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The Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees has slammed the California recall election, becoming the first showbiz union to take a stand on the Oct. 7 vote.

IATSE prexy Thomas Short issued a statement Monday saying that the recall of Gov. Gray Davis amounts to an unfair attempt to overturn the 2002 election results.

“This action represents the true breakdown of the democratic process when a candidate wins an election and, based on a technicality, is forced to run a second campaign,” he said. “The $60 million-plus that will be spent on this travesty could most certainly be put to better use in a state that is facing a $38 billion deficit.”

Davis received plaudits in early 2002 from the Hollywood unions when he announced he would back anti-runaway production legislation to provide a 15% wage-based tax credit for low-budget films shot in California. The bill died in the Legislature last summer.

IATSE, which reps more than 100,000 below-the-line showbiz craft employees, announced a month ago that it had endorsed Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) for U.S. president — the first such endorsement in the union’s 110-year history.