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The final Poizner-Whitman debate

The final debate between Republican gubernatorial primary candidates Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman is scheduled for 5 p.m. – yes, it has been been moved to primetime after this week’s kerfuffle over who had picked the original 2 p.m. slot – on Sunday, May 2 at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose.

The candidates will field questions from a media panel consisting of yours truly; the Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci; the Sacramento Bee’s Jack Chang; Mike Blood of the Associated Press; and Univision’s Santiago Lucero, with KQED Public Radio Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers as the moderator.

If you have a good idea for a question to be posed to either of the candidates, feel free to post a comment here by the end of this week.

The hour-long event is sponsored by Comcast, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Time Warner, Charter, Cox Cable, Cal Channel, CCTA and the Tech Museum, and KQED and 27 other California public radio stations will air it live. It also will air live and then be replayed several times in the following week by Comcast Home Network Channel 104 and the Cal Channel.

Meanwhile, the latest Rasmussen Reports poll shows 71 percent of California voters like the idea of a three-way debate between Poizner, Whitman and presumed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown, an idea Brown pitched at the California Democratic Party’s convention last weekend. But while Poizner – still trailing far behind Whitman – instantly and eagerly accepted, Whitman nixed the idea, so it’s not going to happen (which Brown certainly knew before he even suggested it).

Rasmussen also shows “Brown’s numbers are little changed” while “Whitman’s unfavorables are up as she and Poizner batter each other with television ads in their heated primary contest.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Assume that one of you becomes governor in 2010, and, that Democrats obtain a 2/3-majority in either or both houses of the state legislature. Given that both of you, as candidates seeking the Republican nomination, have shifted to the right, how would you work with legislative leaders to ensure you don’t become irrelevant if Democrats can just override your veto?

  • Sarah and Meg WHO ???

    Wait – – assume that Meg becomes Guv in 2010 ?

    THe same Meg that flipped the democratic process the proverbial “bird” by denying her responsibilty to vote for Y E A R S ???

    The same Meg that, again, viurtually flipped off the democratic process by characterizing the opportunity to debate her political opponent as “a stunt” ?

    The same Meg that, says she learned a lot about how to manage our states’ economics by being a successful business person – but, who, by all measures has out spent any California gubernatorial candidate by an order of magnitude ?

    Is this the same Meg you are referring to ?????

  • Yo “Sarah And Meg WHO ???”, calm down. This is a question I want answered at the debate, even though I will be voting for Jerry Brown and fully support him. It’s a fair one, which I think is what the delightful and knowledgeable Josh Richman is looking for in potential questions to ask Whitman and Poizner.

  • Josh Richman

    “Delightful and knowledgeable?” Aw, shucks.

    Cue Elwood in 5… 4… 3… 😉

  • Considering that you both state that you could bring the Parties together to lead California, which of the Democratic platform positions could you support and which of the Republican platform positions would you be willing to compromise on in the process of leading a united California forward?

    If nothing else, that question should produce enough spin to power a small windmill farm.

  • rosa

    “In an ideal world, what role would money play in politics?”

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    To Rosa: An ideal world for whom? The rich folks would like a plutocracy to protect their wealth. The poor folks want a life like the rich folks. The intellectuals (and pseudos) want to be in charge, period, regardless of the system imposed.

  • Lovett

    Here is a question for all candidates:
    “Polls show that a majority of Americans nationwide OPPOSE amnesty as a solution to the illegal immigrant problem; as governor of California — the state with the highest number of illegal immigrants — what will you do to significantly reduce the numbers of illegal immigrants in the state.

  • Mike

    I would ask Meg what she has learned from Schwarnegger’s mistakes since he too had a business background and wanted to apply business principles to government.

  • rudy

    both poizner and whitman are bad for california is that all there is?