FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SFSU Office of Public Affairs
Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs
FRANCISCO, September 24, 2003 -- San Francisco State University
offers several knowledgeable experts on politics who can
provide analysis on the Oct. 7 recall election. For additional
assistance in reaching faculty experts, please call the Office
of Public Affairs at (415) 338-1665 or visit: www.sfsu.edu/~news/expert.htm.
Smith, professor of political science, is expert on American
politics and its history. Smith can be reached
at (415) 338-7524 or (510) 222-7273 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
says that however one judges the performance of Gov. Gray
Davis, the recall challenges
the democratic process.
"The recall is reckless and contrary to the American republican
tradition (Madison and the other framers of the Constitution
would surely recoil in horror at this process). Indeed, the
idea of the immediate recall of elected officials is a Marxist
idea, advanced by Marx and Engels in their radical theory of
democracy. Although it is not likely to happen, the legislature
should consider repealing or radically reforming this provision
of the Constitution," Smith said.
Neely, assistant professor of political science, is an
authority on the election process. Neely can be
reached at (415) 386-3748 or (415) 338-1522 or via e-mail
says that the recall is a reason to take a new look at
the election process in California.
"The California recall brings to light questions about direct
democracy and the means by which we practice it. In theory,
direct citizen input seems appropriate and valid; in practice,
aggregating citizens' preferences can be tricky. Our unusual
rules for recalling state officials should be changed to avoid
another election like this one," Neely said.
Martel, assistant professor of political science, is an
expert on American politics and political theory. Martel
can be reached at (415) 405-2162 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
says the recall highlights the limitations of our political
"I think that this recall situation is fast turning into an
example of the constitutional crises that periodically wrack
the country. The constitution and our subsequent system of
government is not particularly well suited for very difficult
political decisions--as many have famously said, we tend to
'muddle through' rather than make definitive decisions. As
a result, many problems fester and remain intractable or are
'resolved' by means other than passing laws and making collective
decisions," Martel said.
Cook, assistant professor of political science, is an expert
in California politics. Cook can be reached
at (415) 405-2471 or (510) 336-0978 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
says that the top candidates for governor are currently facing
a two-fold job: campaign and prepare to govern the state
if they win.
"Unlike a governor elected in a 'normal' general election, there
will be no time or money for a transition, they will face a
legislature whose leadership and entire membership is already
in place (and the vast majority of whom represent safe districts),
and extraordinary demands within the first several months of
the term. Rather than seizing the reins of political power,
if indeed Governor Davis is removed from office, the next governor
will have to find a way to fit himself into a preexisting government," Cook
Note to editors: Cook is only available for print and radio