SACRAMENTO, CA - California Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Poizner doesn't try to dance around it.
In fact, when it comes to the issue of cracking down on illegal immigration, Poizner does anything but dance -- he strongly favors Arizona's new law to fight illegal immigration and said even more could be done.
"I would take all of what they're doing in Arizona here to California plus a whole lot more," said Poizner.
"If I find a company in California that's hiring people illegally and breaking the law, I'll revoke their business license. I don't need anyone in the Legislature to give me permission to do that," Poizner said.
The current California Insurance Commissioner said he strongly supports immigration done legally. However, he's in favor of denying in-state tuition for students not in the U.S. legally, and said non-emergency health care programs should be phased out for undocumented citizens.
"I don't really feel it's (a hard-line approach), per se," said Poizner. "I just want to be the truthteller here in this campaign. I know most politicians, most candidates don't have the guts to talk about illegal immigration, because when you bring it up, you're accused of all kinds of things that aren't very complimentary.
"If (the people of California) elect me, I will take steps and I will stop illegal immigration," said Poizner.
That's not the only thing he wants to stop in California.
"No more taxes," said Poizner, talking about how the state handles its budget. "No more borrowing, no more gimmicks, no more smoke and mirrors."
Those are the big reasons, Poizner says, why California's budget remains in turmoil. To fix a $20 billion budget shortfall, Poizner is in favor of freezing spending in every area and wants spending cuts amounting to $10 billion across several areas of state government.
"The welfare program, medical, or prison healthcare," Poizner said.
And Poizner said under no circumstances would he ever allow new taxes.
"Never, none, no. Our taxes are too high," he said.
"The people in the Legislature need to believe that the governor won't budge. Fact is, Governor Schwarzenegger budged big-time, completely caved in on taxes," Poizner said. "I want everyone out there to know that I'm a conservative. I have conservative core principles and part of my belief structure is that we need lower taxes."
When asked about claims that he increased spending 14 percent as State Insurance Commissioner, Poizner said that's not true and that he's actually cut the operations budget by 15 percent, the only budget Poizner said he had direct control over.
By Will Frampton, firstname.lastname@example.org