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Meg Whitman TV ad fudges on how long she’s lived in state

February 4, 2010 |  3:24 pm

In Meg Whitman’s first TV commercial, set to begin airing statewide on Friday, the Republican candidate for governor tells viewers that “the state is in the worst shape that I’ve seen in the 30 years that I have lived in California.”

But although the former EBay chief first moved to California nearly 30 years ago, in 1981, she has not lived in the state continuously since then. For a period during the 1990s, after she left the Walt Disney Co., Whitman moved to Massachusetts with her husband, a brain surgeon who worked at Massachusetts General Hospital.

News reports have said she moved in 1992. The Whitman campaign declined to specify when she moved out of state. She returned in March 1998, taking the helm of EBay.

"Meg moved to California with her husband in 1981 and has considered herself a Californian ever since," campaign spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said in an e-mailed statement. In a 2008 interview with Lesley Stahl for Women on the Web, Whitman said, “I have lived in California for nearly 20 years.”

-- Shane Goldmacher in Sacramento

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