Skip to comments.Why Davis deserves to be recalled
Posted on 06/25/2003 9:34:21 AM PDT by Jimbaugh
Why Davis deserves to be recalled
Gray Davis is a dead man walking. The most unpopular governor in California history very well could become the first occupant of the state's highest office to be recalled by the voters.
Davis suggests that the recall campaign – which he previously dismissed as quixotic – is nothing more than a nefarious attempt by Republicans to overturn the result of California's last gubernatorial election.
" It's being organized and financed by a bunch of rich losers," Davis told The Orange County Register. "Nothing but a bunch of losers running around talking to one another.
His Grayness is particularly ticked off at Rep. Darrell Issa, the Vista Republican, the multimillionaire car-alarm magnate, the prospective gubernatorial candidate, who has ponied up more than $800,000 to gather signatures for the recall petition.
" He just wants to run for governor on the cheap," Davis sneered, in recent remarks to a San Francisco radio station.
But the Davis recall would not be headed to the California ballot – either this fall or next spring – were it supported exclusively by the state's Republican minority. No matter how many hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars Issa spent on signature gathering.
Indeed, recall drives have been waged against California governors on 31 previous occasions. All failed. In fact, not even one proposed recall made it all the way to the state ballot.
Davis faces the ignominy of actually facing a recall election, of becoming only the second governor in U.S. history to actually be recalled, because of his unfavorable standing among California residents across the board.
That was borne by a recent poll released by the Public Policy Institute of California, a San Francisco think tank. It found that the Democrat's approval rating has fallen to a historic low of 21 percent. It also found that most of the Golden State's likely voters can hardly wait to kick Davis to the curb, including not only an overwhelming majority of Republicans, but also half of independent voters and a third of the governor's fellow Democrats.
So why has his Grayness fallen into such broad and deep disfavor with the California electorate? Because he has grossly mismanaged the Golden State's affairs.
Indeed, in the space of roughly a year and a half, Davis turned a record $12 billion state budget surplus into a record $34.8 billion deficit. He insists that it was not his fault, that the state economy simply went bust.
But the fact is, under Davis' watch, the state government increased its spending a whopping 36 percent – far in excess of inflation, far outpacing growth in California's population. Had the governor resisted the urge to spend, to buy off special interests like California's powerful teachers union, the state would not now be facing the mother of all budget crises.
California would not be borrowing billions of dollars on Wall Street to pay its bills, downgrading its bond rating to one the nation's lowest. And the state's taxpayers would not be facing the prospect of surrendering even more of their paychecks to Sacramento to close the budget gap that Davis and the spendthrift legislature created.
Davis' mismanagement of the state's budget is matched only by his mishandling of the state's recent electricity crisis.
He did not cause the crisis, as he so often reminds. But his failure to lead when the crisis first reared itself cost California businesses and residents tens of billions of dollars in higher electricity prices.
Indeed, Davis got an early warning of looming trouble in the electricity market in the form of sharply rising wholesale power costs, as the Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters recounted this past spring.
" California utility executives begged Davis and state utility regulators to allow them to raise rates and sign long-term supply contracts," according to Walters, but they "delayed for six critical months, until the utilities had their financial backs to the wall."
Had Davis been a real leader, had he gotten the state's utility regulators to act sooner rather than later, California taxpayers wouldn't have gotten stuck with more than $40 billion worth of highly unfavorable long-term contracts with energy generators. And California residents wouldn't be facing higher electricity prices than consumers in almost every other state.
Opponents of the Davis recall, including not only the governor's hardcore Democratic loyalists, but also a few Republican pragmatists, say his ouster will plunge the state into political chaos. But the state already is in chaos, not the least because Davis lacks the leadership prowess to navigate California out of the fiscal abyss into which he steered it.
A new governor, lacking the albatross Gray Davis has draped around his neck, could hardly do any worse. And there's a good chance that his successor would do a considerably better job as California's chief executive.
Not doing the right thing because it's inconvenient makes one just like the Dims - contemptful of doing right and prone to self-servitude, which is a disgraceful breaking of the trust of those that elected you.
By 2006 Davis would have figured out how to buy back the state employees and unions. And the legislature redistricting has 'fixed' the incumbents for life.
There are still some of us conservatives here in CA, but we're being outnumbered. Many of us worked our butts off trying to unseat Davis, but he had the hispanic vote, and that put him over the top.
Look, I live in state and signed the recall petition, but I'm concerned that there's plenty of potential this could backfire--even if we (miraculously) get who we want as the new guv. Maybe I'm a pessimist, but it sure seems likely with a lib-dominated legislature the solution will *never* consist entirely of cutting the budget. (And by the way, the RINOs in the legislature have been just as spineless at pushing cuts as the dems--inexcusable!).
Finally--let's be honest. Grayout is incompetent, but he was not 100% responsible for the power crisis. He certainly screwed the pooch in his handling of it, but the root causes were in place before he got into office, and like it or not, many power companies arbitraged the flawed dereg environment at great cost to the state.
Anyway, I'd like to see the recall succeed if for no other reason that the additional disgrace it would bring to Grayout. Beyond that it's anyone's guess whether this will help or harm California--and conservatives.
I was waaaaaay wrong about your bitterness concerning CA. In fact, you are in fact in need of professional counseling to get over your trauma growing up here.
and I'll assume you aren't handcuffed to a radiator
For once, one of your comical "assumptions" is correct. I chose to live in LA. The smog comes and goes, I am no victim of this crime you are ranting about, and because I use logic rather than emotion as you have come to conclusions about California's fate, what liberals I do run into don't bother me.
In fact, at work I have carefully let my politics come to light, only to find out half the office listens to talk radio and is a closet conservative themselves. We all greatly fear voicing our beliefs because of stereotypes about California, but as we did we realized we were the majority.
Course I don't have to tell you anything about stereotyping, SpaceBar.
No, I am proud to say "I am not a victim" everyday. Words to live by.
After all my points, that was the best you got?
Because, luckily for us, the state budget crisis is entirely manufactured. No matter how many times Davis repeats the matra, we DON'T have a revenue problem. We should count our blessing. Don't let me tell you, read what State Senator McClintock saying about the situation. The Governor sets the agenda, even more so that the President. Look what Bush did, instead of talking about tax increases to "fix" the national deficit, we were all talking about spending cuts. The Democratic response became which things to cut, or how they were going to cut differently. Sure they are a slight minority nationally, but once the conversation has changed, they don't DARE bring up their real platform. The state is different, you need 2/3rd to get a budget through, and the GOP can dig in til they send the Gov a budget that simply doesn't call for spending INCREASES.
Maybe I'm a pessimist, but it sure seems likely with a lib-dominated legislature the solution will *never* consist entirely of cutting the budget.
I understand that you are a pessimist, I used to be one too, its easy to fall into that trap. Particuarly with all the arrogant ranters on here who make you feel dumb when you sound confident and supportive. What tips the balance of power is being informed. Remember how much Feinstein was being thrown in our face? How about the "it'll NEVER get enough signatures" line? I mean, notice how these guys switch the talking points, but never the message; THE RECALL IS BAD. They remind me of Democrates.
(And by the way, the RINOs in the legislature have been just as spineless at pushing cuts as the dems--inexcusable!).
On this point, I couldn't possibly disagree more (and I hate Parsky and the CA establishment). The 16 Republicans in the Senate have indured every kind of strong arm, bribing, manhandling tactic in Sacramento. They have stuck to their principles, they will not go along with a budget that calls for new tax increase. In fact, these Republicans have been saving you from getting new taxes for about the past 3 budgets. Brulte and McClintock have earned and deserve our respect for not caving. More importantly, their actions rather than just their words in the face of so much pressure should provide you with confort in realizing the distinction between CA run by the GOP, and the Donkey.