Competition Heats Up for Gubernatorial Primary

D. Griswold/MCT Campus

Lauren Dahlberg-Seeth

On Nov. 2, the 2010 California Gubernatorial Election will be held to replace current Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with the next governor of our state. Although candidates from a variety of parties have been campaigning throughout California, the leaders of this election remain Democrat Jerry Brown, and Republicans Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner.

Brown, the current California Attorney General, has a lengthy political background. In 1974, Brown was elected governor of California and served for two terms. His record also includes titles such as Secretary of State, Mayor of Oakland, and candidate in the 1980 presidential election primaries. Brown also challenged Proposition 209, limiting affirmative action, and Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage, in the California Supreme Court. According to SurveyUSA, Brown has 66 percent of the democratic voter support. No other democratic candidates have more than six percent.

Whitman, on the other hand, has a more business-related past. From 1998 to 2008, Whitman was President and Chief Executive Officer of eBay. Fortune Magazine has repeatedly ranked Whitman one of the top five most powerful women in business, and Harvard Business Review named Whitman the eighth best performing CEO of the past decade. SurveyUSA shows that Whitman has 39 percent the republican voter support.

Another 37 percent of the republican voters support Steve Poizner, the current State Insurance Commissioner. Before he was elected to his current position in 2006, Poizner had been founding and running technology companies in Silicon Valley for over 20 years. Poizner also volunteered at San Jose’s Mount Pleasant High School for a year, teaching 12th grade American Government.
Each of these leading candidates has a different plan to help repair our state. Brown promises voters that, if elected, there would be no smoke and mirrors during his term.

“No more puffy slogans and platitudes,” said Brown in a video on his website. “I’ve seen our government from every angle, when it works and when it doesn’t work, and it’s no secret that Sacramento isn’t working today.”

Brown plans to downsize the government in Sacramento in order to bring authority back to cities, counties, and schools. Other main goals include creating jobs, protecting the environment, and fighting political corruption. If elected, Brown also pledges that there will be no new taxes unless the citizens of California vote in favor of them.
Whitman, on the other hand, has a different approach towards the restoration of our state.

“My approach starts with focus,” said Whitman in a debate at Costa Mesa’s Orange County Performing Arts Center. “I’m a big believer in doing three things at 100 percent as opposed to 10 things at 10 percent.”

Whitman’s three-part plan includes creating jobs, cutting government spending, and fixing the K-12 education system. Other priorities include protecting the environment, increasing public safety, and securing borders to stop illegal immigration. Whitman also promises voters that, if elected, she won’t add new taxes. She is not in favor of same-sex marriage.

Although he is republican as well, Poizner disagrees with Whitman on certain points. Unlike Whitman, Poizner supports the Arizona Immigration Law, as well as the use of nuclear power.

“Most politicians don’t have the guts to talk about illegal immigration,” said Poizner in an interview with CBS. “The fact that I’m talking about it in such strong language gets people’s attention.”
The “Poizner Plan” for California includes cutting taxes, reducing state spending, and simplifying business requirements to encourage small businesses. Poizner promises voters that, if elected, he will cut income, sales, and business taxes by 10 percent. Other priorities include creating jobs, strengthening education, and cracking down on immigration.

While each candidate has a different plan for California, they are all dedicated to making a change. If elected, Brown, Whitman, and Poizner all promise to use their four-year term to tackle California’s main issues, from education and the environment, to immigration and the economy. Although some candidates have different priorities, they all have the restoration of California in mind.  The primary elections on June 8, 2010 will be open to all registered voters.