| Don Perata has no ability to end the recall, mind you, but in his mind he's done it.
First off, let's say that I'm happy to have been on the right side of Prop. 93, the outcome of which will send Don Perata into the sunset. What a laughable bit of incompetence this is.
Let's start with the fact that he doesn't get to say what's on the ballot and what's not. The authoritarian style of "what I say goes" is the only thing that would've doomed this otherwise perfectly justifiable recall of a legislator who forgot his district and went along with an obstructionist GOP that is harming the state to a severe degree. A real Senate leader would have broadened the race into a referendum on state Republicans and would have done very well. You either do something like this full-speed or you never start it in the first place. This half-step just furthers the narrative of Democratic weakness.
Combined with the stab in the back on SD-15, where Perata demanded that nobody contest Abel Maldonado in another winnable seat, the Senate Pro Tem has assured that there is no way we reach a 2/3 majority in 2008. It's still possible by 2010, but this is a wave election, a realignment year and we're waving the white flag in two prime Senate races. That's just stupid politics. I appreciate the need to speed along the budget; the state is broke. But this recall is over by June 3, and it's not like everything's going to be wrapped up by then. And the stupidest part is that Perata RECOGNIZES that the threat of the recall was helping provide leverage for the Republicans.
In a statement, Perata credited the recall for recent legislation that passed out of the Senate:
"The vote we couldn't get last year to close the tax loophole for yacht owners -- we got that vote," he said. "The vote we couldn't get to help homeowners facing foreclosure - we got that vote. You put everyone here on notice -- and I don't think people are going to forget that anytime soon."
No, you now let everyone off the hook because you've proven you can be bullied by a Republican hissy fit and tut-tuts from the conventional wisdom crowd in the media. No Republican will EVER take a Democratic threat seriously in the near future, crippling the leadership of Darrell Steinberg. And all the leverage on getting legislation passed in the Senate just ended.
Great friggin' job, Don. If you want to just go ahead and quit now and let any stray cat from Berkeley finish out your term, that'd be just fine with me.
...the thought has crossed my mind that Perata is just taking his name and aura off the recall because it'd be easier to pass without him, but if any organization associated with him donated a dime there'd be an even bigger hissy fit cry of "hypocrite," so his dropping the recall really signals a drop of any financial infusion, and I'm not seeing how Simon Salinas or the Dump Denham group will raise the necessary funds (especially considering that Denham is not restricted by any fundraising limits in a recall).