Ah the recall…making political satirists obsolete all summer…now we have the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that there needs to be a delay so that large counties such as Los Angeles County, which still use “hanging chad” style voting machines can modernize and make sure we don’t do a Florida 2000-style mess.
What is ironic is that the court’s ruling cites precedents set by the US Supreme Court in the now infamous Bush vs. Gore Florida 2000 lawsuit. Right wing pundits are crying foul, left wing pundits are crying score, and the rest of us are just crying that our state’s in such a mess we might have to give Gary Coleman a chance to run it for a while.
It’s more likely though that this won’t help Davis in the long run. A shorter campaign is more likely to benefit Davis because polls are starting to show that the recall itself may be defeated, thus making the parade of candidates running to replace him irrelevant. That momentum is not as likely to keep up if this gets dragged out until March 2004 – when by then people will have grown tired of the circus and stopped paying attention.
More troubling though is the fact that in all of the recall antics about who said what to Oui magazine, which lefty candidate is lower in the polls, or whether someone’s membership in a campus club is a Threat To the Republic, there is not a single candidate who’s put forth a credible long term vision or plan to turn California’s myriad of problems around nor do I expect anyone to do so.
Why? Because there is no one answer to the many situations our state faces now. No magic bullet or rigid adherence to the altar of [insert rabid right or left or pro porno ideology here] is going to make everything “all better”.
The only real solution is to have an educated discussion about why we’re here, and for the citizens of California to take responsibility for their role in letting the once-Great State of California slide into mediocrity. No matter how bad the politicians are, fact is that the only reason they get away with their shenannigans is because most citizens can’t be bothered to vote, and most media outlets can’t be bothered to cover serious issues with any crediblity.
If you want to read a credible book which provides a great overview of why we’re here, how we got here, and why Pete Wilson’s Mafia backing Arnold S. is a BAD thing, check out “Paradise Lost” by Peter Schrag. In an era when most political books are the equivalent of food fights (see Ann Coulter’s latest missive or Al Franken’s newest rant tract) Schrag provides a thoughtful in depth analysis of recent California political history. Schrag was editorial editor of the Sacramento Bee and as such had a unique front row seat at the pageant of foolishness known as lawmaking in this state. You can find it at Amazon.com at
Here’s a project idea for well-funded media outlets: Not being a porn-empire magnate or a self made millionaire I myself don’t have the cash to do this however media outlets who want to have some fun , and educate the public about the recall might want to try this:
Buy a voter file with voting history from a data vendor such as Political Data here in Burbank. Then, do a match with the list of names of those whose signatures appeared on the recall petition. Then you can find out how many of these concerned citizens have voted or not. It would be interesting to find out.
Oh, and as a bonus, run a match with the paid signature gatherers (those that were actually FROM California) and perhaps ask them if they’d have gotten the signatures without Darrell Issa’s $3/signature bounty.
© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at www.schadelmann.com
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