Recall: A New American Revolution
America is awash in near-instant communications technology and 24-7 media. Yet many politicians count on their constituents having short-term memories. These profligate politicians spend tax dollars recklessly and increase the size of government regardless of the public's growing concern over what this unsustainable debt will do the economy and to the next generations. Just before elections, the big-spending incumbents present themselves as budget hawks, with a compliant media fostering amnesia among the plucked taxpayers.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a progressive movement began to use recall to hold office holders more accountable. The impetus at that time was concern over the
political influence of monopolies of industrialists and banks. In our time, government and public employee unions have become major sources of corruption, creating bureaucracies insulated from the people who are paying for it all.
Recall can provide more accountability in between elections and put office holders on notice that they are being watched. Recall is now available to constituents in 18 states. Another 13 states have initiative procedures whereby petitioners could put recall measures on the ballot. RecallTheRogues.org provides each state's relevant laws, plus updated news and commentary on recall efforts around the nation.
Welcome to the new American Revolution.
Latest Recall News
Recall Petition against Michigan Governor Approved
(02/09/16) — “ A petition to oust Governor Rick Snyder from office will soon be circling the state. The Michigan Board Of Canvassers approved a petition Monday night to recall the Governor, but not over the Flint Water crisis-- but rather for his decision in 2015 to move the state school reform office to a department under his control.
Nine other petitions, including petitions to recall the governor over the tainted water in Flint, were rejected by the Board Of Canvassers due to how the petitions were worded, or even misspellings. Those who submitted petitions to recall the Governor over the Flint Crisis, plan to rewrite their petitions and resubmit them.
The sole petition that was approved is valid for only 180 days. Organizers have sixty days within that window to collect 789,133 valid signatures.”
Group Begins Petition Drive to Recall Austin City Council Member
(01/22/16) — “A group calling itself Austin4All PAC has begun collecting petition signatures with the goal of forcing a recall election of Austin City Council Member Ann Kitchen.
Or has it?
The petition sheets, seeking a recall of Kitchen on the grounds that she "has purposefully hurt businesses that employ citizens of Austin," bear the name of Austin4All PAC, along with an address on Congress Avenue. The Austin City Clerk's office has no record of a political action committee with that name, though city spokesman Bryce Bencivengo said a recall effort does not require any sort of advance notice to the city.
"Anyone can go start circulating a recall petition, and if they believe they have enough signatures, they can turn it in to the city clerk to be validated," Bencivengo said.
No one associated with Austin4All could be reached Thursday.
City council district 5 member Ann Kitchen attends a city council meeting concerning Bluebonnet Hills in Austin City Hall on Thursday, June 11, 2015. Shelby Tauber / AMERICAN STATESMAN
Council Member Ann Kitchen, shown at a meeting in June, has advocated for fingerprint-based background checks of drivers for hire.
Kitchen said she had heard of the effort, which she presumes is related to her advocacy to require fingerprint-based background checks of drivers for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. (The other petition drive you've heard about recently, the one that gathered more than 65,000 signatures seeking an election to overturn Austin's new ride-for-hire rules, came from a different PAC called Ridesharing Works for Austin.)
"Of course the voters always have the right to petition," Kitchen said. "But this strikes me at this point as an effort by a corporation to recall a council member who is just trying to do her job, to protect the women and the public in general from being assaulted."”
Recall Election Slated for Alaska Town Mayor
(02/01/16) — “ANCHORAGE -- North Slope officials have called for a special election to recall Mayor Charlotte Brower after residents successfully gathered enough signatures on a petition.
The announcement was made Tuesday at a North Slope Borough Assembly meeting, KTVA-TV reports.
The effort to recall Brower began after allegations that she misused borough funds. She has been accused of using public money to send her grandchildren to a basketball camp in California and to purchase cakes for her daughter.
Petitioners starting gathering signatures in November and have collected more than the 492 signatures needed for the recall. Under borough laws, a petition to recall an official must gather at least 25 percent of the total number of votes cast in the last election before it can be certified by the clerk.
According to the borough clerk's office, the special election will be held April 5.”
Petitions Approved for Recall of Two Michigan Legislators
(01/15/16) — “LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan election officials have approved the wording of petitions that seek to recall two state senators from office for their votes to raise taxes and fees as part of a road-funding plan.
The Board of State Canvassers approved the petitions Thursday, after previously rejecting earlier versions.
Some residents are angry with Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof of West Olive and Republican Sen. Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City for backing fuel tax and vehicle registration fee increases in November, months after voters rejected tax and fee hikes included in a ballot proposal.