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[P]
A political earthquake in the land of earthquakes

By aphrael in News
Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 09:08:32 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

While the rest of the world focuses on the deaths of the Brothers Hussein, the rumblings of a political earthquake are threatening to bring California government to its knees. On Thursday, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante, prompted by a petition signed by more than 1,600,000 people, called a snap election to recall the state's unpopular Democratic Governor, Gray Davis. It is the first recall of a Governor in the United States since 1921.


::Background::

Article 2, Section 1 of the California Constitution specifies:

All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and they have the right to alter or reform it when the public good may require.

Section 13 specifies:

Recall is the power of the electors to remove an elective officer.

Section 14 elaborates:

Recall of a state officer is initiated by delivering to the Secretary of State a petition alleging reason for recall. Sufficiency of reason is not reviewable.

These provisions were adopted in 1911 as part of a large-scale reform package introduced by newly elected governor Hiram Johnson, who had captured the Republican party nomination as part of a Progressive insurgency, and whose statewide campaign had been based entirely on reforming the corrupt legal system and breaking the political power of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The idea was that when elected officials were not responsive to the people, or were abusing their office, the people had the power to remove them (and, likewise, the initiative was supposed to guarantee that the people had the right to introduce laws). Similar provisions were adopted in roughly a dozen states across the United States.

While the recall of a statewide official has never before appeared on a ballot in California (the Governor of North Dakota was successfully recalled in 1921), the recall has been successfully used to remove legislators, particularly as part of a conservative voter revolt against Republicans who defected from the party line over who should be Speaker of the Assembly after the 1994 election1. Unlike the initiative, which is used regularly in California, the recall is rarely used; petitions have been circulated against every California governor since the 1930s, but none has qualified for the ballot before now.

::Qualification::

Article 2, Section 14 of the California constitution specifies that a petition to recall a statewide officer must be signed by a number of people at least equal to 12% of the number of people who voted in the last vote for that office, with signatures from each of 5 counties equal to at least 1% of the last vote for the office in that county, and must be submitted within 160 days of the date that the petition begins circulating. The California Elections Code specifies that vote tallies shall be reported by County Elections officers monthly until the recall has qualified or the deadline has passed.

Supporters of recalling the governor began circulating a petition on March 25, 2003. Because the total number of votes cast for Governor in November, 2002, was 7,738,781, recall proponents had to collect at least 897,158 signatures by September 2, 2003.

In order to count, signatures must be validated. Validation consists of checking the signature on the petition against signatures on the voter registration card. Since checking on the order of a million signatures is too time consuming to be done in a reasonable time frame, county elections officials conduct random sampling to determine what percentage of the signatures is valid. They then multiply that percentage by the number of signatures submitted; if that number is more than 110% of the required minimum (on any particular reporting day), then the recall qualifies and an election must be called. If that number is less than 95% (on the last reporting day) of the required number, the recall fails to qualify. If that number is within 95% and 110% of the required number (on the last reporting day), then county elections officials have 30 days to conduct a full check.

On July 23, 2003, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley reported that 1,651,191 signatures had been submitted to county elections officials (21.34% of the votes cast for Governor in 2002), of which 1,356,408 were valid according to random sampling (17.5% of the votes cast for Governor in 2002). Since that was 151% of the number required, the Lt. Governor2 proceeded to call an election the following day. Outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, support for the recall was widespread, with some counties reporting signature totals of more than 35% of the votes cast in 2002.

::What will be on the ballot::

California law requires that the election be scheduled for a Tuesday between 60 and 80 days after the Secretary of State certifies that it has qualified, and that the preceding Monday not be a holiday. Lieutenant Governor Bustamante called the election to be held on October 7. The recall itself will be a two-part election.

The first part of the election will be a simple question: Should Governor Davis be recalled or not? The recall will succeed if a simple majority of votes cast on this issue say 'yes'.

The second part of the election will be a plurality contest to determine who should replace Davis as governor.3. To qualify for this, a candidate must obtain 65 signatures from people registered with his political party and pay a $3,500 filing fee or submit a number of signatures from members of his party to qualify for a filing fee waiver (10,000 for Democrats and Republicans, a smaller number for minor parties). Non-partisan candidates must follow a similar procedure, obtaining signatures from people not registered with a political party. Nominating papers must be filed, and fees paid, by August 9, 2003.

The contingent election has no primary and no runoff. The candidate with the most votes will become governor if Davis is recalled (note, though, that the counties have 28 days to certify the election results, during which time Davis will still be governor). People who vote no on the recall can vote in the contingent election, however, votes cast in the contingent election by people who do not vote on the recall will not be counted. Gov. Davis, as the target of the recall, is prohibited from running on the contingent ballot.

In addition, two ballot measures which have qualified for the next statewide election, and had previously been expected to appear on the March, 2004, primary ballot, will instead be consolidated with the recall. One of these is a voter-circulated initiative that would prohibit state and local governments from collecting data on race, ethnicity, or nationality of students, contractors, or employers; One is a constitutional amendment placed on the ballot by the legislature to require that at least a set percentage of the state's budget be spent on infrastructure.

::Who Will Run?::

The Democratic Party has said that it will not run any candidates, and all of the prominent Democrats in the state maintain that they have no intention of running. There has been talk of trying to draft either Senator Dianne Feinstein, the state's most popular politician, or former Congressman Leon Panetta, as caretaker candidates (so that (a) there is a Democrat on the ballot who anti-recall voters can vote for, and (b) one candidate filing doesn't cause a number of candidates to break rank and file, resulting in half a dozen Democrats on the ballot and a split vote); both have demurred.

At the moment there are two declared Republican candidates: Congressman Darrell Issa, who spent much of his personal money financing4 the recall campaign; and State Senator Tom McClintock, a locally well known fiscal conservative who has tried twice to be elected Controller. Everyone assumes that last year's Republican candidate for Governor, Bill Simon, will run, as well. Speculation flies around Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous actor who is believed to harbor political ambition, and Richard Riordan, the former mayor of Los Angeles who lost to Bill Simon in a bruising primary5, but neither have declared intention to run.

Peter Camejo, the Green party candidate in the 2002 election, has said he will run, and the Libertarians are expected to run someone, as well. Because this is a plurality election, if enough Republicans run and split their vote, it is concievable (although unlikely) that a third-party candidate could win - especially Camejo, as he is likely to pick up a large number of anti-recall votes if the Democrats do not run anyone.

There has been much speculation that the low number of signatures needed to qualify could cause a rush of candidates. This isn't currently expected to happen, but it could; almost anyone could amass the 65 signatures needed.

::Logistical Nightmares::

One of the peculiar things about this election is the compressed time frame. Candidacies do not have to be filed until August 9, but federal election law requires that absentee ballots be mailed to people living overseas (including soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere) no later than 60 days before the election (eg., August 8).

Aside from that specific case (where there is no action that satisfies both state and federal law), there are other logistical problems:

  • Some counties are in the process of adopting new voting equipment (touch-screen, mandated by a voting modernization ballot intiative) which will not be ready by the time of the election, and so will have to bring their old equipment out of mothballs;
  • Printing ballots usually takes 60-70 days before an election (and there are only 4 printers certified to print ballots in California);
  • Some jurisdictions have elections in November (notably San Francisco, which has elections for Mayor and the County Board of Supervisors, a new and inexperienced chief elections official, and a reputation for problems during elections) and must coordinate both elections.
  • Polling places and poll workers must be obtained (a process that usually takes several months);
  • The election is expected to cost the counties on the order of $30 million in a year in which every county in the state has already had budget cuts. That money is off-budget and will have to be accounted for somehow.

In addition, there has been, and will continue to be, a flurry of legal activity. Two cases have already been decided by the courts (although they may be appealed):

  • Supporters of the recall sued Secretary of State Kevin Shelley over his interpretation of the rules for verifying signatures. He had ruled that the counties had to report signatures submitted monthly, but that the verification count could lag the submitted count by a month. (For practical reasons involving not wanting work to pile up, few counties were actually doing this). Last week, a court issued an order demanding that he revise his instructions or explain why; he revised his instructions.
  • Opponents of the recall, noting that the Elections Code requires that recall petition circulators be registered in the jurisdiction covered by the office to which the recall applies (which would prevent someone from Los Angeles from circulating petitions to recall the mayor of Palo Alto), and that some of the circulators were from out of state, sued to obtain a restraining order preventing the vote totals from being submitted until all signatures obtained by out-of-state petitioners were invalidated; a court declined to issue the restraining order. (The provision is arguably unconstitutional under the equal protection clause, and the use of the provision is contrary to the position taken by every Secretary of State since the early 1970s with respect to initiative petitions: the signatures count, but the circulator can be fined).

::Will the recall succeed?::

Polling data shows that Davis is extremely unpopular. And, with roughly 20% of the people who voted in 2002 signing a recall, there is a strong base of support for it. But Davis is reputed to be a master6 at negative campaigning and can be expected to turn the election into a referendum on how evil the other candidates are; and it is unclear what percentage of those who signed the petition voted against Davis in 2002 (if it's anywhere close to 100%, then the recall is likely to fail). Nobody is able to predict the result at this time. Anything could happen. Davis could win. Davis could be recalled and Camejo could win. A mass movement could arise around a populist anti-tax-crusader and restore Republican party hegemony in the state. Nobody knows - and, as a result, the politically interested in the state are (a) nervous, and (b) fascinated.

::Footnotes::

1The exact details of that sordid battle go beyond the scope of this article, but a brief summary may be in order. In 1994, the second election since California had adopted a term limits law, the Republican party eked out a one-seat majority in the state Legislature. Incumbent Speaker Willie Brown was re-elected Speaker of the Assembly, and (largely by relying on predictions of chaos) managed to convince one Republican to vote for him as speaker. Outraged Republicans initiated a successful recall against the legislator, whereupon Brown convinced another Republican to stand for Speaker (against the wishes of the Republican caucus, who had selected a different candidate) and got the Democrats to vote for that candidate. Outraged Republicans recalled him. Eventually the Republicans gained control of the Assembly, but they lost it in the subsequent regularly scheduled election.

2Ordinarily the election would be called by the Governor, but since the Governor is the subject of the recall, the Constitution specifies that the election shall be called by the Liuetenant Governor.

3There was a brief flurry of controversy this week when Lt. Governor Bustamante attempted to claim that there was a loophole in the constitutional provision regarding this which allowed him to not hold such a contingent election, and instead to simply inherit the Governorship if Davis was recalled. His reasoning was that Article 2, Section 15 of the California Constitution specifies An election to determine whether to recall an officer and, if appropriate, to elect a successor shall be called by the Governor, and that it was not appropriate in this case as there are other constitutional provisions dealing with vacancies in the Governorship. Secretary of State Kevin Shelley disagreed, and after a flurry of activity and criticism, Lt. Governor Bustamante dropped the proposal.

4Most petition signatures are gathered by paid circulators, and without a source of funding, it is extremely difficult for either an intiative or a recall to gather sufficient signatures statewide. One of the more entertaining developments prior to the recall qualifying was when pro-Davis forces began circulating a legally meaningless anti-recall petition for the express purpose of increasing the cost of circulating petitions.

5In which supporters of Gov. Davis took out ads attacking Riordan for not being sufficiently conservative.

6During the weeks before the petition qualified, Davis supporters took out television and radio ads attempting to link the recall with Darrell Issa, one of the primary financial backers, and attacking Issa as a car thief who was now trying to steal an election.

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Poll
Recall Governor Gray Davis?
o Yes 65%
o No 34%

Votes: 63
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Brothers Hussein
o political earthquake
o California
o Cruz Bustamante
o 1,600,000
o Gray Davis
o 1921
o Constituti on
o Hiram Johnson
o Progressiv e
o Southern Pacific Railroad
o 1994 election
o 7,738,781
o widespread
o voter-circ ulated initiative
o Dianne Feinstein
o Leon Panetta
o Darrell Issa
o Tom McClintock
o Peter Camejo
o extremely unpopular
o attacking
o Also by aphrael


Display: Sort:
A political earthquake in the land of earthquakes | 169 comments (132 topical, 37 editorial, 0 hidden)
This is a good write up (3.33 / 3) (#3)
by rweba on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 04:07:13 PM EST

Reads a (good) newspaper article.

I don't really understand California politics. They just seem a bit wild.

Re: Rush of Candidates. (2.50 / 4) (#10)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 04:50:31 PM EST

There has been much speculation that the low number of signatures needed to qualify could cause a rush of candidates. This isn't currently expected to happen, but it could; almost anyone could amass the 65 signatures needed.

Fortunately the $3500 fee ensures that the unwashed proles won't have be candidates. Government for the rich, by the rich, will survive this. Don't fret.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
clarify (none / 0) (#11)
by eudas on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 04:52:00 PM EST

"won't have be"?

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

Comments need an edit mode. :-P (5.00 / 2) (#17)
by Kasreyn on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 04:59:32 PM EST

I originally wrote "won't have candidates", but felt "won't be candidates" would be more precise. Unfortunately, the "have" didn't get deleted because I am a stupidhead.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
$3500 (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by thejeff on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 04:56:40 PM EST

If you can't raise $3500, you don't have a prayer in a state-wide campaign anyway. That's just over $50 for each of the 65 signatures.

The winner will probably spend millions. $3500 isn't going to bar a serious contender.

[ Parent ]

In a normal campaign, yes. (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 05:44:14 PM EST

But what happens if one registered Democrat, who isn't famous statewide, files at the last minute? What percentage of the anti-recall vote would he get just because he was the only Democrat on the ballot?

[ Parent ]
Maybe. (none / 0) (#38)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 05:37:40 PM EST

I've seriously thought about running, especially if no other registered Democrat declares. I could come up with the money. Which means hundreds of people could.

[ Parent ]
What?!?! (4.75 / 4) (#69)
by ad hoc on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 10:36:05 PM EST

$3500 is nothing. Put in on a credit card. I get ads for Mastercards with higher limits than that all the time. My current Mastercard has an $8000 limit and my Amex Blue card has an even more insane $13,000 limit. $3500 isn't even on semester's tuition. It's less than a beater box car. It's about the same as a really nice PC, and considerably less than a Mac.

If you can't figure out how to get $3500, you certainly have no business trying to figure out how to solve California's budget problems.


--

[ Parent ]

Correction (none / 0) (#138)
by Quila on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 07:02:34 AM EST

It's about the same as a really nice PC, and considerably less than a Mac.

All other specs, like 1GB RAM, hard drive, video, DVD writer, etc., being about the same, a bit over $3,500 will either buy you a Dell dual Xeon 2.66 GHz or a dual G5 2 GHz which will run circles around the Dell in any application.

[ Parent ]

I'd look at it the other way. (none / 0) (#157)
by Sanction on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 09:01:23 PM EST

If you're willing to waste $3500 of your hard earned money to participate in the democratic process (which you should have the right to), you really shouldn't be controlling the spending for an entire state.

I can either stay in and be annoying or go out and be stupid. The choice is yours.
[ Parent ]
Once I found out (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by baron samedi on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 05:20:24 PM EST

That all it took was $3500 bucks and 65 signatures, I serious thought about doing it. I wouldn't campaign or do anything, I wonder how many people would vote for me simply because they knew nothing about me.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
Wrong (none / 0) (#106)
by ocelotbob on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 07:00:30 PM EST

Actually, the law states that it's either a $3500 fee, or 10000 signatures, or some combination thereof, with each signature being worth $0.35

Source

Why... in my day, the idea wasn't to have a comfortable sub[missive]...
--soylentdas
[ Parent ]

Wrong again. (none / 0) (#111)
by polyiguana on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 02:29:15 AM EST

There is no such thing as the "combination" you imply. It's either/or, and the signatures aren't worth anything.

Most candidates will opt for the $3500 route simply because it is a drop in the bucket. It is the same filing requirement as for the gubernatorial primary.

[ Parent ]

Stupid newspaper done me wrong (none / 0) (#120)
by ocelotbob on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:23:55 AM EST

The dead tree version of the linked article had that a combo was possible. Lousy printed press and their fact checking.

I agree that raising $3500 is nothing for a gubernatorial candidate. I was just pointing out to the parent that it's not some conspiracy to keep the proles down.

Why... in my day, the idea wasn't to have a comfortable sub[missive]...
--soylentdas
[ Parent ]

$3500? C'mon. (none / 0) (#109)
by smithmc on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 11:50:53 PM EST


Fortunately the $3500 fee ensures that the unwashed proles won't have be candidates.

Oh, please. If a person can't manage his own life well enough to come up with $3500 (and remember, he can solicit contributions for that money), do we really want him/her managing an entire State government?

[ Parent ]

Negative campaigning (4.60 / 5) (#13)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 04:55:05 PM EST

The main reason that I believe Davis to be doomed is that the man only one way to campaign: negatively. But in this sort of election, that's going to be self-destruction. He can't very well attack the whole myriad of candidates arrayed against him, and on the other hand, there's that first question that is simply "Davis: yes or no". In a mudslinging battle, he loses and at best, can take down some Republicans with him.

Already polls say 51% would vote to recall. He's got to change those minds, and he's not going to do it by saying "Issa is an evil right-winger" because people will just vote for someone else and recall him anyway. But I suppose given the utter lack of accomplishments as governor, that's going to be a bit difficult.

If the Democrats run noone, then there is a very high chance we'll get a Green for a governor because that will be the only choice left of center while there will be a number to the right. A split between three Republicans on the right and a 30% Green vote caused by no Democratic choices means a Green in power. If the polling were done today, I think that's exactly what would happen. I'm frankly amazed that the Democrats are willing to risk losing control to the Republicans over this.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

correction (3.50 / 2) (#16)
by eudas on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 04:58:09 PM EST

"the man only one way to campaign:"

disclaimer: i'm really not following you around trying to be pedantic.

the sentence (fragment) should be:

"the man knows only one way to campaign:"

sorry, couldn't help myself,
eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

God I wish we could edit comments (nt) (4.00 / 2) (#21)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 05:08:05 PM EST


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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Agreed (4.00 / 1) (#33)
by LilDebbie on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 05:32:31 PM EST

After reading that the Republicans were fielding multiple candidates, I wanted to take plane out to Sacramento and slap their State Chairman for being retarded. Our main tool for getting people in office is solidarity, and the Cali GOPers seem to have forgotten that simple method. Oh well, maybe a Green governor will legalize weed and throw the country a loop.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Republican candidates (none / 0) (#37)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 05:36:27 PM EST

I don't think there's enough discipline in the party to cause it to happen without a primary. The party leadership should have sorted this out and picked a candidate two months ago, and gotten all the likely contenders to unite behind him.

[ Parent ]
actually (none / 0) (#45)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 06:32:29 PM EST

only Issa is running right now. The party head may field one other person, either Ah-nold, or Dick Riordan(former mayor of LA). But not both. In this run-off, the winner by a plurality wins. If Davis runs uncontested as a Democrat, then the Republicans will field few candidates. If Dems decide to put up alternative candidates (which is still a possibiilty), the Repubs may as well submit as many as they'd like because the vote will be scattered anyway.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
You're late. (none / 0) (#46)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 06:35:09 PM EST

McClintock has formed an exploratory committee.

[ Parent ]
that's news! (none / 0) (#49)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 06:47:19 PM EST

I love it when he runs. Let's see if he files, though.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Well, yeah. (none / 0) (#53)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 07:24:00 PM EST

But they've only had a day. Nobody has filed yet. :)

[ Parent ]
Also. (none / 0) (#51)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 07:15:57 PM EST

Re-read this article. Or the state election code. Davis cannot run on the contingent ballot.

[ Parent ]
Good point (none / 0) (#44)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 06:28:28 PM EST

Besides, who would be hypocritical to vote, "Yes, Recall this Governor." and then follow up and vote for Davis as the Governor. His only option is to survive the recall vote itself, and there he's his own worst enemy.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
You can't vote for Davis. (none / 0) (#52)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 07:23:13 PM EST

The officer being recalled is explicitly prohibited from appearing on the contingent ballot. The debate is over whether some other Democrat should run.

[ Parent ]
Let me rephrase (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 08:37:19 PM EST

He does have two elections to run, in the sense that voters have two related decisions to make. A person who may want recall may not want any of the candidates and so vote against it. I think that rare since the vote to recall already questions his position; he's guilty just by being charged.

I think people will decide first whether to recall, and then if so, who will replace him. But that means that he must pass the recall, and not the competitive election side of it. It would be interesting to see a campaign that emphasizes why recall is bad for California and not just that Davis' recall is bad. I think that's what he has to prove, and it will also probably the source of most his contributions. Most businesses that may hate him may prefer stability in our government.

I myself don't like the idea of recall especially if its vote can be purchased. I think this one was purchased, considering that Issa contributed 25% more money to fund this recall than Davis did in fighting it. Right now, if Riordan runs, I'd vote for him but I don't want to reward Issa for putting the leadership position into chaos. Imagine if every governor was concerned about running for office every year. It would be difficult to find anyone who would want to give Californian's the hard medicine that it may deserve. The Economist magazine just last week cites this recall as one of California's greatest indicators of its weak government, not to mention the weak leadership created by term limits in the state legislature.

So, yes, Davis should run against the recall, and not against the candidates.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 0) (#71)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 10:58:00 PM EST

Davis should, yes, as if he's recalled, his career is over, and if he's not, the contigent election is a moot point. But what should state Democrats do? That's a very different question. Unlike Davis, they have a vested interest in planning for the case of what to do if he's recalled, and therefore on the contigent election.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Excellent Article (4.50 / 4) (#43)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 06:25:26 PM EST

One thing to note is that California is the most progressive state in that it most liberally pursues direct legislation either through referendum, initiatives, or recall. For example, in 2002, Los Angeles voters had to wade through 65 different ballot measures. In comparative politics circles, they lump California and Switzerland in the same boat when discussing direct legislation.

Another thing to consider is that this political atmosphere creates an industry dedicated to this. There are even some companies that guarantee they can put any measure on the ballot. Signature collection is not a grassroots measure; it's big business. For this reason, in 2000, there were 4 different initiatives pertaining to auto insurance, almost all of them sponsored by different elements of the auto insurance industry.

That's why I take this recall with a grain of salt. Darryl Issa funded this recall and in many ways that's a trivial exercise. If you're willing to spend enough, anyone can be recalled. That doesn't mean he'll be replaced. But then again, Davis' approval numbers have been in the mid- to low- 20s, so calling him unpopular is like calling Hitler a Nazi.

Incidentally, Davis was the Chief of Staff for Jerry Brown, the absentee Governor, when Brown was in office. Davis pretty much ran the Governor's mansion as a result. At that time, he stood idle while California voters enacted Proposition 13 which upheaved the state tax code. Hmmm... Davis stood idle when the power went out across the state. He also stood idle while the Legislature decided to not pass a budget this year. What do we pay him for again?

-Soc
I drank what?


Signatures (4.00 / 1) (#50)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 06:54:55 PM EST

It is important to remember that this recall required twice as many signatures as a proposition, and that they appear to have collected nearly twice as many as that.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
even still (none / 0) (#57)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 07:56:43 PM EST

The history of direct legislation in California is to vote against the action. Voters still need to elect a governor so a vote against recall may be more of a vote against all of the other candidates. Davis may be bad, but he's good at playing the game of "The Other Guys Are Much Worse." It still amazes me that he's in office this term at all. He's never really been popular.

Studies about signature collection indicate that people sign petitions just to put it on the ballot, even if they are likely to vote against it. The suggested reasoning is that people feel more involved in the system by doing so. Another factor is that these businesses are paid for signature collection. They in turn pay the person collecting the signatures on a per signature basis. This raises a lot of concerns about the legitimacy and the enthusiasm of the people that sign. Like I said, if you invest enough, anything can be put on the ballot. Also, I can see Issa swinging for the bleachers because he's so heavily invested in the effort. He's definitely speaking for many people, but he's the primary guy doing the recall. He has the means to guarantee that the recall be on the ballot, and it's not hard to see him sparing no expense.

But I think you're right. The people most likely to turn out are dissatisfied, so Davis is doomed.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Recall petitions (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 10:45:25 PM EST

I think it may be a bit of a mistake to think that a recall petition is just like a proposition. People know that it is more important, and I am fairly certain that few did for the recall what many do for propositions: Sign and assume they can read about what it really means when it goes up for vote.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Davis may be in worse shape than you imply (none / 0) (#61)
by cestmoi on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 08:16:13 PM EST

I was driving a bunch of middle school kids home one night when a car passed us with a Recall Davis bumper sticker on it. One of the kids spotted it and his favorable comment about the sticker initiated a conversation among the kids about the recall campaign. The kids were clearly parroting their parent's anti-Davis feelings but what's interesting about this is that it happened before Issa poured his money into the signature gathering campaign.

My sense is that Issa's money just made the recall happen a lot sooner than it would have otherwise.

In any event, I'll be voting to recall Davis for the reasons cited in the first half of this article.

[ Parent ]

Davis has 22% approval rating (none / 0) (#65)
by SocratesGhost on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 09:05:11 PM EST

He's pretty weak.

But if you look at the statistic about recall, it's much different. Some polls place it as high as 52% against recall. Others have it as 51% in favor of recall. The bleakness of Davis' support is only a somewhat related issue from getting a recall measure passed. I, for example, am opposed to recall in general even though I despise Davis. I might make an exception in this case, but my fear is that California politicians will get comfortable using this as a way of ousting their opponents, and that really is not good politics. I'd have been more impressed had Issa chaired this with some--any--democratic or liberal figure.

Californians act reservedly when it comes to change and Davis is good at scaring people into disliking his opponents. We'll see after the heavy lobbying starts.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Right wing agenda? (3.50 / 4) (#56)
by Dphitz on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 07:46:28 PM EST

Davis claims this is all part of an evil right wing plan to seize control of California.  Wrong.  Republicans and Democrats alike want this fucktard out of office.  This happens when you enter into ludicrous energy contracts, lie about the state's deficit being one third of it's actual size so you can get re-elected, and then tripling what was already one of the nations highest car registration fees.  Next year I'll be paying about $500 to register a 5 year old truck.  Thanks Davis.

I usually vote Democrat (about 80%) but I didn't vote for this no-talent ass clown.  I really hope there will be some viable Democrats on the ballot instead of just Davis as the Democrats are insisting, and that they will stand behind him. If Dems want to keep control of this state they need to abandon Davis and back someone more appealing than a guy with a 20% approval rating.



God, please save me . . . from your followers

automatic tripling (4.00 / 1) (#58)
by adiffer on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 07:58:20 PM EST

I won't debate your view of Davis even though mine is a little different.  However, as I understand it, our vehicle registration fee will triple due to a clause that triggers automatically in certain conditions.  Those conditions aren't entirely up to Davis to determine since the Legislature has a lot of say regarding our State budget too.  At this point, there isn't much Davis can do about it.

I've got a nine year old truck and a 7 year old car.  I think I'll hold off buying any replacements for another year.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

I'll be voting against it (3.00 / 1) (#67)
by kuro5hinatportkardotnet on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 09:47:30 PM EST

just because without fail every one of the people who accosted me about signing their petition were small minded assholes that got bent when I disagreed with them. What is wrong with people that think disagreeing with their views means "you don't have a right to complain about the government then." These people don't believe in or love democracy, except when their fair haired boy is in office. As for the DMV thing I agree it sucks ass, but ludicrous energy contracts aside I wonder how many people would be howling for blood if there had actually been large scale, long lasting blackouts in California. If that had happened you can be sure Davis would have been ass out a lot sooner.

 

Libertarian is the label used by embarrassed Republicans that long to be open about their greed, drug use and porn collections.
[ Parent ]
energy problems wouldnt have occured... (none / 0) (#104)
by Work on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 06:45:07 PM EST

had the assclowns not frozen the consumer price of electricity. The first thing taught in a beginners economics class (I should know, I took one a couple years ago) is that price freezes lead to shortages. Most electricity is generated though the use of fossil fuels. Fossil fuel cost isn't frozen and has gone up, so therefore the cost of making electricity goes up.

So when the electric co. can't pass this cost increase on, what do they do? Shelve much needed power plant projects and cut back on existing maintenance. Coupled with the explosive growth of the internet in the late 90s leading to vastly increased demand, a disaster was made.

And who's to blame? The self serving idiots who passed this law to earn themselves a few votes.

[ Parent ]

I feel the same way about Davis (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by libertine on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 11:02:27 PM EST

This governor could have prevented a lot of the problems that now surround him by putting up a little backbone and saying "no" to a lot that got CA in trouble.

He could have said no to a legislature that can't pass a budget- its called a veto.  He could and should have vetoed every stupid proclamation, pork project, and law that they handed him until they handed him a budget.  Personally, I think that the legislature needs a recall as well, but handing them all free coffee and locking them in chambers would get a budget faster.  Until then, vetoing "Almond Grower's Appreciation Day" and "Feline Colo-rectal Examination Month" probably should have had a high priority as a way of ensuring that the legislature would turn in a budget that he could pass.

He could have exercised more oversight in how state funds were used for building structures and office space- why the hell does the state need buildings with imported marble tile and 15' cut glass state seals?  That's one example, but walk around downtown Sacramento, and find some of its older establishments have been paved over in the name of more state office space.

He could have NOT bent over so far on the whole energy deal.  He also could have kept his mouth shut on taxing the internet (THAT one lost him LOTS of support).  He could have saved some money in the budget, and *gasp* put a little extra aside once the downturn in CA's economy was clearly going to happen.  Admittedly, some of the budgetary issues are relegated to the legislature, but that is why he should have been working with them to address the problem before it went completely out of control- and since he supervises the finance office, which handles CA's investments, he should have known there was a problem and dealt with it accordingly.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]

state congress (none / 0) (#74)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 11:16:09 PM EST

We should pass a proposition that states that once the deadline for passing a budget has passed, that any state senator or assemblyperson that leaves chambers before the budget has passed automatically forfeits their job.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
I agree. (none / 0) (#76)
by libertine on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 11:26:08 PM EST

But I don't know if it would fly past the court. I was thinking, more on the lines of: a. Legislators forfeit all pay, may not claim per diem, may not take overtime (they get all three right now). b. All power, water, and other amenities to the capitol building are closed. This includes bathrooms. c. Past the budget deadline, all legislators are sequestered in the capitol building until a budget is signed by the governor. They may be provided with public welfare based upon what the state permits to any other person, and all the free coffee they can drink. d. Operating costs for the state in budget overtime are deducted from the next year's legislative pay. No raises may be permitted to legislators during years when a budget is not passed. Legislators may not "pad" the legislative payroll in anticipation of a crisis.


"Live for lust. Lust for life."
[ Parent ]
What you really need is a.. (none / 0) (#91)
by EiZei on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 07:00:31 AM EST

.. 75% gasoline tax!

[ Parent ]
Your sig is libellous, pls fix thx. (none / 0) (#99)
by Corey Haim on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 04:11:46 PM EST

The correct form:
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?
Believe me
Or Curtis Mayfield's original:
There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all mankind just to save his own soul
I don't go for spelling/grammar Nazism, but you step over a line when you go twisting the words of Tuff Gong. Even Davis knows not to do that (he learnt his lesson the first time).

[ Parent ]
Your acting career is horrible, please retire (nt) (none / 0) (#117)
by Dphitz on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 12:57:45 AM EST




God, please save me . . . from your followers

[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 0) (#126)
by Corey Haim on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:14:54 PM EST

You should know by now - on the Internet, people are not who you think they are!

You're thinking of Corey Feldman.

BTW, what does (nt) stand for? Nice Truck? I hope it is a Nice Truck, big guy, because next year you're going to have to pay 500 bucks!!! And I will be LAUGHING MY ASS OFF!!! YOU MESSED WITH THE WRONG JUNKY THIS TIME.

[ Parent ]

Talk about policies biting you in the ass (5.00 / 2) (#136)
by Quila on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 05:02:46 AM EST

then tripling what was already one of the nations highest car registration fees.  Next year I'll be paying about $500 to register a 5 year old truck.

Fact 1: Davis raised the car tax (a tax by any other name...) to rediculous levels, pissing off everyone. But people do tend to forget the raise and get used to the new cost after a while. Things would have settled down by the next election, and I'm sure Davis was counting on that.

Fact 2: The Lt. governor had the leeway to schedule a recall election between 60-80 days after certification, and of course he chose 80 days, October 7th.

Fact 3: The first wave of bills for the new car tax will start hitting people on October 1st.

Now because of Davis' tax and Lt.'s scheduling, people will get a reminder of how greedy Davis is with their money just before the election.

[ Parent ]

Minor nitpick (5.00 / 1) (#150)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 05:38:25 PM EST

74 days, not 80 days. And there are ballot measures circulating to repeal the car tax increase (which would probably pass).

[ Parent ]
What's this ::Subject:: stuff? (2.83 / 6) (#59)
by epepke on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 08:05:45 PM EST

Is it some sort of C++ namespace issue?


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


Write in vote. (1.00 / 1) (#62)
by Tezcatlipoca on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 08:24:09 PM EST

I don't care.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
Third GOP candidate declares. (5.00 / 3) (#66)
by aphrael on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 09:15:57 PM EST

Former Congressman Michael Huffington (ex-husband of Arianna), who ran for Senate against Dianne Feinstein in 1994 (and was tarred as a carpetbagger who hired an illegal immigrant nanny) and then later outed himself as gay in a national newsmagazine, has taken out papers to run.

Huffington!? (3.33 / 3) (#72)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 10:58:42 PM EST

Bahaha!

Maybe his ex-wife will run against him!
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

AlterNet story (3.00 / 1) (#82)
by J'raxis on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 02:22:12 AM EST

AlterNet story.

— The Raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

Declarations (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by ucblockhead on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 11:17:15 PM EST

It may be a very full ballot. A relatively unknown Democrat has just announced her candidacy.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Who is the best progressive candidate? (none / 0) (#77)
by pde on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 11:42:08 PM EST

It may be a very full ballot. A relatively unknown Democrat has just announced her candidacy.

Democrat, Green, Independent, Democrat. Looks like Bock's political compass is spinning :)

Can any Californians tell us more about the progressive candidates? It seems like she just elbowed Camejo & the Green Party pretty hard...

Visit Computerbank, a GNU/Linux based charity
[ Parent ]

Progressives on the ballot (5.00 / 2) (#110)
by polyiguana on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 01:48:14 AM EST

Audie is basically a political opportunist, and not a very good one at that. The only reason she won for State Assembly once upon a time (and only for a year) was in a special election. The primary on the Democratic side was won by someone who sent coupons for fried chicken to black precincts who showed up at the polls, which ignited an uproar that Audie took advantage of by entering the race as a Green and thus circumventing the primary process. The district was in the Bay Area, and a ssuch there was no Republican candidate.

Camejo has the credentials, except he's extremely vague about how he plans to fix the budget deficit. While it is not $38 billion, it is not $0 either. He also isn't as famous as Arianna. The major media love skirting around the issue of identifying his run by saying that "the only major party candidate to have formally announced running is Issa", which is true, except Camejo has actually committed to run, although he has said he would pull out if the "right" candidate showed up, which means Arianna.

[ Parent ]

Not Audie again (3.00 / 2) (#100)
by baron samedi on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 05:07:30 PM EST

She sucks. I know, because I've met her...
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
Anybody remembers eGray? (4.00 / 1) (#68)
by BlowCat on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 10:27:30 PM EST

I remember a few month ago I followed a link is someone's signature and went to a site called eGray. It looked similar to eBay, but offered laws for sale! I tried to find that site, but it has disappeared. Here are some articles about the eGray:

CNET News
Pacific Research Institute
Check Google for more links

It looks like eBay's lawyers shut them down.

Maybe I'm not understanding Californians (none / 0) (#78)
by Spatula on Fri Jul 25, 2003 at 11:42:20 PM EST

Once you think about it, they're getting exactly what they (and, honestly, any voting public) deserve. To run for major office in the United States, you have to be an almost pathological liar. It usually doesn't hurt to be a theif, either. These people *know* this. If they claim they don't, it's because they're choosing to ignore facts or lie to themselves. So, this guy they elect turns out to be exactly what he should be, and they're now pissed and want him out. Am I missing something really deep here? Is there something that hasn't been reported that makes him so reprehensible? Or can we just mark it up to the fact that Californians are, indeed, wankers?

If this goes through, I won't be suprised, but I certainly will be further informed of the ineptitude of the American public. Please remember, folks. If you're voting for him/her, no matter the party affiliation (or lack thereof), you are voting for someone who has larceny of the soul and cannot even think truthfully.
--
someday I'll find something to put here.

not hard to figure out (none / 0) (#84)
by adiffer on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 03:18:46 AM EST

It's a case of democracy in action.  Someone with money decided to fund a process that had a bunch of supporters at the popular level.  We do this all the time, but usually with initiatives.  This time, Gray Davis is the subject of the initiative.

There is stuff that isn't being reported.  It is hard to portray and maintain any sense of journalistic neutrality.  The simple fact is that a LOT of people don't like Davis.  Many of them actively dislike or hate him.  This goes beyond typical cynicism for politicians.  There is actual emotion behind much of this.

I will probably vote against the recall, but it won't be because I'm a fan of our Governor.  He won the election and hasn't been impeached, so I am not inclined to can him.  If the Republicans of our State had half a brain, though, they would have nominated any different person last election and won by a land slide.  Now it is too late.  We take our lumps as far as I'm concerned.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

Why do you think... (none / 0) (#154)
by YelM3 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 06:41:02 PM EST

Why do you think that only 35% of the eligible population voted in the last election? People do know that their so-called leaders are corrupt, immoral, self-serving capitalists. But most people feel that they are powerless to do anything about it (and they may be right,) so they stop paying attention or stop voting or both.

It's a sad state of affairs, but until the average Joe's day-to-day life gets really unbearably bad he just can't be bothered to put much effort into politics.

[ Parent ]

All I know is (none / 0) (#79)
by mami on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 12:08:50 AM EST

that it's time for me to go home, if Arnold Schwarzenegger should run and win.

Why would I want to visit California to find a governor in Lederhosen with an accent that is  worse than mine and a brain as small as mine is at risk to shrink to?

And I hate complicated State constitutions. Why do the Americans need 51 of those? I believe that's  all a conspiracy of your forefathers to make American people's lives miserable... :-)

Great article.

Look on the bright side (none / 0) (#80)
by ucblockhead on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 12:35:39 AM EST

Arnold can never be president.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
I'm curious (none / 0) (#95)
by anonimouse on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 09:38:03 AM EST

Why would you not want Arnie for President? I still remember Demolition Man (Wesley Snipes, Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock) where changing the constition to allow Arnie to be President was mentioned as a joke, but why not take the idea seriously?

I know little about his politics, apart from the fact he works quietly and hard behind the scenes, but he's a very successful self made man who has risen to the top in his chosen profession. Surely he deserves a chance to get his ass kicked by everyone in a job instead of handing out the ass kicking? :-)
~
Sleepyhel:
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
[ Parent ]

Experience (none / 0) (#96)
by ucblockhead on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 10:07:01 AM EST

The same reason I don't want him as governor. He's got no experience whatsoever.
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This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
Except... (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by Dyolf Knip on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 11:37:10 AM EST

...this is oen type of job where having experience, i.e., being a career politician, is not a wholly positive thing.

---
If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

Dyolf Knip
[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#105)
by ucblockhead on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 06:49:43 PM EST

But if there is one thing Davis proves, if you have a guy who can't manage in charge, things go to hell.

If it was Clint Eastwood (i.e. someone who has actually held a government office requiring management), I'd not have the objection.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

U.S. President by way of the Vice Presidency? (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by ckaminski on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 01:14:52 PM EST

Is there a requirement of the Vice President to be a Naturalized Citizen?  I haven't found one, yet. If not, Arnold could still become President via Presidential incapacitation or assassinated/death were he Vice President.

[ Parent ]
Constitutions (4.50 / 2) (#85)
by adiffer on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 03:22:31 AM EST

Those 51 mutable documents allow us to keep the federal one relatively simple and stable.  

Most law occurs at a State level even if the bulk of the media attention is at the federal level.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

California needs to be broken up (4.80 / 5) (#81)
by skim123 on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 01:09:43 AM EST

Seriously. This topic was touched upon in Phillip Greenspun's Web log earlier this month, but it has merit: California has too large and too diverse a population to have one government serve the entire populace adequately. To quote from Phillip's blog:
The July 28 Newsweek contains an article on how much difficulty the citizens of California are having in governing themselves. If you live in New Hampshire you are forced to deal with one enormous unresponsive and remote government (the Federales) but your state and local governments are reasonably comprehensive and tractable. California, however, has an economy bigger than France's, a population of around 36 million (see this study, which notes that population growth in California every year adds the equivalent of the state of Vermont), and a geographic area larger than Japan's. What interests does a rancher on the barren plains of NE California have in common with a recent Vietnamese immigrant in central San Diego? How is the average citizen of California supposed to be able to comprehend a $38 billion state budget deficit? ($38 billion is enough to purchase the U.S. Navy's entire fleet of 8 Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.)

Wouldn't Californians be happier if they were broken up into the following states:

1) San Diego and its exurbs

2) Los Angeles and its exurbs, including Santa Barbara

3) Palm Springs and the surrounding desert

4) Central (the Big Sur coast all the way inland)

5) San Francisco/Sacramento and their exurbs

6) Northern California, capital at Chico or Santa Rosa (redwoods, ranches, etc.)

Now we have six reasonable size states in which citizens are usually within a 2-hour drive from their state government officials and never more than a 5-hour drive from their state capitol.

I, for one, (as a SoCal resident) think this would be a smashing idea. Ideally, though, I think government should be reduced down to smaller city-states.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Interesting notion, but... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by adiffer on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 03:07:10 AM EST

Can you imagine how the other states will react to this.  We only have two CA senators right now.  How would they feel about 12 of them representing the interests of those same 36 million people?  They obviously won't vote as one block all the time, but the six mini-states would still have common ground on many issues.

Splitting a State requires the State's approval.  
It also requires approval of Congress.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

That'd be nice. (none / 0) (#86)
by gt3 on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 04:46:46 AM EST

Or at least divide the state in half, into 2 states. The drive from Sandiego to Sacramento is about 513 miles and about an 8 and a half hour drive, according to Mapquest

[ Parent ]
Not so many (5.00 / 1) (#87)
by Graymalkin on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 05:24:27 AM EST

I don't think breaking up the state in any fashion would be an ideal long term solution. Because of the diversity of California's industries the state as a whole has fared pretty well in our "economic downturn" and stands to weather all sorts of economic slumps. A downturn in one sector of the economy is mitigated by either the steady progession or upturns in the other sectors of the economy.

Local economies can suffer pretty badly however; San Fransisco and San Jose have lost 16% of their payroll jobs in the past couple years, LA 15%. Those local problems were cushioned by industrial flight to neighboring cities however. When jobs became scarce in LA and Orange counties a lot of people moved south to San Diego or east to Riverside or Palm Springs. The Inland Empire (Riverside/San Bernardino region) region has seen a lot of growth in the past couple years because jobs found once only in LA or Orange counties are now moving to the IE. San Diego and its surrounding areas are seeing a similar effect.

Having Palm Springs, San Diego, and LA in different states instead of different counties would dimish a large incentive for companies stay in the region. If you're going to be moving into a different state - read: changing taxation and commerce regulations - you might as well look at Texas or Washington as well as San Diego or Palm Springs.

Such separations would also put the northern states at a serious economic disadvantage. Two thirds of the state workforce lives in SoCal. A signifigant percentage of the state's agriculture is in the northern half of the state. Plitting the state up would prevent the agriculture industry from benefitting from the service industry and vice versa.

I think it's worth while to deal with the problems of being a large populous state and maintain the signifigant economic position we have. Having a large California is also good for the country at large because the left leanings of the state tend to counter balance the right learnings of several other states.

[ Parent ]

Water rights will be a big issue (none / 0) (#88)
by HidingMyName on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 05:43:27 AM EST

LA and Southern CA is over populated relative to the amount of fresh water available there.

[ Parent ]
Not that big an issue (none / 0) (#139)
by rhino1302 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 11:05:50 AM EST

Northern California and Southern California are in different watersheds.

Northern California gets most of its water from the Sacramento and San Joaqin rivers which drain the Sierra Nevada.

Southern California gets its water from the Colorado River which drains the western Rockies.

To move water from Northern California to Southern California, you'd have to pump it.

I think California has a mixture of riparian law and prior appropriation: Under riparian law, water cannot be diverted from its natural watershed. Under prior appropriation law water can be removed from the watershed, but all appropriation is on a first come first serve basis, and both watersheds are fully allocated. Either way, the result is that Northern California and Southern California are two different states as far as water is concerned.



[ Parent ]
not quite (none / 0) (#142)
by adiffer on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:18:58 PM EST

You are probably right about modern water law.  However, there is a great big aquaduct going over the Grapevine (i-5) carrying lots of water out of the central valley and into LA.  I see it every time I drive south to LA.
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]
darn, you're right! (none / 0) (#146)
by rhino1302 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:54:56 PM EST

I should have researched this before posting.

Water from Northern Cal. is pumped into Southern Cal. Here's a picture of the pumping plant. I just assumed that the energy cost would make it prohibative. The lesson is never underestimate SoCal's thirst.

Still, there's lots of precedent for sharing water between states. Here in Northern Nevada we get most of our irrigation water from California, and those water rights were allocated by a federal judge back in the late 1800s, so we're not dependent on California's good will.



[ Parent ]
splits (none / 0) (#147)
by adiffer on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 04:21:54 PM EST

Splitting would probably make water issues worse for northern California for exactly the reason you've pointed out.  Federal judges tend to decide interstate issues.

I don't think we worry too much about northern Nevada's water use.  There aren't all that many of you over there.  Besides, northern Nevada and northern California interact a whole lot at the economic level even if there is some distance on the political level.  It is very much worth it to us to share the water.  

I make trips to Tahoe, Reno, and Gerlach several times a year, so you all are practically family as far as I'm concerned.  8)
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

Not all rosy (none / 0) (#151)
by rhino1302 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 05:40:41 PM EST

Tahoe and Donner Lake are used as reservoirs for the TCID. Folks with lakefront property don't much care for the mudflats that appear in front of their houses during droughts like the one we're in.

Boca and Stampede (which draw a fair number of people from the central valley) are used to make up for water diverted from the Truckee during the Cuiui and Lahontan Cutthroat spawning runs and as a drought reserve for Reno, and therefore haven't been much use for recreation lately.

The reason why Northern Nevada gets the water it does is it used to be too expensive to pump it over the hill. By now we have a well established and federally-recognized use of the water. There are disputes, but they're between parties located within Nevada.

The funny thing is that most of this water is used to grow alfalfa in a desert, which is then trucked over a 7000' mountan pass to be fed to livestock in high-density feedlots in one of the most fertile areas in the world. The world's a strange place. However, agriculture is the anchor of the rural Nevada economy - mining is too cyclical. Without alfalfa and hay production there'd been nothing but truckstops, two-bit casinos and seedy whorehouses between Reno and Salt Lake City...

... except for a certain festival up in the Black Rock, which is another issue and hardly less complicated.



[ Parent ]
Desalination - it's the future (none / 0) (#144)
by skim123 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:21:06 PM EST

And it is becoming more and more cost-effective.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Two other reasons to favor a split (5.00 / 1) (#89)
by slashcart on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 06:17:25 AM EST

First, Northern and Southern California are extremely divergent politically, with the North being heavily leftist and the South being modestly conservative.

Second, each state gets only two senators, regardless of its population. Since California is the most populous state by far, California citizens have much less political power per citizen in the U.S. Senate. A citizen of South Dakota has more than 40 times the voting power for the U.S. Senate as a citizen of California.

[ Parent ]
Irrelevant: (none / 0) (#103)
by aziegler on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 06:19:55 PM EST

What you're talking about is the role that the House has to play, not the Senate. South Dakotans have proportionately smaller representation in the House of Representatives.

Now, if you want to talk about useful change, work toward a constitutional amendment that removes the 435 representative limit and changes the sizes of the districts to be more normal. Yeah, it may change from 435 representatives to 1,000 -- but IMO that would be far better than what we have.

-austin

[ Parent ]

Irrelevant? (none / 0) (#108)
by mami on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 11:02:15 PM EST

I wait for the day, when a Presidential candidate finally will show up and have the chuspa to make it unconstitutional that a vote for the Senate of one state is worth 1/40th of another state.

If American legislators are such chicken to amend their constitution to be more democratic and fair, then the last chance is a President who will make it unconstitutional by executive order. Wouldn't that be a nice executive order for a change?

At least then Congress and the Supreme Court would have to show colors of where they really stand on that and are forced to fight the issue out.

[ Parent ]

Ummm (none / 0) (#114)
by flimflam on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 12:21:44 AM EST

While I agree with the sentiment, the president has no such power. It would require a constitutional amendment, which in order to succeed would have to get approved by a lot of people -- usually 2/3 of the Senate and House, plus, I think, 3/4 of the states. This is one of the things that the president really has absolutely no power over in fact -- he doesn't sign it and he can't veto it. All in all, it's pretty difficult, and extremely unlikely for this kind of amendment in particular to get passed, as it would require approval by most of the states that would have their influence reduced if the amendment passed.

Much more likely to have an out-and-out revolution, IMO.


-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
Worse than that. (none / 0) (#116)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 12:53:09 AM EST

The Constitution explicitly provides that no state shall be deprived of its equal representation in the Senate without its consent. Such a constitutional amendment would require unaninimity.

[ Parent ]
Right (none / 0) (#118)
by flimflam on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:33:17 AM EST

Revolution it is, then!


-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
so, are you saying that (none / 0) (#129)
by mami on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 06:03:27 PM EST

the only way for the American people to get a fair, proportional and stable representation of its States citizens is to .... pull a gun and play revolutionary? :-)

Darn, I thought you could do better than that.
I thought one has fancy and smart constitutional laws to exactly avoid that kind of "power check and balance" gun swinging revolutionary's game.

I am disappointed. :-(

[ Parent ]

Who said anything about guns? (none / 0) (#133)
by flimflam on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 09:05:04 PM EST

But now that you mention it...

Actually, the problem is that the system has been subverted to an extent that it may require a little more than the usual checks and balances to restore a semblance of democratic control. Maybe we don't need an actual revolution, but we could sure use a bit of revolutionary fervor!


-- I am always optimistic, but frankly there is no hope. --Hosni Mubarek
[ Parent ]
well, the states are not equally represented (none / 0) (#130)
by mami on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 06:32:05 PM EST

that's what it's about. There is no reason to believe that a state with huge square miles of land but few people, will get any better representation, just because the state can send as many senators into the Senate than another state with a population that is forty times higher.

If your this system could prove that the small and "poor" states would profit so much from this current constitutional construct, why then are they still so much worse off than the more populous states? Are the people fo small states better off after 200 years of priviledged representation? I don't think so. Something then must not work as expected, right?  

Is there no other way to make sure that the few people of the small states can get their interests met? Why do the Americans cling to the constitution of their forefathers almost religiously, despite the fact that your forefathers didn't have much real equality ever in mind to begin with.

They had freedom in mind, but not necessarily equal rights and equal fair representation. Nor could they foresee the future technological and economic development of the next two hundred fifty years.

I also didn't say that the President has or even should have the power to dictate such changes in the constitution via executive order.

But an executive order might force the Congress to think about its own constitutional construct. May be time is ripe to do so.

They will never want to change the structure they are in, if it means they might lose their seats due to the changes. And of course that's what it's all about.  

So, they need a kick to do so and, afaik, the American voters don't kick their representatives one bitif it comes to constitutional and electoral issues. Someone has to do it. Why not the President?

Congress can tell the President that he is a fool and they won't go along with such an executive order and that's good. But at least people would seriously start to think about it.

Congress can't afford to ignore the President, but Congress can afford to ignore what the American poeple want and that shouldn't be the case.

[ Parent ]

It depends. (none / 0) (#149)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 05:36:20 PM EST

The people are not equally represented. But the states themselves each get the exact same representation in the Senate. That's what the provision was intended to protect.

[ Parent ]
I know (none / 0) (#162)
by mami on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 03:14:12 AM EST

but the reasons for which these provision were implemented, are they still valid, do they still make sense and do they still produce the desired effect of protecting small states?

[ Parent ]
You miss the point of the Senate (none / 0) (#122)
by Alhazred on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 10:12:25 AM EST

The Senate IS NOT A BODY REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES. It is a body representing the STATES. Its original purpose was to give the state governments a collective reign on Federal power.

Ever notice how the power of the Federal government has been essentially unchecked since the passage of the 17th Amendment?
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

uuuhhh, how enlightening - thanks :-) n/t (none / 0) (#128)
by mami on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 05:56:44 PM EST



[ Parent ]
A breakup would screw the cities (none / 0) (#119)
by dachshund on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 02:41:46 AM EST

Since California is the most populous state by far, California citizens have much less political power per citizen in the U.S. Senate.

Yep. Only problem is, a broken-up California would simply worsen this problem. The populous cities would continue to be under-represented as compared to the much less populated rural areas.

So the majority of California's population would not be served by a breakup. Quite the opposite, in fact. They would lose political power, mostly to a bunch of empty ranchland and forest.

[ Parent ]

Since you asked... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by The Alien on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 07:06:54 AM EST

I, as a resident of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, don't even want the Valley splitting off from the City, much less the state running in multiple directions. I like many things about my state. I do not want to see it sundered. Anyway, it's very unlikely it could ever happen. States subdividing except during open rebellion isn't exactly a common event.

[ Parent ]
Why not? (none / 0) (#143)
by skim123 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:19:42 PM EST

I, as a resident of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, don't even want the Valley splitting off from the City, much less the state running in multiple directions.

But you would have more of a say of how your government were run if there were fewer people in your governing area, no? One way to provide this is to divide up the state geographically by population and political leanings. Plus, smaller government has less opportunity for corruption and mismanagement.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
I don't think so. (none / 0) (#156)
by The Alien on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 08:12:34 PM EST

To the contrary, I believe it is easier to dominate a smaller community.  Less of a politcal machine needs to be built.

People assert that smaller is better...but it's always people who are disgruntled with the way things are.  In the case of Valley 'secession', for example, the leaders of that movement just so happen to want to be the leaders of the new city.

They also want to do the usual thing...divorce themselves from the less affluent parts of the city.

Divisions on the levels of cities and states should be about identity, not most efficient administrative districting.  Unless people are proposing to divide the country up into an awful lot of just-the-right-size portions.  Image?  Identity?  Do these things matter?  I submit that they do.

[ Parent ]

Identity matters (none / 0) (#160)
by skim123 on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 02:03:18 PM EST

Divisions on the levels of cities and states should be about identity, not most efficient administrative districting.

I do not disagree with you here. Don't you concede that there is a major political and ideological differing between NoCal and SoCal? I live in San Diego, and it is very conservative here by California standards, esp. compared to, say, San Francisco. I have colleagues and friends who live in the Bay Area and when visiting there or them visiting here, we both note the quite apparent differences in politics, self-expression, and conservativism.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
It can't happen (5.00 / 1) (#94)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 08:06:33 AM EST

Congress would have to approve it. And Congress will never approve anything that's going to reduce the other states' political power by adding two senators and two electoral votes.

Interestingly enough, there is one state that can split up into 5 different ones without Congressional approval - Texas. The joint resolution that allowed the Republic of Texas into the Union specified they could do this in the future if they wanted to.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
France vs. California (5.00 / 2) (#98)
by nictamer on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 12:10:00 PM EST

California, however, has an economy bigger than France's,

Hm, no. It was comparable, slightly in favor of France in 2001, and now with the sharp increase of the towards $, it has to be significantly higher.


--
Religion is for sheep.
[ Parent ]
eh... (none / 0) (#102)
by Work on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 06:00:35 PM EST

though there may be fine reasons for such a thing, there are probably many, many more for NOT. The devil is in the details, and as others point out, it would affect every little thing in the state and lead to widespread feuds for over such things taken for granted as water, to larger picture items like dilution of federal senate power.

[ Parent ]
Message from Quality Control: topic drifting... (none / 0) (#113)
by ph0t05ynth on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 11:48:30 PM EST

Pardon me while I appoint myself the kuro5hin quality czar. To me, essentially your post says the following:

Ignore the painstakingly prepared, informative article stating the gravely serious, timely issues behind recalling a governor. Forget about this inconsequential old thing that has a real chance to actually happen this year. Instead, look at my new idea: let's get 5 shiny new states (whee!) where we will have 5 MORE governors and 10 MORE legislatures. Maybe by doing something completely different, some good will come out of it?
Look -- we have here the first real chance in a long time for a minor party to be elected in this huge state! Never mind splitting the geography, the real issue here is splitting the votes of major party candidates, so that a relatively unfinanced, unbeholden candidate can emerge. That, not boundary drawing, is the best chance of real reform. Well, that could be the best chance, I should add. It's a gamble...

Now all that said, don't take my lambasting too personally, because your topic is nevertheless interesting. If you write an article about the state-split, I will gladly consider +FP for it.

[ Parent ]

You're not nearly cynical enough (none / 0) (#141)
by skim123 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:14:32 PM EST

Look -- we have here the first real chance in a long time for a minor party to be elected in this huge state! Never mind splitting the geography, the real issue here is splitting the votes of major party candidates, so that a relatively unfinanced, unbeholden candidate can emerge. That, not boundary drawing, is the best chance of real reform.

Keep in mind that the governor has limited powers, he has to work with the legislature. I have trouble seeing a very closely divided legislature "going Green." That is, I think a Green governor would have a hard time getting the legislature to work with him in most, if not all, matters.

As a resident of CA, I can say that a good part of the problem in CA lies with the legislature. While I hope to see Gray go, I think it would be worthwhile to recall the entire legislature as well. For example, see this news item, where some CA democrats were caught having a meeting where they were saying how it might be politically advantageous to withhold the budget plans. While this may be true, they seem to look over the fact that fiscal responsibility to the State's constituents should trump potential political gain.

Now all that said, don't take my lambasting too personally, because your topic is nevertheless interesting. If you write an article about the state-split, I will gladly consider +FP for it.

Where were you, say, two years ago? :-) I posted such a story to the queue back then, and it was quickly voted down, IIRC.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
A specific voter mandate is hard to ignore (none / 0) (#166)
by ph0t05ynth on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 11:38:11 PM EST

Keep in mind that the governor has limited powers, he has to work with the legislature. I have trouble seeing a very closely divided legislature "going Green."
The legislature may see a mandate, and go along with some things out of fear that they will be next. I wasn't thinking green, necessarily. The greens might scare off the public about upcoming technologies that could actually be good for the environment. A cynic will say that a libertarian will just fall in the lap of the big contributors. What we need is a new party, that understands the cause and effect underlying the dot-bomb, and what stimulus will actually work. Its candidates must be immune to campaign financing effects by way of the platform being developed openly, by the party members. We could call it the "Open Platform Party." Interested?
I think it would be worthwhile to recall the entire legislature as well.
Valid point. (sigh) So many petitions, so little time.
Where were you, say, two years ago? :-) I posted such a story to the queue back then, and it was quickly voted down...
Wasn't my doing, I only recently joined k5. (I might have joined earlier, but it took a while to muster the courage to give out an email address. I braced myself, but as it turns out, I haven't been spammed a single time. Wow.)

If it will never get past the gatekeepers here, then this is what I would have commented: You don't need any new states. Just let counties transfer out of CA to other states, if the other states will take them.

[ Parent ]

kuro5hin spam (none / 0) (#167)
by aphrael on Fri Aug 01, 2003 at 05:43:50 PM EST

I've had an account for going on three years. I have never recieved e-mail from kuro5hin that wasn't a story posted/story failed announcement, and have never recieved unsolicited email from an admin.

[ Parent ]
I wish it were that easy. (none / 0) (#168)
by skim123 on Sat Aug 02, 2003 at 02:59:01 AM EST

What we need is a new party, that understands the cause and effect underlying the dot-bomb, and what stimulus will actually work. Its candidates must be immune to campaign financing effects by way of the platform being developed openly, by the party members. We could call it the "Open Platform Party." Interested?

This proposal is too black and white, there's a lot of gray. You seem to propose that a party be created with strict policies outlined, and representatives that follow these bylaws to the letter. But bills being voted upon, and formation of policy, is not so black and white. (If I misunderstand your ideas, let me know.)

In any event, I think we agree that campaign finance influences must go. If I had a magic wand, I would make it so that only private individuals could give campaign contributions, and these could not exceed, say, $500 per person. This is a limit low enough that even the lower strata of the socioeconomic scale could afford, if they so desired, to help fund a particular party/candidate. And by removing contributions from corporations, and by capping the contribution limit to a small enough dollar value, candidates could not be monetarily influenced by big business or the extreme upper-class (at least not directly, in a monetary sense).

You don't need any new states. Just let counties transfer out of CA to other states, if the other states will take them.

But would CA let the counties go? And the entire point of my story submission was to make government smaller and more focused around the morality and philosophy of its people. Essentially, I proposed that governments be small enough such that every citizen could have a serious, direct impact.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
No, it's not easy, but... (none / 0) (#169)
by ph0t05ynth on Sat Aug 02, 2003 at 09:48:48 PM EST

You seem to propose that a party be created with strict policies outlined, and representatives that follow these bylaws to the letter.
Well, I may have to write a diary about this to flesh it out and so you can help me work the bugs out of it, but here's a tiny piece:

A platform is developed before each election, say, by a wiki with vote-gated edits. The candidates may either follow that term's platform, or base their decisions on official polls (local polls for guidance on local decisions). Alternatively, they could file "exception requests" that explain what is to be bargained away for what, to avoid a bad rating. I won't go into all the details, but suffice it to say that the candidates have some flexibility. Note that the party platform itself may not even take a position on some issues. Where members are divided, it may declare only a "recommendation" based on a simple majority. Violating a recommendation doesn't invite as much flak as violating a directive or a poll result. Steeper and steeper majorities are required to enact or change directives up to the level of core values. Each district must have its own addendum to the state platform, which only registered party members of that district may vote on. There is atomic vote trading, official discussions of propositions, corruption alerts, a paper trail of party members before they become candidates, rating-triggered disqualification, statements of conflicted guidance, party splits, lots more.

In any event, I think we agree that campaign finance influences must go...
Aye. This is the prime directive (grin). Actually, it sounds like the basis for a "core value."
But would CA let the counties go?
Realistically? No :) but it might go over easier than a state split. Adding senators will reduce the influence of other states -- they will not be amused. But, a county transfer gives the receiving state the county's electoral votes and doesn't change their senators. This is a more neutral political outcome.
And the entire point of my story submission was to make government smaller and more focused around the morality and philosophy of its people.
Well, if the philosophy of another state better reflects the overall philosophy of your county, then transfer it. That way, some reforms may finally be realized without uprooting your job, your home and everything. OTOH, if the county wants to go to a state that doesn't represent your interests, then it is in your interest to eject it, because the new, smaller CA will be less likely to block your set of reforms. At worst, you just have to move to the next county.

If you want even more local control, allow districts or cities to transfer to other counties. The good thing is that this gets rid of gridlock. The bad thing is that this gets rid of gridlock. :)

[ Parent ]

One mistaken point (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by slashcart on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 06:26:18 AM EST

Candidacies do not have to be filed until August 9, but federal election law requires that absentee ballots be mailed to people living overseas (including soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere) no later than 60 days before the election (eg., August 8)... Aside from that specific case (where there is no action that satisfies both state and federal law),
It would appear that there is a way to comply with both federal and state laws on this issue. Absentee ballots must be mailed before we are aware of who the candidates are. Thus, the absentee ballots can contain a list of probable candidates. Or, absentee voters overseas can be given a ballot in which they write (in descending order) their preferences for governor; the highest-ranked person on a ballot that is actually running is the one that receives the vote.

Neither option (none / 0) (#121)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 04:25:06 AM EST

Neither option would be consistent with the state election code. I think it's more likely that they'd run a few days late, and ignore the federal law, than it is that they would do something which wouldn't fit within the state election framework.

[ Parent ]
Californians Against Bad Noise (4.00 / 3) (#107)
by opendna on Sat Jul 26, 2003 at 08:16:27 PM EST

The truth is that Californians only pretend they don't care about politics. They really do. They follow politicians like sports teams or comedians. You can be corrupt, stupid, ugly or insane and do well in California politics, just as long as you're fun.

Jerry Brown (AKA "Governor Moonbeam"), and Willie Brown (AKA "Da Mayor" who made fedoras popular again) are classics. Gray Davis is fine when he's in campaign mode ('cause he's a nasty SOB) but he's too boring the rest of the time. Pete Wilson was a Nazi, but at least that made him interesting.

In a way this whole thing is much larger than Gray Davis. This is bigger than California and bigger than the Democrats. This is a revolt against everything in American politics from the President on down. Fuck terrorism. Fuck the bad economy. Fuck war. Fuck hate. Fuck all that bad noise. Let's throw the whole political system in the air, party, and see what happens when it lands.

The SF Chronicle has a front page article today (July 26) about some of the people gathering signatures: an 18 year old who lost every election in high school, a biker who wants to legalize ferrets, a programmer babe and a truck stop minder. This isn't about winning power, it's about optimism and fun.

The recall is revolt against Bad Noise. And it's about fucking time.



wtf? (none / 0) (#112)
by stormie on Sun Jul 27, 2003 at 10:32:22 PM EST

Ferrets are illegal in California? Shit, the governor deserves to be sacked if unjust laws like that are on the books and he's not doing anything about it!

[ Parent ]
Yeah. (none / 0) (#115)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 12:51:37 AM EST

They've been illegal for decades.

[ Parent ]
Ferrets (none / 0) (#165)
by cburke on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 12:29:35 PM EST

Sure, they're illegal.  But only because they're a gateway pet.  First you get a ferret, next thing it's a mongoose, then before you know you've got an apartment full of lemurs and ocelots.

And then what will you do?

[ Parent ]

Remember the Libertarian ferret platform? (n/t) (none / 0) (#137)
by ensignyu on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 06:52:58 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#127)
by RyoCokey on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 03:25:26 PM EST

This is a revolt against everything in American politics from the President on down. Fuck terrorism. Fuck the bad economy. Fuck war. Fuck hate. Fuck all that bad noise. Let's throw the whole political system in the air, party, and see what happens when it lands.

This does go a ways toward explaining why California's government sucks more than a industrial strength Hoover wet-dry vac. I guess everyone get's the government they deserve (At least in a democracy.)



And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
[ Parent ]
So you're from SF, then? (none / 0) (#155)
by YelM3 on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 06:44:04 PM EST

I just had to comment that this attitude strikes me as uniquely Bay-Arean. Any of you who aren't from NorCal -- know that this guy's ideas represent a substantial portion of the population up here.

For the record, I'm all for it. What we've been doing hasn't seemed to change much, might as well just fsck things up and see what comes of it.

[ Parent ]

No Schwarzenegger. (none / 0) (#123)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:31:11 PM EST

According to the usually reliable California Insider, Arnold Schwarzenegger has bowed out.

Bad link (none / 0) (#125)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:34:31 PM EST

Well, then if Riordon runs, Davis is probably toast.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]
So it is. (none / 0) (#132)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 07:13:46 PM EST

try this.

[ Parent ]
A solution (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by ucblockhead on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 01:32:49 PM EST

Harley Sorensen at the SF Chronicle described a way that Gray Davis can simultaneously save the taxpayers the cost of the recall and gaurantee that the governor's office remains in the control of the Democrats:

Resign. Cruz Bustamente then takes over, as per the constitution. The recall is then over.
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup

Nope. (5.00 / 2) (#134)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 11:05:32 PM EST

This theory was discussed in the blogsphere about a month ago. It doesn't work; once the recall election is filed, it proceeds even if the officer resigns. (This was probably intended to prevent corrupt backroom deals). See here for details.

[ Parent ]
Maybe no propositions. (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by aphrael on Mon Jul 28, 2003 at 06:53:40 PM EST

It's possible there will be no ballot propositions; apparently someone has filed a lawsuit alleging that it is illegal to consolidate them with the recall.

Active lawsuits. (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 12:39:22 AM EST

As of today, there are three active lawsuits regarding the election. The controversies:
  • Does the if appropriate clause in Article 2, Section 15, prohibit the contingent election and require Lt. Gov Bustamante to inherit the governorship? (See footnote 3, supra).
  • Is it unconstitutional to require that voters vote in the recall in order to vote in the contingent election? (Current interpretation of state law is that contingent election votes will only be counted if the voter cast a vote, any vote, in the recall. This is being challenged).
  • Does state law require the consolidation of Propositions 53 and 54 with the recall, or prohibit it? (See my earlier comment on the subject, infra).


Geez (none / 0) (#145)
by adiffer on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 02:24:17 PM EST

Number two is kind of important!

If people don't realize that, they could waste their vote.  

If it does come out that way, that information had better be ALL OVER the instruction booklet for the election in great big bold letters!  I'd be tempted to sue if it wasn't!
--BE The Alien!
[ Parent ]

The election code (none / 0) (#148)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 05:35:01 PM EST

The election code is quite clear: you must vote for or against the recall for your vote in the contingent election to count.

A court may say that's inconsistent with the federal constitution. We'll see. They'd better act fast.

[ Parent ]

Never mind. (5.00 / 1) (#152)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 05:42:33 PM EST

A federal judge has just ruled that linkage is unconstitutional.

[ Parent ]
Secretary of State Shelley: no appeal [ntt] (none / 0) (#163)
by aphrael on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 11:12:03 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Remember: turnout is the key (5.00 / 3) (#140)
by joemorse on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 01:24:50 PM EST

This is an excellent synopsis. Good work!

A lot of Democrats here (CA) have decried this recall as a vast right wing conspiracy against Gray Davis. Some have even become so delusional as to blame the state Green Party (which is officially neutral on the recall and has not endorsed any candidate, including Camejo). The Davis camp seems to blame everyone but themselves. It would all be terribly amusing if it weren't so menacing to our budget, our political landscape, and our credit rating.

Don't get me wrong: Darrell Issa (who funded the professional signature gatherers that put the recall on the ballot) is a damn lout. He "represents" a highly gerrymandered district near San Diego and has a very checkered personal history. But Gray Davis and the California Democratic Party have nobody to blame but themselves. Their first mistake was to run Davis, who causes the party's base voters to stay home or vote for a more tolerable candidate. He was too cowardly to debate Peter Camejo in the last election, raised an abscene amount of money (~$74 million) from corporate and special interests, then spent that money interfering with another party's primary to ensure that the worst possible Democratic and Republican candidates made it into the general election. As a result, turnout was a mere 35% of Voting Eligible Population (VEP) in the 2002 gubernatorial election. That low turnout sets a low threshold for qualification of a recall . Had turnout been 50%, the threshold would have been around 1.3 million and Issa and his cronies would have to think really hard before putting up the money (yes, they got more signatures than that, but they had no idea they would get that many when they took out the petition).

To make matters worse, Davis could have resigned up until the day the recall qualified. Cruz Bustamante would become governor and the recall (and the two rather poisonous ballot measures that will accompany it in a low turnout election) would have been a moot point. But Gray Davis' loyalty is to himself first and the monied interests he represents second, so he's going to trash the state of California on the odd chance that voters might actually want to keep a governor who has essentially continued the policies of the Republican Wilson and Dukemeijan administrations.

I wonder when the Democrats will learn that running self-serving corrupt conservatives like Davis is a recipe for disaster. What's worse: the recall election gives the San Francisco Elections Department the perfect excuse to kill the voter-mandated implementation of Instant Runoff Voting for this fall's mayoral election. For some reason they'd rather run 3 elections than 2. This whole thing just sucks.



Now let's you just drop them pants!
       -Don Job, from Deliverance
it's not the county's fault. (none / 0) (#153)
by aphrael on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 06:02:53 PM EST

Their procedure has to be approved by the Secretary of State's office, and the Secretary of State's office has been reluctant to do so and keeps throwing up roadblocks.

[ Parent ]
I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#158)
by joemorse on Tue Jul 29, 2003 at 10:13:28 PM EST

I have to take issue with that. It's been played up in the papers that way, but the truth is that John Arntz, Elections Director for the city & county, submitted a faulty hand-count plan to the state for certification. Many of us in the pro-IRV camp believe that was intentional, as the mayor (who appointed him) is opposed to IRV, thinking that its implementation would hurt his chosen successorfor the post.

In any event, IRV can still happen if the ES&S software can be certified in time. That's up to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who is a nominal IRV supporter but also a close ally of Willie Brown. Unfortunately, the Elections Commission may use the recall as an excuse to delay IRV at its August 6 meeting. It doesn't really make sense: they'd rather do 3 elections instead of two.



Now let's you just drop them pants!
       -Don Job, from Deliverance
[ Parent ]
aphrael@discontent.com (none / 0) (#161)
by aphrael on Wed Jul 30, 2003 at 06:57:12 PM EST

All I know on the subject is what I read in this message on the election law mailing list. It suggests that the Secretary of State's office is using narrow technicalities that could be worked around to instead block the implementation of IRV.

[ Parent ]
I suppose it's a matter of news sources (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by joemorse on Thu Jul 31, 2003 at 11:18:04 AM EST

I'm not sure there's one good source of information on this. The Chronicle and Examiner are blatantly anti-IRV and it shows in their reporting. fairvote.org, while obviously partisan, gives better information. I suppose it's like any other issue in the US today: you have to get your data from a variety of sources.

Remember: the plan rejected by the SecState panel was for a manual backup count, not for IRV in general. Dan Weinberger is certainly correct in pointing out that the issues raised by the panel about this plan are addressable, but probably should have been dealt with in the original plan submitted by John Arntz. Kevin Shelley is something of an unknown quantity: he supported prop A, but he remains closely allied to anti-IRV politicians and organizations (Willie Brown, Gavin Newsom, Committee on Jobs, etc).

The real battle is coming August 6 at the next Elections Commission meeting. I suspect you'll see a couple of commissioners attempt to ditch implementation of IRV until the next municipal election. They'll use the recall as an excuse (a bad one at that...they would rather hold 3 elections instead of 2), as well as the fact that the electronic counting mechanism hasn't been certified yet.



Now let's you just drop them pants!
       -Don Job, from Deliverance
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A political earthquake in the land of earthquakes | 169 comments (132 topical, 37 editorial, 0 hidden)
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