GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner repeated his campaign's call Saturday for rival Meg Whitman to drop out of the race after The Bee reported this week that it could not find evidence that Whitman registered to vote until 2002.
State Insurance Commissioner Poizner told The Bee in an interview at the California Republican Party convention in Indian Wells that Whitman's voting record made her "unelectable." On Thursday, the day the Bee story was published, Poizner communications director Jarrod Agen first called on Whitman to "step aside."
We got three minutes with B.Brain afterwards — oh, and not a minute longer — and prodded him for his thoughts about California's guv race. Said he hasn't really been following too closely. Rove said Meg Whitman's lack of experience won't necessarily be a disadvantage in that she is an outside-the-system candidate, and said Steve Poizner has a lot of grassroots support. Said Carly Fiorina has a chance against incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer who is a "hyperpartisan." Indeed, takes one to know one.
Certainly not every citizen has a perfect record of voting in national, state and local elections. Nor do some people who have sought election to office. Schwarzenegger did not vote in the 1996 and 2000 presidential primary or general elections. Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a prospective Republican candidate for Senate in California next year, skipped the presidential primaries in 2000 and 2004 and the primary and general elections in 2006.
Failure to vote from time to time is understandable and has rarely been seen as disqualifying for those seeking public office. But Whitman's record appears to go beyond occasional absences. Setting aside the question of whether she was registered before 2002, her slender record is striking for its apparent disinterest in the political process.
Given the state of the state, the California governor's race will be among the most important in the country next year.
Should Meg Whitman proceed in the GOP primary?
With the junior Senator from California, elected at the tail-end of a recession, having watched unemployment climb by 33% in the Golden State during her tenure in the United States Senate*, we in California need a representative in Washington who knows how to create jobs. Unemployment out here is now at a post-World Wart II high.
Mrs. Boxer seems indifferent to the employment situation in the Golden State; just this week she voted to table an amendment which could have created or saved (to borrow an expression from the President she supports) as many as 80,000 jobs.
To bring California back, we would do well to send someone to Washington who is not a creature of government. With a background in business, Carly Fiorina knows what it takes to get companies to move to (or stay in) the Golden State, creating jobs, fostering innovation and expanding opportunity.
It was the beginning of what has been an enduring three-way friendship and political relationship.
Angeles has been a political consultant and adviser to both Stricklands and, since December 1998, has been employed by the California Assembly as chief of staff to Tony and then to Audra after she was elected to succeed her husband in 2004.
â€œOur kids call Joel â€˜Uncle Joel,â€™ â€ Tony Strickland said in an interview last year. â€œJoel is Audraâ€™s political mentor. He is our common friend.â€
Angeles was found not guilty Friday of misdemeanor charges involving three demonstrators outside a June 2008 political fundraiser for Tony Strickland.
A Ventura County jury today acquitted the chief of staff of a state assemblywoman on charges of assaulting protesters outside of a political fundraiser last year in Thousand Oaks.
Jose "Joel" Angeles, the top aide to Assemblywoman Audra Strickland (R-Thousand Oaks), was found not guilty of misdemeanor criminal charges stemming from a scuffle in which a 69-year-old Episcopal priest complained that he was body-slammed by Angeles, causing injuries that required shoulder surgery.
Angeles testified during the trial that it was he who was roughed up during the scuffle, and that he had not hit or shoved anyone.
The incident occurred when mostly Democratic protesters gathered outside of a fundraiser at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel for Strickland's Republican husband, state Sen. Tony Strickland.
Tom Campbell was billed as the featured speaker at Friday night's dinner at the GOP convention in Indian Wells. But Campbell, introduced by party chair Ron Nehring as "the nicest guy in California politics" — paging Leo Durocher — was left to cool his heels as three other speakers (including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger) preceded him.
The odd part was who the party had speak before him. Bill Mundell, chairman of ZBB Energy, gave a quirky, rambling speech calling for "an economic revolution" centered around selling off public assets, including the DMV. Mundell rambled on for 30 minutes, leaving the audience checking their Blackberrys and giving each other looks of despair and disbelief.
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is wasting no time pouncing on a Sacramento Bee article reporting that fellow GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman apparently never registered to vote until 2002. And didn't bother to vote after that. As Republicans gather at their statewide convention in Indian Wells this weekend, Poizner sent out a press release saying Whitman feared "the California press corps, which is the only thing she avoids more than debates and voting."
Is a little Whitman piling on happening? As Poizner tries to ride "not voting-gate" — Governor Schwarzenegger is dismissing the former eBay CEO's promise to delay implementing AB 32 regulations if she becomes governor.