Major fireworks unfolding this morning over in the Zombie Death Cult gubernatorial primary, as Steve Poizner's campaign is calling for a federal investigation into Meg Whitman's efforts to push Poizner out of the race and clear the field for him to run for the US Senate nomination in 2012. From a Poizner campaign email blast:
Republican candidate for governor Steve Poizner today revealed intimidation tactics from Meg Whitman in which her top political advisor threatened to spend $40 million "tearing up" Commissioner Poizner. Last week, Meg Whitman's trusted advisor Mike Murphy contacted multiple people connected to the Poizner campaign and attempted to intimidate Poizner out of the race. In return for dropping out, Meg Whitman offered to deliver to Commissioner Poizner the Republican nomination for the 2012 U.S. Senate race against Dianne Feinstein.
Poizner's people sent a letter to AG Jerry Brown, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of CA, and the local FBI asking for an investigation into "threats and intimidation" in violation of at least the California Election Code. The link includes an email from Whitman campaign strategist Mike Murphy that Poizner's people are claiming shows the "threats and intimidation."
My take: Poizner is absolutely not going down without a fight. His polling numbers in the GOP primary aren't great, but he seems to believe he has the chance to take this from Whitman. Given public dislike of CEOs and large corporations, Poizner definitely has an opening to make it a competitive primary. While Jerry Brown needs to get to work on his own campaign, it certainly helps if Poizner and Whitman are locked in a vicious battle.