SACRAMENTO — Facing a mushrooming recall campaign, Speaker Doris Allen said Monday she will consider stepping down this week from the Assembly's top post if she cannot secure commitments for the cash she'll need to fight the effort to oust her.
But the embattled Republican from Cypress, who has been under attack from GOP colleagues since she was elevated to the speakership by a bloc of Democrats, said she was ready to wage war with her opponents if she can collect the money to compete fairly.
"Without the money, who knows?" Allen asked late Monday. "I've taken a real beating for a long time."
Allen was weighing her options as her foes on Monday turned in the last of the more than 26,000 signatures they've collected to qualify the recall for the ballot. If a sufficient number are validated, the election could occur as soon as late November.
To defeat the effort, Allen said, she will need more than $300,000 initially and much more as Election Day draws nearer. Allen has held several fund-raisers in recent weeks but remains well short of her initial goal.
Even as she pondered her future, Allen took several shots at the state Republican Party, which has endorsed the recall, and Assembly colleagues who have helped champion the cause.
She described recall proponents as "a bunch of jerks" and joked that Republican Party leaders "are not at the top of my dance card."
"Do I let a group of power-mongering men with short penises tell me what to do?" Allen asked. "Well, I don't know. What am I supposed to do?"
"These men have a real problem," Allen said. "They can't be doing it from logic and truth. Logic and truth don't dictate a recall. Certainly not from the party. So what else can it be? They can't help it if they were born with shortcomings."
Allen said she planned to talk with top Democrats about her options. If she decides to step down, Allen said, she would do so by the end of the week so a successor could be named before the Legislature adjourns on Friday for the year.
Stepping down from the speakership, Allen said, is "a possibility. I'm not going to tell you I would. You've got to make that decision and feel good about it. And I have got to do some thinking. I really have to do some thinking about what I . . . can do.
"Once I get at peace with that myself, then fine. . . . But I really haven't made that decision," she said. "It's something I have to live with, something I have to determine based on the facts out there."