Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) has opened an account to collect funds for a run to be Lieutenant Governor in 2018. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has already collected over $500,000 in contributions to run for the same position, but it’s unlikely that the Democratic Party powerhouses will run against each other.
Steinberg, who is termed-out in 2014, is rumored to be planning a run to be Secretary of State in 2014 after the current secretary, Debra Bowen, is termed-out. Though a number of other politicians plan to run, including our own Sen. Leland Yee, none have raised as much as Steinberg, who can move his Lieutenant Governor funds into an account for a secretary race.
My fingers are crossed that Steinberg (or anyone, really) will also consider an earlier run against current Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who has amassed a warchest to the tune of $926,000 for his re-election in 2014.
Even before he was elected, Newsom thought the Lieutenant position beneath him, famously saying, “What does the lieutenant governor do? For the life of me, I don’t know.” And he has behaved that way while in office, like Norma Desmond: “I am big; it’s the job that got small.”
Newsom told hotelier Chip Conley in May of this year that he’s only in Sacramento “Like one day a week, tops. There’s no reason.” Then, “It’s just so dull. ‘Sadly, I just, ugh, God.’”
Then there’s his very tense relationship with his ostensible boss, Governor Jerry Brown. Back in February, Newsom said Brown lacks a “vision for greatness” and that if the governor would, “give me your finance team, give me the controller, and give me your department heads, and give me 48 hours” Newsom would come up with better budget solutions.
While it may be true that Brown is freezing out his former rival and Sacramento is less than exciting, Newsom’s lack of grace and gratitude for his pathetically simple job (to wit: smile and appear to be a good team player) makes him unfit to continue in the position.
Having scored a big victory with his tax measure, Brown is a shoo-in for re-election. If the measure had failed, there was speculation that Brown would not run for a second term. Perhaps Newsom’s 2014 re-election campaign account was just a placeholder in case that happened and he could move the money to an account to run for governor. I hope that’s why he’s been fundraising because I’m trying to imagine him eyerolling his way to re-election as Lt. Governor and … I just, ugh, God.
“Oh, by the way, fix that fiscal cliff, OK?”
— State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg at the opening senate session bidding farewell to State Senators Gloria Negrete-McLeod and Juan Vargas, who are vacating their seats because they were recently elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I thought perhaps it was getting a little to his head when, I think, he offered to negotiate a truce between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.”
— Kevin DeLeon (D-Los Angeles) endorsing Steinberg’s negotiating prowess and inciting a chorus of groans from the audience at the same session.