RECALL WATCH….According to the LA Times (not online), there are 15 candidates for governor so far. The homophone crowd includes ? so far ? John Beard (same name as a local TV anchor), S. Issa (same name as dirtbag recall financier Darrell Issa), and Michael Jackson (a twofer, since MJ is both a creepy pop star and a local radio personality).

There’s also a Leonard Padilla running, who might be counting on a name resemblance to the shoe bomber currently being held incommunicado by John Ashcroft. That sounds like a risky strategy, but perhaps Leonard is counting on the public vaguely realizing that they’ve heard Padilla’s name over and over but don’t quite know why. It could work!

(UPDATE: Padilla is the alleged dirty bomber, not the shoe bomber. Sorry about that. I guess “vague” really is the appropriate state of knowledge here.)

So far, there are eight Republicans running, four Democrats, one Independant, one Libertarian, and one decline to state (the shoe bomber wannabe). As near as I can tell, Tom McClintock is the only serious candidate who’s filed so far.

Anyway, it looks like my guess of 300 candidates was probably way too high ? I got suckered by Matt Drudge, who breathlessly linked to a story saying that 123 people had “taken out papers” ? so I have no chance of winning the pool. Of course, I don’t really need a prominent mention on Calpundit, do I?

POSTSCRIPT: The filing deadline is 5 pm on Saturday.

UPDATE: According to the California Secretary of State, 389 people have taken out candidacy papers. Of them 25 appear to have paid the $3,500 fee, although all are still listed as “pending,” whatever that means. In addition to the homophonic candidates above, I note that others taking out papers include Dan Feinstein, Bill Murray, Bill Bradley, and Edward Kennedy.

FUN FACT: In lieu of paying $3,500 (which, by the way, is 2% of the governor’s annual salary) you can submit signatures instead. Democrats and Republicans have to submit 10,000 signatures, but minor party candidates only need 150. Of course, the signers have to be members of your own party, so that may not be quite the boon it appears to be.