June 20, 2003


Governors Recall Movement Non-Event For San Diego’s Hispanic Voters

The other day a reporter called and asked the question: How is the Hispanic community reacting to the effort to recall Governor Davis? The answer was simple - within the Hispanic community there is little reaction at all. Why should there be? The recall movement is a movement conceived by and paid for by the rich, Ultra Right Wing element of the Republican Party. San Diego County is the nesting and spawning ground for ultra –Right Wing political candidates with agendas for California and the Nation. Moderate Republicanism is unknown and largely unpracticed. The Democratic Party still persists in marginalizing and isolating the Hispanic voters. They have no power within the Democratic Party and have less and less interest in a Party that disrespects their existence and participation in American society.

The Recall Petition is being financed by San Diego’s Congressional Representative Darrell Issa, (R) who is well known for his consistent opposition and disregards to the political needs of the local and statewide Mexican American-Hispanic residents of his State. The move, by Representative Issa, to finance a recall of Governor Gray Davis is an obvious move to get a Republican into the governorship of California to generate support for President George Bush’s reelection bid in 2004.

The large block of Latino voters in the State is crucial to carrying the State in the next Presidential race. Governor Gray Davis has not overly courted or supported this block of voters. He has wasted much of his time in office courting the rich and super rich, the Gaming Indian tribes, the Corporate Moguls, the oil and agricultural interests at the expense of the working class, the middle class and minorities, that are the majority of the voters in this state. It has been under his stewardship that the state was plunged into energy abyss that has impacted most strongly upon the working–middle class residents of this state. To this day, he has struggled to extract itself from his failure in providing the vision and leadership to resolve the energy crisis. As a consequence, the state has gone from an economic surplus to an economic chaos.

The Governor and the Democratic Party have equally ignored the Hispanic community. Davis has not been the friend or supporter that we strongly hoped for. He has treated our elected officials with disdain and disrespect. We still remember the time the Governor embarrassed the highest ranking Hispanic of the State; Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, by moving his parking spot to the back of the lot as a form of punishment for daring to speak out in the interests of our communities. We have not been invited to participate in the political process nor has our opinion been solicited. The large and growing Hispanic community has yet to be invited or seated at the political dinner table we have little or no vote in any way, shape or form. Taking a leaf from the Republican Party, The Democratic Party has made people irrelevant and made money the controlling power in the political arena. MONEY COUNTS! PEOPLE DON’T!

The Republican Party had a qualified, charismatic, electable, centrist candidate in ex-Los Angeles mayor, Richard Riordan who had the ability to swing major blocks of Hispanic voters to his campaign for Governor. Gray Davis recognized that fact and spent a huge sum of money working to defeat Riordan in the Republican primary. Instead of coalescing behind Riordan, the Ultra Right-Wing segment of the Republican Party threw their support behind a neophyte, who was unknown to the Minority communities and who had no known political record in respect to the Hispanic, working–middle class communities of California.

Bill Simon was a wealthy Republican and a nice fellow but he allowed the hardcore Right Wing Leadership, within the State, to define him and destroy Richard Riordan, who was the only Republican that could have siphoned off the Mexican-Latino, Black American voters from the Democratic party. What Simon couldn’t do was define himself as a centrist, moderate Republican that would serve the interests of all the people of the State of California regardless of their Party affiliation. Governor Davis won his bid for reelection and the Democratic Party made a clean sweep in all the statewide races except one.

Less than a year after the re-election of Gov. Gray Davis, California Republicans launched their recall effort. It is ironic that the Republican Party, in particular the right wing segment of the party, is to blame for the re-election of Governor Gray Davis, now wants to rectify their screw-up and take over the governorship by means of a Recall. They are charging the Governor with creating an energy crisis. The fact of the matter is that both the Republican Party, as well as the Democratic Party office holders, in Washington and Sacramento, is equally to blame for the energy chaos that has been engendered.

Even if the Republicans do recall Davis and a Republican does get elected, nothing will change. The Republicans do not have a plan to fix the state, and one man, even the governor, does not have the power to make sweeping changes. Let us not forget that the Democrats control the Assembly and Senate. All this recall and subsequent election will do is increase the chaos and erode the steps to recovery that have been laid out, setting the state even further back.

You asked how are the State’s Hispanics reacting to the Recall? When you are excluded from the political game that is being played and you have no stake in the outcome WHAT DIFFERENCES DOES IT MAKE?

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