Thursday, January 10, 2002
Local Politicians Endorse Former E-Bay Executive Westly for State Controller
By KIMBERLY EDDS, Staff Writer
Local elected officials turned out in droves yesterday to endorse former eBay executive Steve Westly in his campaign for state controller.
Rep. Maxine Waters, D- Los Angeles, Sheriff Lee Baca, state Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg, D- Encino, and Speaker-elect Herb Wesson, D-Los Angeles, stood shoulder to shoulder on the steps of City Hall along with members of the Assembly and City Council to tout Westly’s accomplishments in the private and public sectors, including his success in managing multibillion dollar eBay.
“Clearly, now is the time that government needs people who know how to handle money,” City Council President Alex Padilla said.
A former professor of public management at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Westly joined Internet giant eBay early on, serving as vice president of marketing, business development, mergers and acquisitions, and most recently senior vice president of international.
In addition to his success in the business world, Westly has paid his dues in his political circle, Waters said, making his way from the grassroots Democratic movement to eventually becoming vice-chair of the California Democratic Party.
“I did not hesitate because I know Steve has paid his dues,” Waters said of her endorsement.
Westly was elected Northern Treasurer of the party after working for the U.S. Department of Energy, making him the youngest state party officer in the organization’s history. He also served as controller and northern chair of the party.
Westly made an unsuccessful bid for chair of the Democratic party in the late 1980’s, but lost to Jerry Brown, the current mayor of Oakland.
Hertzberg, who will be termed out of the Assembly, said he was considering running for controller.
“I was thinking about running for this office,” Hertzberg said. “Then I sat down with Westly and I said, ‘This guy is better than me. I’m endorsing him.’”
In accepting yesterday’s endorsements, Westly reinforced his commitment to watching taxpayer dollars, especially in the area of public safety.
“We must have a safe and stable society and economy,” Westly said.
He also predicted that California, and its entrepreneurial spirit, will continue to be at the forefront of the global economy.
“California will lead both the nation and the world in economic recovery,” Westly said.
Among Westly’s other endorsements are the California Organization of Police and Sheriffs, the Los Angeles County Probation Officers Union, the California Teachers Association, California League of Conversation Voters.
In the Democratic primary in March, Westly will be up against Board of Equalization member and former state Assemblyman Johan Klehs.
Republicans Dean Andal, a member of the BOE; Nancy Beecham, a registered nurse and businesswoman; Los Angeles business controller W. Snow Hume; and state Senator Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks will fight it out for the Republican endorsement.
Current state Controller Kathleen Connell will be termed out in November.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company