More often than not, people are laughing about the California recall election instead of debating the issues and the candidates. In just a few months, California has become the Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Tigers rolled into one. For people who don’t know sports, let me simplify it: we are the laughing stock of the United States of America.
I know we are having the recall election because people are unhappy with the way that Gray Davis has mishandled the budget. However, Davis had to spend money that he knew would hurt the budget to prevent the power shortages from worsening. Even if he hadn’t spent the money, he still would’ve been recalled, only this time for not doing everything in his power to stop the blackouts. Forty-eight states are cutting programs to the bone and raising taxes. The reason California’s budget crisis is so much worse is because of the extortion that went on during the power shortages.
I know that our nation was founded upon the creed of citizen-statesmen, but is there a candidate in this circus that could match that? There are some respectful politicians in this election, but Mary Carey, Larry Flynt, Gary Coleman and even Arnold Schwarzenegger? What sort of election is this when the best known candidates include a porn star, a pornographer and two actors?
The recall election, if it goes through, will lead to both increased budget troubles and legitimacy issues. Since when does California have $66 million to throw around on this election? Even more so, with so many candidates, there is a good chance that the winner will only have between 10 and 25 percent of the popular vote; that is half of what Davis received in the last regular election.
Recalling a governor only a year into his term after he won a plurality of the popular vote is ridiculous. Give him a shot at fixing the problem before people demand his head. Leave Davis alone and put the money to good use instead of turning California into a joke.
Loren Casuto is a third-year political science major.