Opponents of SB 277, the vaccinations bill, received the green light to begin collecting signatures to ask voters to recall State Senator Richard Pan. Backers need 35,926 signatures by December 31, which is 20% of the votes cast in the election of Pan in 2014. The last successful recall effort was that of Gray Davis in 2003, and the last one to qualify for the ballot was of Jeff Denham in 2007, when he was a state senator.

The lead proponent of the recall is Katherine Duran, a Sacramento parent who has also had a profile fight with her child’s elementary school over Common Core. She and 49 other residents signed the petition that launched the signature gathering effort.

The question now is whether or not backers of the recall effort will be able to raise the money necessary to gather the signatures in Pan’s district, which stretches from North Natomas to Elk Grove and West Sacramento to Arden-Arcade.

The fight against SB 277 was both a grassroots effort and a lobbying campaign by the California Chiropractic Association, which reports having paid Governmental Advocates $52,277 for lobbying since January 1. Supporters of SB 277 was a broad coalition of major health and education organizations, who have plenty of resources should a Pan recall actually end up on June 7 ballot.

It’s unclear if the chiropractors want to continue the fight by participating in the recall effort. Fighting a bill is very different than fighting a member, and politically, it would be very bad politics to help fund the effort, as it would be taking on a member of the Democratic majority in the State Senate and would have long-term consquences for the chiropractors.

There is a committee currently set up called “SB 277 Recalls,” which has not reported any contributions yet. Another state committee is called Doctor Voice for Patients Choice, which was funded by a federal PAC also called “Doctor Voice for Patient Choice.” The federal committee, of which only 10 of 68 contributors are from California, transferred $50,034 to the state committee. The “Recalls” committee has a contact phone number in Wisconsin, and the “Doctor Voice” committee is run by a Washington, DC political firm.

There are also high profile celebreties, such as Jim Carrey, who could easily write a check to fund the effort if they want to. It’s unclear if there is such a backer yet, but we’ll be seeing any contributions of $5,000 or more.

Should the recall qualify and be placed on the June ballot, it won’t just be a question of whether voters want to retain Pan or not, but also who would replace him. And, that’s why a recall attempt would likely be unsuccessful. I can’t see any high-profile Democrat being willing to put their name on the ballot to replace Pan. Only when Democrats in this safe seat both a) disagree with SB 277 and b) see an alternative to Pan they would support, would he be recalled. And, the fact is neither criteria is likely to be met.

Hmmm…without getting into the politics of this particular recall, shouldn’t recall fundraising be limited to the district in which the elected official from which the official is proposed to be recalled? Perhaps not constitutional, but I’m just asking philosophically.

Cross-posted at The Nooner.