California Republicans are buzzing about the possibility that billionaire gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman - who has spent nearly $100 million of her own money on her campaign - could be preparing another unprecedented personal investment in her political future: a $30 million-plus infusion into the state party.
The Chronicle has obtained a draft of a detailed 44-page state GOP "2010 Victory Plan" that outlines the party's $85.5 million financial blueprint for a campaign effort that includes $30 million directed to the gubernatorial race.
The former eBay CEO is "putting a significant amount of money in ... it could be $30 to $40 million," said a GOP insider familiar with the plan. The source said Whitman is also expected to tap her fundraising sources and contacts for the party's benefit.
With four months to go before the November election and the latest polls showing the gubernatorial race in a dead heat between Whitman and Democratic state Attorney General Jerry Brown, the buzz about Whitman's seemingly bottomless checkbook underscores how the GOP candidate - who has already broken all spending records - continues to reshape California politics dramatically.
The victory plan specifically states that the mission of the party in 2010 is "to put a Republican governor in Sacramento by strategically communicating, promoting and supporting the (state party) message to its members, elected officials and candidates."
Gubernatorial candidates frequently donate and fundraise heavily for state party causes - as has Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. But with a net worth exceeding $1 billion, Whitman is by far the wealthiest candidate ever to seek state office.
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