Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 10:06 am
The ninth circuit court has just unanimously ruled,the Ca. recall vote WILL take place on Oct.7
I guess there is hope for our judicial/political systems afterall.
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 10:36 am
Not sure how your conclusion follows the premise, mysteryman. This recall was bought and paid for by a small group of conservatives. The law is being followed, at least in some narrow sense of it, but this recall is hardly an example of our system at its best!
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 10:46 am
It doesnt matter how it was financed,what matters is that the people are going to be allowed to vote on it.We dont have an activist court deciding local elections.
BTW,would it have been ok if it had been paid for by liberal democrats? That WAS tried.The Dems tried to get recall actions started against Pete Wilson twice when he was Gov,and they tried to recall Reagan 4 times.This is just the first time it has made it to the ballot.
In Ca.any petition drive by law CANNOT be financed by the govt,it must be financed by private parties.
So,for anyone to complain about how the recall petition campaign was financed is pretty silly,because the law was followed exactly.
So,I will ask again,did you complain about how it was financed when the liberal Dems tried to recall Pete Wilson twice? And if you didnt,isnt that hypocrisy on your part?
Why is it ok for the dems to do it,but not ok for anyone else to do it?
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 10:49 am
D'artagnan wrote:
Not sure how your conclusion follows the premise, mysteryman. This recall was bought and paid for by a small group of conservatives. The law is being followed, at least in some narrow sense of it, but this recall is hardly an example of our system at its best!

Why do I suspect that what you call "our system at its best" is any decision that goes as you would have it go. Rolling Eyes
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 11:04 am
Court's decision info
Sep 23, 12:36 PM EDT
Court Reinstates Oct. 7 California Recall
Associated Press Writer

Bland reports a court in San Francisco has ruled the California recall will go on.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court Tuesday unanimously reinstated California's Oct. 7 gubernatorial recall election, less than a day after hearing arguments to postpone the historic showdown.

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in quickly, the decision means Election Day is two weeks away.

The 11-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an earlier decision of a three-judge panel from the same circuit.

The original panel postponed the election on whether to recall Gov. Gray Davis because six counties would use outdated punch-card ballots that were the subject of the "hanging chads" battle in the 2000 presidential election in Florida.

The decision clears the way for a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which could be asked to revisit its Bush v. Gore decision in the 2000 election.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the challenge, said Tuesday it was weighing an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The appeals court reinstated a ruling by a district court judge who had refused to postpone the election. The judges based their decision on the state's constitution, not any precedent set by Bush v. Gore.

"The district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that plaintiffs will suffer no hardship that outweighs the stake of the state of California and its citizens in having this election go forward as planned and as required by the California constitution," the ruling said.

Legal scholars had predicted the outcome. A day after the decision delaying the vote, the court announced it would revisit the case with 11 judges - a sign the court was not happy.

The judges left open the possibility of post-election litigation after the votes are in and counted.

They said the ACLU is "legitimately concerned that use of the punch card system will deny the right to vote to some voters who must use that system. At this time it is merely a speculative possibility, however, that any such denial will influence the result of the election."

Davis, a Democrat, has been dogged by his handling of the state's ailing economy. Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante is running as a fallback Democratic candidate if voters oust Davis, and Republicans Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Sen. Tom McClintock are among 135 candidates also campaigning for Davis' job.

Some observers thought a delay in the recall vote would have benefited Davis by allowing voter anger over the state's problems to cool, and because many Democrats would be attracted to the polls for the presidential primary if the recall election were moved to March.

But even Davis sounded fed up last week with the lengthy process, saying Friday: "My attitude is, let's just get it over with, let's just have this election on Oct. 7, put this recall behind us so we can get on with governing the state of California."

The 11 judges of the 9th Circuit heard oral arguments in the case Monday afternoon.

Lawyers for Secretary of State Kevin Shelley urged the panel to overturn the three-judge panel. They said the California constitution requires recall elections to be held no later than 80 days after enough signatures of registered voters are gathered. They also said the vote should go on because more than 600,000 absentee ballots had been turned in.

The counties whose voting machinery prompted the litigation are Los Angeles, Mendocino, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Clara and Solano. They represent about 40 percent of the state's registered voters.

Noting the uproar over the 2000 presidential election, the three-judge panel had ruled that an Oct. 7 recall vote would be a "constitutionally infirm election" and that not stopping it now would pave the way for "bitter, post-election litigation over the legitimacy of the election, particularly where the margin of voting machine error may well exceed the margin of victory."

Agreeing with the ACLU, the opinion often cited Bush v. Gore, the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court stopped Florida's presidential recount. The high court stopped it because Florida lacked uniform standards on how to actually recount the votes - such as what to do with "hanging chads," the judges said.

As the appeals court mulled its decision, the GOP congressman who bankrolled the effort urged either McClintock or Schwarzenegger to drop out.

Rep. Darrell Issa said Monday that if both leading GOP candidates remained on the ballot, he would urge voters to vote no on recalling Davis because a yes vote would assure a victory for Bustamante.
On the Net:
9th Circuit:
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 11:13 am
The Dems tried to recall Wilson twice and Reagan four times? News to me, but I'll take your word for it. Somehow, though, this recall is getting far more national attention than those did. Why is that, I wonder? A liberal conspiracy of some sort?
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 11:16 am
California history full of recall attempts
California ousters fizzle

In California, attempts to put a recall on the ballot have failed 32 times, the secretary of state says. For instance, there were four attempts to recall former Gov. Pete Wilson and nine tries to oust former Gov. George Deukmejian.

None came close. The closest in recent history, according to the secretary of state, was the 1991 recall movement targeted at Wilson that turned in 45,000 signatures.

California history full of recall attempts
By MARGARET TALEV Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- He was California's governor and hoped to be his party's next nominee for president or vice president. His slim chances were dashed when activists who didn't like him, his tax increases or his plans to cut school and health care funds mounted a campaign to recall him from office.

At first, politicians from the opposing party kept their distance from the campaign. No past attempt to recall a governor had succeeded. The recall seemed to have legs, however, and by June his supporters were worried.

The scenario may sound familiar. But the target was actually Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan and the year 1968.

Several governors prior to Reagan and all who followed have been the subjects of recall drives in California. Most drives fizzled fast. A 1940 attempt against Democrat Culbert Olson and the 1968 campaign against Reagan went far but still fell short of qualifying for a special election.

Thirty-five years later, a campaign to oust second-term Democratic Gov. Gray Davis is gaining momentum. What worries the governor's supporters is that this campaign, unlike earlier ones, is financed by a multimillionaire congressman who wants to replace Davis as governor.

The state faces a $38.2 billion budget deficit, far worse than Davis was predicting during last year's re-election campaign. Californians are upset about likely tax increases, rising college tuition and cuts to health care services. The budget problems come on the heels of an energy crisis. Davis also lacks the Gipper's people skills and has historically low approval ratings.

Davis and his supporters call the campaign an abuse of the recall process, noting Davis is being blamed for a budget crisis, not corruption, and that U.S. Rep Darrell Issa, a San Diego Republican who wants to be governor, is bankrolling the recall drive.

"I think recalls should be reserved for very substantial violations, when an elected official has violated the law or engaged in corruption," said Steve Smith, Davis' labor secretary, who is on leave to direct a union-funded anti-recall campaign. "That's simply not the case here. You can agree or disagree with this governor's positions. But he has certainly not violated the law, and frankly he has led the state through some very tough times."

A survey of history books, newspaper clippings and recall petitions housed in the state archives suggests that 31 prior gubernatorial recall campaigns weren't motivated by reactions to outright corruption. Rather, they were driven by frustration with the economy, dissatisfaction with specific policy decisions and just plain dislike of the incumbent.

The wording of California's recall provisions leaves open to debate just what constitutes abuse of the remedy put in place in the early 20th century.

Says Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a public interest group founded by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, "It was really intended to be an emergency stopgap measure. It really wasn't designed to be used as what appears to be a political ploy."

Counters Tony Quinn, a former GOP consultant who co-edits a non-partisan elections guide: "They said you, the people, should decide. If you don't like what he's doing, that's a good enough reason."

"Corruption was not the standard," Quinn said. "Unsatisfactory performance in office was the standard, with the belief that the system was corrupt."

California's recall was established in 1911 under reformist Gov. Hiram Johnson. Progressives, who also were enacting the referendum and initiative across the West, believed the public should have remedies against the powerful Southern Pacific Railroad and political bosses who controlled party nominations and the actions of many officeholders.

Neither the Constitution nor election laws set forth any standard of corruption that must be proven or even alleged before a recall can be launched. The law simply made recall extremely difficult. Before a gubernatorial recall election can be held, at least 12 percent of voters in the previous election must sign a petition of support. For Davis, that means 897,158 signatures.

It was 1936 before a governor became a target. Republican Frank Merriam was a Depression-era lieutenant governor who ascended to the top spot when Gov. James Rolph died. In another year, voters might not have chosen Merriam, but the scheduled election was just months off and the Democrats had a controversial nominee in socialist Upton Sinclair. The recall was a dud, but Merriam lost the next election.

His successor, atheist and Democrat Culbert Olson, faced three recall tries. Olson made the controversial decision to commute the sentence of a labor leader convicted for a fatal bombing. Some wanted Olson to block tax increases and cut back on Depression-era relief programs.

Meanwhile, the Ham-and-Eggs movement, which wanted a weekly pension for senior citizens, blamed Olson when the movement failed. The last recall effort against him came close to qualifying but fell short with the Nazi invasion of France.

Davis supporter Smith said the current recall drive ought to go the way of the previous ones. "Virtually all of those failed because the issues raised were not substantial enough to convince enough voters to sign petitions," he said. "Were it not for a very substantial infusion of money from one particular Republican politician who wants to be governor, the same thing would be happening in this situation."
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 11:19 am
D'artagnan wrote:
The Dems tried to recall Wilson twice and Reagan four times? News to me, but I'll take your word for it. Somehow, though, this recall is getting far more national attention than those did. Why is that, I wonder? A liberal conspiracy of some sort?

Personally, I don't buy your assertion that those efforts got less coverage. If they did, it was likely a factor of the absence of today's myriad 24/7 news sources. But just because you don't remember it, doesn't mean it wasn't in the news.

And yes, like everything, it's a liberal conspiracy. :wink:
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 06:31 pm
It doesnt matter how it was financed,what matters is that the people are going to be allowed to vote on it. We dont have an activist court deciding local elections.

I'm a little confused. Can you explain how postponing an election until a more accurate vote count can be assured is deciding a local election?

If you're concerned about people having the opportunity to cast their vote, should not that concern carry over to efforts to install methods for the most accurate vote count possible?
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Brand X
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 06:38 pm
Two respected institutions, The California Institute of Technology and MIT, conducted a study of error rates with various voting machines. Would any of you care to guess the results? Well, you don't have to ... because I have them right here. Here are the error rates .. the percentages of votes cast with errors, using different types of machines:

Optical scanners have an error rate of 2.3%
Touch screen systems have an error rate of 3.0%
Data Vote systems have an error rate of 3.2%
Punch Cards? They have an error rate of 2.5%

Kind of debunks things doesn't it?
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 06:52 pm
Which study are the statistics quoted from?

The studies I saw showed touch screen at less than 1.5% and punch cards at 3.5%
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 07:01 pm
I believe those are the results of the first survey in Massachusetts.
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Brand X
Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 07:40 pm
I can't find it, but I found that error rates vary greatly in regard to whether it is based on presidential pr gubernatorial criteria. The percentage goes up in the latter.
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Reply Tue 23 Sep, 2003 07:55 pm
Doesn't debunk a thing for me. What is in dispute and was in the process of being changed was the perforated punch cards for non-perforated punch cards or other systems. It is those perforated punch cards that contributed the greatest to the troubles in Florida and why it had to go all the way to the Supreme Court and was still unable to be resolved other then by applying a time deadline. Even a manual count of them would not be accurate because the perforations were falling out of the cards each time they were handled.

With the large number of candidates and small voter turn out, the recall election promises to be just as close a race. The counties were already in process of eliminating the punch cards when it had to be interrupted to prepare for the sudden recall election. All they are asking for is time to finish the task.
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Reply Fri 26 Sep, 2003 03:55 am
But wasn't Davis elected by people in some California counties who utliized the punch card system.

Would his election be invalid??????
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Joe Nation
Reply Fri 26 Sep, 2003 05:19 am
Once an election is decided and certified, the result ought to be considered valid and accepted by the minority. There's always two years from or four years from now. (see Gore v Bush ...except that the individual votes in this case favored Gore, but apparently not in Florida, but we really can't know, said the Supreme Court, because 1) there wasn't a fair way to recount the vote and 2) the country needed to hurry to get the election over and Bush in office, a proposition that left Gore supporters saying "Wha?" Confused )

The reason the California recall has a bad taste for some, and not only those who simply support Davis, is that this recall was/is not a grassroots effort. It is the work, and, more importantly, the money of one man. (Elections are not usually bought by one man in the USA, usually it takes a lot of us to steal an vote. See Kennedy/Nixon or Nixon/Humphrey) The recall was launched almost immediately after Davis' re-election, and is scented less by the aroma of doing public good and more by the stink of vengeance. The re-election was a close call and many who stayed away from the polls, I'm sure, harbored second thoughts about that.

Revenge, money and second thoughts have combined in California.

Does anyone else find it odd that elections in the USA are awash in money, money for ads, money for campaign staffs, money for websites,
money for jet planes and big buses with banners, but state governments can't seem to find enough money to provide the voters with a system of tabulating machines that are consistently reliable and easy to use? Ask me about the machines we use here in New York City........

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