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San Francisco State experts on the Gov. Gray Davis recall campaign



Ted DeAdwyler
SFSU Office of Public Affairs
(415) 338-1665


Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


SAN FRANCISCO, July 24, 2003 -- San Francisco State University offers several experts on politics who can provide background and analysis on the recall drive of California Gov. Gray Davis. For additional assistance in reaching faculty experts in other areas, please call the SFSU Office of Public Affairs at (415) 338-1665.

Francis Neely, assistant professor of political science
Office: (415) 338-1522; E-mail:

Neely, an authority on national politics, including media influence on political attitudes, said that it is possible a recall election, regardless of the outcome, will cause Californians to think carefully about the power of direct democracy. If a Republican replaces Davis, the new governor faces Democratic majorities in Sacramento. If Davis stays, much public money will be spent to hold an election that doesn't change things. "But even if the outcome does turn out to be unsatisfying to many people, the allure of direct democracy in its various forms, especially the ballot initiative, will likely remain alive and well in the hearts and minds of most Californians," said Neely.

Joe Tuman, professor of speech and communication studies
Home: (510) 834-2294; E-mail;

An expert on political communication and public opinion, Tuman said he doesn't think the recall effort is about Gov. Gray Davis as much as it is about power and money in politics. "What makes this recall campaign different is that someone was willing to put $1 million behind it to make it happen. This is not about participatory democracy. It is more about the influence of money. It sets a dangerous and irresponsible precedent and it raises the level of partisanship, which is already pretty high in Sacramento," said Tuman.

David Tabb, professor of political science
Home: (510) 525-0890; E-mail;

Tabb, an expert on politics and elections, said the recall effort, which delivered 1.6 million signatures from across the state, may serve to give Republicans a head start with voters going into the 2004 campaign. "The most important factor of the recall election is that it will provide voter lists for the Republican Party for 2004," said Tabb. "You will have a "likely voter" list ready to go with lots of non-partisans, Independents, and even some Democrats who signed recall petitions and who are ripe for Republican pickings."


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Last modified April 20, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs