Tag Archives: Dump Denham

Jeff Denham Recall Turns in 50,000 Signatures

As Lucas noted in then Open Thread, the campaign to recall GOP Sen. Jeff Denham (SD-12) today announced today it plans to turn in 50,000 signatures and put the recall on the ballot. As early as this morning Don Perata wasn’t sure if he wanted to proceed with the recall but clearly he has decided to do it. From a press release sent to me by the Dump Denham campaign:

The Dump Denham effort submitted some 50,000 recall petition signatures Friday, enough to force Jeff Denham to answer to voters for breaking his promises to schools, secretly raising his own pay, and blocking legislation to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

“We’ve had enough of Jeff Denham’s broken promises, his back-room deals with special interests and his dishonest way of treating the people who elected him – starting with his very own paycheck,” said Gary Robbins, leader of the recall drive. “By signing these petitions, 50,000 voters are saying ‘we can’t wait three years for honest representation.’ It’s time to dump Jeff Denham.”

…Despite the recall petitions circulated against him through the fall, Denham continued to treat his constituents with contempt, voting to kill urgent legislation to help homeowners facing foreclosure in the subprime mortgage crisis.

“For Denham to turn his back on us when thousands of us are losing their homes – just to curry favor with some of the very the bankers who caused this crisis – was the last straw,” Robbins said.

Clearly the campaign has found its narrative, it’s “elevator speech” explaining why a recall is necessary – that Denham broke his promises on education, misled constituents to get a pay raise, and most significantly, blocked efforts to provide relief to homeowners facing foreclosure.

That last item, said to be the “last straw” by the campaign, is significant. Denham’s district, which includes Modesto, Merced, and Salinas is among the hardest hit places in the world by the bursting of the housing bubble (only Stockton is worse off). Perata obviously believes that this creates an opportunity to go after Denham, and it’s hard to disagree.

Additionally, this may indicate that the Democratic leadership in Sacramento has decided to stand and fight on the budget crisis. Putting a recall on the ballot would seem to rule out any compromise with Denham, and might signal a deeper strategy of going after Republicans who might prefer to use the same delaying tactics that they used to delay the 2007-08 budget by two months.

I’ve always felt that Democrats were in the driver’s seat on the budget this year, as opposed to last summer, and this merely adds to that view. Democrats have nothing to lose and everything to gain by refusing to destroy public education, health care, and state parks. Laying the blame for this crisis, and the housing crisis, at the feet of Republicans in this manner is very good politics and should be the basis of all Democratic campaigns against GOP candidates in the state this year.

Ultimately, this also helps us get that much closer to 2/3. We’re only two seats away in the Senate – SD-12 would join SD-15 and SD-19, where Tom McClintock! is now being termed out, as the key battlegrounds. It’s not clear when Arnold will schedule the recall (might I suggest November 4?), but the fight is now on for the state’s future.