I know this’ll seem like piling on in light of the story I had in today’s editions, but I seem to recall blogging here several times before that Don Perata’s aborted attempt to recall state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Merced, would go down in history as having accomplished nothing save lining his Perata’s favorite political consultants’ pockets and giving Denham more street cred with California conservatives should he ever run for statewide office.
And, look here: Denham today officially announced his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor. From his news release:
“The status quo has failed. In order for California to be economically competitive in the 21st Century, and for our state government to operate efficiently and effectively, change is not an option, it is a requirement.
“As a Senator, I’ve fought to make key changes to the budget process so we can limit future budget stalemates. I’ve been a strong supporter of our schools and a staunch defender of funding for K-12 and higher education. I’ve consistently opposed tax increases as burdensome to California’s businesses and unfair to taxpayers when there is still so much wasteful spending by state government. And I’ve always sided with law enforcement and crime victims over criminal offenders.
“My priorities, my experience and my record are a perfect fit for the responsibilities of the Lt. Governor’s office.”
Ah, but wait for it… Scroll down to the release’s “background” section and you find:
In 2008, then-Senate President Pro-Tem Don Perata organized and funded a recall campaign against Denham for opposing passage of the unbalanced state budget. Denham won a stunning 76% of the vote and statewide attention for both his principled leadership against state deficit spending and his defeat of the Legislature’s most powerful member.
Now, Denham might well have run for lieutenant governor in 2010 no matter what — he seems like an ambitious guy. But Don Perata’s ill-conceived recall gave him statewide name recognition of the best kind: The David-who-defeated-Goliath kind, the martyr-who-lived-to-tell-the-tale kind, the kind that sometimes tips the scales in contested primaries.
Don Perata might’ve wanted to oust Denham, but he might end up being the best thing that ever happened to Denham’s political career.