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Tue Aug 12 2008 16:52:55

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

By: Ina Steiner

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The LA Times took eBay's Meg Whitman at her word in a post about a presidential campaign ad for Obama. Whitman, who remains at eBay as an advisor until the end of the year (and Board member until 2010) after serving as President and CEO for 10 years, thrust herself in to national presidential politics by joining first Mitt Romney's campaign, then John McCain's.

I jumped in my chair last night when I saw the Obama television ad that included a clip of John McCain walking down the street with Meg Whitman just behind his right shoulder. The spot implies that McCain is walking with a group of lobbyists.

The Times' Maeve Reston reports, "McCain's campaign manager is a former lobbyist, but McCain's companions in the clip are former EBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman and aide Greg Wendt, neither of whom have lobbied, according to a Whitman spokesman and the campaign. The two other men pictured were identified by the campaign as Secret Service agents."

However, for Whitman to say she has not lobbied seems disingenuous given her company's enormous lobbying activities in Washington, DC and across the country. Some of these efforts were documented in Katie Hafner's June 4, 2006, article, "How eBay Makes Regulations Disappear."

Regulators in other states also say that when they try to erect guidelines around eBay's activities, they quickly encounter the realities of the company's political power, raising anew the perennial questions about the proper balance among public policy, consumer protection and business interests. EBay's lobbying tactics, meanwhile, illustrate the spoils to be won when a savvy, resourceful company combines local political persuasion and grass-roots rallying to get lucrative regulatory exemptions that allow it to safeguard its profits.

and

Over the last eight years, eBay has built a stable of local lobbyists in 25 states. Those lobbyists - who work on retainers that can reach $10,000 a month, according to state lobbying registration documents - have also made contributions to individual politicians who sponsor bills favorable to eBay.

Whitman also cleverly devised a program to send eBay sellers to Washington every year to meet with members of Congress, calling it the "United States of eBay."

Whitman isn't a lobbyist, but has hired plenty of them while head of eBay.




Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: loops

Tue Aug 12 20:04:19 2008

Of course. How else would Ebay still be around and not have their pants sued off without an arsenal of lobbyists. That is why SELLERS need their own type of representative. I don't consider sellers on Ebay entrepreneurs, I consider them roller coaster enthusiasts.

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: Lester

Tue Aug 12 20:11:55 2008

Just another great reason NOT to vote for McCain.

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: cool breeze

Tue Aug 12 21:47:40 2008

What other choice is there? Think hard, November is closing in!

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: DeShaun

Wed Aug 13 02:32:04 2008

This is why you don't vote Republican. Whitman, Donahoe, all of them have one thing in common - they are all greedy, stinking republicans.

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: a no brainer

Wed Aug 13 05:32:06 2008

Totally agree with most here - THINK. You'd be crazy to vote republican.

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: otto

Wed Aug 13 11:42:23 2008

"a no brainer"

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: Patricia

Wed Aug 13 15:56:57 2008

"However, for Whitman to say she has not lobbied seems disingenuous given her company's enormous lobbying activities in Washington, DC and across the country"

Ah the old Whitman ability to turn things around so that a lie doesn't appear to be a lie.  JD is a master at it also.  Then they wonder why nobody trusts Ebay! LOL

www.ACEOart.net

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: Patricia

Wed Aug 13 15:59:16 2008

"What other choice is there? Think hard, November is closing in! "

YOU think hard! Really hard!...and don't swallow the koolaid about democrats raising taxes.  Yes, November is closing in and we all need to think hard - about this country and what's best for it and not just about ourselves.

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: Sauce

Wed Aug 13 18:24:28 2008

A trillion dollar debt. What's so good about the USA being owned by China at this moment?

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: Ken

Wed Aug 13 18:30:03 2008

Anyone got the Youtube link to that video shown above? I can't find it.

It would have been nice to include the URL in the article.

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: coolbreeze

Wed Aug 13 18:48:53 2008

re: Patricia
I never referenced one thing about raising taxes (seems like someone will need to pay for all these Big Brother handouts that comes with ''hope'' & ''change''). It is your right in life to vote for whoever you feel is right for you as I also have that same right to vote for whoever. November is closing in fast, and it will all be decided upon what the definition of ''is'' is or ''we keep counting until we reach the numbers we need''. One needs only to look at who the other party has surrounded itself with over the years, or does that not matter. P.S. I did drink koolaid when I was child many many moons ago. I knew my original post would rattle some. That is what makes this a great country ''Freedom of Speech''. Good Day!

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: Gail

Thu Aug 14 11:17:50 2008

Ina, please remove this if it's inappropriate.  While it doesn't directly have to do with Meg Whitman, this editorial is the first thing I thought of after reading the responses here.  It was posted on one of the boards that I visit.

Richmond Times- Dispatch. Beware Charismatic Men Who Preach 'Change' Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I celebrate my independence day and on July 4 I celebrate America's.

This year is special, because it marks the 40th anniversary of my independence. On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba and a few months later I was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.

I've thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there.

In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least receptive.

When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in.

When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed.

When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said ''Praise the Lord.'' And when the young leader said, ''I will be for change and I'll bring you change,'' everyone yelled, ''Viva Fidel!''

But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner's guns went silent the people's guns had been taken away.

By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed.

By the time everyone received their free education it was worth nothing.

By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him.

By the time the change was finally implemented Cuba had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status.

By the time the change was over more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it to shore anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans.

And now I'm back to the beginning of my story. Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America?

Would we?

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: Angela

Thu Aug 14 15:59:21 2008

There is no significant difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.  If you don't vote 3rd party, you're delusional.

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: Julie

Fri Aug 15 00:07:24 2008

Lobbyists are paid by big businesses to protect those businesses' interests in the political arena.  Ebay isn't the only conglomerate paying brown-nosers to scurrey across Washington.  No news there.

What is interesting is how this commercial (AKA:  yellow journalism propaganda) was created by the Democrats.  Geesh - some people will swallow everything they are spoonfed to toe the party line.

eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist   eBay's Meg Whitman Portrayed as Lobbyist

by: a REAL conservative Republican

Tue Feb 16 13:48:32 2010

If Whitman becomes the Gov. of Calif. the state's unemployment rate will exceed 75% by the end of her first term.  95% of state jobs will be eliminated and replaced by a computer, and all state telephone help numbers will be based out of India.  She will close half of the prisons, releasing all sorts of violent criminals making our steeets oh so safe!
Her REAL track record with eBay speaks for itself: the only jobs she created were outside the United States!  The eBay office in San Jose employed 5,000 people before she became CEO, wghen she resigned there was less than 200 employees still employed at eBay's San Jose headquarters.  And yes she DID resign under duress because eBay founder Pierrre Omidyar was unhappy with the way she was ruining his company!
Whitman is another of these fake conservatives who preach and support amnesty and outsourcing, then go home and watch American Idol (is there anything in existence less conservative than reality tv?)!  If she does manage to get elected, there will be a recall vote less than a year after she does!



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