Governor Mitt Romney and Republican gubernatorial candidate, Meg Whitman, highlighted yesterday’s first day of California’s Republican Party 2010 Spring Convention in Santa Clara, CA. Romney has endorsed Ms. Whitman and was honored to introduce her at last night’s dinner banquet. Also attending were: Andrew Breitbart (publisher and media star) Steve Poizner (CA Insurance Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate) Tom Campbell, Carly Fiorina, and Chuck DeVore (CA U.S. Senate candidates). The convention will be in session until Sunday afternoon.
At an impromptu ‘fireside chat’ after the banquet, Gov Romney was asked to join Meg Whitman on stage. They took questions and discussed how their business experience affects their outlook on political problem solving:
CAIVIN (California Independent Voter Network):
Traditional, non-former actor Republicans having a decent shot at the state’s highest office? Republicans tearing each other to shreds? Jerry Brown back as governor? Welcome to the 2010 California gubernatorial race! 2010 may well come to be known as the campaign year in which anything was possible.
Jerry “Governor MoonBeam” Brown, a former California governor, is jockeying for a return to the office which he left decades ago, but this time, he is joined by a number of strong Republican contenders. This is unusual for California. And yet, 2010 presents the perfect storm of opportunity for Republicans, and candidates on the red side have been quick to seize on the potential for real change on the West Coast.
Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are the two top Republican contenders for the Governor’s Mansion. If a Daily Kos poll is to be believed, Whitman is well ahead of Poizner, though still slightly behind Brown. In a February Rassmussen Poll (typically better known and more widely trusted than Daily Kos), Whitman and Brown were running in a dead heat, both at 43%. This followed a January poll which found Brown ahead 43% to Whitman’s 39%. Within one month, Whitman caught up with Brown.
In a recent email to supporters, Whitman acknowledged her main Democratic rival, who had only recently “officially entered the race of Governor,” and noted that it will be her goal to “frequently point out our clear differences and though he was quick to criticize my candidacy, I look forward to an important conversation with Californians.”
And an important conversation that must be: with a state budget deficit of over $20 billion, someone needs to start taking action, but more importantly, someone needs to start taking responsibility.
Whitman, the billionaire and former eBay head honcho, has been gaining steam in recent months, racking up endorsement after endorsement. On March 5, Whitman wrote that she had recently been endorsed by former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice: “I was honored when Secretary Rice said I’m the only person running for Governor ‘who can lead the way toward rebuilding our state.’” Rice should be familiar with California and its politics: the former high-ranking cabinet member left a post at prestigious Stanford University when called on by George W. Bush to be a top ranking adviser to his 2000 cabinet.
After her speech, reporters swarmed Meg Whitman:
From the Sacrament Bee:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman came out swinging on the first night of the California Republican Party convention as she fought a two-front war against both her primary rival Steve Poizner and Democratic opponent Jerry Brown.
Whitman, the billionaire former CEO of online auction firm eBay, also went into greater detail than before on her policy proposals in an impromptu news conference Friday afternoon.
She laid out how she would change state employee pensions and said she would consider cutting personnel in the state corrections and higher education systems while seeking a 40,000-person reduction in the state work force.
Appearing with former presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a Friday night banquet, Whitman slammed Brown’s first two gubernatorial terms, which began in 1975. Brown is the only major candidate in the Democratic primary.
“You tell me: What has Jerry Brown accomplished in those four decades of political life that should give Californians a single reason to let him get a second shot?” Whitman asked.
“Nothing,” she answered.[…]
Whitman said she “would not be in favor of the children of illegal immigrants or illegal immigrants themselves getting admission to the University of California system or higher education that is publicly funded.” […]
She proposed raising from 55 to 65 the age at which state workers – except public safety employees – could retire with full pensions. She also would increase the length of pension vesting periods for most new employees and increase pension contributions from 5 percent to up to 10 percent of salaries.
During her banquet speech, Whitman drove home her targeting of state employees, sparking enthusiastic applause.
California’s Republican Party video on Jerry Brown:
Jerry Brown, presumptive Democratic nominee, known as ‘Governor MoonBeam Brown’ was the object of a smile-inducing one-liner during Whitman’s speech: “Moonbeams are, after all, fleeting things, and disappear before they can be pinned down.”
California desperately needs a turn-around. Let’s help elect Meg Whitman!
(HT to Bosman for ‘fireside chat’ video.)