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Gavin is the Best Choice
By CAPS President Patty Velez

Your CAPS Board of Directors on Saturday, May 19 voted unanimously to endorse Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom to succeed Governor Jerry Brown. This was based on a recommendation from the CAPS Political Action Committee, which had taken up the matter the previous afternoon.

The decision wasn’t hard. Newsom has been a longtime friend of CAPS on issues that count the most – compensation, retirement protection and the importance of independent, fact based science and public policy decision-making. He is the clear front runner in the race, having led in every single major poll to date. He has also accumulated nearly $20 million in campaign cash. As mayor of San Francisco, he largely opposed outsourcing public employee jobs and worked collaboratively through collective bargaining with the city unions on pension reform ballot measures that were ultimately endorsed by labor groups.

As a candidate, he has pledged to enforce the “California Rule” regarding keeping the promise made to every California public employee when hired – that YOU WILL RECEIVE the retirement benefit calculated by a defined-benefit formula based on age, length of service and final compensation. Newsom has also won the endorsement of the vast majority of labor groups that have taken a position in the race, including SEIU, the California Teachers Association, the California Faculty Association, the California Schools Employee Association, the California Professional Firefighters, the Professional Engineers in California Government, and the California Labor Federation.

This decision in no way diminishes the appreciation we have for several other fine candidates in the race, notably State Treasurer John Chiang, who has repeatedly proven his support and close friendship with State Scientists and all state employees.

There comes a point at which decisions like these become a political reality. The Governor’s office is by far the most important when it comes to the working lives of State Scientists. So we take very great care in reviewing the facts and reaching a decision. The conclusion was, and is, Gavin Newsom.

Newsom will inherit a healthy state economy and a surplus state budget. We expect him to continue investing wisely in California, and that means California’s essential scientific programs, and in the scientists who make them work. There is every indication that he will do so.

California recently eclipsed the United Kingdom as the fifth largest economy in the world.  We Californians continue to set the pace in the example for the world on groundbreaking efforts to manage and limit greenhouse gases, to develop important products, services and processes that positively affect every part of our lives, and to show compassion for people in need, domestic and foreign.

California’s state scientific programs are the envy of the world in many areas: consumer protection, natural habitat preservation and management, public health, water management, protection against harmful chemicals, preservation of items of archaeological significance, protection of our many important agricultural and other products that serve the world, and so much more.

Please join CAPS in supporting Gavin Newsom for Governor of California!