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Steve Poizner


Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 8, 2007
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Preceded by John Garamendi

Born January 4, 1957 (1957-01-04) (age 53)
Houston, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Carol Poizner
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Profession entrepreneur, businessman, politician
Religion Jewish

Stephen Leo "Steve" Poizner (born January 4, 1957) is a California businessman and Republican politician, who was elected State Insurance Commissioner of California in 2006. Prior to his political career, Poizner worked in Silicon Valley as a high tech entrepreneur, founding both SnapTrack, Inc. and Strategic Mapping, Inc. He is a candidate for Governor of California.

In 2001, following privately held SnapTrack's sale for $1.0 billion dollars to Qualcomm, Poizner served a year as a White House Fellow in the National Security Council. Starting one week before the September 11, 2001 attacks, Poizner held the position of Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection, and was involved in developing Homeland Security programs relating to cybersecurity and emergency response communication protocols.

Poizner's campaign states that it has a "grass-roots strategy" with support from local party committees [1]. Poizner has worked for government reform[2], education reform, and restoring California's position as a family-friendly, business-friendly state[citation needed].

Contents

Background and Early Life

Born in Houston, Texas, Poizner attended the University of Texas when he became valedictorian while earning his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1978. He was a member of the Tejas Club and President of the Alpha Rho chapter of Alpha Phi Omega.[3]

In 1978, Poizner moved to California to attend Stanford Business School. In 1980, he earned his master’s degree with honors in Business Administration (MBA) and was named an Arjay Miller Scholar.[3]

Two years after Poizner graduated from Stanford, the national Jaycees organization sued the Palo Alto Jaycees chapter for admitting female members. Working in coordination with other Jaycees chapters around the country, Poizner led the Palo Alto Jaycees in their legal defense of their efforts to admit women against the national organization's wishes, and the case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Poizner and the Palo Alto chapter, along with its fellow groups in other communities, won the suit. Poizner's wife was one of the first women admitted to the Palo Alto chapter.

In addition to his academic degrees, Poizner has also earned a black belt in Shotokan karate, a traditional Japanese martial art.[3]

Commissioner Poizner and his wife, Carol, live in Los Gatos where they are raising their daughter, Rebecca.[3]

Business career

Steve Poizner has started and run technology companies in Silicon Valley for over 20 years.

Following his graduation from Stanford with an MBA, Poizner served for several years as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group.

In 1983, Poizner founded and served as chief executive officer of Strategic Mapping Inc., a software company that developed a program to display geographic data on digital maps, assisting police departments, utilities, transportation companies, banks and retailers with selecting new locations and plotting distribution logistics[4].

In 1995, Poizner founded SnapTrack, Inc., which pioneered technology that put GPS receivers into cell phones. Poizner served as its chief executive officer until he sold the privately held company to Qualcomm in 2000 for a reported $1.0 billion.[5]

It is believed that Mr. Poizner has a net worth near $1 billion.

Education Reform and Community Service

In 2001, Poizner co-founded EdVoice, an educational non-profit organization dedicated to improving public schools and serving the interests of K-12 children in California.

From September 2002–June 2003, he served as a volunteer teacher in San Jose's Mount Pleasant High School. Teaching 12th grade American Government, Poizner received Rookie Teacher of the Year Honors.

In 2003, Poizner co-founded the California Charter Schools Association.[6]

Public Service and Civic Affairs

From 2001 to 2002, Poizner served as a White House Fellow where he worked in the National Security Council Office of Cyberspace Security, serving as Director of Critical Infrastructure Protection. In this capacity he developed strategies for protecting critical infrastructure against cyber-terrorism and developed an emergency communications plan for national security and emergency response personnel.Starting one week before the September 11, 2001 attacks, Poizner was responsible for issues such as emergency communications planning for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and protecting Internet, banking system and power grids from cyber attacks.[6]

In 2004, Poizner ran unsuccessfully for the California State Assembly against Democrat Ira Ruskin, a Redwood City Councilman, in the 21st district, losing by 5,884 votes out of 190,120 votes cast in 2004.

In 2006, Poizner ran for the office of California Insurance Commissioner. He ran unopposed in the Republican primary on June 6, and won the general election on November 7 by defeating Democrat Cruz Bustamante, then Lieutenant Governor of California, by a 12.4% margin. [1]

In 2006, Poizner became a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations after being nominated by former Secretary of State George Shultz.[6]

In late 2007 Poizner led the effort to defeat Proposition 93 [7], a term limit removal initiative. As Chairman of the No on 93 campaign, Poizner contributed $2.5 million of his own money, secured No on 93 endorsements from over forty newspaper editorial boards, and appeared on talk radio across the state. Proposition 93 was defeated by 54% to 46% on February 5, 2008.

President George W. Bush appointed Poizner to serve on the Honorary Delegation to accompany him to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in May 2008.[8]

On September 15, 2008, Poizner announced his candidacy for Governor of California.[9] Poizner successfully campaigned[2] against Proposition 1A during the California state special elections, 2009. Proposition 1A was defeated by a margin of 65.6% to 34.4% on May 26, 2009.[10]

2010 California Gubernatorial Election

In 2010, while Poizner has the option of running for re-election to a second and final term as Insurance Commissioner, on September 15, 2008, he announced his candidacy for Governor of California.[9]. At the time, the San Diego Union-Tribune described him as "at the head of the pack" and the San Francisco Chronicle noted he is "seen as a leading candidate."[11]

In December 2008, a Facebook group was started under the group name "Steve Poizner for Governor 2010."[12]

References

  1. ^ Peter Hecht (July 6, 2009). "Teams Whitman and Poizner duel memo a memo". Sacramento Bee Capitol Alert. http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/capitolalertlatest/023660.html. 
  2. ^ a b Poizner, Steve. "Propositions are just more false promises". San Diego Union-Tribune. http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/may/08/lz1e8poizner2299-propositions-are-just-more-false-/?uniontrib. 
  3. ^ a b c d Steve Poizner California Insurance Commissioner Biography
  4. ^ Strategic Mapping Inc.
  5. ^ Qualcomm Acquires Wireless Location Leader SnapTrack, Qualcomm press release, January 26, 2000]
  6. ^ a b c Meet Steve Poizner Biography
  7. ^ Yi, Matthew (November 7, 2007). "Insurance chief Poizner to lead fight against term-limit measure". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2007/11/07/BADBT7BAB.DTL&type=politics. 
  8. ^ http://www.nysun.com/foreign/bush-visit-may-boost-olmert/76303/
  9. ^ a b Goldmacher, Shane (September 15, 2008). "It's official: Poizner wants to be governor". Sacramento Bee Capitol Alert. http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/capitolalertlatest/015385.html. 
  10. ^ "Election Results". Office of Secretary of State Debra Bowen. May 19, 2009. http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/props/map1A.htm. 
  11. ^ Carla Marinucci,John Wildermuth, (July 2, 2008). "Campaign 2010". San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/07/01/PLUP11I7O2.DTL. 
  12. ^ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=36439016658 Steve Poizner for Governor 2010 Facebook

External links

Preceded by
John Garamendi
California Insurance Commissioner
January 8, 2007–present
Incumbent
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