In politics, as in so many other areas, California is unique. The state's economy - the largest in the nation, and sixth largest in the world - is given to dramatic swings. Its legislative system is often defined by gridlock on matters large and small. The use of the initiative, one of the tools of "direct democracy", has become commonplace. Over the years, California has had more than its share of political turmoil. But for pure melodrama, nothing matches the 2003 campaign to recall the state's sitting governor, Gray Davis. Recall! relates the latest and most dramatic chapter in the political history of the Golden State. The authors are recognized experts on California politics and regular local television political analysts. They provide fascinating coverage of the events leading up to Davis's replacement by bodybuilder-turned actor-turned politician Arnold Schwarzenegger; describe the large and colorful cast of characters involved in the special election; and demonstrate how California's one-of-a-kind mix of political, economic, and social circumstances made it all possible.
Part I. The Politics of Recall; 1. California Republic: More Like a Nation Than a State; 2. Elements for a Perfect Storm; Part II. Shaping of the Battle; 3. The Legislature: Gridlock Defined; 4. Governor Gray Davis: Triumph, Decline, Denial; 5. Qualifying for the Ballot: A Right-Wing Conspiracy or Convergence of Interests? Part III. The Campaign; 6. The Seventy-Five Day Sprint; 7. The Issues; 8. Interest Groups: Taking Sides; 9. The Campaigns and the Media: Whose Election Is It, Anyway? Part IV. The Outcome; 10. Davis Loses the Recall Battle; 11. Recall and Political Stability in California - Can the They Coexist? 12. Epilogue