Governor Dianne Feinstein?—The Horror!

In my last two columns (here

), I`ve thoroughly raked

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
over the coals for
his failure to recognize the

twin threats

illegal immigration and predatory banking
represented to the

But there remains a single good news nugget
that I failed to mention.

In 2010, Schwarzenegger terms out. A
California Governor can

only serve
two terms.


long list of potential candidates
stands in the wings to
take Schwarzenegger`s place.

For some, their chances are so remote that
they will certainly drop out early on. But either of two
Democratic survivors versus a new GOP face may present
Californians with a curious choice.

Let`s look at

some of the most likely
to throw their hat into the ring and
assess their chances.

  • Steve
    , Republican, 500-1.

    Poizner holds California`s least sexy elected office:
    insurance commissioner. Even though Poizner has been
    campaigning for several months, no one knows outside of
    policy wonks know who he is. Poizner`s

    official website
    doesn`t mention immigration.

  • Lt.
    Governor John Garamendi
    Democrat, 400-1.

    Garamendi has Poizner`s problem: Californians don`t
    recognize him. That`s too bad because, in fact, he`s one of
    Sacramento`s more engaging politicians. Garamendi owns a
    1,000-acre ranch in the Sierra Nevada foothills where he

    Black Angus cattle.

But Lt. Governor is a bad place from which to
launch a campaign.

Governor Cruz Bustamante
had higher name recognition than
Garamendi, but that didn`t save
from being
by Schwarzenegger in the 2003 special
Recall Gray
Davis election
. (Bonus points to any
who can tell me where Bustamante is doing today and
what he`s doing. Answer at end of article!)

  • Tom
    , Republican, odds:
    Campbell is better known on Capitol
    Hill than in California.

Campbell, who served five non-consecutive
Congressional terms, lost to Dianne Feinstein in his 2000 bid to
become U.S. Senator. His biggest albatross is that, as
budget director
, Campbell has a lot of explaining to do
about his role in the state`s current crisis.

Campbell has always been terrible on
immigration. While in Congress,

his grade
was “F”.

anywhere outside the
Bay Area
and Californians think
sanctuary city
where violent illegal aliens can find safe harbor,

gay marriage
and California`s least affordable city. The
concept of San Francisco just does not play well outside the
city`s limits.

I don`t care what you may read to the contrary
or how much you hear about the
influential” Hispanic vote, Villaraigosa will not be
California`s next governor

Villaraigosa has Newsom`s image problems
multiplied by ten. Exactly what platform would Villaraigosa run
on: how effectively he`s managed the city, how brilliantly he`s
educational excellence
to Los Angeles` school system or how

moral code
can serve as an inspiration to Californians?

Los Angeles is a crime-pit
by the country`s
violent gangs
. The
Los Angeles
Unified School District
, which Villaraigosa tried
unsuccessfully to take over, is hopeless. And Villaraigosa`s

public adulterous affair
would be a nagging problem in a
drawn-out campaign.

When you
add to Villaraigosa`s problems his
ethnic identity politics,

unimpressive re-election
earlier this month, Los Angeles`
traffic congestion
, the city`s
in politics (in last June`s state primary
elections — primaries are the first crucial gubernatorial
hurdle — just 14 percent of the Los Angeles County adults who
were eligible to vote cast ballots), it`s impossible to envision
he would campaign on.

previous LA mayors who tried to bump up to governor—Tom
— were derailed largely because voters associated
them unfavorably with Los Angeles.

inescapable conclusion is that

Villaraigosa`s gubernatorial prospects
are dim, at best.

Among voters, Whitman isn`t well known yet.
But eBay,
the company that created her billion-dollar wealth, is.
contributor Rob Sanchez
told me that Whitman`s riches were,
in part, earned off the sweat of cheap labor. When I asked Rob
how many
H-1B visas
eBay employs, he answered: “A lot!”

Whitman has a ton of problems. Not only is
she a political rookie, Whitman has been a Republican for less
than two years.

And until the idea of becoming California`s
governor struck her, Whitman demonstrate little interest in

Records from her home
San Mateo County showed that Whitman didn`t vote in more than
half the federal, state and local elections since 2002 including
every primary vote since along with such important GOP elections
as the 2003 recall that ousted Davis and the

2005 special election
that Schwarzenegger had billed as
crucial to reform California`s government.
Boosts Her GOP Credentials
, by John
Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, September 4, 2008]

Still, the Republicans have to nominate
And as of today, Whitman is the GOP candidate
creating the most buzz. But if Republicans think that a
political neophyte—no matter how much money she has— could beat
an experienced Democrat, they`re

whistling past the graveyard

  • Jerry
    Attorney General, former governor and former Oakland mayor,
    Democrat, 6-1.

Here`s where it gets interesting. Brown has

name recognition
, charisma, money and campaigning skills.

Since Brown`s previous terms in office are not
covered by the term limits that came into effect in 1990, he is
not barred from

running for Governor again
.  He
recently admitted that he`s

about how to get back to Sacramento.


political resume
is long and he could appeal to a large
voter base, especially in this motley field. Brown`s career
spans terms on the Los Angeles Community College Board of
Trustees (1969-1971), as

California Secretary of State
(1971-1975), as

Governor of California
(1975-1983), as chair of the

California Democratic Party
(1989-1991), the
of Oakland
(1998-2006), and the

Attorney General of California

Notice that depending on where he`s stumping,
Brown`s curriculum vitae conveniently allows him to be
either northern or southern California.

Even though Brown unsuccessfully sought the
Democratic presidential nominations in


, and

, and was also an

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 1982,
losing to
Pete Wilson
, he`s an effective campaigner.

Brown can point disgruntled voters to

two prudent incidents
that would resonate with today. After
being elected governor, Brown declined to host an Inaugural Ball
and dinner, choosing instead to take an intimate group to
Man Fook Low,
a Los Angeles Chinese restaurant. And while governor, Brown
refused to ride in chauffer-driven in a limousine. Brown
got around
Sacramento either on foot or in his

1974 Plymouth sedan

And in 1971—long before they became the
pariahs they are today— Brown
sued oil companies
for illegal campaign donations.

On immigration, Brown has shown
of awareness. As our
Fulford wrote
, “Brown has gotten saner as he`s gotten

Feinstein represents the big “if” in
the governor`s race. “If” she chooses to run, Feinstein
would be the favorite, according to the

Field Poll
that put her “favorable” rating among
Californians at 50 percent. 

But “if” Feinstein stays in the Senate,
then Brown jumps into the lead. [Feinstein
An Early Favorite For California Governor

KCBS, March 5, 2009]

Here`s a four-part scenario: 

  • For Feinstein and Whitman, neither of whom has officially
    declared themselves candidates, the gubernatorial nomination
    is theirs for the taking.
  • Should they both enter the race, both will win their party`s
    primary. And Feinstein would be the odds on favorite to win
    the general election.
  • If, however, Feinstein and Whitman come to their senses,
    realize that being California`s governor is not worth the
    endless headaches and drop out, the Democratic nomination
    will go to Brown. Brown would then go on to win comfortably
    against one of the lesser light Republican candidates,
    probably Campbell.

In short, everything revolves around
Feinstein. If she enters the race, she`s probably the next
California governor.

I cannot think of development that should
terrify Californians more than the prospect of Governor

When I lived in California, I wrote

often and at length
about Feinstein`s failures as a Senator.
She`s strongly pro-immigration (recent
grade, F-
), promotes
favors more
and encourages the importation of more foreign-born

Feinstein`s policies have devastated

And last week, Feinstein delivered another
to reeling Californians.

Although the state`s unemployment rate is

10.1 percent
, one of the nation`s highest, Feinstein turned
her back on U.S. workers when

she voted
to table an amendment that would have extended for
five years
program that assures that prospective employees are legal

There`s one more “if” in the equation,
however—possibly the most important one.

“If”—Brown, in
the primary, or Whitman, during the in election, attack
Feinstein and hammer away at her

free trade
foreign-born worker
favoritism records, then either one
could possibly pull of a stunning upset.

But if worst happens and Feinstein prevails,
then expect terrified Californians to jump into their vans and
join me in



(P.S. Answer to Cruz quiz: after his
loss in 2006 to Poizner for California`s Insurance Commissioner,
the shamed Bustamante became something of a health guru.
Referring to himself during his campaign as “obese,”
Bustamante lost about 50 pounds to get his weight down to 225.
Bustamante developed low-fat recipes like

“Cruz`s Healthy Breakfast Frittata”.

I have no idea what Bustamante`s frittata
future may bring him. But his political career is toast.

Joe Guzzardi
is a California native
who recently fled the state because of over-immigration,
over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He
has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the
growth rate stable.
long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School,
Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It
currently appears in the

Lodi News-Sentinel.