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no -- and no
by JUDY HODGSON
If the polls are correct one
week prior to the election, Gov. Davis will be recalled and Schwarzenegger
-- another likeable, nice-guy actor -- will take his place.
I hope the polls are wrong.
Recalls are a radical and expensive
means to remove someone from office mid-term. And, as we said
this summer, recalls should be used for misconduct or malfeasance
-- not because someone with a great deal of money (Republican
Darrell Issa) doesn't like the results of the last election.
(More on the recall process)
One very positive thing that
has come out of the recall is the media attention on what's wrong
with the state and how to fix it. The "debate" last
week touched on nearly every major issue, superficially at least
-- health care, workers' comp, the power shift away from cities
and counties to the state in the early 1990s, the need for campaign
Print coverage has been much
better. I particularly liked the "Davis scorecard"
last weekend in the San Francisco Chronicle on "the
4 E's" -- the economy, energy, education and the environment.
On the economy, the article
notes that although Davis did not cause the boom and bust of
the last five years he has been at the helm, he failed to react
quickly when economic predictions fell short, delaying painful
budget-cutting decisions. However, his true performance, measured
by overall job creation and growth in personal income, shows
California outpacing the nation in the same time period. The
economic doom-and-gloomers just aren't telling the truth.
So where did the "boom"
money go? Ask Humboldt County educators and they will tell you
Davis has kept his promise to make education his "first,
second and third" priority. Spending per pupil is still
below the national average, but it's up significantly.
The environment? Environmental
protection has improved steadily since Davis took office, even
though Davis is viewed as a little too business-friendly by liberals.
And energy? Californians were certainly victims of fraud by the
energy companies. To his credit, Davis negotiated 20-year contracts
with energy suppliers to ensure an uninterrupted and adequate
supply. To his discredit, Californians are now saddled with a
very expensive light bill.
The Davis scorecard is a little
mixed, but not bad and certainly no grounds for a recall. We
strongly urge you to vote no.
The tougher -- and the wildly
unfair -- part of the ballot is the second part. (It's unfair
because it could allow Schwarzenegger with 30 percent of the
votes to oust Davis with a hypothetical 49 percent approval.)
Purists -- like Sen. Dianne
Feinstein, whom we very much admire -- are taking no position
on the second part since this recall is wrong, wrong, wrong.
But given the current set of circumstances, we recommend you
vote your ideals and your heart. For most Republicans, that's
McClintock. For liberals and other Greens, Camejo is a strong
and articulate candidate. For Latinos and Democrats trying to
thwart a Republican coup, Bustamante.
This is not a cop-out: We are
recommending anyone but Schwarzenegger. This madness of electing
unqualified, untested leaders because they are rich and/or famous
has got to stop. The governor's chair is not entry-level public
Regarding Propositions 53 and
54, we urge no on both. Micromanaging the state's budget by earmarking
funds under Proposition 53 is not good government.
Proposition 54 is a much tougher
call, one proposition we would like to support. In fact, we look
forward to the day of colorblindness; it just isn't here yet.
Perhaps we should give public agencies 10 years to collect all
the data they want and then rise up and say, no more. After all,
even Proposition 54 backer Ward Connerly is not truly "African-American."
He's French Canadian, Choctaw, African and Irish American.
There is simply no box to check
on any form that will cover the multicultural reality that is
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