Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on Tuesday put up $1.5million of his personal fortune and took control of the effort to defeat an initiative to loosen legislative term limits – a move that also could bolster an expected run for governor in 2010. Poizner, the telegenic, media savvy multi-millionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur and moderate Republican, called Proposition 93 a “naked power grab” by lame-duck legislative leaders to extend their time in office. His involvement gives the campaign a ready cash flow that could bring in as much as $5 million. And it also provides visibility – for both the opposition effort and himself. Poizner, elected as insurance commissioner last November – the highest ranking California Republican politician other than Gov. Arnold Scwharzenegger – denied using the ballot measure campaign for his own political future. [email protected] (916) 441-2101160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “I can’t stop all the speculation about a possible gubernatorial run,” he said at a news conference. “But I won’t let that speculation stop me from doing the right thing. The fact is, I’m an elected statewide official and voters are counting on me to play a role in informing them when they’re about to get deceived or hurt.” Former Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, now lieutenant governor and potentially a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2010, criticized Poizner for straying from what he said was Poizner’s elected duties. “Today our state is still recovering from last month’s devastating Southern California fires where nearly 2000 people lost their homes,” Garamendi said. “I would expect that our Insurance Commissioner would be focused on helping our fellow Californians rebuild their lives, not playing politics. There will be plenty of time for politics tomorrow.” Poizner’s contribution came just one day after an additional $1.5 million contribution from Virginia-based U.S. Term Limits one day earlier – the kind of cash that ensures that voters will get a full dose of advertising as the campaign heats up. The $3 million infusion of cash also puts the opposition camp – now called the Alliance for California Renewal – ahead of the Proposition 93 campaign in the chase for money. The Committee for Term Limits and Legislative Reform has $644,000 on hand, after spending $2.7 million to get the measure on the Feb. 5 ballot.