I’ve been perusing some of the reaction in the local papers on the qualification of the Jeff Denham recall on the ballot, and there’s some interesting stuff in there. From Hank Shaw in the Stockton Record, we learn that Denham has been harvesting money for months, and given the lack of campaign finance limits in a recall election, expect more Chamber of Commerce members to fork over big novelty checks.
Denham has been raising money hand over fist to defend himself. He collected a $50,000 check from Oakdale Sierra Tel, a telecommunications company, late last week and has amassed more than $300,000 so far. As the target of a recall, Denham can raise cash in unlimited amounts.
Telecom company, ay? Not that Denham has anything to do with the FISA fight, but telecoms aren’t exactly popular figures in districts with a 45-36 registration advantage for Democrats.
As for who the opponent will be, it looks like there are two potential candidates, former Assemblymember Simon Salinas and Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse. Morse claims that Perata contacted him last month about running.
After the meeting, Morse said he spoke with Denham about the offer as a courtesy because there are never any secrets in Sacramento; he didn’t want the senator learning about it from someone else.
Morse ran for Assembly in 1996 and lost to Dennis Cardoza, and also considered a run for Senate in 2002, which would have pitted him against Denham.
Since becoming district attorney, Morse said he’s made progress in office and hasn’t considered any other elected slot.
“I’m not sure what set of circumstances could induce me to leave,” he said. “When the president of the Senate asks to talk with you, you probably owe him the courtesy of talking to him.”
Morse is apparently big on courtesy. If he did run, would he let Denham in on his ad information and oppo research because he “doesn’t want him to learn about it from someone else”?
Um, go Salinas.
Meanwhile, Denham’s campaign consultant is really on the ball.
“The bad news for Perata, who started this recall, is this vote will take place right in the middle of the debate over the 2008-09 budget,” Denham campaign consultant Tim Clark said.
Yes, exactly! And voters don’t want their schools dismantled and their teachers fired. It was also amusing to hear hired gun Kevin Spillane say in the Fresno Bee that the recall has Sacramento ties. Right, because you’re the salt of the earth from Stanislaus County, right?
I am liking the aggressive reaction from the Dump Denham folks.
Perata spokeswoman Alicia Trost referred calls to Paul Hefner, spokesman for the “Dump Denham” recall campaign.
“The voters have caught on to Jeff Denham. They’re recalling him for the same reasons people take unsafe toys off the shelf and tainted meat out of supermarkets-because they’re no good, and because we deserve better,” Hefner said in a statement.
This should be a fun 76 days.