Commentary: Whitman is making friends

If you're a Democrat running for a lesser office, don't bother asking what Jerry Brown can do for you.

Instead, ask what you can do for Brown. Democratic candidates have found out that in this campaign, it's everyone for themselves.

Brown is a penurious politician who has never seen the point of giving money to other candidates or helping them raise money. In this race, however, he is displaying his selfish side, failing to make gestures that engender loyalty, energize party activists and gin up the volunteers on whom he must rely if he hopes to win on Nov. 2.

It's very different on the Republican side of the ballot.

Unlike Democrats, Republican candidates see reason to hope that some of Meg Whitman's mega-millions, or at least her rich friends' money, will flow their way and float their boats.

Whitman is running as if Republicans make up a ticket, regularly appearing with candidates for other statewide offices including Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, running for attorney general, and Sen. Tony Strickland, running for controller.

"She has made it clear that she doesn't want to go to Sacramento alone," said Bill Bloomfield, a major Southern California donor to Republicans nationally who is giving to Whitman, the California Republican Party, Maldonado and Strickland.

Whitman is paying particular attention to Strickland. She has donated $6,500 to the Ventura County Republican and headlined fundraisers for him in San Diego, Orange County and San Francisco. Importantly, she is telling her donors that she wants Strickland to be part of her team.

To read the complete column, visit www.sacbee.com.