Michael Savage to run for California governor? Radio talk-show host, best-selling author considering independent bid in October
Savage made the announcement on his radio program last night and is soliciting comments on the idea from his fans on his website.
His "Savage Nation" program is heard on more than 300 affiliates from coast to coast, but the talker is based in San Francisco.
State officials set an Oct. 7 date for the election to recall Davis, giving him less than three months to fight for his political life.
Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante announced the date yesterday, one day after state officials certified that the drive to recall Davis had collected more than enough signatures to make it onto the ballot.
It will be the United States' first gubernatorial recall election in 82 years.
If Savage runs, his entry into the race would be the latest development in a wild political story. Other candidates reportedly considering a bid include actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp.
Savage was fired as a television host by MSNBC earlier this month for referring to an unidentified caller to his cable show as a "sodomite" and saying he should "get AIDS and die." Savage later apologized for the remarks, which, he said, he believed were made off the air.
His latest book, "The Savage Nation," published by WND Books, became the New York Times No. 1 best seller earlier this year.
Savage said his platform would include the following:
The deportation of all criminal illegal aliens in the state. Savage says this action would save $3 billion to $5 billion.
Hospitalization of the mentally-ill homeless. Again, Savage claims this would save $3 billion to $5 billion dollars in welfare payments.
He would also enforce another state ballot initiative declaring English
the official language. As he explains it: "If you can't speak
English, then don't vote in our elections. If you're too lazy to learn
how to speak, read or write English, then don't vote in our elections.
English only on all ballots. English only in all business dealings
in the state of California."
Candidates seeking to replace Davis must now scramble to start their campaigns and declare their candidacies by Aug. 9 – 59 days before the election. Bustamante, himself a Democrat, selected the latest possible date allowed by California law for the unprecedented recall election.
As of yesterday, just one Republican candidate – U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, who bankrolled the recall signature-gathering effort with $1.7 million of his own money – was definitely in the running. Several others were said to be weighing a decision, including Schwarzenegger, Kemp, state Sen. Tom McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, failed gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon and former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan.
Davis has branded the drive to oust him "a hostile takeover by the right," and allies have said they expect to spend $15 million to $20 million to campaign against the recall.
Recall supporters say they are planning a "very aggressive campaign" with a $15 million budget.
Davis, who is less than a year into his second term, has seen his approval ratings drop amid a slump in the economy and a staggering deficit projected at more than $38 billion. He has been accused of spending recklessly during the 1990s and mishandling the state's electricity crisis two years ago.
"I'm not running against anyone else," he said. "The election is whether or not to retain Gov. Davis. It's a very risky business to change governors in one day."
The last gubernatorial recall election was in 1921, when North Dakota Gov. Lynn J. Frazier become the only governor in U.S. history to be removed from office.
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