|Sat Dec 15 2007 11:50:07|
eBay CEO Meg Whitman to Speak in Iowa
By: Ina Steiner
For 8 years I've covered eBay closely, and I can tell you when something seems out of the ordinary. This article caught my attention: "EBay president to speak in Bettendorf." No offense to the fine people of Bettendorf, but Betten-where? Meg doesn't do a huge amount of public speaking, and she saves it for big events. For her to speak at a chamber of commerce in a place where eBay doesn't even have a physical presence seemed odd, to say the least.
The pieces of the puzzle fell into place when I did a search for Bettendorf. It's in Iowa. You know, where all the presidential candidates are hanging out trying to get votes in the all-important upcoming Iowa caucuses.
Meg is working hard to get Mitt Romney elected president, as this blog has previously noted. I just wonder if the tab for her appearance at the Bettendorf Chamber of Commerce is being paid by eBay, by herself, or by the Romney campaign. Will she mention Romney? Is this appearance really an ad for his campaign, and if so, does it fall under campaign finance laws? And what about eBay shareholders, should they be picking up the tab for what may turn out to be Romney's political campaigning?
I'm just asking the questions, that's what this blog designed to do. Maybe the fine citizens of Bettendorf will comment here and let us know if Whitman's talk on "how eBay became the largest auction service and address emerging e-commerce and business trends" sticks to the message. Citizen journalists, here's your chance to do some reporting. (Photos of Meg in Iowa are welcome.)