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Poizner to add $15M to campaign for Calif governor

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JULIET WILLIAMS | December 13, 2009 10:23 PM EST | AP


SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner will contribute $15 million of his personal fortune to his GOP campaign for governor this month as he battles another Silicon Valley multimillionaire for the nomination, his campaign spokesman said Sunday.

Spokesman Jarrod Agen told The Associated Press that the donation will be transferred by the end of December, bringing Poizner's personal contributions to more than $19 million. That's about the same amount his rival and front-runner, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, has given her campaign to date.

Whitman, a billionaire political novice, has so far dominated in fundraising and polls against Poizner and the other Republican seeking the party's nomination, former Congressman Tom Campbell.

Poizner said in a statement Sunday that he intends to communicate to voters his proposal to slash taxes and spending and create a $10 billion rainy day fund, despite a projected $21 billion deficit California lawmakers are facing in the fiscal year that will begin in July.

"I know the Republican primary will be won based on which candidate presents clear, specific, and conservative solutions for solving California's economic problems," Poizner said.

Poizner's campaign has repeatedly criticized Whitman for trying to buy her way into office.

Poizner built his fortune as head of SnapTrack, a company that developed the technology for global-positioning chips in cell phones to trace calls during emergencies.

He and his shareholders sold the company to Qualcomm in 2000 for about $1 billion, shortly before he announced he would run for office. Poizner has not divulged his net worth, but has said he is not a billionaire.