by Charles Lemos, Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 04:24:08 PM EST
Per the San Jose Mercury News:
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Thursday she will base a decision on whether to run for California governor next year largely on the solutions the announced candidates put forward to deal with the state's fiscal problems.
Polls indicate she would be a heavy favorite if she chooses to run. Feinstein told The Associated Press in a brief interview that she is grateful for that support, but it will not be a significant factor in her decision.
"What does affect it is watching to see what precise programs are put forward by various candidates to handle what is a very serious structural budget deficit in this state," Feinstein said. "It's of major consequence and California is in considerable distress, and there have to be reforms."
Feinstein said she would take a close look at candidates' dedication to enacting their proposals as well as their ability to develop enough support to enact the changes.
The state's Department of Finance is anticipating a $7.4-billion deficit in 2010-11, even after lawmakers enacted deep budget cuts this past summer. Those cuts were so hard to come by that the state had to issue IOUs to continue operating.
Republicans have three candidates running for governor: Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman and former congressman Tom Campbell.
Democrats have no announced candidate so far, though Attorney General Jerry Brown has formed an exploratory committee.
Two thoughts cross my mind. One, she and Jerry Brown are close friends. I suspect that if he runs, she won't. Two, she is at the pinnacle of her Senate career and the chair of the Intelligence Committee. If that's not her dream job, I don't know what is.