The prison guard union’s announcement that it will file recall papers against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger may not work out as union officials expect. This action will put a spotlight on the union and add evidence to the charge that public employee unions want to wrap up control of state government. Two weeks ago on this site, Patrick Dorinson drew a comparison between the public employee unions’ efforts to dominate state government and the railroad barons’ control of state government at the beginning of the 20th century. This recall effort is another piece of evidence to endorse that argument.

The California Correctional Peace Officer Association’s charge that this recall effort is not about money and the two-year old contract dispute with the governor is laughable. Everyone will see it for what it is.

While the union may be attempting to send a message to the governor and perhaps future candidates for that office, they may instead be opening the eyes of ordinary citizens to the fact that the state’s financial crisis has been brought on by the incessant demands of the unions.

Political actions often begat unexpected reactions. Here’s a long shot possibility. Proposition 5 on the November ballot, the Nonviolent Drug Offenders Act, would reduce jail time and increase rehabilitation programs for some drug offenders. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a prodigious fundraiser and someone who is not shy about putting his own wealth behind political efforts. Might Schwarzenegger endorse and raise funds for Prop 5, which, if successful, could result in the need for fewer prison guards?