In the last week I received campaign updates from all three major Republican candidates for governor and nothing from any of the Democratic candidates. Why are the Democrats, with the exception of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom who is running an exceptional campaign on Facebook, off to such a slow start?
Today Meg Whitman, former fundraiser for Mitt Romney and John McCain announced she is running for governor and Steve Poizner countered by having someone file a FPPC complaint against her alleging she has already been running and therefore should have been filing FPPC forms.
Meg Whitman also announced some of her supporters which includes State Assembly member Audra Strickland, who opened an account to run for Secretary of State, and State Senator Tony Strickland, who is the leader of the Ventura County Republican Party.
Meanwhile from the Democrats I don't see much campaigning.
Jerry Brown was in Southern California for a fundraiser recently and has been building up goodwill for opposing the state being forced to build luxurious prison hospitals but I haven't seen much from the others.
I am interested in supporting a campaign in the primaries but I haven't seen them campaign enough to get me interested thus far.
Republicans, if the election was held today who would you vote for? Peter Foy, Steve Poizner, Meg Whitman, or Tom Campbell?
Click on continue reading for the campaign updates from the Republicans.
From the desk of Jim Brulte
If you're like me, you think California is headed in the wrong direction. Every day the news gets worse and our great state slips further and further behind.
But the good news is that strong, tested leadership can turn this around.
I'm proud to be Chair of the Poizner for Governor Exploratory Committee. Steve Poizner has exactly the combination of hands-on experience, innovative vision and conservative instincts to save California.
While much of Sacramento has floundered in the current crisis, Steve Poizner has taken bold, common sense action. As a strong fiscal conservative, he knows that furloughs are only a stop-gap measure that do nothing to shrink the size of government. He did what needed to be done to make a real difference, permanently cutting his budget by 10% and cutting fees for small business people who deal with the Department of Insurance by millions of dollars.
With that one tough minded decision, Steve Poizner became the only candidate for Governor in either Party who has actually cut their budget. Some may promise to do it, some may try to explain why it can't be done. But Steve Poizner got it done.
There are a lot of reasons we're supporting Steve Poizner. He's the only candidate who has proven he can win a tough, state-wide campaign. He's the only candidate who has undergone the tough press scrutiny that comes with running and winning a state-wide office. He's the only entrepreneur in the race, a man who started from scratch an important, life saving, wildly successful company. He's the only candidate with a proven commitment to public education, fighting for charter schools and even teaching in a large, public high school.
But most importantly, he's the only candidate who can stand toe to toe with a candidate like Jerry Brown and say, "You grew government. I shrank it. You say we can't govern without tax increases. I've proven we can."
The Republican Party has never had a candidate with Steve Poizner's background and strengths. And that's what it will take to win.
It's for all of these reasons that Steve Poizner has received hundreds of key Republican endorsements from across California. This list continues to grow by the day. We have already earned notable support from major GOP donors as well as important business and community leaders. We have the endorsement of close to three-quarters of the GOP members of the state legislature, countless local elected officials, numerous Republican county chairs and an enormous group of grassroots activists..
I've seen a lot of California campaigns in my day. I can tell you that this one is more advanced and better organized than any campaign at this stage in California history. To win tough races, you need a team that's proven they can get it done. We've hired one of the nation's top Republican media firms - Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer - to be the leads on the campaign. They have a history of winning tough races in blue states and have helped elect President Bush in both his national campaigns, elected Gov. Tom Ridge in Pennsylvania, elected Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida, and elected governors in the bluest of blue states - Massachusetts. We've also put together a top notch group of experienced and successful California professionals, including Wayne Johnson and Matt Rexroad, to serve in senior roles in the campaign.
As Republicans, we embrace competition. Meg Whitman has announced an exploratory committee for governor. The fact that she may run in California and recently joined the Republican Party is a sign of the strength of our Party.
This will be a very, very long campaign and we are in the earliest of its stages. The field of candidates in both parties is not settled. Candidates will come and go, events will be constantly developing. But what will not change is California's desperate need, the Republican Party's need, for a strong leader who can start turning California around on day one -- an entrepreneur, an engineer, a proven budget cutter, a man uniquely qualified to lead California.
I look forward to closely working with you over the next 21 months as we join together to elect Steve Poizner as the next Governor of California.
REPUBLICAN MEG WHITMAN, FORMER EBAY PRESIDENT AND CEO, ANNOUNCES FORMATION OF 2010 GUBERNATORIAL CAMPAIGN EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE
Former Governor Pete Wilson, Chief Deputy Republican Whip Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, State Senator Tony Strickland, Assembly Republican Whip Nathan Fletcher and Former State Assemblywoman Sharon Runner to Lead Exploratory Committee
For Immediate Release
SACRAMENTO - Republican Meg Whitman, former President and CEO of eBay, today announced the formation of an Exploratory Committee to seek the nomination for Governor in 2010. Former California Governor Pete Wilson will serve as Campaign Chairman joining Exploratory Committee Co-Chairs House Chief Deputy Republican Whip Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, State Senator Tony Strickland, Assembly Republican Whip Nathan Fletcher and former State Assemblywoman Sharon Runner. In the coming weeks, through speeches in Silicon Valley, Orange County and at the California Republican Party Convention in Sacramento, Whitman will offer a vision for the Golden State.
"After careful consideration and with tremendous loyalty to our Golden State, I have formed an Exploratory Committee, the first step in the process of running for Governor in 2010," Whitman said. "California faces challenges unlike any other time in its history - a weak and faltering economy, massive job losses, and an exploding state budget deficit. California is better than this, and I refuse to stand by and watch it fail. Now is the time for people across the state to join in a cause for change, excellence and a new California."
Whitman, 52, retired from eBay in March 2008 following a decade with the company. Under her leadership, eBay grew from a startup with 30 employees, $4.7 million in revenues, and 300,000 users to a global ecommerce leader with operations in 38 countries, more than 15,000 employees, almost $8 billion in revenues, and more than 300 million registered users. There are more than 12 million eBay users in California alone.
Jeff Randle, President and CEO of Randle Communications, is Whitman's senior advisor and has worked with her since 2007. Randle joins Henry Gomez, one of Whitman's closest advisors during her tenure at eBay. Together, Randle and Gomez are developing a campaign organization that includes some of America's most respected campaign professionals. (Please see the following list).
"Meg Whitman is a tremendous leader and team-builder," Randle said. "California today has serious problems, but Meg is committed to working to restore the state's greatness. With new leadership and a new direction, Meg will forge a new California, which will once again be the number one state in economic growth, job creation and quality of life."
# # #
2010 Exploratory Committee Leadership - Quote Sheet
Meg Whitman for Governor 2010 Exploratory Committee Team
Jeff Randle - Senior Advisor
Jeff Randle is one of California's most respected political strategists. He has played a leadership role in each of the last four victorious California Republican gubernatorial campaigns, including both of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's victories and both of Governor Pete Wilson's campaigns. Randle has been Meg's top political advisor since the summer 2007 and helped build the Whitman team.
Spencer Zwick - Senior Advisor/Finance Vice Chair
Spencer Zwick is the managing partner of Solamere Capital Group, a private equity investment firm. Spencer previously served as the National Finance Director and vice chairman of the Mitt Romney for President campaign.
Rob Stutzman - Senior Consultant and Communications Strategist
Rob Stutzman, principal of Navigators Global, leads the firm's Strategic Communications practice. He is a veteran of nearly two decades of campaigns. During the 2008 Presidential Campaign, Stutzman served as senior California advisor to the Mitt Romney for President campaign. Previously, he was deputy chief of staff of communications for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Mitch Zak -- Communications & Press
Mitch Zak, partner with Randle Communications, is considered one of California's leading grassroots communications strategists. He was coalition's director during Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2003 Recall Election Campaign and served as political director for former Governor Pete Wilson.
Todd Cranney - Deputy Campaign Manager, Political
Todd Cranney is a veteran of several major campaigns, most recently serving as campaign manager for Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher in California's 75th Assembly District. Cranney's experience includes Bush Cheney '04, Governor Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign and the Mitt Romney for President campaign.
Don Stirling - Deputy Campaign Manager/Finance Director
Stirling has more than 25 years of fundraising experience. He most recently served as a finance consultant to McCain Victory and Mitt Romney's Free and Strong America PAC. He also served as Deputy Finance Director/Mountain States Region for the Mitt Romney for President campaign. Stirling's past affiliations include the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), and the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games, where Stirling raised over $100 million.
Joanne Davis - Senior Finance Advisor
Joanne Davis is co-owner of The Davis Group. Her career in politics and government has spanned over twenty-five years and has included working with top elected officials, state political parties, public opinion leaders and corporate executives in both California and nationwide. Davis specializes in developing financial management programs for statewide campaigns, including fundraising, budgeting and financial operations. She has worked in this capacity for the last four California gubernatorial nominees including both of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's successful campaigns. Mrs. Davis recently managed the statewide fundraising operation of the Mitt Romney for President campaign.
Scott Howell & Company - Media Strategists
One of the nation's premier GOP media firms, Scott Howell & Company has been dubbed "The hottest media consulting firm in the last few cycles on the Republican side" by The Washington Post. The Whitman media team will be led by founding partner Scott Howell, a South Carolina native and respected GOP media strategist. Working with Scott will be partner Todd Harris, a California native and veteran of California and national politics, as well as partners Heath Thompson, Vinny Minchillo and Senior VP Malorie Miller. Scott Howell & Company is based in Dallas, Texas and has offices in Dallas and the Washington, DC area.
John McLaughlin - Pollster
John McLaughlin has worked professionally as a strategic consultant, market researcher and pollster for over 25 years. His political clients have included Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Forbes, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, and 14 current and former U.S. Senators and 25 members of Congress.
David B. Hill, Ph.D. - Pollster
David B. Hill, Director of Hill Research Consultants, received his Ph.D. from The Florida State University. In 1991, CAMPAIGN magazine named Dr. Hill the second most effective major political consultant overall, and best political pollster in the nation. Dr. Hill spent ten years as a faculty member at Kansas State University, Florida Atlantic University and in a tenured position at Texas A&M University where he also served as Director of the Public Policy Resources Laboratory and founding Director of The Texas Poll.
Tokoni, Inc. - Website and Online Media
Tokoni, Inc. is a company dedicated to shaping the next generation of social media by creating communities that allow anyone, anywhere, to have a voice. Founded in August 2007, Tokoni breaks down social content and connection barriers and leverages the Web's natural ability to enable a shared understanding around issues, individuals and brands. Tokoni is developing Meg's Internet presence for the campaign.
Ana Helman - Deputy Campaign Manager, Scheduling & Operations
Ana Helman has more than a decade of experience as a community liaison in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Helman has held leadership positions in several high profile political organizations including Dole-Kemp '96 and as state president of the California Young Republicans.
Michael Saragosa - Director, Coalitions
Michael Saragosa most recently has served as Undersecretary of the California State and Consumer Services Agency, appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also served Governor Schwarzenegger as Chief Deputy Appointments Secretary and is considered one of California's leading grass roots coalition experts, particularly in California's Latino community.
Tom Hiltachk - Legal Counsel
Mr. Hiltachk is managing partner at Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP. He has practiced political and election law exclusively since 1988. He served as President of the California Political Attorneys Association from 2004-2005, and serves on the Board of the American Association of Political Consultants.
Stacy Davis - Orange County Finance Director
Stacy Davis has owned her own political fundraising firm for over four years. She has worked with many high profile political candidates including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most recently she served as the McCain-Palin campaign's Orange County and Inland Empire Finance Director.
Karolyn Dorsee - San Diego/Imperial County Finance Director
Dorsee Productions has been actively involved and dedicated to fundraising for the Republican Party in California since the late 1970s. Her company has been integral in countless Republican campaigns such as President Gerald Ford and President Ronald Reagan, Governor Pete Wilson, Governor Mitt Romney, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Congressmen Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as the recent Presidential McCain/Palin Campaign.
Charissa Abbay Gonzales, M.A. - Los Angeles/Central Coast Finance Director
Gonzales is owner of On Target Fundraising and is a seasoned fundraising professional based in Los Angeles. She has over ten years of fundraising experience, working on both Republican presidential and statewide campaigns, including the Riordan for Governor and Simon for Governor campaign, and most recently served as chief fundraiser for the successful nonprofit Los Angeles based organization United Friends of the Children.
Kristin Hueter - San Francisco Bay Area Finance Director
Hueter has been raising political funds at the National, Regional, and State levels for two decades. Her clients have included Presidential, US Senate & Congressional, and Gubernatorial campaigns, as well as National and State Parties and numerous State-wide Initiatives. Kristin is active with a number of business and charitable organizations.
Wendy Warfield - Sacramento/Central Valley/North State Finance Director
Warfield has more than three decades of political and fundraising experience. With a specialty focused on the North State and Central Valley, Warfield's reputation for success has established her as one of the most preeminent fundraising firms in California. Most notably Warfield has raised nearly $28 million for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California Republican Party since the Governor's 2003 Recall election.
Jennifer Cowen-Fitzgerald - Inland Empire Finance Director
Cowen-Fitzgerald owns and operates CL7 Communications, a strategic communications firm that specializes in political fundraising. In recent years, Jennifer successfully executed fundraising programs for major political candidates including Presidential Candidate Governor Mitt Romney (out-raising all the competition in Orange County) and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Additionally, CL7 helped move the California Women's Leadership Association from an Orange County group to a premier, statewide professional organization of business women committed to affecting positive political change in California.
Karen Hammond - National Outreach
Hammond has been a successful political fundraiser for over ten years. She most recently served as a finance consultant for McCain Victory as well Romney for President. She began her career as a Deputy Finance Director for Jeb Bush and also oversaw the 2002 Olympic Winter Games donor program.
Pete Wehner - Speechwriter/Policy Advisor
Peter Wehner, former Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, is a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Mr. Wehner served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations prior to becoming deputy director of speech writing for President George W. Bush in 2001.
Patrick Durkin - Policy Advisor
Patrick Durkin was the Director of Policy for the John McCain for President campaign. Previously, he was Managing Director at the investment banks Credit Suisse, Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette where he was Head of the International Banking Group During the Presidency of Ronald Reagan, he was Special Assistant and Speechwriter to the Secretary of the Treasury and was appointed by the President to the Presidential Commission on the 1987 Stock Market Crash. He was appointed by President George Bush to the boards of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Durkin is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Council of Excellence in Government.
Here's the latest California Governor's poll; thought you would like to see it.
Campbell - 15%
Whitman - 14%
Poizner - 4%
Foy - 1%
Feinstein - 36%
Brown - 14%
Newsom - 9%
Villaraigosa - 9%
Garamendi - 4%
O'Connell - 3%
Westly - 1%
(Probolsky Research LLC)
I'll make my decision about formally entering the Governor's race in the very near future. Many thanks for all your advice and encouragement.