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Byline: Dick Polman
Jul. 24--Terry McAuliffe, the national Democratic Party chairman, has been monitoring the latest political earthquake in California, and yesterday, from his perspective, the news was all bad.
He learned that angry Golden State voters will soon get the chance to kick Democratic Gov. Gray Davis out of office. He learned that this statewide recall election -- the first in the nation since 1921 -- will likely happen this autumn. The official announcement came last night, when state officials said there were enough valid petition signatures for a recall vote.
So earlier yesterday McAuliffe set up a conference call with 1,000 Democratic donors and activists, and he coached them on the party's new national message: A twice-elected governor is fighting for survival against a small cadre of right-wing Republicans who have bankrolled this recall, in a bid to engineer a virtual coup d'etat, so don't let them win.