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Sep 08, 2008 - 03:40 PM

Recall, again?

by Carmen Balber
Critics say a coin-operated governor is beholden to the special interests that have given him more money than any governor (and most politicians) in California history. Political opponents with an agenda launch an effort to recall him. Despite the governor's bottom-of-the-barrel approval ratings, no one takes the effort seriously, or doubts the governor will weather the storm.

That was Gray Davis in 2003. (Read about it in the Gray Davis files.) It's also the story of the man who replaced him. The prison guards union filed papers today to recall Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the Sacramento Bee:

Asked if the union was prepared to dedicate the more than $1 million likely necessary to gather the 1,041,530 signatures to qualify a recall for the ballot, Corcoran said, "We are 100 percent committed and we've never been shy about investing in our commitments."

The move comes as California hits the 70th day of the 2008-09 fiscal year without a budget. The standoff is the longest in California history.

California voters recalled ex-Gov. Gray Davis one year after the second-longest budget impasse, the 2002 budget, which lasted until Sept. 5.

The guards union has sparred with the Schwarzenegger administration over multiple issues, most notably prison policies and correctional officers' salaries.

Although the backers of the Davis recall were politically motivated, it was the public, fed up with the status quo, that ousted him in favor of an action hero who promised to clean up Sacramento. But Arnold failed to keep his promises of reform. If this recall effort reaches the voters, will they reject the current coin-operated governor as they did the last one?

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