Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom on California issues

Lt. Governor may make a run for Governor

POSTED: 10:46 PM PDT Oct 10, 2012    UPDATED: 01:17 PM PDT Oct 11, 2012 
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
Palm Springs -

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom isn't running for anything in this current election.  He is working on some of his favorite issues like green energy and delivered a keynote address at the Southern California Energy Summit in Palm Springs.

In an interview with News Channel 3, Newsom didn't try to paint a rosy picture of California as it struggles with a slow economic recovery.

The Lt. Governor says democrats can't point the finger, "In the inland areas, we're in terrible shape.  We have to own up to that especially democrats, we have just about every elected position, we have to own up."

Newsom talks of two Californias.  Coastal, where unemployment is falling and property values are starting to recover.  And Inland, where unemployment remains very high and the housing crisis is still very real.  He thinks wind, solar and geothermal energy will help close that gap.

On other issues, like Proposition 30, which would raise income taxes on high earners and raise the sales tax on everyone to avoid education budget cuts, his support is lukewarm.
     
"I'm hardly an enthusiastic supporter of Prop 30.  That said, based on all I know, it's the right thing to support it.  I'm in the affirmative," Newsom says.

On gay marriage, Newsom issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples when he was Mayor of San Francisco in 2004.  He thinks the U.S. Supreme Court will rule soon, against Proposition 8, making gay marriage legal for good in California.

"By this time next year, we'll know.  And I'm really confident of the outcome.  There's been a real shift in this country," Newsom says.

Newsom isn't shy about wanting to be Governor of California.  He ran for the job last time and dropped out of the race when it was apparent he couldn't overcome Jerry Brown.  His support of Governor Brown has been lukewarm.
     
""Where I've been critical is I think he needs to focus on greatness.  I think that's what's missing in California.  You can't legislate spirit and pride," Newsom says.

That doesn't mean he's ready to run against his fellow democrat for the top job.  It does mean if Jerry Brown doesn't run again, Newsom will.

"I hate the politician who says I'm focusing on today and not worried about the future.  I've made it very clear if Governor Brown doesn't run, I'd like to run and if I meet the moment, maybe I'll be successful.  If not, I'll move on," Newsom says.

The next race for Governor will be in 2014.  The Governor hasn't made his plans clear while he continues to raise money for a potential re-election campaign.