A bare-knuckles campaign to kick Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger out of office was abandoned Thursday by California’s powerful prison guards union. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association dropped its recall bid but continued to throw verbal jabs, reports the Sacramento Bee. “We continue to believe that Governor Schwarzenegger needs to return to what he’s good at, making movies,” spokesman Lance Corcoran said.
Schwarzenegger’s predecessor, Democrat Gray Davis, is the only California governor ever to be recalled, but the threat against the Republican governor sparked shock waves because CCPOA is one of the state’s most powerful unions, spending $17 million on political campaigns since 2005. Money, timing and the state’s rocky economy were key issues in CCPOA’s decision Thursday to shelve its bid before hitting the streets to gather more than a million signatures. The union would have had to spend an estimated $2 million to $3 million to force a special election next year targeting a governor who would be termed out a short time later, in January 2011.