Governor Garamendi!

Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi announced his candidacy today for Governor in 2010, and of all the candidates being bandied about at this point, I think he is the most serious and progressive (and least scandalous.) On one of my litmus tests for Sacramento – single-payer healthcare – he has been a champion for years, and appears in my group Healthcare For All California’s video over the flip (as does Villaraigosa.) Click “read more” for that video (which you should all see if you haven’t) and Garamendi’s announcement.

(Garamendi appears in this 2006 video about SB 840, at 11:05, 12:23, and, my favorite, at 17:40.)

From today’s announcement:

Dear Friend,
I am writing to you today because I have decided to run for Governor of California and your support is essential to my success. It is in the spirit of hope and with the promise of change during these difficult times in our state and across the nation that I have made this decision. I hope you will join me.

I am a Californian. This is my home. It is my past, my present and my future. Perhaps more importantly, it is the home of our children and our children’s children; it is our solemn responsibility to be good stewards of this magnificent place. 

One thing I learned growing up here is that Californians are creative, innovative hardworking men and women who care for the health of our people and our land. We have built the most diverse and rich state in the union. For generations the beauty, the opportunity and the promise of the golden state has drawn the most talented and capable people here, and we must preserve and protect this very special place – and that is why I am running for Governor.  

We know that all is not well in our golden state.  We must modernize our economy, stabilize our budget, reform and fully fund our education programs, establish a universal health care system, address the threat of climate change, and adapt our water and transportation systems to the reality of the new and changing environment, so that our children and future generations will enjoy a future filled with hope and opportunity, as we did.

The issues that face our state do not have simple solutions, but I am convinced that if we roll our sleeves up and work hard we will make progress.  It will take more than happy talk and photo opps.   It will take an experienced leader who can bring people together from all sides to develop serious solutions to our state’s most difficult problems – and I am that leader.

My goals:
1. Revive California’s economic engine:

  • Restore our education system to the best in the nation so that we have the highly skilled workers and professionals needed to compete in the global marketplace,
  • Advance and promote research at our universities, this will allow new ideas and innovation to fuel our economic growth,
  • Redirect our transportation systems toward mass transit systems,
  • Advance and promote our role in international trade,
  • Unshackle the innovation of our entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

2. Create a universal health care system based on a single payer model.
3. Accelerate our efforts to reduce green house gases by transitioning from a petroleum based economy to a renewable energy based economy.

4. Adapt our critical water and infrastructure systems to the reality of our evolving world and the effects of climate change. 

5. Provide care and support for those in our community who are most dependent upon us, the sick, aged, blind and disabled.

6. Protect and preserve our natural resources so they will sustain us as our population continues to grow.

7. Modernize our governmental systems to address the reality of large interconnected cities and a dysfunctional state government.

I have the vision, the experience and the fortitude to bring about the kind of significant change we need to ensure our golden state’s future and to set us on a new and sustainable path.

Throughout my career in public service, as a legislator, as Insurance Commissioner, as President  Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of Interior and  as Lieutenant Governor, I have successfully brought about change by bringing people together to solve our problems: from developing a universal healthcare plan in 1991, to negotiating Headwaters compact in 1998, to building the workers’ compensation “roadmap to reform,” and forcing the insurance industry to return billions of dollars to consumers, to my current efforts to protect education funding.

If we really believe in this place called California, then we must stand up and fight for it. I am prepared to lead that fight, but I can’t do it alone and that is why I am asking for your support today. A campaign is only as strong as its foundation, and you have been a part of my political foundation for a long time. If I am to be elected Governor, it will only be with your energy, strength and support.

Please join our battle to restore California’s golden dream.  Fill out the attached commitment card or go to to complete it on-line.  We will build success one commitment at a time. If you can, send $10 for a “Garamendi campaign foundation brick.”  The brick represents your essential place at the foundation of my campaign. Our strength will grow as you add ten friends to our team, have them sign-up and send along $10 and list of ten more supporters.

It’s ten by ten by ten until we win in 2010!
Together we will restore the luster of the golden state for our children and for the future. 
Thank you,
Lieutenant Governor

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.