SACRAMENTO — Accusing his rival, Meg Whitman, of trying to illegally "manipulate" the election for governor and intimidate him into quitting the race, Republican Steve Poizner on Monday reported her campaign to state and federal law enforcement authorities.
Poizner, the state insurance commissioner who is squaring off against Whitman, the billionaire former EBay chief, in a GOP primary in June, gave reporters an e-mail received by one of his advisors from her consultant Mike Murphy. In it Murphy asked, "Is there anything we can do to get SP to reconsider this race?" He added, "We can spend $40m+ tearing up Steve if we must."
Murphy also offered to "unite [the] entire party behind Steve right now" to oppose Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in 2012, noting that "DiFi will be 78 or 79 years old" then.
In Poizner's letter to law enforcement agencies, he said Murphy had threatened in a call to another aide to put the candidate "through the wood chipper."