Challenger for California first voted at age of 46, critics reveal
Wednesday 30 September 2009
The last time California chose a new governor, a famous film star and former Austrian bodybuilder stunned the world by turning up on late-night television to announce he was putting himself up for election.
This time, a year before polling day, the contest has already spawned its first media circus: a bizarre scandal over the voting record of a celebrity businesswoman hoping to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Meg Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of eBay, was until recently a strong favourite to secure the Republican nomination for the job once held by Ronald Reagan.
Then journalists found that, while claiming to be a principled conservative and lifelong devotee of such touchstone causes as banning gay marriage and cutting taxes, Ms Whitman had not actually voted until she was 46.
She had only joined the electoral roll in 2002, and hadn't registered as a Republican until 2007. Worse still, she had lied about that record in a speech to a Republican convention earlier this year, claiming to have begun voting in California in 1998. Even after registering as a voter, 53-year-old Ms Whitman, a graduate of Harvard Business School who last month gave $250,000 to the Republican party's "voter registration campaign", only cast a ballot in five of the last 18 elections.
Her critics charge that Ms Whitman, who is spending $100m (£63m) of her personal fortune on her campaign, is a political lightweight attempting to "buy" the governorship in order to satisfy a personal ambition. Ms Whitman herself admitted: "I didn't vote as often as I should... I'm sorry about that and there's no excuse."
Her chief opponent for the Republican nomination, insurance magnate Steve Poizner, has called for her to be disqualified from seeking high office. "Whitman didn't skip some votes, as she claimed," he said. "She skipped every one – for 28 years."
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£60 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job:* The Tutor will prepar...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Preston: Qualified Teaching Assistant Jobs in B...
£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Preston: English/Maths Teacher require...