Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
California's prison guards union is always described as politically powerful. No doubt they are. I wonder whether they're getting a little carried away with themselves, however, with the talk lately of launching a recall initiative against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The union is mad because they have worked without a contract for two years. Schwarzenegger is offering them a big pay hike -- 15 percent over three years -- but not giving them back the managerial authority and seniority perks that they'd come to expect under Gray Davis.
But when he asked his membership for the authority to proceed with the recall "if this gov makes us go to the mat," the response came back in the exact two words Jimenez asked for and received.
"Hell, yes!" most of the nearly 450 delegates shouted in reply to Jimenez's query, when he wanted to know, in reference to the governor of the state of California, if they were ready to "kick his ass."
Jimenez re-elected with 315 of the 447 votes cast, called Schwarzenegger a "clown" and an obscenity in his remarks to the membership once the votes had been counted.
Schwarzenegger isn't so popular these days, but the union will have to come up with a resonant message if they expect a recall effort to go anywhere.
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