California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner joined three other gubernatorial hopefuls speaking at a forum at Santa Clara University in front of about 450 members of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
The other contenders for the governor’s office were Attorney General and former Governor Jerry Brown, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and former Congressman Tom Campbell.
Brown and Newsom are Democrats. Poizner and Campbell are Republicans. Brown has not officially declared his candidacy.
Poizner, a former Silicon Valley executive and reputed billionaire, told the audience that government must encourage entrepreneurship by “getting out of the way.”
Earlier this week, Poizner made headlines by releasing a plan for across-the-board state tax cuts.
He told the forum that, while it might seem that implementing tax cuts when the state is in fiscal crisis would be detrimental, actually it should spur business expansion, which would increase state revenue.
Former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, a Republican who is also seeking the governor’s office, was not at the forum. Whitman was speaking at a Fortune magazine event in San Diego.
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is a group that brings together business, nonprofit and civic leaders to discuss how to make California more competitive.
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