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Perata drops bid to recall Sen. Jeff Denham

SACRAMENTO -- In an abrupt political reversal, Democratic state Senate leader Don Perata says he is ending his campaign to recall a Republican senator.

How much good Perata's sudden announcement on Wednesday will do is unclear. The recall against Republican Sen. Jeff Denham of Merced already is on the ballot, and pamphlets already have been sent to voters.

In a statement, Perata said he was ending the recall campaign (in his own words) "in the spirit of putting politics aside to solve problems."

The following e-mail was sent to reporters Wednesday afternoon by recall campaign spokesman Paul Hefner:

Senate President Perata Issues Recall Statement

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata issued the following statement regarding the campaign to recall Jeff Denham:

"Like all of you, I've been worried a lot about the economy - falling home prices, rising gas prices - and how hard it's getting for people to find a job.

I've talked with both Treasurer Lockyer and Controller Chiang about the state's cash situation - and the need to do everything we can to reach an agreement on the budget.

A long stalemate is the last thing we need. Without a budget - we run out of cash - the richest state in America gone broke!

We won't be paying our bills - and we won't be giving our schools, our emergency rooms and our police the resources they need.

So I met with Republican Leader Dave Cogdill - and I asked him how we could clear the decks and start making some progress.One issue kept coming up. The Denham recall.

So today - in the spirit of putting politics aside to solve problems - I'm ending the recall campaign.

You're bound to ask, so let me tell you - there was no deal, no quid pro quo.

This is my call - and my best judgment about how to stop the long, slow slide into another long stalemate.

I hope it pays off. Because the same old rhetoric won't get the job done.

Let me also say this to the people who have devoted so much time and effort on the recall: thank you. You've already changed things for the better.

The vote we couldn't get last year to close the tax loophole for yacht owners - we got that vote.

The vote we couldn't get to help homeowners facing foreclosure - we got that vote.

You put everyone here on notice - and I don't think people are going to forget that anytime soon."

Keep checking Merced for details