Let the games begin! Recall effort goes forward

Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2003 03:41 pm
Arnold's not going to run! I think he saw what a quagmire yet another goofy California law was rapidly becoming and wanted no part of it. I think they opened Pandora's Box and have let California into the loony bin with Florida in competition for ridicule.
It would be interesting if it weren't so pathetically driven by political opportunism.
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Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2003 03:52 pm

The portion from the California State Constitution regarding Recall Elections can be found here.
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Reply Thu 31 Jul, 2003 10:53 pm
It may be 2004 before Californians see all the legal issues of this ponderous recall settled . . . or it might take longer.

If it's still unsettled by the election of 2004, both California Democrats and Republicans will not have the time to focus on whom our next president will be.

For a state so rich in electoral votes, it would be too bad if Californians were still without a governor. Whatever the outcome of the recall debacle, bitterness will saturate both parties.

Yes, this is a big, big mess. Shocked
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Reply Sat 2 Aug, 2003 01:27 pm
From American Prospect:

California Dreaming

Republicans hope to reclaim California permanently through a recall vote, but they're dreaming.
Harold Meyerson

LOS ANGELES -- The Republicans here are performing a ghost dance, hoping that through the magic of the pending recall election, the buffalo will again roam the plains and the GOP will regain its status as a player in California politics.

They're dreaming. While it is possible that Gray Davis could be recalled and a Republican installed in the statehouse until 2006, there are profound and irreversible reasons why the California of Richard Nixon, Howard Jarvis and Ronald Reagan has vanished, and why California has become just about the most solidly Democratic state in the nation.

Still, Republicans who attended the recall rally outside the state capitol last Saturday could be forgiven if they thought they were reliving the glory days of 1978, when a right-wing popular upsurge led to the enactment of Jarvis' anti-tax, anti-spending Proposition 13. Radio talk show hosts were hyping the recall as their forbearers had hyped Jarvis' initiative. Three far-right party leaders who plan to run in October -- Rep. Darrell Issa, state Sen. Tom McClintock and defeated GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Simon -- proclaimed their vision for the state and sounded for all the world like Barry Goldwater's Orange County zealots circa 1964.

But the state they were both addressing and evoking no longer exists. In the wake of aerospace's post-Cold War collapse in the '90s, some 2 million Californians -- disproportionately white and defense workers -- left the state, even as California experienced massive migration from Latin America and Asia. Los Angeles County, home to 30 percent of Californians, went from being marginally Democratic (Michael Dukakis won 52 percent of the LA vote in 1988) to overwhelmingly so (Al Gore pulled down 64 percent in 2000).

The only way Republicans can even come close in California is if the new Latino voters stay away from the polls -- which, the GOP hopes, is exactly what they'll do in the recall. In 2000 Latinos constituted 15 percent of voting Californians, but last November, confronted with Gray Davis's abysmal reelection campaign, their share of the electorate declined to a scant 10 percent. Even so, Davis eked out a five-point victory over Bill Simon, and Simon won the votes of an anemic 24 percent of those Latinos who did turn out.

On Saturday, as Republicans encircled the capitol, the new California convened in Echo Park in downtown Los Angeles. The almost entirely immigrant janitors' local of the Service Employees International Union had scheduled a rally in its campaign to organize security guards -- which meant that the shock troops of labor's get-out-the-vote campaigns in Latino LA, probably the best Democratic such operation anywhere in the land, had assembled.

Shiny and stiff in a button-down plaid work shirt, Gray Davis came before them and asked for their votes. In his very first line, Davis pledged to sign a bill now working its way through the legislature that would enable illegal immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses. Davis had vetoed such a bill last year -- one reason why Latino turnout was so light -- but for now at least, he believes that surviving the recall means boosting Latino and black turnout. Over the past year the immigrant driver's license bill has been every bit the cause celebre on Spanish-language radio talk shows that the recall has been on their English-language counterparts.

But turning out the Democratic base will be no easy chore, and even the unions are encountering stalwarts who say they've walked their last precinct for Davis. "We don't have the greatest governor since Pat Brown here," one prominent union leader says. "This has to be about the rotten process here, not about Gray. If it's about Gray, we lose."

Some of the major unions that provide mega-funding for Democratic campaigns are not foreclosing their options just yet, particularly if a moderate Republican such as Arnold Schwarzenegger or Richard Riordan enters the race. Their private polling shows that the chances of a Davis victory are slim, but pulling the plug on Gray -- announcing, say, that they'll back a candidacy of a Dianne Feinstein or a Leon Panetta -- has risks of its own. It not only makes Davis' survival even less likely but means that if and when the budget reaches his desk, Davis will be wielding his line-item-veto pen just as unions and other leading Democratic players have to decide whether to stick with Gray or abandon ship. And Davis' most recognizably human quality, alas, is his wrath.

"When do you think he's going to get around to the [line item vetoes]?" one Democratic consultant asks. "Tomorrow? No way. It's the only leverage he has over his own troops." So with precious little time left (the filing deadline is Aug. 9), Democrats perform the Hesitation Waltz.
Everything here is in motion right now. California is rocking, and it may just fall into the sea.

Harold Meyerson is editor-at-large of the Prospect.
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Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 08:30 am
Davis is rapidly loosing the support of key California Democrats and although he is largely a victim of circumstances (the former administrations didn't exactly hand him a bed of roses), it makes his warts appear larger and more disturbing. However, this is a putsch without the beer hall and need I say more?
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Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 09:39 am
David Broder:

"Giving American Democracy a Black Eye" http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Aug/08032003/commenta/80750.asp
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Reply Sun 3 Aug, 2003 03:35 pm
Partisan excess, rampant personal ambition, dereliction of leadership, media inattention, phony populism and, as usual, the influence of money all are part of this nearly unprecedented perversion of representative government. Whether Davis goes down or survives, American democracy will get a black eye.

California is the butt of jokes for subjecting itself to this expensive effort to punish the man it re-elected less than a year ago. But the forces behind this perversion are prevalent throughout our politics. It is a warning signal not to be ignored.

Couldn't of said it any better. Thanks for the link to the David Broder artical, Tartarin.
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Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2003 12:18 am
Davis seeks delay in voting
Governor wants his name listed on recall ballot

Carla Marinucci and Harriet Chiang, Chronicle Staff Writers Monday, August 4, 2003


Arguing that October's recall election would result in chaos, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and his supporters say they will ask the California Supreme Court today to delay the vote until the March 2004 primary and also place Davis' name on the ballot.

In a petition expected to be filed with the California Supreme Court, Davis will argue that there is no way that the state -- and its cash-strapped counties -- can set up a fair election by Oct. 7. He says the tight schedule between now and then will disenfranchise millions of voters, in violation of election laws.

Davis will be joined in the lawsuit by five other Democrats -- Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo; Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles; West Covina Councilman Ben Wong; Latino business leader Jorge Corralejo and African American community leader Danny Bake- well Sr.

The suit will be filed against Democratic Secretary of State Kevin Shelley and the Los Angeles County registrar, Connie McCormack.

"This election is operating under such duress, such a compressed truncated election schedule, that it cannot be a fair election," San Leandro lawyer Robin Johansen, one of Davis' attorneys, said Sunday.

Republicans immediately dismissed the action as a maneuver aimed at thwarting the will of 1.7 million Californians who signed recall petitions.

"The governor probably would be better served spending more time talking to the voters and less time talking behind closed doors to his lawyers," said Tom Hiltachk, attorney for Rescue California, the pro-recall organization funded by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista (San Diego County), who is a candidate in the election.

Hiltachk called the effort another in a long line of lawsuits to delay the election, saying that Davis' name is on the ballot. "I don't see how his rights have been affected."

In Davis' petition, his attorneys say that the governor should be allowed to have his name on the ballot as a replacement candidate -- separate from the issue of whether he should be recalled.

The Democrats are challenging part of a state constitutional provision that provides that if an elected official is recalled, the candidate who receives a plurality of votes will be the successor. But the law also states: "The (official) may not be a candidate."

"The governor has a right to be on the ballot," said Michael Kahn of San Francisco, one of the lawyers bringing the suit on behalf of Davis.

Of the 18 states that allow recall elections, California is one of only four states that bar the targeted officer from being on the ballot.

In their suit, the Democrats also will argue that the election is illegal because it forces Los Angeles and other counties to drastically reduce the number of polling places available to voters.

The NAACP has argued that this will disenfranchise countless voters, particularly minorities and those in low-income urban areas.

"People will have to go much farther and wait longer in order to vote," Johansen said.

Counties also must rely on punch-card machines, which created chaos in Florida during the 2000 presidential race.

County elections officials have said that they have little choice, given the speed with which they must print 15 million sample ballots, set up 25,000 polling places and hire 100,000 workers statewide.

At the same time, 45 counties are preparing for local elections on Nov. 4.

"The California Supreme Court has an opportunity to avert the train wreck we saw in Florida," said Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan, who is part of Davis' legal team bringing the lawsuit.

Richard Hasen, who teaches election law at Loyola Law School, says he doesn't think Davis has a strong argument in trying to get his name on the ballot.

Under the current law, Davis supporters note that even if 49 percent of the voters oppose the recall, the next governor could be elected with as little as 20 percent of the vote. In fact, if voters choose to recall Davis, the next governor could be elected with a mere sliver of the overall vote.

Nonetheless, Hasen said, "I don't think that argument is going to fly."

Davis is expected to argue that the recall election violates equal protection rights. But Hasen says that argument assumes the recall of Davis and the race to succeed him are asking the same question. "They're not," Hasen said.

On Oct. 7, voters will have two separate issues to decide regarding the recall. The first question asks whether voters support or oppose the recall. The second question asks voters to pick a candidate other than Davis.

So far, nearly 300 Californians have taken out papers in preparation to be a replacement candidate. Prominent Republican names mentioned as possible candidates include Issa, who has already declared; businessman Bill Simon, who lost to Davis in the 2002 gubernatorial race; and former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, who is said to be assembling his campaign team with the help of his former deputy mayor, Noelia Rodriguez, now the spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush.

GOP actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to announce his decision Wednesday on the "Tonight" show with Jay Leno on whether he will join the race.

On the Democratic side, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt is expected to hold a press conference today to outline his candidacy.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, meanwhile, became the fourth member of the California Democratic congressional delegation to suggest that U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein should enter the race.

"We have to be careful not to get divided and allow them to take California through this fluke recall election," Waters said. "If Dianne Feinstein is talked into getting onto the ballot, I hope Gray Davis would step down."

Waters joins Reps. Brad Sherman, Cal Dooley and Loretta Sanchez in urging Feinstein to enter the race, and Sanchez has gone even further, strongly suggesting she will run if Feinstein does not.

There are 64 days to go before the election, and just six days before the end of the filing period. Potential candidates have until 5 p.m. Saturday to file for office. So far, 296 people have taken out nominating papers, county registrars reported, although not all may complete the process, which requires them to come up with a $3,500 filing fee and signatures of 65 people in their party, or 10,000 signatures.

"This is becoming a circus only P.T. Barnum could be proud of," Davis deputy communications director Gabriel Sanchez told The Chronicle on Sunday. "'We only have a week left to find how many clowns are left in the car."

E-mail the writers at [email protected] and [email protected].
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2003 09:02 pm
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2003 09:25 pm
appears as if this recall is going to be a blemish on the neocons ego. but then i have been wrong before.
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the prince
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 05:31 am
I just saw this !!! Dunno whether it is a joke or not.....

Race for California governorship gets smuttier

rediff Newsdesk | August 06, 2003 15:46 IST
Last Updated: August 06, 2003 16:04 IST

A porn star is campaigning to join the race for the governorship of California.

Mary Carey, 22, said her electoral platform would include taxing breast implants to generate revenue and hiring porn stars to help negotiate better electricity prices.

The 5' 9" blonde has also pledged to make lap dances tax deductible.

"My goal is to bring happiness to the streets of California," Carey said as she tried to gather the 65 signatures needed to put her name on the October 7 ballot.

The adult movie star wants to create a 'Porno for Pistols' programme under which people would be urged to swap their guns for X-rated movies.

"If more guys had orgasms, they'd be less violent," she said, adding that she would present herself as an independent candidate.

Sporting a star-spangled bikini top, Tommy Hilfiger shorts and 4-inch-high platform sandals, she strutted her stuff in Los Angeles, stopping passers-by to sign her petition.

She also has a novel solution to global warming: "Wear less clothes!"

Carey joins potential candidates such as movie star and Republican activist Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hustler magazine publisher and Democrat Larry Flynt.

And this part if really funny Laughing

"If more guys had orgasms, they'd be less violent,"
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Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2003 08:03 pm
Calif. Supreme Court Upholds Recall Vote

The Associated Press
Thursday, August 7, 2003; 7:48 PM

SAN FRANCISCO - The state Supreme Court on Thursday declined to intervene in California's recall election, clearing the way for an Oct. 7 vote on whether to remove Gov. Gray Davis from office.

The announcement came after the justices held hours of closed-door discussions that began Wednesday, and after more than 400 would-be governors from all political persuasions and backgrounds took out nomination papers in advance of the 5 p.m. Saturday deadline to file their candidacy.

The justices, six Republicans and one Democrat, chose not to enter the politically charged recall arena, two weeks after the election was certified. Never before has California's sitting governor been targeted by a voter-driven recall election that qualified for the ballot.

© 2003 The Associated Press

And the beat goes on......
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Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2003 02:23 am
Friday, August 15, 2003
Federal judge says he may delay California's Oct. 7 recall

(San Jose-AP) -- A federal judge in San Jose says he may decide to postpone California's October recall vote.

US District Judge Jeremy Fogel heard from civil rights groups earlier today. They argued that the quick election is forcing changes in the voting process that require federal approval.

Under the federal Voting Rights Act, any changes in the voting process must be pre-cleared by the Justice Department in places like Monterey County that have a history of low voter turnout.

Fogel set a hearing for August 29th. He suggested he may delay the election at that hearing if federal approval hasn't happened by then.

Also today, Fogel ordered Monterey County not to mail out its overseas ballots until the issues are resolved.
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Reply Sat 16 Aug, 2003 09:01 am
The implications of most of what Fogel has done have not sunk in yet (I've been new-challenged for a couple of days) but, on the face of it the fact, that the judiciary are engaged and watchful is promising, given the messy situation.
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