Whitman fit to lead as governor

September 24, 2010 — by Anika Jhalani

When it comes to watching high level political races, many people are willing to TiVo their favorite soap and instead tune into a live news broadcast of opposing candidates in heated debate. The drama and gossip of such races have always been crowd pleasers, and the 2010 California gubernatorial race between Republican Meg Whitman and Democrat Jerry Brown is no exception.

In the political frenzy, candidates’ real stances on policy are often obscured; the public tends to get distracted by the political gossip and loses sight of each candidate’s plan for the state. Whitman has too often been recognized solely for her expensive campaign, rather than for the many reasons she is capable of being the leader of our state.

Whitman’s experience as former CEO of eBay, a multi-billion dollar company, will help her tackle the fiscal challenges our state faces. Although often criticized for her political inexperience and lambasted for her predicted inability to handle Sacramento, Whitman has the crucial business experience our state needs to rebuild the economy.

Whitman provides concrete plan for job creation

With California’s record high unemployment rate, job creation is a crucial issue that needs to be addressed. Whitman’s work at eBay proves her skill in this area; she expanded eBay from just 30 employees to 15,000 and increased the company’s revenues from $4.7 million to $8 billion. Whitman says small businesses are the key to leading California out of its recession; her detailed plan creates 2 million private sector jobs. She will encourage small businesses growth by a system of targeted tax cuts including the elimination of the factory tax, the elimination of the $800 start-up tax, and better, streamlined regulation to help entrepreneurs start business as soon as possible.

Democrat Jerry Brown’s plan to create jobs lacks the organization found in that of Whitman’s. His Clean Jobs Plan calls for the production of 20,000 new megawatts of renewable energy. Although a worthy endeavor, Brown’s plan is too ambiguous and expensive to be seriously considered; with our state’s $20 billion budget shortfall, we cannot afford his “robust investment” in infrastructure and increased job training. Unlike Whitman, he does not provide information on how he plans to create these jobs; the LA Times says his plan “consisting of many goals but with few details on how to accomplish them.” Finally, Brown supports taxes that are driving away the small businesses that could be creating millions of jobs for our state.

Letter-grade system plans to bolster education

Job creation isn’t Whitman’s only strong point. She plans to deliver the best education to California’s students. According to the “Economist,” our state’s government withholds 40 percent of the $70 billion that has been allocated to the classroom. With a lack of funds supporting students, it’s no surprise that California’s students are ranked 48th in reading and 45th in math scores in the United States. Whitman plans to award money to schools and teachers with the best academic outcomes and will grade public schools on an A-F system, thereby serving as an incentive for schools to become more academically competitive.

Another planned fix in Whitman’s agenda is to improve how school districts are allowed to spend funds. Currently the state allows each district to spend a set amount of money in each academic category. With this system, the state assumes that all schools need funding in the same areas, which means that the money isn’t being spent on specific needs of each school. Whitman plans to fix this by giving individual school districts greater control over their individual spending, instead of following a pattern set for every single school in California. These key points to her comprehensive plan are crucial to getting our schools back on track.

Brown’s comments regarding his plan for education have been elusive at best. Brown advocates transfer courses between CSU and UC systems in order to eliminate redundancy and plans to explore online education. He has not shown how he will bring money to the classroom and does not support grants to high performing schools, therefore eliminating incentive for academic competition.

Tough on illegal immigration

Perhaps the most controversial of her policies, Whitman’s take on illegal immigration has created a stir among voters. Her plan to advance the e-verification system in workplaces and secure the border has either gotten her commended or condemned by the public’s split opinion. Being absolutely against amnesty, Whitman plans to work with the federal government to eliminate illegal immigration in our state. She envisions an economic fence with which employers are held accountable for hiring documented workers, and plans to “crack down” on sanctuary cities that are illegally supporting undocumented immigrants.

Amnesty is wrong for California because it helps illegal aliens gain support off the backs of legal Californians. Whitman believes that U.S. citizens should be the first to enjoy a state’s privileges and does not believe in supporting an illegal immigrant on local tax money. Brown, on the other hand, believes that immigrants “do work that Californians do not want to do.” Brown should not justify illegal immigration with an assumption, especially at the cost to the 12 percent of Californians who are unemployed. In fact, the Federation for American Immigration Reform reports that illegal immigration is actually costing California $10.5 billion annually. We clearly need to fix the influx of immigration upon our state and cannot relying on the federal government to make changes.
Self-funding leads to less obligations

Although Whitman presents a solid stance, she has often been criticized just for her expensive campaign, which she funded with $100 million of her own money. A less publicized detail of Brown’s campaign is that it is mainly funded by labor unions, which means he may have obligations to fulfill if he ever does become governor. Whitman, on the other hand, has personally funded her entire campaign, so if and when she becomes governor she won’t “owe anyone anything.”

Whitman brings a unique mind-set and skill set to politics. She was able to turn a fragile startup into a booming corporation and has presented a clear plan as to how she plans to recreate California. A new perspective is a key ingredient to solving our state’s problems; We can’t afford to recycle the same politicians from Sacramento. Jerry Brown’s fluctuating and generalized plans cannot compete against Whitman’s detailed strategies. Meg Whitman is the best leader for our state and is the only candidate who can build a new California.

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