Steve Poizner touts his political savvy in visit to San Luis Obispo

Steve Poizner, a Republican candidate for governor, said Wednesday in San Luis Obispo that his detailed budget plan to solve the $20 billion deficit and his experience make him a better choice than his opponent, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman.

“Our campaigns are very competitive, but unlike Whitman, I have eight years of success in politics, and I know what it is like to build a company from scratch,” said Poizner, now the state insurance commissioner.

About 100 members of the San Luis Obispo County Republicans and the Lincoln Club gathered at the San Luis Obispo Country Club to hear Poizner discuss how he will bring jobs to California through cutting taxes by 10 percent and slashing government spending to balance the budget.

Poizner, who is behind in the polls, received criticism after accusing Whitman’s campaign of using “threats” and bribes to drive him out of the Republican primary race.

“Whitman spent $19 million dollars in 2009, and that is what’s given her the bump in the polls. It only reflects the radio ads that everyone is tired of hearing, and I haven’t even started my mass ad campaign yet,” said Poizner, 53. “On election day, everyone will know who I am, and mine and Whitman’s differences.”

Although his position as local Republican chairman does not allow him to endorse a candidate in the primary, county Assessor Tom Bordonaro said Poizner’s experience as a teacher and a businessman responsible for managing employees give him an advantage.

“His real-life experience enables him to give California what it needs — jobs, jobs, jobs!” said Bordonaro, who was a state assemblyman from 1994 to 1998.

Attendees had the option of attending as $250 “platinum sponsors,” each of whom received two VIP tickets, a photo with Poizner and two general reception tickets; or as $25 “patriot sponsors,” who each got one general reception ticket.

They were given the option of sponsoring the San Luis Obispo County Republican Party or the Lincoln Club with their funds.

The San Luis Obispo County Republican Party and the Lincoln Club recruit and support Republican candidates and invited Poizner to be part of their 2010 candidate speaker series.

Poizner did not acknowledge state Attorney General Jerry Brown, who is widely expected to be the Democratic gubernatorial nominee.