While I have made clear my choice in the Republican primary for the United States Senate seat from the Golden State, I have yet to weigh in on the contest for Governor. Up until recently, I had been equally impressed by both candidates, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.
This is not to say that I find either an ideal candidate. I have concerns about both. It’s just that they would both be better than the likely Democratic candidate former Governor Jerry Moonbeam Medfly Brown. Given the red ink our state faces, we can’t afford to have Brown back in the Governor’s chair.
I wanted to follow the gubernatorial campaign to see which Republican could better take on an out-of-control state legislature all but controlled by the public employee unions. From their record in the private sector, it’s clear the Republicans know how to meet a payroll and how to hold the line on expenses.
I always thought I’d just wait until a few days before the primary and vote for whoever was polling better against Moonbeam Brown. But, Poizner’s actions in recent days have caused me to question his strength of character. When Mike Murphy, a political consultant working for Whitman, tried to persuade Poizner to withdraw from the race (he trails Whitman by as much as 30 points in polls), the Golden State Insurance Commissioner announced he’d asked law enforcement to “investigate improper conduct” that “threatens the integrity of the electoral process.”
Improper conduct to do what candidates regularly do in contested primaries?
Not the way to respond to such an offer. Doesn’t really show much strength or confidence your campaign. A more secure candidate would have brushed the offer off, saying once the campaign heated up, he’d surge ahead. A candidate who doesn’t have the fortitude to stand up to an offer from a Republican rival likely wouldn’t have the fortitude to stand up to a Democratic legislators used to pushing the Governor around.
His behavior certainly makes me more enthusiastic about Mrs. Whitman. But, I’m not yet sold. She’s been saying all the right things on taxes and spending, but I want to hear her say that she believes the state’s domestic partnership program is “settled” law.
Should she do that, she’d likely have my vote in the primary–and maybe even this blog’s endorsement.
And even if her answers aren’t as I’d like them on all issues, should she win the nomination, I’ll be voting for her. There are few things that would be worse for the Golden State that four more years of Jerry Brown as Governor.