California Governor’s Race Goes Off To The Deep End

Tom Campbell is reportedly planning to switch from running for California governor to running for U.S. senator this year.  That changes a predictable state election year into something more dynamic by making an interesting governor’s race boring and a boring senate race interesting.  This is both disappointing and exciting.

Disappointing because Campbell was the only candidate who talked about reforming the budget process as the centerpiece of his campaign.  Neither Meg Whitman nor Steve Poizner on the Republican side, or the undeclared Jerry Brown on the Democrat side, will talk about reforming the budget process.  They all want to talk about what they’re going to do rather than talk about how they’re going to do it.  Unless the budget process is reformed, nothing will get done in Sacramento.  Campbell is willing to acknowledge the pink elephant in the room that everyone else wants to avoid since they’re afraid of being trampled to death by the special interests even though it’s killing the state.  Unlike his opponents, Campbell doesn’t have the personal wealth to buy his way into the election.  Now I don’t want to vote for anyone in the governor’s race since it’ll be a choice of the lessor evil.

Exciting because Campbell will be running against two relatively unknown Republican candidates, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and and state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore of Irvine, and, if he wins the Republican nomination in June despite the tea baggers, he will be a serious threat to incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.  Campbell is no right-wing nut job like the other Republican candidates and has moderate positions similar to Boxer that makes it harder for her to dismiss him as such.  I won’t know until Election Day for which candidate I’ll vote for since I’m waiting to see who represents the issues better.

On a related note, a job recruiter contacted me for an I.T. support position in a local office for a candidate running for governor.  While making $90,000 USD for nine months work would be great, I quickly determined that the job would require sacrificing my life at the political alter for a candidate I wasn’t going to vote for and couldn’t see myself remaining apolitical even for that much money.

I’m not cynical enough as a writer to think I could use that experience to write a bestselling political book.  With two novels and two short story collections on deck for this year, I simply don’t have the time to chase after another writing project.  I require a full time job that pays the bills without interfering with my writing life.  If that means passing up a job with bucket loads of money, so be it.  If anything that the Great Recession has taught me in the last year, it’s the ability to live on substantially less.

I did pick up “Mac OS X Support Essentials v10.6: A Guide to Supporting and Troubleshooting Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard” by Kevin M. White to start studying for the Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) certification.  For the last few months, every recruiter has been calling me about technical support jobs requiring Mac skills and most were for working at Apple.  (One recruiter who called about a “well know company in Cupertino” flat out refused to tell me the company name but hung up in a hurry when I told him that Apple doesn’t consider me to be “genius-level” for their direct hire positions.)  Although I’m a Mac user at home for the last five years, my certifications and work experience is with PCs.  Earning an Apple certification should make it easier for me to feel confident about getting a new job that requires Mac skills.

Updated 2010/01/13 @ 12:45PM – The switch is now official and the San Jose Mercury News editorial sums it up nicely.  Another recruiter at a different recruiting compnay called me about that political I.T. support job in Curpertino.  Does anyone in the Tom Campbell campaign want to offer me a similar PAID position?