All of the sudden, being a bigot isn’t such a good deal for California Republicans. Steve Poizner is finding out the hard way.
The Mercury News points out that as he tries to make history as the first independent candidate elected to California statewide office, former insurance commissioner Steve Poizner is saying he’s sorry for trashing Latinos.
Eight years ago, during his unsuccessful run for governor as a Republican, Poizner bemoaned the influence of undocumented immigrants and vowed to block them from receiving “taxpayer-funded benefits.”
He supported ending in-state college tuition for undocumented students, called for the California National Guard to deploy to the Mexican border, and endorsed a controversial Arizona law that allowed police to detain people they thought were undocumented. He even argued that public schools should refuse to enroll undocumented children.
Now, as he’s running for his old insurance commissioner job as an independent, Poizner insists he no longer supports those ideas.
His Democratic opponents in the insurance commissioner race point to Poizner’s history of immigrant-bashing as a sign that his new independent branding is little more than political opportunism.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara, the son of formerly undocumented immigrants from Mexico, called Poizner’s decision to run as an independent “disingenuous,” and said he planned to educate voters about Poizner’s past statements on immigrants.
“You don’t forget those remarks about families like mine,” Lara, D-Bell Gardens, said in an interview. “You can apologize, but you can never take back the words that harm so many people.”
Poizner, a wealthy former Silicon Valley tech executive, was considered a political moderate before veering to the right during his bid for governor. Now everyone know’s he’s just a bigot who wears nicer clothes and drives a fancy car.