Dynamic former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin roundly endorsed veteran Contra Costa legislator Tom Torlakson, who held his superintendent campaign kick-off luncheon in Concord today.
Eastin lit up the hall at the Crown Plaza in Concord with her direct and unequivocal style, prompting not a few people to ask at its conclusion, “Where can I vote for her?”
Between glowing commentary about Torlakson’s candidacy, she blasted the Legislature and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for what she called immoral cuts to education in recent budget decisions. And she vowed to vote against several of the measures on the May 19 special election ballot that she says will hurt education.
“The Legislature doesn’t have the stones to raise taxes on cigars … but they could steal from Prop. 98,” Eastin said.
But Eastin has clearly granted Torlakson, a California assemblyman and former state senator, an exception to her ire.
Eastin, an ardent women’s rights activist, even made it a point to say why she was endorsing Torlakson over his chief opponent, Los Angeles state Sen. Gloria Romero.
“All things being equal, I will endorse the woman,” Eastin said. “But Tom is the right person for this job.”
In an interesting sidenote, Eastin delivered her passionate and pointed speech right in front of the table where two potential congressional challengers sat: Sen. Mark DeSaulnier and Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan.
But unlike the superintendent’s race, Eastin made it clear she would endorse Buchanan. She has already offered to help with the assemblywoman’s campaign, should Buchanan decide to run.