Skip to comments.If you live in CA, The Definitive Referendum on Taxing & Spending (The Official Davis Recall!)
Posted on 02/18/2003 1:52:59 PM PST by PeoplesRep_of_LA
LOS ANGELES Since narrowly defeating Republican businessman Bill Simon last November to win a second term in office, California Gov. Gray Davis has run into burgeoning budget problems and sinking approval ratings.
And now, some want the struggling governor out of office, spurring talk of a recall that could go beyond partisan politics.
"He's not a well-liked person in this state by just about anybody either politically or personally," said Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters.
In fact, Davis' approval ratings are hovering under 30 percent. Many blame his perceived bungling of the state's energy crisis and mismanagement of the state budget, which the governor himself estimates is in deficit to the tune of $35 billion.
"When he became governor he was left with a $10 billion surplus and immediately went on the most aggressive spending campaign of any state in America," said Shawn Steel, chairman of the California Republican Party.
The state GOP has yet to endorse the petition, but Steel is spearheading the recall alongside his taxpayer group, The People's Advocate, which is responsible for qualifying 12 California initiatives.
The People's Advocate submitted the petition language to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley last Thursday. Shelley's office has 10 days to approve the language or seek changes.
Davis has been downplaying the recall bid as a move by the right-wing fringe to turn back the clock on last fall's vote result. Davis, who won 47.4 percent of the vote, beat Simon by 5 percentage points or about 364,000 votes.
"We just had an election and the people in this state decided they wanted me to be governor for the next four years," Davis said.
Davis added that fiscally responsible individuals wouldn't support another election.
"This petition being circulated calls for a brand new election this summer at the cost of $25 million to the taxpayers, according to the secretary of state," he said.
Walters said if the recall makes the ballot, it will be the biggest political story in America this year, next to war of course.
Removing Davis from office requires opponents to gather roughly 900,000 signatures and hold a special election, something political observers agree, in a state of 35 million, is not completely out of the question.
However, it would be a first. In 1986, California Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Bird and two of her associates lost their bids to remain on the state Supreme Court after voters decided they overturned too many death sentences. But no petition to recall a statewide officer has ever been successful.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Many more than 900,000 people voted AGAINST Davis in the election, and that was before he proposed the varied unbelieveably short sighted tax increases. This is on! Getting CA's economy straightened out directly helps GWB defeat the Demos nationally in '04, but sorry these petitions are only for those in the Golden State. Make this happen, FReep this site!
If you answer the first question by citing his proposed tax increases, don't you people have a legislature to keep him in check? Weren't they just elected, too?
beat Simon by 5 percentage points
Not really narrow, IMO. This does seem to point out, though, what a terrible candidate Simon must have been.
From the mouths of babes?
It's like the perfect storm. California has four problems and Davis is only a small part of it but because the 3 largest problems can't be resolved by conservatives they are aiming at the one problem they can attack and have attacked with the help of liberals.
The four problems in the order of the magnitude are:
1) A national unwillingness to regulate immigration. This unregulated tide is drowning California's infrastructure.
2) The California infrastructure itself which heavily taxes the very wealthy and redistributes these revenues to organized labor and the very poor. This concept when implemented did not recognize the predominant role that unregulated immigration would play in the expenses of the social saftey net. Today the majority of the receipents of the states mandadted entitlements are not US citizens or derived their citizenship through illegal circumstances (anchor babies).
2) The state legislature which continued to mandate huge spending entitlements and participated in Davis' economic reciprocation to organized labor which funded his reelection campaign. Two years ago both parties in the legislature made a deal which, through redistrcting, made most districts in California "election proof". They were reorganized to almost guarantee that the party in power in each district would stay in power in that district.
4) Gray Davis' contribution is that he was/is a poor administrator and he was/is corrupt. Davis' reciprocal agreement with the legislature is that he would sign their utopian legislation into law if they would pass legislation which rewarded his politcal supporters.
California conservatives found that they could not persude even thier own national party leaders to regulate immigration, they could not roll back the "California Plan" of huge entitlements and they could not secure legislative control because they had made the districts "election proof". Conservatives were left with only two options. Obstruct the taxation legislation purposed by the Democrats and attack the unpopular governor with the help of moderates and disenchanted liberals.
So here we sit in the middle of the perfect storm flailing our useless paddels at an unpopular official when the key to California's salvation lies with the US congress and the state legislature.
Hope this helps you understand the "California Dilema".
Are we reading the same news print? I'm lead to believe that California's expenditures will be billions in surplus of it's revenues in the next eighteeen months.
I think you meant to say that California's net tax revenues (taxation less cost of collection) increased in the period cited.
Not to pick on you but one other small point.
The numbers you cite may not be accurate or meaningful for two reasons.
First, legal immigration numbers do not include anchor babies who are, for the purpose of our discussion, immigrants.
Second, I've always suspected illegal immigration numbers are educated guesses because of the obvious problems with accurate data and that these guesses are further suspect because they are usually offered by government entities or liberal institutions which have clear motive to underestimate or estimate conservatively.
Your point is well taken because there are presently enough Republicans in the legislature to prevent an override of the governor's veto.
The practical problem is will a successful recall scare the next elected governor into fiscal conservatism.
At this time Bustamante and Riordan are statistically (both assumed moderates) most likely to replace Davis. It is unlikely that either, based on thier track history, will not negotiate a settlement with the legislature. That settlement is likely to severly curtail the redistribution of revenues to the county/cities and increase tax revenues. That compromise is unlikely to roll back the huge entitlements to labor (correctional officers and teachers)and is poised to shift the burden of supporting the cost of the saftey net to local taxpayers.
If Davis continues his lust for national power he is more likely than either Bustamante or Riordan to continue to expose the legislative excesses in his bid to get California solvent before he leaves office.
The California Teachers Association is running radio ads whining about possible changes in the class-size rules. Pete Wilson (a Republican) reduced class sizes to 20 kids for grades k-3 as one of the last things he did before leaving office. Great idea. But who do you suppose the CTA endorsed when Wilson left? That's right - the Democrat. And who did the CTA endorse in November? Their guy won, and now they are being stabbed in the back by him. As I say, sometimes you get what you deserve.
To my mind, there is a lot of poetic justice in requiring Gray Davis to at least attempt to clean up the mess that was created by his own inept management. Frankly, it wouldn't have been fair to require Bill Simon to (try) to clean up this mess. I say try, because it is a hopeless task given the composition of the state legislature.
Davis and the Dems in the legislature will flail about for a couple of years, and then the GOP will actually have a chance of regaining some power. But it takes a bad Dem Governor occasionally to remind the voters why the usually elect a Republican. As I say, you get what you deserve.
Too bad its going to cost so darn much.