Wednesday, March 4, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS


Will GOP find another billionaire?

elias column sig

By
From page A8 | December 29, 2012 |

The moment one election ends, all politicians’ thoughts naturally turn to the next one. California’s 2014 run for governor, which has already informally begun, could be one that’s completely unique.

There’s the good chance current Gov. Jerry Brown will try for a second term in his second coming – a fourth overall, which would tie him with Earl Warren for the most often-elected governor in this state’s history.

If the 74-year-old Brown opts to slip quietly into retirement – not the sort of thing that’s in his nature – Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom stands panting in the wings, ready to jump in. No doubt, Brown will tantalize Newsom, the two-term San Francisco mayor and son of a close associate of Brown’s father, as long as he can, keeping him dangling in the wind as a sort of payback for an abortive 2010 primary election run in which Newsom sometimes suggested Brown was a has-been.

Of course, if Brown leaves, there could be plenty of Democratic primary competition for Newsom, starting with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Attorney General Kamala Harris and perhaps including state Controller John Chiang, who has developed a reputation as a rare sort of political straight-shooter and a responsible fiscal steward not afraid of challenging even his own party mates in the Legislature.

Chances are Brown will run again, leaving some of the others to play musical chairs among lesser statewide offices.

In several election-season talks, Brown alluded to California’s future, calling it “dynamic” and saying his moves during the past two years have created a solid “framework for a very good credit rating.” Brown’s clear implication was that he’ll want to be around to enjoy the fruits of his very hard work in paring budgets and passing Proposition 30’s temporary tax increases.

One person who certainly would not be scared off by a Brown re-election drive is Molly Munger, who refused to knuckle under this year when Brown tried to get her to give up or compromise on her school tax plan, which turned into Proposition 38 this fall. Billionaire Munger put about $20 million into the losing campaign for that one; imagine what she might spend on her own candidacy.

“For sure, she has the ego for a race like that,” says one acquaintance.

The more interesting party in this nascent gubernatorial season may be the Republicans, who have no incumbents in statewide office and trail Democrats 44-29 percent in voter registration, with most other voters signed up with no party preference, today’s parlance for independent.

Ever since then-Attorney General Dan Lungren lost badly to Democrat Gray Davis in 1998, the GOP’s gubernatorial runs have been dominated by billionaires and near-billionaires. Its last three candidates for the state’s top job fell into that category: financier Bill Simon, muscleman actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and businesswoman Meg Whitman, now the CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co.

Whitman put about $150 million of her own funds into her 2010 run against Brown and lost handily.

Friends of 2002 loser Simon say he’s contemplating another run in spite of the evidence that in order to win, a billionaire needs a measure of celebrity to go along with all that cash. Schwarzenegger had both a big name and big money, while Whitman and her primary opponent, former state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, a near billionaire, for the most part had only big piles of cash.

Poizner now says he might run again. The former state insurance commissioner founded and then sold a company that invented and designed the GPS chip for cellphones. He’s spent most of the past two years setting up www.empowered.com, an adult-oriented job-training and counseling business where he partners with UCLA, among others.

“I haven’t decided to run or not to run,” Poizner says. Like other super-wealthy possibilities, he doesn’t have to decide soon, because fundraising is no problem for him. He can write a check for whatever amount might be needed.

Other Republicans thinking of running include Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, best known for getting arrested while trying to carry a gun onto an airplane, and John Cox, a real estate investor and former chairman of the Cook County (Chicago) Republican committee who now lives in Rancho Santa Fe, near San Diego.

So there will be no dearth of candidates. The wild card here may be the new Top Two primary system, which got its first outing this year and saw more than 20 contests where the runoff election matched candidates from the same party.

Could the next contest pit Brown against Molly Munger in an intraparty grudge match? Brown isn’t saying, but may still resent Munger’s commercials disparaging Proposition 30, while Munger resents Brown for killing off her rival plan.

That might be as bitter an election fight as California has seen, and it could happen.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    County honors Meadows Trigueiro as Woman of the Year

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Police shut down Fairfield street after shooting

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

    Report: Affordable Care Act stretches Solano services

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

     
    Celebrity chef motivates Armijo students

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Highway 12 Association to meet this month

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
    Caltrans reschedules work on J-Mack Ferry

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

    State schedules work on Highway 12

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
    Bridge work to shut down Highway 12 east of Rio Vista

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

     
    Supervisors move ahead with flood planning effort

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

     
     
    Robots, raucous businessmen set to arrive on big screen

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

    Suisun water rate increase public meetings to begin

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A9

     
    Teen hit by SUV remains in hospital

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

    College looks at Measure Q project changes

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A9

     
     
     
    Fairfield police log: March 2, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Fairfield police log: March 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Fairfield police log: Feb. 28, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Suisun police log: March 2, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: March 1, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    Suisun City police log: Feb. 28, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Enrollment of non-residents to be capped at some UC campuses

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    .

    US / World

    California survey finds Sierra snowpack far below normal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    California shuts down oil wells to protect ground water

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Ex-CIA chief admits sharing military secrets with mistress

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    Mines, bombs slow Iraqi advance on Islamic State-held Tikrit

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    India orders TV stations not to give rapist a platform

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    Health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    Lawmakers taking another crack at expanding gun checks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    California lawmakers show wide discrepancy in missed votes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    Agents target industry helping Chinese women have US babies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    Family of girl declared brain-dead sues Oakland hospital

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    US marshals say man killed by Los Angeles police was wanted

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    72 passengers reach settlements in Asiana crash

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    Netanyahu warns US ‘bad deal’ would put Iran on nuclear path

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    Congress sends Homeland bill to Obama without conditions

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    .

    Opinion

    Minority outreach that works

    By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

     
    Israelis worry about inequality, not Iran

    By Daniel Gordis | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

     
    Editorial cartoon: March 3-4, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: March 4, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: March 4, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Mushrooms are nutrient-packed, with a deep, savory flavor

    By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

     
    Get ready to add white to the rainbow of produce you eat

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

     
    Horoscopes: March 4, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

    My husband and I want different things in our retirement

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Apollo to celebrate Holiday birthday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Oprah’s Chicago studios to close down

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Fashion week moves Milan to Paris

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

    .

    Sports

    Bumgarner hit hard in spring debut, A’s beat Giants 9-4

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
     
    Vanden girls roll, advance to SJS championship game

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

    Kings bring back former player Divac in front-office role

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    No ‘floating rubbish’ collection for Olympic sailing venue

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Cal senior Reshanda Gray named Pac-12 Player of the Year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Rudy Gay, Kings hand Knicks worst loss of season, 124-86

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Cubs’ scramble on Wrigley Field hits bump when mayor balks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Raiders officially release S Tyvon Branch

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Trooper: Fingerprints show victim in Hernandez’s rented car

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Play ball! Quickly! Baseball tries to speed game this spring

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Australian rugby star Hayne signs 3-year deal with 49ers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Maid: Hernandez messed with security camera after killing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    .

    Business

    Oil glut could soon lead to plummeting prices

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Robert C. Thierry

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Garland (Curly) Henry Tackett

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Otto Vasak

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    John Henry Fechter, Jr.

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Jacqueline Mendes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Crossword

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7