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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Gubernatorial Recall May Be Inevitable

Aired July 9, 2003 - 20:43   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: While the weather is beautiful here in the Golden State, it hasn't been too sunny for Democratic Governor Gray Davis. As Charles Feldman reports, a gubernatorial recall vote that was once considered unthinkable may now be inevitable.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHARLES FELDMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The gloves are off. The mostly Republican opponents of the recently reelected Democratic governor say they now have enough signatures to force a special election this fall and have stopped gathering more.

JOE CERRELL, DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL CONSULTANT: But it's got a long way to go between qualifying, which I always said would happen, and unseating the incumbent governor for no real apparent reason.

FELDMAN: Governor Davis and his people are fighting back, threatening legal challenges to slow things down. Davis says a right wing conspiracy is behind a recall election that will cost taxpayers $30 million.

GOV. GRAY DAVIS (D), CALIFORNIA: It will come out of the same pot of money that pays for police officers, teachers and other vital services.

FELDMAN: If a majority votes to oust the governor, they will be picking his replacement from a list of candidates on the same ballot. A recent poll shows 51 percent of voters want to dump Davis. Key among them is this Republican congressman, who has spent a lot of money to get the job himself.

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Recalling a governor is not about just a bad governor. It's about, in this case, Gray Davis producing false figures as to the budget and false figures as to the job loss before an election.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR: I wanted to pump you all up.

FELDMAN: But most eyes here are on the pumped-up Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, who might run.

(on camera): But a "Los Angeles Times" poll shows 53 percent of voters would rather see Arnold on the silver screen than flexing his muscles in the governor's mansion.

Charles Feldman, CNN, Los Angeles. (END VIDEOTAPE)

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