LOS ANGELES — The whole notion of a California gubernatorial recall election "is stupid, categorically," Susan Hudson-Wilson, founder and CEO of Property & Portfolio Research Inc., told a crowd of 400 commercial real estate professionals assembled at the Wishire-Grand Hotel last Thursday for a one-day conference.

Voters ousted incumbent Democratic Gov. Davis on Tuesday and selected action movie hero Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, over 134 other candidates, including a pornographic publisher and an assortment of celebrities, as well as veteran politicians.

"I’m not saying that you have to love Gray Davis. I’m just saying that you have to live with the choices that you make," said Hudson-Wilson, a keynote speaker at the 10th annual Real Estate Finance and Investment Conference coordinated by UCLA Extension. "You guys look like twinkies for having a recall process at all," she added. The Boston-based economist was asked to weigh in on the election process as she waited for a technical glitch in her slide presentation to be resolved.

Hudson-Wilson said the recall process has the potential to be a long-term distraction. "If it turns out that Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes the next governor, then the jokes will go on," said Hudson-Wilson. "This will be the recall election that never got over until the next general election. California doesn’t need to look like a fruit. It needs to look like a serious place for people to do business."

Not one to mince words, Hudson-Wilson said the election for governor was won fair and square by Gov. Gray Davis (a Democrat). "If [there is] a violation of ethics, morals, the law, you can impeach someone. That’s what impeachment is for, but recall is dumb."