Search This Blog

Monday, June 28, 2010

CA: Brown and Whitman Contrast

In The Sacramento Bee, Jack Chang writes:

Whitman's team occupies part of a nondescript office park about a block away from the Cupertino headquarters of tech giant Apple Computer and several miles from the San Jose home base of eBay, the online auction firm where the candidate spent a decade as CEO.

On a recent afternoon, several dozen staff members were raising funds, monitoring media coverage of the race and doing other work in cubicles and side offices while the digital media firm Tokoni crafted the campaign's online content from another part of the office park.

Whitman has opened field offices in Costa Mesa, San Diego and Woodland Hills, and paid six-figure salaries to top GOP consultants in Sacramento and Southern California. The campaign had spent $3.58 million on campaign worker salaries as of May 22 and $8.43 million on consultants. It's run TV and radio ads since September and is experimenting with cutting-edge technology to reach voters.

"We've been innovative in the way we communicate, and that's a product of the campaign trying to be as effective as possible in building support for what we see as a movement type of candidate," said campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds.

"The fact is Meg has been operating inside of a budget that is designed and calibrated to achieve a goal."

The Brown campaign, by contrast, seems to go out of its way to violate the norms of modern political campaigns.

The team works out of a brick former warehouse near Oakland's Jack London Square, set amid grocery wholesalers, condos and lofts. Last Wednesday, eight young volunteers sat at a long, wooden table at the front of the 5,000 square-foot space typing on laptops they'd brought from home.

Read more: