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Recalling the Last Example

October 11, 2013

The nation took notice when a lightly-organized group of people effected the recall of two state senators in Colorado. It wasn’t a, “shot heard round the world,” more a, “shot across the bow,” of legislators who get too restrictive on gun laws.  But, of course, that was Colorado, and something like that could never happen in a reliably liberal state (even though Colorado is reliably liberal on the spectrum).

Well, we might have a better, and better organized, test case:

Gun-rights advocates are ready to launch a recall attempt aimed at some of California’s most vulnerable Democratic state lawmakers – and the party’s supermajority hold on the Legislature – if Gov. Jerry Brown signs some of the dozen-plus gun-control bills sitting on his desk.

“As soon as the results came in Colorado, our phones started ringing,” said Jennifer Kerns, the California political consultant who helped lead the Colorado recalls. “Until then, a lot of people thought California was a lost state (on gun-rights issues). But Colorado showed them it doesn’t have to be.”

The heart of the resistance appears to be Sam Paredes, and Gun Owners of California.  I have to admit, his name seems familiar from a couple other right-leaning California initiatives, so this one is probably a bit more establishment than the Colorado effort.  And that could be its downfall.  Colorado was successful because the groups went after high-profile senators who were visible.  If you read this article, the California group is already looking at low-budget efforts that paint the whole Democratic party.  While this might work, it won’t drive the groundswell.

This seems to me to be more of an establishment effort.  It’s not a bad strategy, but it’ll be attacked more honestly as a Republican effort to change elections.  Well, whatever.  The political system is pretty broken, and perhaps it’s time to highlight the breaks in an effort to either change it back, or just force a year-round election cycle in the nation in recognition of the rule changes.

I anticipate that Governor Brown will sign the bills, so it’ll be interesting how much effort really goes into the California recalls, and how it’ll be viewed across the nation.  At least we know of one thing that can truly unite the right side of the aisle.

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