Sunday, July 27, 2003

California recall

I for one am very glad that Texas does not have a ridiculous Recall Law like the one in California. While I think that Rick Perry is a sorry excuse for a governor (unfortunately, Tony Sanchez wasn't much better) , I would never support his recall from office short of his commiting a criminal act. He won the past election fair and square and deserves the opportunity to finish out his full term.

I don't know all the particulars of what is happening over in California with Gov. Gray Davis, but I do know that he won his election fairly and even though things may be bad now, he should have the opportunity to turn things around.

Over at Hullabaloo there is a good post outlining some of the fallacies of the recall effort:

This unprecedented recall election is not actually about Davis vs. Issa/Schwartzenegger/Simon or somebody better. It's about whether it is acceptable that some rich guy finances a petition drive (with paid signature gatherers) in order to overturn an undisputed legal election so that he might get himself (or somebody else) elected with far fewer votes instead.

Davis cannot be on this ballot. But, in order for him to retain his legally obtained office, more than 50% of the voters in this election must vote against the recall. The replacement, however, can win with a plurality. So, in effect, 49% of the voters could vote for Davis by voting against the recall, yet Darrell Issa could actually become the governor with only 33% of the vote.

You don't have to already be registered to vote in order to vote for the recall --- you can register up to 15 days before the election. This means that even though I voted in the last election like a good citizen, somebody who didn't even bother to register, much less vote, can come in and overturn the results less than a year later.

Digby goes on to summarize the obvious Catch-22 in this whole screwed up process - that is, never-ending recall elections:

If this recall succeeds, it will be very hard to put the genie back in the bottle. It is always possible to gather 12% of those who voted in the last election to sign such a petition because there was always a losing candidate in the previous election whose supporters could be persuaded to sign up for a mulligan.
If it succeeds, therefore, I've decided that I will sign up on the very first day to work for the Committee to Recall Darryl Issa/Arnold Schwartzenegger/Bill Simon or whoever because it will be obvious that this is a situation that requires both parties to suffer from the loophole for it to be closed (as with the independent counsel law which stood until both parties paid the price for its unconstitutional, undemocratic lack of accountability.) We will have no choice but to literally illustrate for the people of California why this concept is costly and absurd and why it is necessary to have regularly scheduled elections and honor the results of the returns short of criminal behavior.

The only way to make this thing go away now is for the voters to defeat this recall effort.

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