LOS ANGELES (Daily News/Combined Sources)–All three Democrats vying for the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor insist they won’t emulate the man who now holds the office–fellow Democrat Cruz Bustamante.
The position may be historically impotent–they acknowledge–but they promise to actually do something meaningful with the office–unlike Bustamante–who all but disappeared from the scene.
And while all are sincere in this idealistic belief–State Senator Jackie Speier–D-San Mateo–seems the most likely to live up to it.
Recognizing that the lieutenant governor is a regent of the University of California and a trustee of the California State University system–she promises to be both a champion and watchdog for California higher education.
Speier’s rivals seem less well-focused. State Senator Liz Figueroa–D-Fremont–talks about seeking the office to be a role model for the state’s children.
And term-limited Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi speaks about using the post to fight global warming and other important issues–noble goals–to be sure–but hardly within the purview of the lieutenant governor’s responsibilities.
With financial scandal in the UC and a chronic lack of funding for community colleges–the state could use a higher education ombudsman. And it’s a realistic–important role a Lieutenant Governor Speier could fill.
"Jackie Speier has taken on some of Sacramento’s most powerful forces–banks–insurance companies–prison guards–University of California administrators–even legislative leaders–in her crusades for the public interest," says The San Francisco Chronicle about this courageous public servant.
The LA Weekly called her "a true talent in the state Senate–fighting to protect financial privacy–making prescription drugs more available to seniors–and demanding scrutiny of sweetheart state contracts."
Aside from the LA Weekly–Speier has been endorsed by The Armenian National Committee – Political Action Committee–The Los Angeles Daily News–Senator Dianne Feinstein–State Senator Jack Scott–the Sierra Club–and the California Democratic Club.