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Local backers say they won't let go of Denham recall effort

Local organizers of the recall effort against State Sen. Jeff Denham say they're not abandoning the cause, even after state officials have said they are doing so.

Gary Robbins, a local Democratic Party activist who signed the petition that began the recall process of signature gathering, said volunteers across all the counties in Denham's 12th district plan to carry on.

"Nothing's going to slow down on this," said Robbins, who lives in Modesto. "The people here want to have a vote."

Robbins said there are several hundred campaign volunteers working for the recall, and there are still plans for such events as phone banks and precinct walks.

Though Senate Pro Tem Don Perata described a need to focus on the state budget as a reason for the recall campaign's end Wednesday, Robbins said the reasons to recall Denham, R-Atwater, are deeper than his vote against last year's budget.

Robbins said Denham also voted against such bills as raising the minimum wage and putting a new school bond on the ballot. Denham did so, Robbins said, to drum up support within his party for a run for state lieutenant governor in 2010.

"He's strayed from the path he promised," Robbins said.

The remaining campaign to recall Denham will have less money to work with, Robbins acknowledged. The abandoned state-level campaign had raised millions to combat Denham, but Robbins said he won't have access to any unspent money from that fund.

After Perata's announcement, anti-recall campaign workers said they would carry on because the recall will still be on the June 3 ballot.