Whitman said she decided to get active in politics after what she saw as too much taxation and regulation of business.
She added that California is at a "tipping point" when it comes to the budget.
She said if elected, she would focus on creating jobs and increasing government efficiency.
She earlier said she wants to cut 40,000 jobs out of the state payroll, but would not sacrifice public safety.
The lack of a voting record charge is not new, but that didn't keep it off the front page of the Sacramento Bee last week.
It pointed out Whitmas did not cast a ballot in the election for the man she now wants to replace. And there was no way the special election ballot (including one Arnold Schwarzenegger) back in 2003 could have slipped her mind. The lack of her vote followed a Business Week magazine article that called her out as one of a group of top executive with a "worse than spotty voting record."
The Bee reviewed Whitman's voting record in six states and found she regularly skipped voting. They had a hard time finding any evidence that she was even registered to vote in most of them.
The first bonafide record that could be found was from September 2002 in San Mateo County.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, is also running. Democrat Jerry Brown, the current attorney general and a former governor, is widely expected to run.