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Saturday, July 12, 2003

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The Recall Loophole

There is a legal loophole by which Gray Davis can avoid a recall election and still remain governor.

Here's how it works:

  • Davis resigns before sufficient signatures for the recall election are officially certified to the Secretary of State; the recall is instantly over, since the object of the recall is no longer in office.
  • Lt. Governor Bustamante assumes the governorship.
  • Bustamante appoints Davis to the now-vacant office of Lt. Governor. (Davis is eligible since he previously only served one term as Lt. Governor and hence isn't term-limited out.)
  • The Democrat-dominated State Legislature either confirms Davis by a majority vote of both houses, or it fails (by a majority vote of both houses) to reject Davis within 90 days of his appointment. In either case Davis becomes the new Lt. Governor, as per Article V, Section 5 of the California Constitution.
  • Bustamante then resigns as governor.
  • Lt. Governor Davis assumes the governorship.
  • Davis appoints Bustamante to the now-vacant office of Lt. Governor.
  • The Democrat-dominated State Legislature either confirms Bustamante by a majority vote of both houses, or it fails (by a majority vote of both houses) to reject Bustamante within 90 days of his appointment. In either case Bustamante becomes the new Lt. Governor.
  • If a new recall drive against Davis commences, and it appears headed for the ballot, repeat the above procedure.
Of course there are a few minor problems with the above plan:
  • Bustamante may be a tad reluctant to resign once he achieves his ambition of becoming governor.
  • The Democrats in the State Legislature are not big fans of Gray Davis, and they may be a tad reluctant to participate in the farce.
  • The State Supreme Court could rule that when Davis again became governor, the old recall petitions regained their validity.
  • The citizens of California could lynch Davis and Bustamante.







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