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Is ‘Shoving’ What California Needs in Our Next Governor?

Having put up with Arnold’s image-making shenanigans for most of this century, Californians deserve a governor who understands the levers of power, not a governor who allegedly shoved an underling when she herself was unprepared for an interview.

According to the NYTimes, Meg Whitman is alleged to be a workplace shover. That doesn’t bode well for a gubernatorial candidate who tries to end press questions by saying, as you would to Wall Street stock analysts on the quarterly call, "Okay, we’re going to move on now." The press will decide when we’ll move on, Meg — should you ever subject yourself to the indignity of an interview again.

Control issues much?

During her 10 years as chief executive of eBay, Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for governor of California, was known as a demanding leader who did not hesitate to express displeasure with employees who failed to live up to her standards.

But on one occasion, she was accused of going too far — and paid for it.

In June 2007, an eBay employee claimed that Ms. Whitman became angry and forcefully pushed her in an executive conference room at eBay’s headquarters, according to multiple former eBay employees with knowledge of the incident.

Here’s my favorite part:

Two of the former employees said the company paid a six-figure financial settlement to Ms. Kim, which one of them characterized as “around $200,000.”

I don’t care how unwitnessed or gentle this ‘guiding her out of the conference room’ was, when the payment reaches six figures, that’s real money. Something happened here.

And Meg Whitman didn’t stay around eBay very long afterwards, either:

Ms. Whitman announced she was leaving eBay a few months after the mediation, in January 2008. She had said early in her time at eBay that she anticipated staying at the company for a decade. The company was under a variety of pressures at the time, as its stock sharply declined because of a stagnant auctions business and competitive advances from the likes of and Google.

What’s your takeaway from the Whitman campaign spokesperson’s statement?

"Meg is a serious, results-focused boss," said spokeswoman Sarah Pompei. "A verbal dispute in a high-pressure working environment isn’t out of the ordinary. Meg’s record of accomplishment in business, including her success at leading eBay from a 30-employee startup to a Fortune 500 company, speaks for itself."

What I hear is: the Whitman campaign is bracing for more stories like this one because they know there are more.

Vote Meg: Don’t Make Me Hit You!

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Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge