A Ventura County Supervisor and leader of a state anti-tax group is plotting a conservative challenge in the 2010 gubernatorial primary to deep-pocketed GOP moderates Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner.
In an interview, Peter Foy, state director for Americans for Prosperity, said the state party should have a strong conservative candidate and he may be just what it needs in the gubernatorial field.
“There’s no question we need some leadership up in Sacramento,” Foy said at Friday night reception hosted by the anti-tax group at the state Republican convention in Sacramento. “I am thinking about it.”
Foy, who has served on the Ventura board of supervisors since 2006, runs an insurance and employee benefits consulting business – Peter C. Foy and Associates – in Woodland Hills.
Though he said he can’t compete dollar for dollar with Poizner and Whitman – two Silicon Valley billionaires – Foy said he is hoping to light a fire under party conservatives who fear the GOP is losing its backbone on taxes and social issues.
“I don’t have the ability to write those $20,000 checks,” Foy said. “But I do think the people of California are looking for a true conservative that believes in true conservative values.”
Last year, Foy helped erect a giant, inflatable ATM machine in front of the Capitol to dramatize opposition to unbridled government spending.
At his reception Friday night, he was saluted by State Sen. Tony Strickland, who is backing Whitman for governor.
“We need really good people up in Sacramento fighting the good cause to stop using California taxpayers as an ATM machine,” Strickland said. “It is nice to know that Peter Foy and his organization is backing you.”
While Poizner and Whitman support legal abortion, Foy is pro-life. But he said he would run primarily on fiscal issues, namely his belief that he is the party’s best bet to hold firm on taxes and spending.
The leading candidates – who along with Rep. Tom Campbell have formed exploratory gubernatorial committees – both sharply criticized the state budget plan imposing new taxes. But Foy said he feared they would be more likely to cut deals with Democrats on state spending.
“They’re good people, very good people,” he said. “But we need people who understand there is no caving in.”