Every once in awhile, the citizens of the United States find the courage to stand together and take back control of their government. Such an event is now happening in California.

Thanks to the initial efforts of Ted Costa, leader of the nonpartisan taxpayers’ group People’s Advocate, and Eric Hogue, KTKZ radio talk-show host and WorldNetDaily.com columnist, a petition drive to recall one of the worst governors in the history of the United States – Democrat Gray Davis – is well under way with nearly a third of the needed signatures in hand, and close to an additional 25,000 signatures coming in each day.

While the real heroes in this battle are the people of California – Democrats and Republicans alike – it is only now that this grass-roots movement has gathered so much momentum that others are trying to claim some of the limelight for themselves. One blatant example occurred recently at a California town-hall event hosted by ABC News’ Peter Jennings, where Gov. Davis was one of a number of panelists participating in the event. KFBK radio talk-show host Mark Williams directed a question to the governor by beginning with, “… the recall effort was born on my show …”

Funny, I wonder where Williams was when the first 100 people to sign the petition started pouring in to People’s Advocate headquarters between 6 and 7 a.m. on Feb. 4, thanks entirely to an announcement by Eric Hogue and KTKZ. And where was he when Eric Hogue initiated his creative remote “drive-by recall signings” that netted tens of thousands of signatures?

Regardless of these Johnny-come-latelies, one thing is very clear: The people of California are sick of Gray Davis’ sleazy backroom deals and gross mismanagement.

According to a recent story done by the San Diego Union-Tribune, a poll conducted last month found that only “24 percent of Californians approved of the job Davis is doing, yet 59 percent opposed recalling him. When asked how they would vote in a recall election, voters narrowly favored removing Davis, 46-43 percent.”

Even the California Republican Party eventually found enough of its missing backbone to stop cowering in the corner and join the California recall patriots. And now, California radio stations KSFO, KOGO, KKLA, KFAX and KFIA are also taking a stand to help the citizens.

Though all petitions need to go through People’s Advocate (website is Davis Recall), two other major groups are helping to gather petitions and deserve credit. First is Recall Gray Davis, led by former GOP Assembyman Howard Kaloogian and Sal Russo. And the most recent group to join the fray is Rescue California led by David Gillard and Republican California Congressman Darrell Issa.

Meanwhile, Gov. Davis has gone into overdrive in an attempt to raise enough cash to fend off the outraged voters of California. But whatever the voters eventually decide, it is obvious that even Davis, himself, knows he’s in deep trouble right now. The Union-Tribune story goes on to observe: “Although publicly dismissive of the recall effort, Davis is said to be obsessed with it. As one Democratic strategist put it, ‘He’s scared out of his mind.'”

So, who will fill the void, assuming Davis is sent packing into political Never-Never Land, and California wakes up from its long, ugly nightmare? On the Democrat side, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and Sen. Dianne Feinstein appear to be the most likely candidates. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Treasurer Phil Angelides are also possible contenders.

For the GOP, some believe Arnold Schwarzenegger may jump in, but others are suggesting he will go after one of the Senate seats held by Boxer and Feinstein. Darrell Issa would clearly like to fill the governor’s chair, but he’s tried before and carries negative baggage that continues to dog him. Bill Simon might try again. Condoleezza Rice is even a possible contender.

But my guess is State Sen. Tom McClintock will be the chosen candidate – conservatives and liberals alike respect him for his integrity, and his record suggests he has the ability to save California from the mess that Gray Davis has created. If I still lived in California, he would certainly have my vote.

This battle is well under way, but it is not over. Every voter in the Golden State should take a stand. Too much hangs on this effort just to sit on the sidelines and whine about how terrible things are in California.



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