If anyone cares, the California governor recall situation just got even more complicated.

Everyone assumes that when California voters decide whether to recall Gov. Gray Davis, they'll also be deciding who would succeed him if, in fact, he is ousted.

However, two words in the state constitution -- "if appropriate" -- introduce another bizarre element into the recall saga. It's at least possible, although by no means certain, that when Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante calls the Davis recall election, he could block voters from choosing a successor and thus declare that he, and only he, would become governor should voters dump Davis.

So, there probably will be a recall election based on the number of petitions that have been turned in, but:

a) There may or may not be a simultaneous ballot to choose his successor.
b) Even if there is such a ballot, if a Republican wins then the Democrats have a credible claim that the results should be thrown out and that the current Lt. Governor should take over instead.



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