With Another $15 Million, Poizner is Poizner’s Biggest Contributor

California Insurance Commissioner and candidate for the GOP nomination for Governor, Steve Poizner, has announced that he’ll donate another $15 million of his own fortune to float his flagging Gubernatorial campaign making himself his biggest contributor.

Once the transfer is complete, Mr. Poizner will have donated a total of just over $19 million of his own cash to his campaign. And it should be noted that this is being termed a donation, not a loan.

Let’s be clear, though, Poizner is not the only major candidate for governor that is using his own fortune to fund his race. Chief opponent Meg Whitman has loaned about $15 million of her own money to her campaign, as well. It is expected that she will dip into her own pocket even more as the race rolls on.

Neither Whitman nor Poizner are hurting for the cash, to be sure, but the fact that they are doing this confirms the sad truth that all too often state-wide races are now so expensive that only multi-millionaires can afford the effort.

Rasumussen’s November poll shows Meg Whitman tied at 41% with Democrat Jerry Brown (with not sure coming in at 14%). Poizner garnered 32% to Brown’s 41% (18% not sure), and Republican Tom Campbell stood at 33% to Brown’s 42% (with 19% not sure).

In a press release made over the weekend, Poizner said that, “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to really fix and reform our state. The Republican primary will be won based on which candidate presents clear, specific, and conservative solutions for solving California’s economic problems.”

Poizner, however, is widely considered a candidate that “cannot gain traction,” as a look at just about any recent news piece on the candidate will prove. In fact, not long ago some folks in the state were wondering where the man disappeared to as he had been practically invisible for a time. Some, in fact, had been wondering if Poizner was about to quit the race.

This donation should settle that question, at least for a while.

Now, I have been critical of Poizner for his problematic past support for high taxes, but during this race he’s made some steps toward responsible positions on taxes going so far as to sign the no tax pledge. If one can believe the conversion, he’s made the effort.

Still, at some level, the fact that he had to make this move to donate such a large sum to his own campaign shows his low level of confidence in his ability to raise campaign cash.

Finally, it should be noted that the voters probably won’t be paying much attention to any of the races until the New Year begins and campaigning season kicks in in earnest. All candidates have time to surge ahead of the pack.

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