Recall this recall

Recall Matsui? Bites was appalled to learn that some local peace activists are launching a recall campaign against the 5th District’s Representative Robert Matsui. Say what? Recall a moderate, long-serving Democrat who had the chutzpah to oppose the Iraq war more than a year ago? That’s when most congressional leaders were caught up in post-9/11 patriotic humbug and were lining up to hand over war powers to the executive branch. But apparently, some lefties, including also-ran gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo and Pat Driscoll of the Sacramento chapter of Veterans for Peace, feel Matsui isn’t opposing the war in Iraq with enough fervor. Aside from being a sign of rampant political over-correctness trumping common sense, turning on friends like the honorable representative from Sacramento only will validate the administration’s “You’re either for us or against us” world view and guarantee that moderate voices in support of peace be even further marginalized.

Silly Dan: Having ridden the otherrecall bandwagon to national prominence (see The Sacramento Bee’s in-your-face, full-page ad campaign, “We went national almost overnight,” featuring a large shot of the paper’s pundit on MSNBC), columnist Dan Weintraub is still waiting for his exclusive Arnold Schwarzenegger interview payoff. (Sorry, Dan, but it looks like Arnold’s freezing out the press even more completely than Gray Davis ignored you during your reporting days.) With so much downtime, Weintraub is seeking new targets by soliciting contributions for a new feature to “showcase the silliest management memos in state government, memos that illustrate either a ridiculous purpose or are written in a particularly obtuse fashion.” Bites figures the “silliest” waste of time for a state worker would be helping Dan and the Bee with their job.

Viva Las Maloofs: Now that the Maloofs are accusing Sacramento’s city government of screwing up the whole downtown-arena snow job—er, sales job—there’s been speculation they’ll pick up their Kings and move to Anaheim and buy the Mighty Ducks hockey team while they’re at it. Such threats aren’t uncommon when a sports franchise doesn’t get its way, but Bites predicts the Kings won’t be moving to the land of Disney. Connections to former Mouseketeer Britney Spears notwithstanding, they’d be more likely to opt for Las Vegas, where they could consolidate the family bidnesses. Of course, they’d have to convince the NBA they’d keep their gambling and basketball interests separate and that Vegas is as nice and wholesome as Sacramento.

Home of the Brave: As of press time, it looked like the votes were there for the Sacramento City Council to pass a largely symbolic resolution “affirming civil liberties and opposing the infringement of such liberties by the federal government.”

Whew! That really is taking a stand. In fact, if the council passes the resolution—which sort of, almost, condemns the USA Patriot Act and goes so far as to suggest that we can have liberty and security at the same time—it will make us only the 206th local government in the nation to stand up and say, “Hey! Not so fast there, Mr. Ashcroft!”

Because Sacramento is suddenly all about taking it to the man, here’s a crazy idea: Instead of just symbolically wringing our hands over the erosion of civil rights, we could actually do something to restore them. Right here, at home!

Remember last spring just before the big agriculture expo hit town, when city councilmembers, in a fit of security-state hysteria, completely lost their minds and rushed through a new “emergency ordinance” making it darned near illegal to attend a political protest or rally on city property? (See “Know your riots” by Cosmo Garvin, SN&R News, September 11.)

Why, if the council repealed the local Patriot Act—er, “parade ordinance”—then we’d know councilmembers were really serious when they said, “The preservation of civil liberties is crucial to the political and social health of the community.” Of course, Bites knows that a good idea can be taken too far.