Republican Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy, who has emerged as a leading conservative voice against Prop. 1A, says GOP millionaire wannabe governors Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman aren’t doing nearly enough to kill the May 19 election measure.
“Poizner and Whitman should be doing everything they can, they should be with us and they should be throwing money at it,” Foy told calbuzz.
“It’s going to hurt them in their campaigns,” he added. “We want someone who’s going to do something on this and isn’t squishy.”
Amid blogospheric buzz about the possibility that the Ventura supe might jump into the governor’s race, Foy left the door wide open when we asked him about it.
“Spending is out of control . . . and we need leadership in Sacramento on this,” he said. “On the Republican side, where’s Poizner, where’s Whitman, where’s Campbell? If that kind of leadership doesn’t rise up then you bet I will take a long hard look” at running for governor.
Foy’s comments to calbuzz are likely to stoke the unhappiness among red meat movement conservatives with the candidacies of Insurance Commissioner Poizner and former eBay exec Whitman. The two Bay Area moderates are both scampering to the right in an effort to capture the crucial GOP right wing in the 2010 primary.
Foy, who is scheduled to address a big “tea party” rally in Sacramento today, has hooked up with veteran anti-tax crusaders Jon Coupal and Ted Costa as a co-chair of an ad hoc committee to defeat 1A.
While former U.S. Rep. Tom Campbell has come out in favor of Prop. 1A, Poizner and Whitman have both declared they’re against it. But Foy insisted the true measure of their opposition is if either steps up with some cash for TV ads against it.
“Poizner’s done some things, but it’s not enough –- you have to be a leader,” he said in a telephone interview. “I got something, a little mailer from Steve Poizner –- come on, you have to put it on TV.”
Prop. 1A is the linchpin of five measures put on the May 19 special election ballot by Gov. Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislative leaders. Ostensibly intended to create a bigger state reserve fund by imposing restrictions on spending –- a feature which has drawn the ire of liberals –- it would also would extend for two years $16 billion worth of tax increases used to balance the budget in February’s deficit deal.
Asked what he would do as governor to close a deficit estimated to reach at least $12 billion if the ballot measures go down, Foy said, “There’s no question it’s going to be cuts.”
He argued that much of the budget problem came about because state government had hired “50,000 people in the last five or six years.” (According to the official state figures, however, state employment increased 31,352 between 2002-03 and 2007-08)
Foy also said that it would be necessary to impose cuts on public education. “because it’s the biggest numbers” in the budget. He said considerable savings could be found by “getting rid of layers and layers of middle management” and by privatizing services such as janitors, maintenance and cafeteria workers.
Asked what the chances are – on a scale of 1 to 10 — that he’ll run for governor Foy said “5 or 6.” He said he would decide what to do by “the first of summer.”
PS: After posting this, Jon Fleischman over at Flashreport, tipped us to Whitman’s open letter to the Cal Reep Exec Committee in which she argues against Props. 1A, 1B, 1C and for Props. 1D, 1E and 1F.