Claws Come Out in GOP Gubernatorial Catfight

After sounding off on Meg Whitman's voting record, Steve Poizner gets paid back in kind

By Jackson West
|  Wednesday, Oct 7, 2009  |  Updated 6:12 AM PDT
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Claws Come Out in GOP Gubernatorial Catfight

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Steve Poizner is once again defending himself from accusations that he supported Al Gore back in 2000.

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As the Republicans angling for the party's nomination in the governor's race next year try to appeal to the party's core supporters, it's gotten ugly.

First, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has made hay with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman's voting record, reminding anyone who will listen that she wasn't even registered until recently and questioned her loyalty to the party.

Whitman said her voting record was "inexcusable" -- and then promptly blamed her family for keeping her from the polls.

Now it's the Whitman campaign's turn, promoting the fact that Poizner made out two checks totalling $20,000 to help Al Gore get elected back in 2000.

Poizner's explanation? He shares a checking account with his wife, a Democrat, who wanted to see Gore at two fundraising appearances.

Of course, given the disaster that was the George W. Bush administration, one has to wonder what responsible person from either party would question someone's lack of support for his presidency.

But remember, California voters actually registered to vote in the party's primary thought Bush did a fine job, and if anything went wrong, it was probably Bill Clinton's fault somehow.

For what it's worth, Whitman herself supported Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer's reelection campaign in 2004, calling her a "courageous leader" for opposing Internet taxes.

Maybe more interesting than the backbiting between the two politicians now is how they'll explain their base-pandering to the general public if nominated.

Jackson West loves it watching politicians go after each other early and often.

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