Last week, political consultant and Hoover Institution research fellow Bill
Whalen wrote a rebuttal to my piece about Steve Poizner (Capitol Weekly,
October 6). Readers can review both columns by logging on to
Mr. Whalen’s beef is that I was unkind to Steve Poizner, a man he works for
and admires. Okay, I was unkind to Steve Poizner. I objected to what I
considered his hypocritical behavior during an unsuccessful run for the
Assembly in 2004, and I wrote as much while raising the larger issue about
the influence of the super rich in politics. I respect Mr. Whalen’s loyalty,
but he would have better served Mr. Poizner had he addressed the larger
Mr. Whalen makes the point that to run for the Assembly as a Republican, Mr.
Poizner had to spend millions of his own money because the 2001
redistricting skewed his district in favor of Democrats. No argument from me
on redistricting; I agreed when writing about the election in California
Journal, and Mr. Whalen was kind enough to quote me.
But then, Mr. Whalen came to the subject of out-of-district donations, which
largely fueled the campaign of Mr. Poizner’s opponent—Democrat Ira Ruskin.
Mr. Whalen dealt with that issue by suggesting that those donations funded
smears against Mr. Poizner and that, in general, money raised outside a
district is responsible for negative campaigns. “That’s the type of gutter
politics that surreptitious, third-party, out-of-district money spawns,” he
Capitol Weekly readers are savvy enough to understand how na