Several of my favorite news sites are run by major California newspapers, so I’ve seen many headlines regarding the attempted recall of California Governor Newsom, and I remember well Arnold Schwarzenegger’s* rise to the governor’s office a couple of decades ago.
I have never been a proponent of recalls and, frankly, am glad that my state does not embrace them. Also, I have long thought that there was something seriously broken about California’s recall procedure; in other states that have recall provisions, you do not see the recall frenzy that you see in Cali.
Now comes Michele Cottle to explain. A nugget:
All elected officials, of course, must contend with unhappy constituents and partisan passions. But California leaders face an additional challenge: an out-of-touch recall system adopted more than a century ago that invites frequent, even frivolous, attempts to oust officials for any perceived offense. Every California governor since 1960 has endured at least one recall attempt. In his first term, Newsom has faced five. The only Republican to capture the state’s governorship in the past two decades was Arnold Schwarzenegger, who won as part of the 2003 recall of the Democrat Gray Davis.
Later in the article, she details what makes California’s recall procedure so vulnerable to abuse. It’s an object lesson in how to get it wrong.
*My favorite Schwarzenegger quote is, “In Hollywood, there are two kinds of people, actors and stars. I am a star.”