September 26, 2003

Editorial

Time to take a stand on the recall

“Just remember: People tend to resist that which is forced upon them.
People tend to support that which they help to create.”

—Vance Pfaff

Once again the recall election is set for October 7, 2003. Yet as we prepare for the final week we can’t help but ask the question: what is this recall really all about?

Is the recall about Governor Gray Davis doing something criminal or malicious in office? – No. Is he the best governor we have ever had? – No. But he is the governor that over 3.5 million voters put into office. And now the right-wing segment of the Republican Party want to overturn that election and if they have their way they would like to see their man as governor.

In one sense it is as simple as that. Yet in another this recall election is much bigger than Davis or Schwarzenegger.

First, let us deal with the simple aspect of this recall. Davis, if anything else, is a very good campaigner. During his first term as governor he amassed a huge sum of money for his re-election effort and squelched any serious opposition from within his own party. For their part, the Republican Party could not come to terms in regards to a moderate candidate and instead allowed an extreme right-wing, novice candidate to be their standard bearer. The race for governor was a race between two bad candidates and in what turned out to be a very close race in which the voting public choose the least of two evils – Davis.

It was readily apparent to the Republican Party that this was a governorship that they could have had, if they had chosen an electable candidate. They also focused in on the fact that despite the win, Davis was extremely disliked by the majority of Californians. Which means this recall election is based on the popularity of Gray Davis – not exactly worthy of spending any where from $40 to $60 millions of dollars for this special election!

The Republicans will tell you that the recall is about the economy and the fiscal crises the state finds itself in. But complete responsibility for this crises does not lie at the feet of the governor, our state legislatures need to carry a major portion of this burden, yet they sit idly by as they let the governor take the rap. And no one person, no matter whom it may be, will be able to come in and quick fix the government!

So what is this recall really about? It is about the bigger issue of the Republican Party manipulating the political process through the initiative process, to overturn the will of the voting public and imposing their will. In effect the California Republican Party is following the lead of our Republican President who has usurped the power of Congress and plunged this country into a deadly, costly war in Iraq without congressional approval and without international support. Usurping the will of the people is becoming a dangerous precedent by the Republican Party.

The intent of the initiative process was to allow the common man to have the ultimate say in the political process. This original intent of the initiative process has been hijacked and is now being used by the wealthy special interest groups who are using this process to get their narrowly focused agendas on the ballot. And if the Republicans are successful with this process then it will be the Democrats who will start a recall process, or the next individual who has the money to gather signatures. This is a precedent that has to be stopped before it becomes the norm.

In our lives we must take positions/stands based on principal. This is one of those cases where we have to take a stand, draw that line in the sand, and say this recall is wrong! It is wrong to misuse this process for a narrow agenda. It is wrong to usurp an election process that took place less than a year ago. It is wrong to void the votes of the three and half million people. It is time to take back our political process and send a message to the special interest concerns that we will not be manipulated by the wealthy!

Vote NO on the Recall!

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