- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 23, 2003

There is mention of a gorilla, Armageddon, kittens, Emmy awards, gold, Rodney Dangerfield, a right wing conspiracy and sumo wrestling.

The official state guide to the California recall is rife with the aspirations, inner feelings and varied beliefs of the 50 Democrats, 42 Republicans, 32 independents, four Greens, three Libertarians, two Natural Laws, one Peace and Freedom and one American Independent candidates seeking the governorship.

Gov. Gray Davis held forth on reasons why voters should reject the recall altogether.

It’s that “right-wing conservative agenda,” he advised in a formal statement. “The recall was financed by right-wing Republicans who want to replace our progressive agenda with their conservative agenda … this recall could result in a right wing conservative governor whose agenda is not supported by most Californians.”

Mr. Davis also questioned the “uncertainty” and “inexperience” of his many rivals on the ballot, showcased Monday night on NBC’s “Tonight Show.”

His rivals — who include Trek Thunder Kelly, Lorraine Abner Zurd Fontane and David Laughing Horse Robinson — were limited to a 250-word statement in the guide, which was just mailed to California voters Friday.

The candidates paid $10 a word for their contributions.

“I breathe,” noted Republican Kevin Richter, author of the shortest statement.

To save money, he proposes at his modest campaign Web site (www.whowantstobeagovernor.com) that state officials drive Ford Festivas and that all legislators should bring a bag lunch to work.

“Please vote,” advised independent Jerry Kunzman, who only added a Web site address to his statement.

“Recall? Vote No!” stated Democrat Christopher Sproul.

“What’s it all about?” asked Green Ivan Hall — and that was it for his campaign missive, save a mention of his Web site.

Several of the gubernatorial hopefuls mentioned they were single, many talked of their spouses, children, pets, professions, former professions and hobbies.

While Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom McClintock did not participate, Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, Peter Camajo, a Green party member, and independent Arianna Huffington each offered a statement.

“I am taking on the role of citizen politician,” she wrote. “After all, our founding fathers weren’t professional politicians.”

Some candidates were, well, imaginative.

Trek Thunder Kelley, an independent, said a vote for him would “break the Seventh Seal, incurring Armageddon,” though he also sided with “peaceful resolutions backed by a strong military.”

Kurt E. “Tachikaze” Rightmeyer, an independent, displayed his true credentials.

“As the leading middleweight of the 2003 California State Sumo series and a serious, well-educated, nonpartisan candidate for governor,” he wrote, “I will attack the 800-pound gorilla of big government.”

The complete guide can be seen online at www.voterguide.ss.ca.gov.

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