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The movement to recall California Gov. Gray Davis (D.) is picking up steam and will likely result in a ballot question this November or next March.

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Gray Davis Recall Movement is on a Roll

The movement to recall California Gov. Gray Davis (D.) is picking up steam and will likely result in a ballot question this November or next March.

Buoyed by the financial backing of Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.) the drive to get 897,000 signatures to put a question on the California ballot to recall Gov. Gray Davis (D.) now looks like it will succeed.

Longtime California Democratic strategist Bob Mulholland recently told reporters that because Issa “has indicated he’ll put $2 million in . . . he’ll get the signatures.”

Dave Gilliard, who is working with Issa’s “Rescue California” petition campaign, sent a memo to financial backers of the drive indicating that 587,000 signatures had been turned into county registrars of voters as of June 6th. Of those, more than 164,000 had been collected, processed, and submitted by “Rescue California,” which Issa launched last month by contributing $500,000 in seed money. Additional petitions were submitted petitions by RecallGrayDavis.com, and by supporters of House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R.-Cal.).

The leader of RecallGrayDavis.com, former Republican Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, told me his group had raised more than $450,000-almost all of it from small donors. He said that people had downloaded petitions from the group’s website a total of 215,000 times. “This is going to happen, possibly sooner than you think,” Kaloogian said enroute to a nationally-televised debate with Davis ally Mulholland on MSNBC’s “Buchanan and Press.”

November or March

Recall proponents had initially hoped to complete their drive by the September 2nd deadline issued by the secretary of state’s office and plan for a recall race likely to coincide with statewide primaries next March. (Under state recall rules, once the secretary of state certifies that the required number of signatures has been submitted, the recall question must be put before the voters within 80 days). But given their success, workers in both the Issa and Kaloogian camps now believe they will be through with collection and verification of signatures by July 4th. That may give them a chance to force the issue onto the November ballot, coinciding with historically low-turnout local elections rather than next year’s Democratic presidential primary.

If a majority of voters says “yes” to recalling Davis, then the top vote-getter on a list of replacement candidates would automatically become governor. If the issue is on the November ballot, rather than the March ballot, Republicans will have a better chance of winning. Issa is essentially already running. Other Republicans considering the race are ’02 loser Bill Simon, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and State Sen. Tom McClintock. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has stated her opposition to the recall campaign, by close observers in California believe Democratic leaders in the state will push her to run if it looks like Davis is going to ousted by a Republican.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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