Recall! : California's Political Earthquake book cover
1st Edition

California's Political Earthquake

ISBN 9780765614575
Published February 28, 2004 by Routledge
199 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Preface -- Photos follow page 78 -- Part I. The Politics of Recall -- 1. The California Republic: More Like a Nation Than a State -- Land of Direct Democracy -- “California Sets the Pace”: Tom Brokaw, NBC News, -- October 8, 2003 California’s Economy: Ranking Sixth in the World If the State Were a Nation Diversity Compounded by Diversity Fractured Political Parties -- Out of History and Diversity: Opportunity—and Opportunists -- 2. Elements of a Perfect Storm -- The Power Crisis A Plunging Economy The Budget Deficit And Then the Rains Came . . . -- Part II. The Shaping of the Battle -- 3. The Legislature: Gridlock Defined -- The Problem of the Two-Thirds Vote -- The Term-Limits Paradox -- Safe Districts and Dangerous Legislative Conflicts -- Adding Fuel to the Fire -- 4. Governor Gray Davis: Triumph, Decline, Denial -- Who Is Gray Davis? -- Governor Davis: “Implement My Vision” -- Slow Reaction: A Governor in Denial Davis Agonistes -- 5. Qualifying for the Ballot: Right-Wing Conspiracy or Convergence of Interests? -- Qualifying for the Ballot Instigators and Visionaries -- The Stealth Campaign: The Internet and Talk Radio -- Darrell Issa’s Golden Egg -- Davis Fights Back -- Republicans Engaged -- An Election Is Ordered -- Part III. The Campaign -- 6. The 75-Day Sprint -- The Recall Goes to Court A Two-Part Affair -- Gray Davis: Defending Slippery Turf -- Arnold Schwarzenegger: Capitalizing on the Mystique of -- Cruz Bustamante: The Democratic Alternative -- Tom McClintock: The Conservative Conscience -- Peter Camejo: The Liberal Conscience -- Bill Simon, Peter Ueberroth, and Arianna Huffington: -- The Dropouts The Supporting Cast And the Winner Is . . . -- 7. The Issues -- Voter Concerns -- Candidate Positions -- The Economy and the Budget -- Education: We’re All for the Kids -- Energy: Crisis and Conspiracy Theories -- Immigration—and Immigrant Candidates -- Social Issues: Gay Rights, Gun Control, Abortion, and Women’s Rights Other Issues: The Environment, Health Care, and Political Reform Issues: The Bottom Line -- 8. Interest Groups: Taking Sides -- The Right: Conservative Groups and the Recall The Left: Liberal Groups and the Recall Labor: Rallying the Troops Business: A Winner at Last Indians: California’s Newest Players Follow the Money -- Personality Politics: Movie Stars and Political Stars A Different Sort of Election -- 9. The Campaigns and the Media: -- Whose Election Is It Anyway? -- The Campaigns: Shaping the Messages -- The Polls: What Did We Know and When Did We Know It? -- The Debates -- The News Media: Kill the Messenger Alternative Media: Celebrity Politics The Final Cliffhanger -- Part IV. The Outcome -- 10. Davis Loses the Recall Battle -- A “Normal” Political Campaign in an Abnormal Political Climate A Mandate for Change Key Factors -- The Schwarzenegger Surprise Voting Groups -- A Smooth Operation After All Anatomy of a Defeat -- 11. Recall and Political Stability in California: -- Can They Coexist? -- Putting the Pieces Back Together Lessons Learned -- The Permanence of Structural Issues California Recall: “Perfect Storm” or Trendsetter? -- The Uncertainty Ahead -- 12. Epilogue -- Out with the Old—In with the New -- Schwarzenegger the Activist -- Early Victories -- Early Defeats -- Early Compromises -- The Movie Star and the Bully Pulpit -- More to Come—But What? -- Appendix A: Recall Timeline -- Appendix B: The 2003 Recall Election and California Politics on the Internet Notes Index -- About the Authors

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Larry N. Gerston is professor of political science at San Jose State University and the author or co-author of seven books on state and national politics. His Public Policy Making in a Democratic Society: A Guide to Civic Engagement has been heralded as a breakthrough primer for citizen involvement. Likewise, his California Politics and Government: A Practical Guide (co-authored with Terry Christensen) has sold more than 100,000 copies as the most popular book in its field. A native Californian, Gerston has worked for a county supervisor and a state legislator. For the past twenty-three years, he has been the political analyst at NBC11 in the San Francisco Bay area. In addition, Gerston has published The Costco Experience: An Unofficial Survivor’s Guide, a hands-on, tongue-in-cheek book about the world of warehouse shopping. Terry Christensen is professor of political science at San Jose State University and the author or co-author of six books and many newspaper op-ed pieces. He is frequently consulted by local and national media concerning political issues in California and Silicon Valley. He is currently at work on new editions of Reel Politics: American Political Movies from Birth of a Nation to Platoon, and Local Politics: Governing at the Grassroots (both forthcoming in 2005). He has served on numerous civic committees and commissions and currently is a member of the Advisory Board of City Year/ Silicon Valley and Program Chair for the Commonwealth Club/Silicon Valley. In 1998, he was named San Jose State University’s Outstanding Professor.