California Recall Hurting Nevada Effort

Davis Recall
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A recall drive against Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn is sputtering because of a lack of funding and a circus atmosphere that surrounded the California recall election, its leaders said.

"The California recall election without question hurt our movement because of the circus," said Chris Hansen, vice chairman of the recall committee.

Thomas Baldino, political science professor at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., agreed recalls will be harder to organize after the California recall.

"After that circus, any state that already has a recall is less likely to use it and those thinking of having one will think twice," he said.

The latest count, disclosed a month ago, amounted to about 12,000 signatures, far short of the necessary total to force a recall. Backers have said they'd shoot for 180,000 to make sure there were enough valid signatures.

The committee launched the recall drive after the Legislature approved a record $836 million tax increase in July.

Hansen said the committee would have gathered enough signatures by now if signature collectors were paid. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., paid $1.7 million to signature gatherers in California.

"If we had someone bankrolling it, we'd already have it done," Hansen told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

But the recall drive was criticized by some football fans Saturday at the University of Nevada, Reno's Mackay Stadium, where committee members gathered signatures.

"It's ridiculous considering what went on in California," said UNR student Sarah Johnson, 22. "I think Guinn is doing a fine job. Not everybody can be happy (with politicians) all the time."

Gloria Frediani, 72, of Reno, said a recall would be pointless because Guinn is barred by the Nevada Constitution from seeking a third term in 2006.

"I think it's silly," she said. "It's a bad idea."

But Dennis Baird, 51, of Reno, praised signature gatherers and said he plans to sign a petition.

"It's terrific to do this at any kind of venue where you'll get lots of people," he said. "It's democracy in action."

Hansen said recall proponents might go to court to seek an extension of a Nov. 25 deadline, arguing that backers were initially prevented from setting up in government buildings to gather signatures.