Who is Steve Poizner - NBC Bay Area

Who is Steve Poizner



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    Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner will finally get the debate he's been demanding against gubernatorial primary opponent, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.

    Steve Poizner's message to Republicans is simple: If you want a conservative running the state, vote for me.

    Poizner, 52, is a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. But he has tilted further to the right since he first ran for state Assembly in 2004, and he describes his opponent in the Republican gubernatorial primary, Meg Whatman, as Arnold Schwarzenegger's "third term" -- in other words, a moderate that Republicans just don't want.

    Poizner is currently the state's insurance commissioner, but he made his money in the tech sector. His company, SnapTrack, put GPS receivers in cell phones. He sold it to Qualcomm in 2000 for $1.2 billion.

    Poizner spent time as a White House fellow and also volunteered as a teacher for a semester in a San Jose public high school. 

    As Insurance Commissioner, he sued Governor Schwarzenegger after the governor decided to sell the state-run workers’ compensation board for $1 billion; the courts held for Poizner.  When California’s Anthem Blue Cross health insurance company raised individual policy rates by an average of more than 25-percent in February, Poizner charged the company with 732 violations of the terms of their patients’ policies. 

    Poizner's solution to the state budget crisis is what he calls the “10-10-10 Plan,” which calls for a 10% reduction in state spending, a 10-percent cut in personal, sales, and corporate taxes, and creation of a $10 billion “rainy day” fund.  He also wants to cut capital gains taxes by 50 percent. 

    Together, Poizner says, these injections of capital will like to more jobs for Californians. 

    Other facts about Poizner:

    • He has dumped $19 million of his own money into the campaign.
    • He has pledged not to raise any taxes and veto any effort.
    • He believes a part-time legislature will make bring common sense back to the policymaking process in California.
    • He is an ardent supporter of nuclear power as a way to meet California’s energy needs.
    • He wants to cut off all government programs and services for illegal immigrants.
    • He is pro-choice, but opposes public funding for abortions and “partial-birth” or late-term abortions.
    • He supports civil unions.