It is quite possibly THE wackiest election on record. An overdeveloped movie star, and underdeveloped TV star, a wheelchair-confined smut peddler, a watermelon-smashing comedian, a former baseball commissioner, a syndicated columnist, a porn queen and even a couple of regular politicians, all vying for the leadership of the world's fifth largest economy, now seriously wounded. With a $30-billion-plus deficit, California may slide into the Pacific Ocean earlier than expected, if this election doesn't snuff out the Golden State first.
Current Governor Gray Davis, less than a year into his second term, is fighting for his political life in a Right Wing-inspired coup d'etat that could land California firmly in the Republican column just in time for Bush's re-election bid next fall. Last November, 3.5 million Californians voted to return Davis to the Governor's mansion; within eight months, 1.4 million signed petitions to recall him. The recall effort was initiated and funded by Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, who has since dropped out of the race with the entrance of the Terminator, and was certified valid by the California Secretary of State on July 23. A Special Election will be held October 7, comprised of two questions: a.) should Governor Davis be recalled and b.) if so, who should replace him?
Once the floodgates of certification were opened, more than 500 folks threw their hats into this three-ring circus, and who can blame them? According to California election laws, all that is required to play in this pro-am tournament for the state's highest office are 65 signatures and a $3500 greens fee. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gary Coleman, Larry Flynt, Peter Ueberroth, and Arianna Huffington joined the likes of comedian Gallagher, porn star Mary Carey and billboard model Angelyne, opposed the sitting Governor and the only viable Democrat in the race, Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante. Over 135 entrants were validated, and the state used a lottery system to determine in what order the candidates' names would appear on the 3-page ballot.
With this kind of wacky, energy-sucking, attention-grabbing sideshow, can Black Holes be far behind? No, they are very much in evidence in this parallel-reality-evoking moment in US politics. Key to the drama, if it can be so characterized, are the charts of the state of California, the Special Election, and Davis himself, but each of the leading participants, Schwarzenegger, Bustamante, and even Issa, tie strongly to the Grand Cross created by the synastry of these three primary horoscopes.
"Born" September 9, 1850, California has some Black Hole problems of its own, exemplified by Chiron at 5 Sagittarius conjunct a black hole, and Neptune at 5 Pisces conjunct a Quasar. This Neptune/Black Hole/Quasar combination signifies California, home to the Hollywood Dream Factory, as the highest, purest manifestation of the American Dream, and a place with more than its share of rose-colored glasses. Key to our purposes, however, is a potent Mercury/Mars conjunction, indicating, in this particular case, voter ire, which may rebound on Davis' head. This pairing, at 13 and 11 Libra respectively, conjoin both Black Hole Nemesis and the Sun of the Special Election, at 13 Libra, setting up one arm of the Grand Cross, while the state's Saturn, representing her Governor, opposes this disturbing combination from 19 Aries (square a Black Hole at 19 Capricorn) and sets up a second arm.
The Special Election chart for 7 October 2003 also contributes its own Saturn to the mix; at 12 Cancer it is square to Black Hole Nemesis and the Libran conjunction including its own Sun, and sets up the Cancer arm of the Grand Cross. Additionally, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are all conjunct Black Holes on Election Day; literally, almost anything can happen.
Gray Davis, born 26 December 1942, obligingly offers his Venus/Mercury conjunction at 13 and 18 Capricorn, Venus exactly squared Nemesis and Mercury conjunct yet another Black Hole, filling in the Capricorn arm of the Grand Cross by opposing the Special Election Saturn. His Sun and Neptune also square, each conjoined a Black Hole, and his Saturn conjoins a Maser, a sign on the one hand of ineffectiveness, lack of direction and frustrated hopes, and on the other, of potentially volatile and controversial leadership.
Not to be outdone, the chief rivals follow suit, adding fuel to Nemesis' insatiable furnace. Schwarzenegger's (July 30, 1947) 18 Cancer Mercury widely conjoins the Special Election Saturn and opposes a Black Hole, perhaps supplying Californians with enough True Lies to sway them his way, while his Pluto/Saturn conjunction at 12 and 11 Leo conjoins the Maser at 13 Leo, which ties to Nemesis by exact sextile and adds a Maser's excitement and volatility to the mix. Schwarzenneger's Venus conjoins one Black Hole, while his Mars opposes another; allegations of womanizing and sexual impropriety could take some of the gloss off his Neptune square Quasar Superstar glamor. (If Schwarzenegger wins this election, Americans will be treated to the spectacle of two Predator stars as state governors for a few months, Arnold and outgoing Minnesota Independent Jesse Ventura.)
Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante's (January 4, 1953) Sun/Chiron conjunction at 14 and 13 Capricorn conjoin Davis' Venus/Mercury and square Nemesis and the Special Election Sun, while his Uranus at 16 Cancer conjoins the Special Election Saturn. His Mercury conjoins the supermassive Black Hole at the Galactic Center, implying someone with a lot to say and universal appeal in saying it; Venus and Saturn each conjoin Black Holes, Mars and Jupiter square others, and Neptune opposes one. A possibly underestimated factor in his favor is his ethnicity; the lure of creating California's first Latino Governor may be an opportunity the Golden State's large Hispanic community cannot pass up.
Even Darrell Issa, the Congressman who began all the fuss, has Chiron at 16 Capricorn and Venus at 17 Libra, both tying closely to the arms of the Grand Cross. His Black Hole Sun/Saturn in Scorpio conjoins California's Venus/Moon, an apt image of this spoiler of the first water. Additionally, Black Holes dog his Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Jupiter's conjunction with a manifestation-inducing Quasar and opposition to the Galactic Center say much about his successful mediation in California politics, with huge ramifications for democracy across America in the years to come.
For this election is not just about Davis' recall. It follows a pattern becoming prominent in American politics, of losers attempting to change election results before the next cycle of voting. Clinton's unsuccessful impeachment in 1998, the Florida recount in 2000, and the Texas State House's attempt this year to redistrict voters along lines favorable to maintaining Republican majorities, all can be seen in this light. If the California recall is successful, it opens the door to constant campaigning, with the concomitant drain of financial resources (this Special Election is estimated to cost Californians in excess of $66 million) and loss of governmental focus in a desperate struggle to retain or seize power. A truly energy-sucking Black Hole state of affairs.