One year before the 2010 election, Gavin Newsom’s abrupt withdrawal from the governor’s race leaves the campaign without a candidate conveying the message most aligned with California’s zeitgeist of the moment: a call for sweeping reform.
With Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown the lone (if still formally undeclared) Democratic candidate, and a Republican field of former EBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman, ex-Rep. Tom Campbell and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, the race now presents two fundamental, thematic choices:
Brown and Campbell argue, in slightly different ways, that fixing California is a matter of making government work better; Whitman and Poizner essentially contend that fixing California means getting government out of the way.
At a time when Californians have record-low regard for state government, none of the four has mounted a challenge to the status quo as strongly as did Newsom. A flawed messenger lacking focus and the discipline to raise the vast sums needed, he nonetheless came closest to seizing the mantle of change.
When CCWC states,
“We need competence to fix Sacramento. We would like a candidate with a background and experience that meets the moment. We need an inspiring voice, a compelling message that reengages the people with their state government. Our candidate will draw on the people to change California together.”
we are not limiting our search to the political class. There are business and community leaders in our party, like Tom Steyer, that CCWC is interested in hearing from, in addition to the professional politicians making the rounds.
Tom’s pragmatic point of view is substantive and resonates nationally regarding the banking crisis. His bona fides as a democratic fundraiser and supporter are unrivaled in California. His mastery of the crisis and finance are especially compelling given the current state of California’s economy.
As far as CCWC knows, Mr. Steyer has not indicated he is interested in changing his day job; should we consider a petition to persuade him to run for California’s highest office? To work together to change Sacramento once and for all?