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That's why they look so familiar

September 09, 2003|Roy Rivenburg | Times Staff Writer

Welcome to another useless edition of Recall Q&A, in which we answer the most common fake questions about California's gubernatorial coup d'etat.

Question: Since acting ability is crucial to governing California, are there any other actors (and we use the term loosely) in the race besides Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gary Coleman and Mary Carey?

Answer: Yes. Cruz Bustamante once starred as Mr. Spacely on "The Jetsons," Larry Flynt was the stunt double for Jabba the Hutt in "Star Wars" and Gray Davis played the long-lost brother of Niles and Frasier Crane on NBC's sitcom "Frasier," according to and Jay Leno. Also, Grandpa Simpson on "The Simpsons" was modeled after Peter Ueberroth.

Question: Is it true the recall is part of a right-wing conspiracy to undermine democracy and steal the election?

Answer: Yes and, at last count, roughly 60% of California voters were in on the plot. However, many of them joined against their will. The only way to protect yourself is by avoiding direct eye contact with that big blue ring Schwarzenegger has been wearing. Repeat: Do NOT stare into the ring. It has hypnotic powers.

Question: Should voters be worried that Bustamante, a former member of MEChA, refuses to renounce the group's goal of returning California to Mexico?

Answer: Oh, c'mon. Nobody seriously thinks Bustamante wants to give California back to Mexico. It's far more likely he'd hand the state over to the Indian tribes that have been dumping millions into his campaign coffers.

Question: I'm having some trouble keeping up with the onslaught of newspaper opinion columns about the recall. Any tips?

Answer: Most political columnists ran out of original things to say a week after the recall began. Some are now recycling attack columns from 1978 and 1980, replacing the words "Proposition 13" and "Ronald Reagan" with "recall" and "Arnold Schwarzenegger," respectively. So far, the public hasn't caught on, even though one careless writer recently lambasted Proposition 13 for "chickening out of a televised debate with the other propositions."

To save you the trouble of reading additional columns, here is a handy summary of their major themes:

* Attack Schwarzenegger for not taking a position on the issues or, when he does take a position, attack that.

* Tweak the Terminator for agreeing to just one candidate debate while conveniently not mentioning that Davis did the same thing when running against Bill Simon last November.

* Criticize Schwarzenegger for having no political experience. Or, for a change of pace, criticize him for being just like every other politician.

If any reader of this newspaper spots an opinion column that breaks the pattern (i.e., the writer praises Schwarzenegger), be the first to e-mail us and you can choose a gift from our box of prizes.

Question: Is the recall bad for California?

Answer: Not at all. If anything, the law should be expanded to allow recalls of other public figures, such as the people responsible for the movie "Gigli."

Question: What is the recall weather forecast?

Answer: An unstable hot air mass (Gray Davis) will continue to linger over the state, creating sporadic bursts of pandering. Schwarzenegger will remain cloudy on the issues. Conditions are expected to persist until Oct. 7.

Late-night blotter

"Gray Davis and his campaign team have come up with a strategy to make sure the recall is defeated. They're going to have Davis come out and endorse it." (Jay Leno)

Senior advisors: Pete Metzger, Susanna Timmons. "Recall Madness" runs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in Calendar. E-mail To view past columns, visit

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