Dispatches > The Buzz


"TOP NEWS" Continued...

Issue: "Public-school reform," July 26, 2003
a matter of when
California Gov. Gray Davis has already conceded that he'll likely face a recall vote-the first in California history. Now his strategists are concentrating on timing. As of last week, groups gathering voter signatures said they've collected about 50 percent more than are needed to bring the matter to a vote. But whether a vote happens in November or in March hinges on two things: how quickly Democratic Secretary of State Kevin Shelley orders county registrars to validate collected signatures as legal-a pending lawsuit accuses him of illegal footdragging-and whether the Davis camp can successfully tangle the timeline in court. Should recall proponents deliver enough valid signatures by Sept. 2, the law requires Mr. Shelley to call a special election in November. Backers of the governor, whose approval ratings are in the tank, want to push any recall vote back to March, during a presidential primary, when more Democratic voters would show up at the polls. Mr. Davis's handlers have admitted that they were examining legal options that would slow down the recall effort. Last week, they filed a lawsuit alleging that one recall group, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa's "Rescue California," knowingly hired a pair of convicted felons to circulate recall petitions in violation of state law. But Rescue California's Dave Gilliard notes that the two worked only briefly for Mr. Issa's group, then switched to Mr. Davis's side, where they were also paid for their work. Now the two are key witnesses in the Davis lawsuit.
roller coaster on a roll
Is tech back? Investors have turned back to the Nasdaq market, after it spent three years in the doghouse. Some analysts even say the bull market is back. Tech stocks boomed, crashed, and now some see them as a bargain. A rally started in mid-March, after the Iraq invasion started. Since then, the Nasdaq index-home to Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, and many others-rose over one-third. A hint of happier times comes from Juniper Systems, a networking company that competes with giant Cisco. This month it reported quarterly income of $13.6 million, which was more than double the same period last year. CEO Scott Kriens said high-speed Internet access is growing around the world-and that's good for his business. Intel's second-quarter profits also doubled. Long-term optimism can be found in a new report from the Rand Corp. The United States will continue to dominate high-tech, Rand concluded, although China could eventually pose a threat.


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