Tags: Say | 'No' | Davis | Recall

Say 'No' to Davis Recall

Sunday, 22 June 2003 12:00 AM

Clearly, support for the recall is widening – with recall organizers saying they will soon obtain the required 897,000 petition signatures to force a special election this fall.

And things don't look good for Davis. A recently released poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California finds that 51 percent of likely voters say they want to recall Davis.

While I would love to see a conservative Republican in the mold of Ronald Reagan again sitting in Sacramento, I also doubt the Gipper himself would support the type of effort we are witnessing.

Reagan served as California governor, and knew well the ebb and flow of poll numbers. He also understood the importance of elections in determining the will of the people.

Like it or not, Davis was re-elected governor just over seven months ago. The election was fair. Both parties put forth strong, well-financed candidates. Davis won, Republican Bill Simon lost. So what has changed in such a short time?

Within weeks of that election, supporters of the recall began to organize, apparently angry with the election result. I was angry with the election result too – and believe that if Bill Simon had spent just $10 million more, he would have won the race.

But Simon didn't, and he lost. Although many conservatives, including many NewsMax readers, support recalling Davis, I fear it would be a big mistake. Even friends can disagree, and on this issue I want to respectfully disagree with my California friends.

There is no question that Davis has been pushing a liberal agenda on California since he first became governor in 1999.

In four years, California has gone from a multibillion-dollar budget surplus to an incredible $38 billion deficit. Some of this is Davis’ fault – and some of it is due to a nationwide recession that has hit California hard.

However, as bad as conservatives may view Davis, California voters knew what Davis stood for when they elected and re-elected him. Indeed, he has held and articulated the same very liberal positions for many, many years.

The fact is what's at stake in California is much more than the political future of one man – it's the future of the democratic process itself.

Certainly there are times when recall elections should be held, primarily when officeholders commit crimes or engage in gross malfeasance of office.

But for all of his undesirable liberal agenda, the same cannot be said of Gov. Davis.

Davis hasn't been convicted of any crime, nor has he betrayed his oath of office. The main allegation used against Davis is that he deceived the public about the size of the state deficit. The evidence of this charge is quite flimsy, even more apparent when many state governors are witnessing unexpected shortfalls.

No, Davis has not engaged in any act worthy of being recalled. If we make a precedent of this recall, it is a dangerous one that undermines the process of majority rule and voting, a cornerstone of our republican form of government.

I certainly sympathize with the desire of many California conservatives to remove Davis.

But I fear a recall election would simply be a distraction from the real task for conservatives: Building a strong conservative Republican base in California.

California is the most populous state, and the most important one electorally. It was once a Republican stronghold. No more. Demographics and faulty Republican leadership have let the state slip through Republican hands.

Instead of trying to undo the recent election, grassroots Republicans and millionaire conservatives need to back an effort that will bear fruit, not for one election but for many elections.

They can do that by reaching out to Hispanics, blacks and Asians in creating a new and imaginative Republican party that keeps to conservative principles of less government, fewer taxes and more freedom.

Rebuilding a strong Republican Party is the real way California and the nation can avoid the disastrous effects of liberal policies and politicians. Overturning one election will not do this.

Instead, let’s remember what the Gipper was able to do by playing fair and square and speaking directly to the people.

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Clearly, support for the recall is widening - with recall organizers saying they will soon obtain the required 897,000 petition signatures to force a special election this fall. And things don't look good for Davis. A recently released poll conducted by the Public Policy...
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Sunday, 22 June 2003 12:00 AM
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