Shall ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor?


Current Results

October 8, 2003

I know you may have come here expecting something else, but as my anger wears off, I'm coming around to the anti-recall-Arnold perspective.

Because it has been up for a while and is one of the top search-engine results, this page is now one of the more popular destinations for recall-Arnold fury (scroll all the way down for a list of recent referrals). On election night, the emails poured in at around ten per hour--each one volunteering time and/or money to the recall-Arnold effort (except the one that said, "When I saw your website, I thought the same thing I thought when I saw Jennifer Lopez the first time: 'What an ass!'"). In about 14 hours, more than 1000 people have taken the poll.

This page has evolved over time. At first, about a month and a half ago, it was a one-off joke designed to illustrate the chaotic future that awaited California if it voted for the recall. The idea being: If Darrell Issa and $1.7M could do it, almost anyone could do it. Maybe even I, a disgruntled former candidate. (That's why my picture is up there on the top left.)

At the time, it was a valid point to make, I think. Davis had been chosen by the people of California in a legitimate election in November 2002. He had broken no laws. The recall was simply taking advantage of an unpopular governor at a time when Davis had to make some tough decisions (the same sort of decisions that Schwarzenegger refused to preview for us in his own campaign). And the rules of the recall meant that some bizarre results were possible. The recall was a bad idea.

However, that fact, in and of itself, does not mean we should recall the incoming governor. While I do feel that Arnold Schwarzenegger and a pliant media created a governership that could not have happened under the normal election conditions, there is a strong case to be made against progressives' leading a recall drive now:

1. HE WON. It looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger won more than 48% of the vote. By comparison, Gray Davis won 47.4% in November 2002. Schwarzenegger also won (slightly) more votes than there were "no" votes on the recall. The nightmare scenario of Davis' winning 49% on the recall question but being replaced by a candidate with only 15% of the vote has not transpired. The will of the California voters is pretty clear: They want Arnold Schwarzenegger to hold the office of governor.

2. A RECALL IS LIKELY TO FAIL. Gray Davis' approval rating was as low as 22% this year. He's a slimy, pay-to-play politician who earned the anger of Californians over a long period. He was vulnerable to this recall. Schwarzenegger is not likely to be in such a fix by March 2. Do California progressives really want to be blamed for an unpopular recall effort?

3. WE HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO, AND THEY NEED DOING. Democratic National Commitee chair Terry McAuliffe said about the recall, "People are worried about their jobs, their health insurance, and they are taking it out on Gray Davis, and they will take it out on George Bush, too." A Recall Arnold movement is not going to help to defeat George W. Bush. It will divide us at a time when we need unity and distract attention when we need it focused like a laser on President Bush's failures and the eventual Democratic candidate's solutions.

4. WE DON'T NEED TO SUBVERT THE PROCESS. The recall of Davis is not a repudiation of progressive ideas or the Democratic Party. Only conservative blowhards see it that way. Sentiment nationally and locally is against Bush and against the Republican agenda. The recall was about Davis. In a slightly altered universe, Schwarzenegger possibly could have run as a Democrat with the same result (it simply would have been more embarrassing). The Republicans have resorted to subverting the normal process in Florida, Texas and California precisely because they don't have a majority of people behind their backward agenda. The big picture matters: On most of the important issues, Democrats are in alignment with the majority. Using the normal democratic process--and keeping the focus on the issues--is the right thing both morally and strategically.

5. DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE LIKE THEM? I'm angry. I've been angry since November 2000. And I get angrier every day, because every day offers a new reason for it. But anger is an ugly emotion, and it can do ugly things. Our opponents can also use our anger to their advantage. They can make us so angry that we become like them, and it is in that sordid territory--and only in that sordid territory--that they can win. The Republicans are so out of touch with average Americans that they have to start wars and declare orange alerts to scare people into voting for them. One of the reasons that I am a Howard Dean supporter is that he knows how to turn anger into hope. Hope is a better emotion than anger, and there really is good reason to hope--Americans are now seeing through George Bush, and they want a better alternative to his incompetence and dishonesty. It's time to channel our energies toward presenting that alternative--and we can't do that if we're focused on contempt.

 I do think that liberals need to fight. But you don't necessarily counter a left hook with a left hook. The Republicans would like nothing more than to see us choose our countermeasures poorly. If we're going to Recall Arnold, we have to determine calmly, with plain facts and reason, that it is a sensible part of the overall strategy to achieve our goals. The more I think about, the more I believe a recall effort is more likely to gain us merely a quick (and cheap) bit of emotional satisfaction. If we channel the energy toward more positive efforts, we may experience much greater satisfaction on November 2, 2004.

I'm going to continue to monitor discussions here and here, but I'm definitely leaning in the anti-recall direction.

Thanks for coming to this site, and please do consider channeling your anger at the Gropenator into something that will be good for all of us.

Brian Flemming


1. Donate what you can to the Democratic National Committee.

2. Help out CodePink.

3. Go to work for the Democratic presidential candidate of your choice. (My choice is Howard Dean.)

4. Do everything you were planning to do for the Recall Arnold effort, but do it for something positive and constructive for a progressive agenda. You'll still piss off the forces behind this recall. And you'll rob them of the pleasure of watching us act like they did during the Clinton impeachment.


Dear Scared Californian,

I know. Me too.

This site, created more than a month ago, was at first a semi-joke intended to illustrate California's chaotic future if the right-wing recall succeeded. I guess it's not so funny anymore.

Because this site gets a lot of search-engine hits on "recall Arnold" and the like, I want to make sure this traffic does not go to waste. If you're interested in joining a recall petition effort, please click on the link in the right column and send me your email address and other information.

There are many groups currently being formed to recall Arnold Schwarzenegger. I will send you notifications about these efforts as they develop, so you will know exactly how to get involved. If you give me your specific permission to do so, I will pass your information on to other Recall Governor Schwarzenegger groups.

As a lifelong Californian, I'm as shocked as you are that our state has done such a surreal, horrible thing. Please volunteer to set things right again.

Brian Flemming


Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  11:34:33 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Hey Brian,

I know.  Me too.  I'm from West LA.  I'm willing to help organize, research rules, canvas after work and on weekends.  Let me know what needs to be done, and whatever I'm good at, or needs to be done, I'll do. 

Thank you so much,

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  11:31:51 PM US/Pacific
Subject: Help us save ourselves from this farce

Not only do these numbers make me sick (at least he's under 50% at the moment), they make me wonder about all those electronic voting machines. I don't know what would be worse for the state: another recall circus, or letting Ahnuld finish out Davis' term. Sign us up -- we want to know if anyone actually decides to pursue this.

Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 02:10:53 EDT

I'm Tony, I'm from San Francisco, and Governor Arnold is just TOO much...
I'll do whatever I can, just get him out of there!!!

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:56:27 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Hi Brian,
I was so heartened to find your site tonight.  The only thing that made me feel a little better was the thought that I can do something.  I can help recall this joke of a governor.

Date: Wed Oct 8, 2003  10:45:27 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Sign me up. I can start getting signatures as soon as you need them. What else can I do?

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:33:08 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

I'm willing and able to collect signatures in the Republican snake-pit of San Diego, so keep me posted of new developments.  Lets work to make Arnold's governship the shortest in California's history!

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:29:13 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Please put us on your list, if this is a for-real recall petition!  Thanks, 

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:24:09 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

I'm from Riverside California,

            I would love to be involved in this effort. I will do
whatever I can; I have web skills, graphics skills, and just all around
computer skills. I work from 7-4 on weekdays. Lemme know how I can help!

I have ALOT of friends who would also be very interesting in working for this cause.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:03:35 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Sign me up!

What else do you need?

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:17:58 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

I want to volunteer.

I live in San Francisco and would be willing to collect signatures.


Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:17:33 PM US/Pacific

I can't believe what's happening here!   What can I do to help?

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:15:41 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall


I am from Los Angeles. I am willing to go out there and get signatures for a recall effort against Arnold. This whole thing was ridiculous and Arnold has no ability to manage the state of CA.

Please sign me up for your mailing list.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:11:23 PM US/Pacific
Subject: Recall Arnold!!

I would love to help you recall Arnold.  He is going to ruin the great state we live in.  I will do whatever is needed in the Los Angeles Metro Area to help take back our state

Studio City, CA

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:09:35 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall


I would like to circulate petitions.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:08:45 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

I'm fron Encino, and would be happy to circulate petitions, hang signs, donate to the cause (what I can).  Please keep me posted on the efforts!  Thanks!

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  10:07:52 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

When can we start collecting signatures? I have had my vote of 11 months ago purchased and thrown away. I'm pissed!

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  9:52:16 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Yes, sign me up -- let's totally recall the groper. Would be interested in "getting connected" to other Recallers.  Was just at a CodePink demo yesterday.

Rick Kellis

Here's my letter to the Daily News (San Fernando Valley) published Sunday, top letter:

Sunday, October 05, 2003 -
I had to laugh when I saw Arnold's 100-day plan on the front page and the endorsement of the entertainer in the editorial section of the Oct. 2 Daily News. Truth is, Arnold might not have 100 days free to do anything but campaign. That's because plans are already in motion -- preliminary petitions circulated online and finances arranged -- for, you guessed it, another recall circus. Funny thing about circuses: They are circular, and, as we all know, what goes around, comes around.
Rick Kellis
Woodland Hills

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  9:49:23 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

I live in San Francisco.  Please keep me informed of a formation of a real recall movement (fundraising efforts, etc.)

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  9:44:31 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

I am very upset that ignorant people voted for the groper!
I'm all for the recall. I'll help by getting signatures from friends and others who feel as we do.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  9:44:05 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Dear Brian,  I'm a medical student in San Francisco, and I am interested in helping in the effort to recall Governor Arnold Swarzenegger.  Please let me know what I can do.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  9:25:02 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

I'm from Sunnyvale (Santa Clara County), and a 26 year old registered Democrat.

I'm not in a position to contribute financially to any effort, but could (depending on when petition circulation can begin by law) collect signatures.  And unlike the Issa types, I'm not interested in getting paid by the signature for it.

And, obviously, doing what grass-roots "get out the signatures/vote" efforts I can.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  9:19:07 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Let me know how I can help.  I am a student at CSULB and would be happy to
gather signatures.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  9:18:27 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Have you networked with ?

They'd probably give you a plug for your site.

Also, what's this deal with calling the election and
only 16% of the vote reported? Arnie's just got
elected by count that equals my county's population!

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  7:07:21 AM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Yes, I can't wait to sign a recall Arnold petition and help circulate

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  9:12:15 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Sign me up. Thanks.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  9:07:10 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

We want to volunteer to help recall Arnold.  We are located in Long Beach and can help gather signatures on a petition.

Thanks for organizing this very important effort! 

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander"

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  8:37:51 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

 I am one of the California Indians that have been scapegoated by Arnold during the last weeks of his campaign.  I reside in Sacramento and am willing to gather signatures for a recall on Arnold, and do anything else that might help.  My email is...

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  8:44:14 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

I live in Santa Barbara and I am willing to circulate

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  6:35:44 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Sign me up. I never would've believed this day would come, and I still have a tiny shred of hope that it hasn't.  This whole recall has been a nothing but a blatant power-grab dressed up as a joke, and I still can't believe it could ever have gotten this far.  But if Arnold (and his string-pullers) succeed in pirating the guv's office, then screw it-- Open the flood gates--

Let 10/8/03 be Day One of the California Permanent Recall.  I live in
Woodland Hills & work in Burbank, and I'd be happy to petition my friends, neighbors & co-workers.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  6:31:49 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Something smells really bad in California, and I want to stop the stench!!. Count me in. I will help pass out recall papers all around Los Angeles!!

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  6:22:08 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Arnold is a predator, if he wins the election, he must be recalled.  Please notify me of recall plans if Arnold wins the election.
thank you

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  5:50:50 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

sign me up - i want to start collecting signatures the minute he is elected (hopefully it won't come to that)

i'm from berkeley and would be willing to collect signatures.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  5:21:31 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

YES!!!  Please add me to the list of volunteers.  I live by the Santa Monica farmer's market and I will gladly be out there on Saturdays like the recall supporters were.

Whenever they tried to get us to sign the petition, we would reply, "GO BACK TO ORANGE COUNTY!"

Thanks and good luck.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  2:33:17 PM US/Pacific
Subject: arnold's recall mailing list

I want to join arnold's recall campaign.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  1:24:51 PM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

I'm from Los Angeles and I would circulate the petition among my coworkers and friends.

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  8:35:14 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Recall Arnold

hi brian,

doesn't look good for today's election.  when it all goes down, i would be interested in receiving information about recalling arnold. 

if the polls go thru the way it looks, around 46% of all of the voters will say that Gray Davis is their first choice for ca's governor while only 36% will say that Arnold is their first choice (and you would have to subtract for those strange few that will vote "no" on the recall and choose arnold as the successor).  64% of the voters will vote against arnold, but he will win.  Gray Davis will have the most support, but he will lose.

i currently live in glendale and would probably only encourage my close friends to sign the recall and perhaps give some information at my school (i am a teacher).

thank you,

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  12:09:41 AM US/Pacific

Hi Brian -

...I really appreciate that you have gotten the ball rolling on this deal.  This whole thing is such a drag.

Its gonna be a showdown if Arnie "wins", and call it instinct (or electronic voting machines**), but something tells me it may not be boding so well for Gray, or for Californians for that matter. 

Im hoping  because its late and Ive been reading too much internet hype, that good will prevail and California will have triumphed over the Terminator come Wednesday morning.   We'll see.  Seems the important thing is to be doing exactly what you have done which is to start moving in that direction and looking at options.

I am at your command and hopefully God willing and the creek dont rise, youll be renovating your site on Wednesday to be Brians Post Recall Fiesta Extravaganza!***

Date: Tue Oct 7, 2003  11:01:59 AM US/Pacific
Subject: I want to Join Arnold's Recall

Please send me the necessary information if this horrible situation comes to pass.

Date: Tue Sep 30, 2003  2:35:10 PM US/Pacific

As we get closer to Oct. 7 it does appear that the media has declared an Arnold victory.  I can hardly believe this is happening in California.  I am glad to see that someone else has the idea to recall Arnold if he does in fact win.    I pledge myself to work actively to gather signatures.  I don't even need to be paid for each signature.  I live in San Diego, home of Pete Wilson.  Let me know what I need to do to hook up with others who feel the say way.  How much can this cost is we just get all the NO voters on the recall to sign?  Let me know what I can do when the time comes.  I do believe that his candidacy has Bush written all over it.   Also when is the news media going to pick up on Arnold's history of active groping at all woman whom he can in contact over a number of years and not just in his "youth".

Date: Tue Sep 30, 2003  1:51:34 PM US/Pacific
Subject: recall arnold!

Add me to the list of volunteers!

Subject: Recall Arnold
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 20:37:43 -0700

Please sign me up! I am ready and able to help any recall Arnold campaign. Someone, somehow has got to do this!

Date: Mon Sep 29, 2003  10:02:41 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Recall Arnold

I'd like to be part of it.  Let me know how I can help.

Date: Mon Sep 29, 2003  9:34:11 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Count me in!

I pledge to make available some Internet resources (web hosting,
mass-mailing program) in order to start this process over until the
ridiculous recall provision is eliminated.

Elected officials, under the US Constitution and current jurisprudence can
be recalled (or impeached) only when convicted of illegal malfeasance while
in office.

The recall provision is a threat to Democracy in general as it allows
individuals with money to trump ANY election they do not like. This is
wrong, wrong and dead wrong.

I'm no big fan of Gray Davis but he is the ELECTED Governor of California
and should be allowed to serve the full term he was ELECTED for by a
majority of Californians. This is what Democracy is all about, plain and

I further believe Arnold Scharzenegger is a potential threat to National
Security as Governors have access to classified DOD information and he does
not qualify for a DOD EBI Security Clearance (being born a foreign

I am a foreign-born citizen myself and although my loyalty is to the USA as
a citizen, I would perfectly understand it if US-born nationals had some
reticence to entrust me with their safety. It is perfectly possible that
some foreign-born individuals may still have (consciously or not) allegiance
to their nation of origin.

And besides, in my opinion, Arnold is just a puppet and his handlers have
ulterior motives (elections of 2004).

You may publish my opinion if you see fit, please withhold my e-mail

Date: Sun Sep 28, 2003  11:45:49 PM US/Pacific
Subject: Against recall

I am really upset that some actor thinks he can just come in and be
governor with no experience.

If he is elected he should be recalled because people don't know enough
about what he really stands for.

I heard that he had a secret meeting with Enron and most people don't
know that.

Date: Sun Sep 28, 2003  2:18:09 AM US/Pacific
Subject: Recall

Yes, a campaign should be mounted to recall Schwarzenegger before the forthcoming October election.
See Sunday's Doonesbury cartoon, which already has the petition in writing.  All that is necessary
is to file it with the Sec of State.  My wife and I would gladly sign it if it were presented to the

Thank you for this web site.  May it draw enough support for the next recall to be mounted
immediately!!!  I located it with Google, hoping that soon there would be a petition circulating for
the public to sign to recall the probable winner of next month's election.
Let's get the ball rolling!

Date: Thu Sep 25, 2003  1:59:31 PM US/Pacific
Subject: Recall

Sign me up.  I will gladly volunteer to gather signatures should the Terminator win.

Date: Thu Sep 25, 2003  10:16:10 AM US/Pacific
Subject: arnold

  I was online looking for a site to leave a statement for Arnold when I came
upon your site.  More power to you!  I am a former Californian (San Diego)
and am very offended even by the thought of him (or any one of his mindset)
being the Governor of California.  This entire recall has been a very sad
political joke.  I wish you success in your campaign.  If there is anything a person
from Chicago can do for you, please let me know. 

The old text at this site...

Dear California voter,

This website presents a picture of what is very likely to happen in the coming months if the recall succeeds.

If you are thinking of voting for the recall, please keep this in mind: Somebody is likely to be angry enough to force a recall vote on whomever is elected. In a campaign that will see tens of million of dollars in spending, the $1.7M (or possibly far less) that it takes to gather signatures for a recall is mere pocket change. A runner-up candidate, for example, may realize that a recall is a cheap way to get another shot, on a ballot where, say, a Governor Schwarzenegger would need over 50% of the vote on the first part of the ballot and could not run on the second.

It is vital that we imagine this chaotic future right now.

Voting against the recall is not a vote of confidence in Gov. Gray Davis. It's a vote against this kind of chaos happening permanently in this state. If this recall succeeds, many groups--Democrat, Republican, even smaller special-interest groups--will be emboldened to try it again. The precedent will be set: Anyone who doesn't like the governor and can find 900,000 Californians to agree will have the power to force a recall election.

Even if you like Cruz Bustamante, or Peter Camejo, or Arianna Huffington, or Tom McClintock or Arnold Schwarzenegger, please vote "no" on the recall before you vote for one of them.

Otherwise, look forward to the next recall--and the near-paralysis of the state government.

Brian Flemming
Lifelong Californian

Hub of the pro- recall effort:


Totally Recall Arnold online petition