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If Gray Davis is recalled and Cruz Bustamante wins the election, could Bustamante appoint Gray Davis as Lt. Governor? Then could Bustamante resign and make Gray Davis governor again? Wouldn't that be a nice screw-you to the recall backers.

-- Concerned Citizen, the net

Well, somehow the plot would come back to bite us voters in the butt. The only sure thing in politics these days. Not that your musical chairs scenario isn't possible. Theoretically. I repeat, theee-o-ret-ick-lee. Of course, musical chairs would turn into the Mad Hatter's tea party, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger would start looking like a reasonable alternative. But maybe that's what we need-- a governor who can bench press six or seven energy execs.

Legally, Bustamante could appoint Davis as his lieutenant governor. Then he'd have to get the appointment past a majority vote of the legislature. Or, if the legislators dither around and don't make a decision in 90 days, Davis is automatically in. The 90-day deadline wouldn't include the legislators' Christmas break, which means things could drag on well into 2004.

Bob Stern of the Center for Governmental Studies in L.A. says your scenario might be legally possible but is so politically unlikely it isn't even worth the newsprint to discuss it. Bustamante abandon the governorship for the good of Davis (let alone to spite Issa and the Republicans)? HAH! Cruz and Gray aren't pals; Bustamante wouldn't appoint Davis lieutenant governor, noway-nohow. Even if your revenge plot materializes, Stern predicts a flood of lawsuits ending with a federal judge saying, sorry, the voters ousted Davis; he can't come in again through the back door. Stern is delighted with this first-ever recall election. He's encouraged by the grass-roots public involvement in voting and politics and the attendant media coverage. A good sign, he says. Shake things up. Clarify the law. But Bob's a glass-half-full kinda guy.

On a somewhat related topic�

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