ABC News' Teddy Davis reports: The TV ad war is now underway in the California governor's race. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who has been on radio for months, launched the first television ad today. Watch it HERE:
The lone Democrat in the governor's race, state Attorney General Jerry Brown, is expected to formally declare his candidacy later this month. Whitman's rival in the California Republican gubernatorial primary is state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. Poizner recently called on the FBI and State Attorney General to intervene after Mike Murphy, the McCain 2000 strategist who is guiding Whitman's gubernatorial run, urged Poizner to drop out of the governor's race. Murphy told a Poizner aide that Whitman would get behind Poizner in the 2012 Senate race when Democrat Dianne Feinstein will be 79 if Poizner would drop his 2010 guv run. Murphy said that if Poizner didn't drop out, Whitman was prepared to "tear" him up in a multi-million dollar ad campaign. Poizner is independentlty wealthy but his bank account cannot compare with Whitman's. The Whitman camp effectively spun Poizner's presser, especially the fact that he thought law enforcement should get involved, as a meltdown on the commissioner's part. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is barred by term limits from running again in 2010. (Brown, who was elected to the first of two terms as governor in the 1970s, served so long ago that the state's gubernatorial term limits were not yet in place). The first ad from Whitman, who has only rarely voted as an adult, is a positive one. Her campaign is tightly focused on three priorities: creating jobs, cutting spending, and fixing schools. See below for the script:
WHITMAN: "I will say the number one thing I think that faces California right now is actually a crisis of confidence. People are scared to death that California cannot be fixed. The most important thing that the next governor of California has to do is actually deliver the goods. The professional politicians have been fighting in Sacramento for years and the state is in the worst shape that I've seen in the thirty years that I have lived in California. We can turn California around. I think, actually, I can make a difference. I have run large organizations, I know how to create jobs, I know how to focus, I know how to balance a budget and I think a business perspective is a bit of what California needs right now. The things that I think we need to focus on are first, creating and keeping jobs in California. Second is cutting government spending and third is fixing our education system. We need to have California be what it once was and I think we can do it. Let's say what we mean, mean what we say and let's get it done."