California governor recall effort

  1. Hello all,

    For those who have heard of it, what do you think of the California governor recall effort? It is looking like they will get enough signatures to put it on the ballot.

    I am not a huge fan of Grey Davis, and I don't think his PR is doing very well, but I don't think that the current budget crisis is his fault, and certainly not enough to throw California into chaos for the recall. Also don't like that the one who is donating the most money to the recall is *surprise* a republican candidate that wants to run.

    What do you all think?
  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   Spidey's mom
    I signed the petition to recall him. There was a table in front of Target with a line of people happy to do the same. It made for some interesting conversation.

  4. by   Ted
    I don't understand the whole situation.

    I don't know what Grey Davis might have or might not have done to deserve a recall.

    I didn't even know that a recall was possible!

    I'm sure politics are involved to some degree of not to a huge degree. Or maybe not.

    What's the scope on all of this?????

  5. by   Spidey's mom
    Hi Ted . . the scoop on this is as follows, from the Wall Street Journal. Also, just type in "Gray Davis Recall" and you'll get lots more info. Sorry for posting an article, by the way

    Story originally in the Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2003:

    California is still one of the best places in America to build a successful small business. All you have to do is start with a successful large one.

    That's the joke making the rounds these days on the left coast, where a $38 billion budget gap and other evidence of awful governance is fueling a populist revolt to toss Governor Gray Davis out of office.

    A state-wide poll released last week found that, given the opportunity, more than half of California voters would oust Mr. Davis, whom they only re-elected last year. If organizers of a recall effort obtain the 900,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, a special election could be held as early as this fall.

    Many Californians are clearly fed up, and who can blame them? Mr. Davis, whose approval rating is only 38% among fellow Democrats, has been running his state's government into the ground. Not long ago state residents had to suffer through an entirely avoidable energy crisis that resulted in actual brown-outs, a la the Third World. Now they're facing a budget deficit that exceeds the gross domestic product of most countries.

    When Governor Davis was first elected in 1998, he inherited a budget surplus of $12 billion. Tax revenues grew 28% during Governor Davis's first term, well above inflation. But over the same period Sacramento's spending went up 36%, setting the stage for the state's current fiscal crisis once the economy slowed. Rather than cutting back on spending, or reforming the government, Mr. Davis is again protecting the political class by proposing higher taxes in a state that is already one of the most tax-crazy in the nation.

    The governor wants to raise the sales tax by a penny, which will cost the typical family an extra $250 a year. The top 10% of earners in the state already pay 80% of all income taxes, but this isn't progressive enough for Mr. Davis, who's looking to increase the marginal income tax rate on the state's highest earners to 11% from 9.3%.

    Mr. Davis never got around to mentioning any of these plans during his re-election bid last year. He deceived voters about both the size of the problem and how he planned to fix it. If his duplicity is now angering voters, and they want to hold him accountable, that's a lesson more politicians could stand to learn.

    California's recall measure was added to its constitution in 1911. It's purpose is to give voters a way to remove a "dishonest, incapable or unsatisfactory" public servant. Opponents complain that a recall would undo an election, which Mr. Davis won in 2002 with 47% of the vote. But the process is entirely constitutional and was put in place for exactly this purpose. The threshold for signatures is set deliberately high, to prevent frivolous recall attempts - which is why no state official has ever been recalled.

    Far from being an organized GOP effort, this populist revolt is shaking up elites in both parties. Democrats obviously don't want voters to intrude on their dominance of state government. And the White House would prefer that Mr. Davis remain as a unpopular leader to enhance President Bush's chances of carrying California in 2004.

    But the political establishment has let down the voters too many times in the recent past. The Democrats have gerrymandered themselves into a legislative majority that answers less to the voters than to powerful interest groups - trial lawyers, greens and especially public employee unions. The GOP is also at fault for being too divided to mount any serious opposition.

    The echoes of Proposition 13 are deafening here, and instructive. Passed overwhelmingly by Californians almost precisely 25 years ago, that taxpayer revolt was also a response to entrenched and unaccountable government. The spending-limit requirements that followed put the state in good stead for most of the 1980s. But in 1990 the state's political class finally got the voters to pass Proposition 111, which effectively removed all spending restraints and made possible Republican Governor Pete Wilson's massive tax increase in 1991. The inmates have been running the asylum ever since.

    It's true that if the recall makes it to the ballot, the election transition could be messy. California's next governor could win with a small plurality, or voters could replace Mr. Davis with another tax-and-spend liberal who's unwilling to restore fiscal discipline. But the consequences could hardly be worse than the incompetent status quo.

    It was Thomas Jefferson who said that a revolution every generation or so has its uses. Democracy by initiative and recall isn't pretty, and it sometimes makes mistakes, but it is a useful balance to the tendency of modern government to become controlled by unaccountable political elites. A little revolution is just what California needs.
  6. by   Ted
    Interesting article. Thanks stevielynn!

    This will be interesting to follow.

  7. by   Spidey's mom
    You are welcome . . I liked it too. Gave some history, including how California got the right to recall politicians.

  8. by   Gomer
    Just to bore those outside of California with all our dirty laundry....the recall is political. The Republicans want the governor's office and can't win it through elections so they are backdooring it. A multimillionaire, Darrell Issa (ultra conservative, anti-choice, anti-women, anti anything left of reality) ran and lost to another Republican challenger Bill Simon (another multimillionaire conservative who couldn't get elected in his own state so moved to CA) in the last race of governor. So now Issa is using his own money for the recall efforts and plans to have his name on the ballot if Davis is recalled.

    Please don't think I'm a fan of Davis...I'm not. He's the butt-boy of the unions (a big supporter of CNA and the nursing staffing ratio), he has been unable to even try and balance the state budget, he screwed around with the 8 hr OT law and took the state's wage and hours laws back to the dark ages, and he is generally a pain in the tush.

    Have I bored you enough? Just be thankful you only visit our state and don't live here. I'm hoping the real estate market stays high so when I retire I can sell my house and move to a more sane area of the country. Anyone got any suggestions?
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Native Californian here . . . I love this state but Gomer is right about the difficulty living here. As stated in the WSJ article I posted, taxes are high and budgets are being cut and the current administration has mismanaged our budget tremendously. I disagree with Gomer's assertion that this is all a Republican effort . . . as stated in lots of articles, even Democrats are furious with Gray Davis. He is NOT popular here with anyone except maybe the unions.

    Ya know, the truth is it doesn't matter if he is Republican or Democrat . . he is not truthful and is not a good manager of my taxes. I signed the petition in protest of his actions not really thinking it would go as far as it has.

  10. by   curious
    Thanks for all the replies, and Stevielynn thanks for the article. I would like to hear more about your reasons. I'm also a Californian. I have seen several recall petitioners in my neighborhood--I think this recall is going to definitely be on the ballot and I want to understand better why there is a strong push for it. Do you have other websites and sources of info too?
  11. by   pickledpepperRN
    Politics are nasty. Unfortunately the alternative is worse.

    I was one of thousands of nurses who worked for a decade to get the ratio law through the legislature. Then this Governor almost didn't sign it. I don't think he would have if not for more than 100,000 letters and two major demonstrations. Most of the nurses I brought to the demonstration are not union members, they ARE for safe staffing.

    Major issue is the state economy. I'm not well enough educated yet to comment. It is very complicated.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Jun 18, '03
  12. by   Spidey's mom
  13. by   pickledpepperRN
    Thank you Steph!

    I certainly din't think that 6 months after the election this would come up.

    Remember the Libertarian candidates?
    Woa! One spit on an interviewer, the other had his #1 issue the right to keep pet ferrets! I think many who say they are Libertarian don't vote for their candidate.
  14. by   Gomer
    Originally posted by spacenurse
    Politics are nasty. Unfortunately the alternative is worse.

    I was one of thousands of nurses who worked for a decade to get the ratio law through the legislature. Then this Governor almost didn't sign it. I don't think he would have if not for more than 100,000 letters and two major demonstrations. Most of the nurses I brought are not union members, they ARE for safe staffing.

    Major issue is the state economy. I'm not well enough educated yet to comment. It is very complicated.

    Not sure I follow you Spacenurse. Gray Davis is the darling of the CNA and he did sign the ratio bill.