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The California Recall

Someone forwarded me an email from MoveOn.org urging everyone to pledge to vote "No" in the recall election. The email calls the recall "an attack on democracy," characterizing it as "crazy" and something that only serves a "lone" congressman and a single actor. (I presume they mean Ahhnold, though Gary Coleman is also running. The comic Leo Gallagher is also on the ballot as well, though I had a hard time finding him there. The ballot is supposed to be in alphabetical order, but somehow everyone whose last name started with a G ended up between Sylvester and Zellhoefer.)

I find this such an egregious attempt at calling black white that I have to speak.

Recalling candidates is one way to redress bad voter choices and questionable political practices. Yes, recalls are sometimes planned even before an election, which is certainly an abuse of the system, but to say that a recall is "anti-democratic," as if somehow voting isn't involved, is a laughably transparent attempt at manipulating people's emotions. I hope people are alert enough to spot the contradictions apparent in this email.

And anyway, supposedly only "40 percent of the 22 million people eligible to vote in last November's statewide election actually cast a ballot." (Statistic taken from here.) Pitiful.

Speaking of the recall, have any of you in California taken a look at your sample ballot yet? I have, and I was quite, quite amused at the occupations of some of the candidates.

Only in America could such people as Larry Flynt, "Publisher" (and we all know what he publishes--materials of quite questionable taste that appeal to the lowest and most prurient interests of adult males....), run for governorship of one of the largest states. And there's more.

How about Michael Jackson, satellite project manager? That sounds quite interesting. At least he has made an attempt at a platform, unlike some of the candidates for whom I couldn't find a Web site.

Then there's Bruce Margolin, marijuana legalization attorney. Although I am totally not a drug user myself, I also have those scary Libertarian ideals that say less government and few laws; make everyone be responsible for themselves; therefore, legalize all drugs but have severe penalties for damaging others while under the influence of same. Not that Bruce gets my vote. Nonetheless, he may attract the marijuana smokers' vote, if they can get motivated enough to get off the couch and actually go do something with their lives. But wait...taking a look at his Web site, I find that he might have something there. He suggests that we "Take California's No.1 cash crop off of the black market and tax the sale and distribution of Marijuana in the state." Good lord! That's actually a great idea! People are selling it anyway. Let's tax it!

Then there's Kurt E. "Tachikaze" Rightmyer, middleweight sumo wrestler. Sumo wrestling is probably good practice for wrestling with the state budget and recalcitrant representatives. I like the suggestion made by one of his fellow sumo wrestlers for determining who is to be our next governor: "... just get it over with and have an eight-round, 256-person tournament (just grab some guys off the streets to fill out the roster if needed) to decide the gubernatorial race. Sure would be even more entertaining than a simple one-ballot vote. And kinda appropriate, too, considering all the folks from the entertainment sector who are running." (Asashosakari, posting to SumoForum.net on this page.)

Here's one who sounds imminently qualified to lead the state: Paul "Chip" Mailander, golf professional. I guess he could take a whack at the state budget and possibly do better than Davis did. Though that isn't saying much! But what was Wan A. Hall, custom denture manufacturer, thinking when he signed up? Google turned up zip on him.

I have to admit that my eyebrows raised a bit at Angelyne, "entertainer," and Mary "Mary Carey" Cook, adult film actress. What Mary has looks all real...every inch of it. And she has a platform too...and I don't mean, um, her chest. Perhaps Mary and Flynt could work something out on a national level—she could run for president and he could be her vice-presidential candidate. Angelyne could be their Secretary of State. Mr. Rightmyer could be in the Department of Defense. But no, darn it, Mary just lost my vote for being anti-gun.

The bottom line is that anyone could and did enter this election. Now THATS democracy for you. And who is to say that any one of the people I mentioned, or the dozens I didn't, wouldn't do a better job than the sorry excuse we have in office right now?

Of course, you WERE planning to vote, right? And did you know that you don't have to vote either "yes" or "no" for the recall, and yet you can still vote for a candidate? (But only one; if you vote for more than one, your vote is invalidated.) Plus there are two measures on the ballot that you might want to take a look at while you are there. So on October7, 2003, what are you going to do? Yes, that's right, you are going to go VOTE!

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