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Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Square Off In San Diego

— Republican gubernatorial candidates Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman are scheduled to discuss job growth and economic development today during separate appearances at an event organized by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

Poizner will appear on a panel at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla with Linden Blue, vice chairman of General Atomics -- a nuclear industry research, development and consulting firm -- and Stath Karras, executive managing director of the commercial real estate brokers and consultants Cushman & Wakefield.

Whitman will be on a panel with Doug Hutcheson, president and chief executive officer of the wireless communications provider Leap Wireless International, Inc., and Jeff Moorad, the chief executive officer of the San Diego Padres.

Poizner, the state's insurance commissioner, has proposed 10 percent cuts to the state's personal income tax rates, the sales tax rate and corporate tax rate, and a 50 percent cut in the capital gains tax rate to stimulate California's economy.

His campaign estimates the cuts would result in increased economic activity and an inflation-adjusted 1.77 percent increase in state tax revenues the first year after they are enacted, and a 4.94 percent increase the second year.

Whitman, the former eBay chief executive officer, has pledged to help create two million private-sector jobs by 2015 by cutting taxes for job-creating businesses of every size; implementing targeted tax relief to strengthen manufacturing and create lasting high-paying jobs in California; lowering the capital gains tax; expanding research and development tax credits; exempting purchases of manufacturing equipment from state sales tax; and establishing tax incentives and credits to train and hire displaced workers.

Whitman "believes we must first implement targeted tax cuts aimed at immediate job creation," said campaign press secretary Sarah Pompei. "Once that occurs and the economy is up and running and government spending is under control, then she would implement across the board tax cuts."

Poizner campaign communications director Jarrod Agen called the forum "a rare opportunity for the voters of San Diego to hear firsthand one of the major differences between Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner because Steve is calling for across-the-board tax cuts, while Meg feels we cannot afford them.

"San Diego is a key area in the Republican primary, so the opportunity for Steve to highlight his support for a bold 10 percent tax cut is a huge positive for our campaign and we are looking forward to displaying our differences from Meg Whitman on this topic,'' Agen told City News Service.

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