The recall ballot will be printed in 7 languages:
Sun Aug 10 12:40:29 2003

The recall ballot will be printed in 7 languages:
English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Tagalog.

Over 125 take on Davis
CHAOTIC: Garamendi out; wannabes crowd ballot

John Wildermuth, Carla Marinucci, Paul Feist, Chronicle Political Writers Sunday, August 10, 2003

Norwalk, Los Angeles County -- More than 125 would-be governors, from a Sacramento County bounty hunter to a Hollywood superstar, filed the paperwork on a chaotic Saturday to become candidates to replace Gov. Gray Davis in a historic Oct. 7 recall election.

Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and Republican businessman Bill Simon will be part of an unprecedented ballot that won't be final until the candidates are officially certified Wednesday.

One would-be candidate who opted out at the last minute was Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, a Democrat. He dropped his fledgling bid as a replacement candidate just two hours before Saturday's 5 p.m. filing deadline - - leaving Bustamante the lone prominent Democrat in the huge field.

"I know firsthand that this recall election has become a circus," said Garamendi, appearing in front of the secretary of state's office in Sacramento in jeans and cowboy boots.

Nothing that happened Saturday changed that description of the bizarre events of the past few weeks in the runup to the first statewide recall election to make the California ballot, which will ask voters whether Davis should be ousted as governor and, if so, allow them to pick a replacement candidate.

Would-be candidates flooded into county registrars' offices around the state Saturday, each willing to put down $3,500 for their chance to be a part of that history.

Other well-known names in the mix to replace the Democratic governor are state Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks (Ventura County), former Commissioner of Baseball Peter Ueberroth, Peter Camejo of the Green Party and commentator Arianna Huffington.

The lineup sets up a confrontation likely to split California voters along ideological lines.

Bustamante is a standard California Democratic politician, a liberal with strong union backing. Schwarzenegger and Ueberroth are moderate Republicans of the sort who seldom win GOP primaries, which are dominated by conservatives. Simon and McClintock appeal to California's strong Republican conservative base, which hasn't been large enough to win a typical statewide election in years.

But the Oct. 7 election will be anything but typical, because a candidate with a small percentage of the vote could end up as governor if Davis is recalled. That even opens the door for candidates like Camejo and Huffington, who have tiny but devoted followings.

Since the top finisher wins in the replacement election, regardless of party or vote total, the strategy behind the race changes dramatically.

"You don't have to worry about everybody loving you," said one veteran consultant. "You don't even have to have half the people love you. You just have to make sure the people who love you get out and vote."

Perhaps the most bizarre candidate of the day was a Hollywood T-shirt manufacturer named William Tsangares, who turned in his nomination papers in Norwalk late Saturday afternoon. Carrying a sign saying "Recall Arnold," he caused a near riot when he started handing out $20 bills to surprised reporters and onlookers.

"The money don't mean a thing," he said. "The recall is a bad thing."

Leonard Padilla, a professional bounty hunter from Sacramento County, also paid his $3,500 fee, filed his paperwork and was listed as an independent candidate.

The action was split between Los Angeles, where most of the prominent candidates turned in their papers, and Sacramento, where the secretary of state's office worked overtime to put together an unofficial list of candidates to replace Davis.

"It's frantic up here," said one harried office worker.

Schwarzenegger, Huffington and Simon all turned in their papers with a flourish at the registrar's office in the Los Angeles suburb of Norwalk.

Schwarzenegger was the first to show up, followed closely by Huffington, who knocked over a bank of microphones as she quickly made her way in front of the television camera following the actor.

"I'm running for governor, and I promise you that I will be the people's governor," said Schwarzenegger, who was joined by his wife, television journalist Maria Shriver.

Within an hour after Schwarzenegger and Huffington filed their papers, Simon appeared with his wife, Cindy, and two of his children on the steps of the registrar's office. The recall election is "a battle for the heart and soul of the (Republican) party . . .. and the future of it," said Simon, the Republican nominee for governor who was defeated last November by Davis.

Simon's campaign spokesman, K.B. Forbes, predicted that Schwarzenegger's media dominance might get attention at the start, but would be ineffective in the voting booth in 59 days.

Simon's enthusiastic followers said they would ensure their man -- though less known than Arnold -- would be a stealth winner, as he was in the March 2002 GOP primary.

"There's a difference between a coronation and retail politics," said Phil Kurznex of Marina del Rey. "We'll see what Arnold can do."

Sean Walsh, communications adviser to Schwarzenegger -- and a former Simon aide -- said the actor's followers are energized and ready to register and vote.

But Walsh was deluged Saturday with questions about the actor's positions on issues such as family leave, gay marriage and workers' compensation.

He said the campaign is just beginning, and "those will come on a schedule of our choosing."

Former GOP Gov. Pete Wilson is firmly behind Schwarzenegger. His political brain trust is running Schwarzenegger's election effort and Wilson is co- chairman of the actor's campaign.

"Some outsiders have proved they are terrific leaders, like Ronald Reagan," Wilson said in a Fox News interview Saturday. "Experience is no substitute for leadership."

Another candidate taking aim at Schwarzenegger is Ueberroth, the businessman who was the architect of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

While the moderate Ueberroth will be listed as a Republican on the ballot, he said he planned to campaign as an independent.

"Between now and Oct. 7, California voters will be subjected to the same bitter partisanship that too often interferes with getting California to work again," he said. "Once the campaign has ended, I believe that I will be the best qualified person to get the tough job done."

But nothing the replacement candidates do matters if Davis can convince enough voters to oppose the recall.

Davis, responding to suggestions from Democrats ranging from former President Bill Clinton to San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, spent Saturday being governor, signing a landmark, first-in-the-nation ban on a pair of fire- retardant chemicals that could affect children.

But speaking to reporters after the signing, he challenged Schwarzenegger and the other replacement candidates to say how they would have dealt with the state's power crunch or the $38 billion deficit that slowed passage of the state budget.

"Snappy one-liners get you only so far," Davis said. "There are tough problems."

The two-month campaign will demonstrate "who's got the goods," Davis added.

A new poll shows that Davis has an uphill road if he wants to hang on to his job and complete his second term in office.

A Time Magazine/CNN poll taken Friday showed California voters would recall Davis and replace him with Schwarzenegger. The telephone survey of 508 voters showed 54 percent in favor of ousting the governor, with 35 percent willing to keep him in office. Even among Democrats, only a bare 51 percent majority backed Davis.

In the replacement election, Schwarzenegger pulled 25 percent of the vote --

10 percentage points higher than his nearest rival, Bustamante.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent. It also was taken at a time when most of the local and national media were flooded with news and pictures of Schwarzenegger, one of the nation's best-known figures.

Garamendi's decision not to jump into the replacement election was good news for Davis and the Democrats. It leaves Bustamante as the lone big-name Democrat in the race.

State Senate leader John Burton, D-San Francisco, said Democratic elected officials and party leaders would rally behind Bustamante and in all likelihood offer him financial support.

"I would think a lot of Democrats would be contributing to his campaign," Burton said. "I would think there would be sufficient money to do a campaign."

The recall drive began on March 25, 2003.
The recall is expected to cost from $42 million to $55 million.
The state will spend $11 million to provide California's 15.3 million registered voters with information guides.
In Alpine County, 54 people signed the recall petition; 48 signatures were valid.
In San Francisco County, 5,034 people signed the recall petition; 4,135 signatures were valid.
In Los Angeles County, 331,513 people signed the recall petition; 275,548 signatures were valid.
Sierra and Alpine counties are expected to spend the least on the recall, $6,000 and $6,000-$9,000 respectively.
San Francisco is expected to spend $3 million on the recall.
Los Angeles County is expected to spend the most on the recall, $12 million- $20 million.
The recall ballot will be printed in 7 languages: English, Spanish, Chinese,

Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Tagalog.
What they're saying:

"California needs to bite the bullet, and this (recall) is wasting precious time," says Sung Won Sohn, chief economist for San Francisco-based Wells Fargo.
Since the people added the power of the initiative, referendum and recall to the state constitution in 1911, the governor has been threatened by a recall 31 times.

Prior to 2003, 0 reached the ballot.

Chronicle political writer Bob Salladay and Chronicle wire services contributed to this report. / E-mail the writers at pfeist@sfchronicle.com, cmarinucci@sfchronicle.com and jwildermuth@sfchronicle.com.
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08/09/2003 - Deadline looms to qualify for California recall ballot; Schwarzenegger files .

08/08/2003 - Schwarzenegger's GOP rivals quitting.

08/07/2003 - Schwarzenegger steals recall scene / ACTOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT DRAWS IN DEMOCRAT BUSTAMANTE.

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Over 125 take on Davis
FINANCES: Actor's first disclosure of money muscle (8/10)

The recall in California has everybody talking. Voices of concern. Of doubt. Of support. Of confusion. Of interest. The people speak.

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