Daily Democrat: Targeting Latino lawmakers over gun legislation

November 01, 2013

Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, revving his engine for an intended run against Gov. Jerry Brown for governor next year, announced last week that he and gun-rights activists will launch a recall effort against several state legislators who voted for gun legislation that Brown signed into law.

Donnelly, R-Hesperia, will be joined in the recall effort by Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, and adviser Tim Knight, who was part of the successful recall effort in Colorado and gun measures were passed there in the wake of the Aurora theater massacre.

Knight's involvement could mean there's a glimmer of hope that the recall effort might work against one or two of the targeted lawmakers. Unlikely, but more probable than Donnelly's quest for the governorship, for example.

Asked which legislators might be targeted, recall activists mentioned five -- each one with a Latino surname. That drew a rebuke from the California Latino Legislative Caucus: "Californians will not stand for any campaign that is clearly racist and devoid of any political or legal legitimacy," said Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens.

Given Donnelly's background as a former Minuteman, the appearance of targeting Latinos with the recalls is particularly unwise politically.

But the roster might change by the time the gun-rights activists make their final recall selections, already some in Solano County are eyeing state Sen. Lois Wolk because of the bills she submitted last session on gun control.

Aside from being out of step with most Californians, who support sensible gun restrictions, Donnelly and crew stumbled right out of the gate into looking like racists.