Recall effort against Guinn fails

The petition drive to recall Gov. Kenny Guinn from office has failed to get the signatures needed to put the issue on the next general election ballot.

Organizers of the drive filed a petition with the Secretary of State's Office in Las Vegas on Monday bearing the names of just three signers - Tony Dane, Ron Wade and Christopher Hansen, all of Las Vegas. They are the organizers of the petition drive.

Dane declined to say how many signatures the drive managed to collect. To force a recall, they needed 25 percent of the number of voters who cast ballots in the election which put Guinn in office. That would have been 128,109 signatures.

Dane said earlier in the petition drive they had raised about 12,000. He had said they wouldn't file the petitions if they didn't have enough names, in part from fear of retribution against the signers.

Also, the recall effort relied on volunteers to gather signatures, rather than hiring people to collect names.

But there was some question whether the law requires all those petitions to be filed. The Secretary of State's Office was reviewing the law to decide whether to request all the petitions collected be filed.

Hansen is working on efforts to repeal the tax package enacted by the 2003 Legislature, which is what prompted the attempt to recall Guinn in the first place.

The recent recall of former California Gov. Gray Davis "really crucified us," said Hansen. "That was such a circus, such a show, with a stripper, a porn star, Gary Coleman as candidates."

"People thought it would probably be the same here, while in truth it would have been an election to keep or not keep Guinn as governor," Hansen added.

Guinn questioned whether the recall organizers really had all the names they claimed, saying, "While the small group of people who started this recall said they collected more than 51,000 signatures, that doesn't make it true."

The Republican governor, who supported a record tax increase this year, also said the recall effort failed "because the vast majority of Nevadans support me and the efforts I have made to make Nevada a better place."

Guinn has said he was elected to make difficult decisions for the state and has worked to reduce the size of government in the six years he has been in office. But he said the state faced a critical revenue shortfall this year, and the budget had nothing left to cut.


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