Joe Lopez for governor – Now more than ever…

The time is here. The time is now – the time for Joe…

As the executive branch of California government slowly melts down in the summer heat and Gov. Gray “I Am Not A Weasel” Davis faces almost certain recall at the hands of usually-lethargic-but-now-thoroughly-fed-up voters, it’s time for sapient members of the electorate (all 127 of us) to start thinking about a replacement.

Let’s face it, amigos, just another politico in a clean suit is not going to do the trick – besides, Dick Cheney’s already got a job.

No, for my money it’s time for former Vacaville City Council member and veteran lawman Joe “Joe” Lopez to step forward and park his luggage in the governor’s mansion.

The reasons are many, and there are many reasons for that.

First of all, Joe’s from Vacaville and Gray Davis isn’t. Gray Davis isn’t even from Victorville.

Secondly, Joe’s patiently administered everything from field sobriety tests to mind-deadening city zoning debates with equal wisdom and aplomb.

(And believe me, administering a field sobriety test is a piece of cake compared to debating obscure city zoning regulations for four hours or so in a roomful of easily annoyed Vacans…)

The versatile Lopez has served the region as a city police officer, city councilman, county administrative aide and county fair director.

And he knows lots of stuff, too, unlike our current governor.

Best of all, Joe’s more than enthusiastic about taking his place in history if, in fact, Gray Davis is summarily booted out of office.

Informally interviewed at a popular Fairfield restaurant several months ago, Lopez was ecstatic about being drafted for what may be the political showdown of the decade.

“What? What are you talking about? Governor? You said governor. What’s wrong with you?! Get away from me. You been drinkin’ again?” he said modestly, trying to overcome his obvious enthusiasm.

Contacted at his quiet Vacaville estate a few days ago, Lopez remained unflaggingly exuberant.

“You again? Governor? Why are you doing this? Why don’t you run for governor, then you could quit calling me. Where’s my Mace?!” the modest candidate-to-be said cheerfully. “You ever hear of a restraining order, partner?”

Of course, this won’t be a simple matter of walking into the governor’s mansion and setting up housekeeping as Gray Davis scuttles out the back door.

There are certain to be one or two other candidates. Joe’s going to need at least 65 valid nomination signatures from members of his political party and will have to pay a $3,500 filing fee or submit 10,000 signatures in lieu of the fee.

(Ten thousand signatures? Hey, Joe can get that many signatures standing on his head, although he’d probably rather not…)

And, needless to say, there will be some campaigning to do. Joe’s going to need a little war chest to get this thing rolling, so if anyone out there can spare about $5 million, just send it along to me. I’ll make sure Joe gets a mess o’ bumper stickers and some of those red, white and blue campaign buttons that say something catchy like, “Hiya, Joe!”

See you on the ol’ campaign trail, amigos.

Originally published August 3, 2003

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