Driving down Escondido Street one can’t help but notice the vacant store fronts and dusty sidewalks, however along this street lays a bright spot, Village Kitchen and Pie Shoppe. It is here where Meg Whitman, former Ebay CEO and billionaire met with potential voters to garner their support.
The standing room only crowd had plenty of questions for this GOP rookie. Whitman explained how she came into the world of politics via Mitt Romney, former GOP Presidential candidate. She informed the crowd about how John McCain helped nudge her into running for a very difficult job as California’s Governor.
But in the end, it was her decision to “not let California fail,” that prompted her to seek California’s highest state office.
Whitman says she will focus on three main topics troubling the state, jobs, the state’s out-of-control spending and education.
“We (California) are ranked 48th in the country and education is the way up and out,” she explained. “I also know this state is bleeding jobs to other states not China and that has to stop.”
In a light moment the owner of the Pie Shoppe had Whitman slice a piece of pie, she responded with “don’t try and sell that on Ebay.” The crowd got a good chuckle out of that.
After that the conversation shifted to more serious topics like AB32, California’s version of Cap and Trade which is Job killer. This question was brought forward by 14-year-old, Joe Naritelli, an incoming La Costa Canyon High School freshman.
Whitman explained that if she were governor, she would modify or revoke AB32 and acknowledged it was a job-killing piece of legislation.
On the health care front Whitman talked about her husband, who is a brain-surgeon, and how half the surgeries he performs are free due to Emergency Room rules to refuse no one life-saving care.
“The fact that the Obama Administration is trying to force through health care at lightning speed is wrong, we need to bring down the costs, make sure everyone can get insurance coverage and create more competition within the industry.”
When it comes to keeping and growing jobs in the state, the candidate looked to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s business model. “Texas has reduced excessive business regulation and reduced the state's high business taxes. As a result Texas is currently producing 80 percent of the countries new jobs.”
She continued, “We know what the right solutions are for California, we just have to implement them.”
Tackling important issues was not hard for Whitman’s business-like acumen. “Now that I’ve watched this political process, I know how important my rights are,” says Naritelli.
For others like Escondido resident Sarah Bond it was a chance to hear what a high-profile candidate like Whitman would do for her city and state. “She’s a political rookie and doesn’t have a record for me to judge. For now I’ll remain skeptical.”
And yet for other young college students it was a chance to let Whitman know that she needed to reach out to young people like President Obama did and let them get grass roots campaigns started.
“Reaching out to college students is a great way to build a movement, I hope we can help,” said Chasen Bullock a senior at San Marcos State University. “We have about 500 registered members and 35 very active members ready to get going.”
It seems the 2010 election cycle is gearing up early for a long and difficult process. However, this time around candidates are going to have to serve up more than just pie if they hope to get elected because voters are asking the tough questions.
For more stories; www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner