Tag Archives: CA-InsComm

CA-InsComm: Poizner caught with his hand in the cookie jar

(Cross posted to dKos and MyDD. – promoted by SFBrianCL)

Over at the California Progress Report, Frank has been doing some great snooping at Steve Poizner’s records.  It seems Poizner, the GOP Candidate for Insurance Commissioner against our dear Cruz, claims that he’s insurance money free.  Turns out, that’s not the case so much:

Republican candidate for state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has been making his pledge to not accept any campaign contributions from the insurance industry a centerpiece of his campaign.  This is highlighted on his campaign website. In an “exclusive column penned by Steve Poizner” in the conservative FlashReport, he champions himself as a “Real Reformer.” 

Because I’m not taking a dime of insurance company money, I won’t be taken in by any schemes that typically drive up insurance costs in California. …

Because I refuse to accept that money, I’m no one’s lap dog – my office will be home to the highest ethical standards, not the highest campaign bidder.  I won’t merely be an industry watchdog, I intend to be a pit bull when it comes to pursuing fraud and abuse.

…[T]he biggest problem he has is that a campaign committee he controls has already received hundreds of thousands of insurance company contributions, some direct and some through other committees that they have contributed heavily to. CPR 9/22/06

I won’t bore you with all the gory details of the fiscal transactions.  Frank explains those plenty well, and I’ll let you click on over toe California Progress Report for the full story.  But, here’s a quick example:

On November 2, 2005, two insurance contributions totaling $75,000 is [sic] deposited in the Chamber’s PAC and the very next day $75,000 is given to Poizner’s committee.

What does this remind you of?  Tom Delay’s TRMPAC scam?  That’s the case Delay is still under indictment for laundering corporate donations into Texas campaigns illegaly. So, it’s not that Poizner isn’t taking insurance company money, it’s that he’s just doing it on the down-low.  And we all know that taking money on the down-low isn’t good for anybody…except the participants.  At least Cruz acknowledges his campaign contributions.  So, sure, perhaps the “Steve Poizner for I.C. Campaign” hasn’t taken any money directly from insurance companies, but they’ve received laundered money from them.

This little game of Pick-a-shell is a big disservice to the voters and the State of California.  So, Steve, let’s quit the charade, your money doesn’t buy you piety. Cut it out with the  sanctimony and play the game with the same rules as everybody else. 

CA-InsComm: An Opening for Poizner, and that’s not a good thing

UPDATE: Oops! I got the District right, but the candidate wrong.  It was the 21stAD, but that’s Ira Ruskin’s seat, not Sally Lieber, who is in the 22nd AD. Ruskin beat Poizner in 2004.  Also, apparently Cruz has recently launched a new site: joincruz.com

Cruz Bustamante! Start With Cruz! Are you excited yet?  No? Well, that’s a problem.  Why? Because Steve Poizner is an up-and-comer in the world of California politics.  When he lost his race for the 21st AD, it was just the beginning.  He was willing to invest a boatload of money to be competitive in that heavily Democratic District.  Ira Ruskin won that race, but she had to really work for it.  That’s something of a surprise in that seat.

You see, Cruz Bustamante isn’t running much of a campaign.  It’s not that he’s been mired in scandal or something like that. No, he’s just literally not running a campaign.  Have you seen him campaign? It’s like seeing Loch Nessie. Grab a picture, it’s sure to be worth something. Have you seen his website? Well, yes, I guess I do mean Start With Cruz.  Yup, that’s his only presence on the web.  And cruzbustamante.com? Well, that links to Political Asylum, a liberal blog.  So, no real-world campaigning, no online campaigning…Sheesh.  That’s a doozy of a campaign, huh?

Well, my concern here isn’t really over the IC position itself.  Not that I don’t care about that position.  It’s just that Poizner doesn’t really need a platform to launch himself. He’s essentially the GOP answer to Steve Westly.  He’s a Silicon Valley businessman with loads of cash to spend on his campaigns and a seemingly moderate.  He’d be the strongest GOP candidate for the governor in 2010 if he won this race.  Now, it would be difficult for him to win the statewide primary against somebody like McClintock, but an unchallenged Poizner would be a formidable challenge, even for a powerhouse like Villaraigosa.

However, we don’t really want this job landing in Poizner’s hands for reasons of the job itself.  As numerous people have commented here, it’d be a little like the fox guarding the hen house? How can we trust a corporate-leaning conservative to protect the interests of ordinary Californians in relation to Big Insurance?  This job is meant to protect us, not the insurance companies.

So, Cruz…let’s start already.