The Democrats, however, have problems that go beyond the governor's mansion. Davis backers contend the best way to defeat the recall is for Golden State Dems to remain united behind ol' Gray and keep all other Democrats off the ballot. But Reps. Loretta Sanchez and Cal Dooley, who "seriously doubts" that Davis can survive, have publicly urged Sen. Dianne Feinstein -- who is no fan of the governor -- to run for the job. Feinstein has thus far stayed mum about her intentions, but that could change if Arnold decides he won't be back. Feinstein fans see the October contest as an opportunity for her to oust Hillary as the Democrat's leading contender for the White House in 2008.
Another prominent Democrat who could give the Republicans trouble, but who has also been keeping his own counsel thus far, is San Francisco Mayor and former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.
This California Circus is drawing all the clowns. Democrat operator Bob Mulholland -- a vast right-wing conspiracy theorist -- is vowing "no surrender" to the "Taliban element." Pro-abortionist Kate Michelman claims that "anti-choice activists have bought this election." Arianna Huffington, who can't decide on her party affiliation, thinks there is a constituency to ban SUVs and may run if she doesn't have to ride in a vehicle with an internal combustion engine.
Now the Beverly Hillbillies -- Bill and Hillary -- have announced their intentions to campaign against the recall. As of this writing, none of the Knucklehead Nine presidential candidates have figured out that strategically, they might be better off scoring points with the liberal Democrat establishment in the delegate-rich state instead of criticizing the American military in the heartland of the U.S.A.
Public outrage with Gray Davis is palpable. He is despised for his relentless fund raising and self-promotion. Borrowing a page from Al Gore's Buddhist fund-raising racket, Davis twisted the arms of the California Teachers Association during a 2002 policy briefing, demanding $1 million in contributions for his re-election effort. He even shook down students at the University of California-Berkley for $100 each to attend a speech.
But what's really driving the recall, as James Carville once said, is "the economy, stupid." California is saddled with a $38 billion budget deficit, despite candidate Davis's repeated denials of impending fiscal crisis. State spending, now at $100 billion, has skyrocketed 37 percent during his five years in office. Davis has proposed an $8 billion tax hike. He has proposed an increase in the state sales tax, a tripling of the state car tax, a 57 percent tax increase on cigarettes and a 64 percent increase on fees for community college students.
The recall election will take place on Oct. 7. It should be noted that on that same day in 1765, delegates from nine of the newly formed colonies convened the Stamp Act Congress in New York City and passed 14 declarations informing King George III and the British Parliament that they could not levy taxes on the colonies. The rest, as they say, is history.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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