Wow, the leaders of the Davis recall petition are halting signature-collecting operations two months before the deadline!

David Gilliard, director of the recall group Rescue California, said that at least 1.2 million voter signatures have been gathered, well more than the 897,000 that by law are needed for a special election that would be nearly unprecedented in the country. Only one other recall election against a governor has ever been staged, and that was in North Dakota in 1921.

"We're done," Gilliard said. "I have no doubt we'll have enough valid signatures for an election." ...

Even Davis, who once scoffed at the recall's chance of reaching the ballot, is sounding resigned to an election. "If the people want me to present my credentials one more time, I have no fear of the electorate," he told reporters Monday.

He should be afraid, considering that although many politicians are showing rising poll numbers, Davis is stuck at 38% approval, 51% disapproval. Not coincidentally, polls also show 51% of Californians are in favor of recalling the crooked governor. Of course, Davis' confidence is all bluster -- if he really isn't afraid of the electorate, then why has he spent thousands of dollars hiring signature gatherers away from the recall movement and busied them with nonsense anti-recall petitions that carry no legal weight?

His only real hope of surviving the recall now is to try and delay the vote until March. The Democratic Primary for the 2004 Presidential election will be held in March, and he rightly believes that Democratic turnout will be higher if the recall is on the March 2004 ballot rather than the October 2003 ballot. So, rather than bravely facing the electorate, Davis and his campaign people are exploring their legal options and trying to find a way to derail the recall process via court challenges and bureaucratic manuvering.

Well that's all expected, I suppose. I can certainly imagine a Republican governor doing the same thing... but not an honest, honorable governor of any party. Exploiting legal technicalities to prevent or delay the recall is dishonorable when it's clear that the recall movement is operating in good faith and openly following the spirit of the relevant laws. I imagine that Davis and his cronies will be able to find or invent some legal details that will call the legitimacy of the recall effort into question (in some people's minds), but the fact of the matter is that everything has been above-board from the beginning.

For example, one of Davis' complaints is that many petitions were downloaded off the internet, filled out (properly, one would hope), and then mailed to the petition organizers. What's wrong with that? Petitions are supposed to be marked with the name of the county they are circulated in, and Davis thinks that it's not sufficient to have the downloaders write their county name on the petition once they printed out, since in some sense the petition is being "circulated" via the internet. That's the type of word game that Davis is resorting to for his legal challenges; totally insubstantial and entirely process-related.

Gray Davis is scum. I'm glad that he's getting tarred and feathered now, because he had presidential aspirations and I don't know if our country could have survived such a corrupt and self-serving administration.



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