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CA Governor Hopeful Reverses Liberal Stances


California insurance commissioner Steve Poizner, who in 2004 painted himself as a moderate and wooed LGBT and pro-choice organizations, has rebranded himself as the only "true conservative" running in the state's Republican gubernatorial primary.

In 2004, while Poizner was running for state assembly, he told The Mercury News, a Northern California newspaper, that "the right wing of the Republican Party does not represent me." True to his word, he sought the endorsement of BAYMEC, a Bay Area LGBT advocacy group. He donated $1,250 for a table at the group's fund-raiser and said he opposed the Defense of Marriage Act. The group later endorsed his opponent, Ira Ruskin, who officially was in full support of same-sex marriage.

As he seeks the Republican nomination for California governor, he now clarifies that although he is in favor of civil unions, "I opposed gay marriage then, I oppose gay marriage now."

In the same election, Planned Parenthood chose not to endorse Poizner only because he and Ruskin had identical stands. Both indicated 100% support of all Planned Parenthood positions, from opposition to laws requiring parental consent for minors seeking abortion to support of public funding for the procedure. Poizner, who says he has studied the issue more closely, now opposes public funding of abortion and supports parental consent.

BAYMEC founder Wiggsy Sivertsen told the newspaper she worried "that politics is about expedient and not about what's moral or what's right." She recalled the excitement of having a prospective Republican nominee who "seemed so liberal on so many social issues."

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