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California

Davis Recall Bid Has Supporters and Doubters at GOP Convention

February 23, 2003|Michael Finnegan | Times Staff Writer

Signs on display at the rally, however, suggested that the initial base of support is firmly within the right wing of the GOP. Among them: "Just Say 'No' to Socialism!" "Stop the Gays/Davis War on Marriage" and "We Trust God! Not Davis." El Dorado County Republican Pieter Friedrich carried a sign reading, "Abortion Kills Children."

"Davis has totally messed up the state," he said.

Recall supporters fear the effort to oust Davis will fail if it looks like a Republican campaign. They made a point of having Libertarian and other minor-party leaders speak at the rally. But no Democrat has joined the recall campaign.

"There are a lot of angry Democrats out there," Douglas Lorenz, chairman of the National Republican Liberty Caucus, told the crowd. "Just find them!"

One Democrat who watched the rally with a smirk was Davis spokesman Roger Salazar. "All this is," he said, "is a bunch of sore losers who can't stomach the fact that they lost fair and square in the last election."

In Washington on Saturday, Davis got a vote of support from his party peers in the form of a resolution passed by the Democratic National Committee, which condemned the recall effort as the work of "a handful of right-wing politicians who are attempting to overturn" the November election.

The resolution, passed unanimously at the Democrats' annual winter meeting, said the recall would worsen California's fiscal condition and asserted Republicans were placing "vindictive politics above public interest" in a "cynical, arrogant grab for power." It was sponsored by Art Torres, chairman of the California Democratic Party.

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Times staff writer Mark Z. Barabak contributed to this report.

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