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 Sought of Ohio Town Council Members
(06/21/16) — “Four of Upper Arlington's seven city council members might face a recall election. On Friday a group of residents submitted 3,000 petition signatures to the county board of elections. The group wants answers about the city's Northam Park redevelopment plans.
The group "Save Northam Park" wants the recall. They say questions about the park's redevelopment by the city are going unanswered. OSU finance professor emeritus Stephen Buser says council originally planned to eliminate tennis courts, move ball fields and cut down trees. But now he doesn't know where the plan stands.
"If we come to a meeting and we don't say exactly what they want to hear, we're divisive. If we ask a question, we're divisive. And we don't get answers," Buser says.
Following Friday's filing, a statement on behalf of council's John Adams, David DeCapua, Debbie Johnson and Kip Greenhill called the action "radical and unprecedented." It went on to express disappointment with the "vocal activist group."”
Could Judge in Stanford Rape Case Be Recalled?
(06/14/16) — “The case of Brock Turner, a former Stanford University student convicted of sexual assault, has gained national attention amid an outcry over the six-month sentence he received. More than a million people have signed recall petitions for Judge Aaron Persky, who issued the sentence.
After Turner's conviction in March, prosecutors requested six years in prison. Instead, Judge Persky decided to sentence Turner to six months in county jail and a requirement to register as a sex offender, in line with the probation officers' recommendations, The San Jose Mercury News reported.
The sentence fell below the "mandatory minimum" for the crime, which Persky attributed to Turner's youth, his intoxicated state, and his lack of criminal record. Following the survivor's testimony going viral, the public's response to the sentencing has been unprecedented, as The Christian Science Monitor reported.
Peter Lake, a professor at Stetson University College of Law and a Title IX expert, told The Monitor that "public attitudes about appropriate punishment often drives change".
One change many are calling for is the removal of Persky from the bench. There are two efforts to remove him, one focusing on a recall election and the other demanding his removal by the California Commission on Judicial Performance. Those demanding his removal by the judicial commission, which has not commented on the issue, delivered the petition with a million signatures at a rally on Friday.
Michele Dauber, the Stanford law professor who is part of the recall effort, told NPR that Persky's lenient sentencing due to Turner's drunkenness, academic accomplishments, and athletic success prior to the sentencing endangered college-aged women.
"That that description fits essentially every campus rape at Stanford certainly and many schools across the country," Dauber told NPR. "So it means that he has essentially taken campus rape out of the category of things you can go to prison for, and awarded it a lighter sentence."
Dr. Dauber is working with Progressive Women Silicon Valley on the recall election, and told NPR an official signature gathering effort for a recall vote would begin shortly. To reach the ballot, the petition would need the signature of 60,000 Santa Clara County voters, the Mercury News reported. If he is defeated, another candidate will be selected to replace Persky, who began a new six-year term last week after being reelected with no opponent.”
Oregon Senate President Won't Face Recall Election
(06/16/16) — “SALEM -- Opponents of Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney failed to gather enough valid signatures to force a recall election.
Backers of the recall had until Monday to obtain 4,533 signatures from registered voters in Courtney's district, which includes Woodburn and part of Salem. Matt Geiger of Woodburn tells The Oregonian/OregonLive that he and other supporters decided not to submit any signatures once it became apparent they would fall short.
In a press release sent out in March, petitioners blasted Courtney for being "tone-deaf to his community's needs" and presented four reasons for wanting to recall the state senator: his support of raising the state minimum wage, his push to help eliminate coal power in Oregon by 2030, his proposal that would allow mass transit districts to impose a tax on employees if their employer is located in that district, and his failure to urge voters to approve a diversion of 2 percent of lottery tax revenues to help veterans, according to the Woodburn Independent.
Courtney, who has served in the Senate since 1999 and as its president since 2003, was most recently re-elected to a four-year term in 2014. Two attempts have been made to recall him in the past, according to state records: once, in 1993, when he was serving in the House, and again in 2007. Neither attempt produced enough signatures to trigger a recall vote.
Oregon Town Braces for Recall after Standoff
(06/14/16) — “ Voters in a rural Oregon town are receiving ballots in the mail for a recall election targeting a judge who opposed the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge earlier this year.
Harney County Judge Steve Grasty decided to fight the recall even though he is retiring this year.
The recall has stirred passions in Burns, which held the national spotlight for weeks during the standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
Ammon Bundy and others occupied the refuge this winter to protest federal land policy and the imprisonment of Dwight and Steven Hammond, two ranchers sent to prison for starting fires.
The 41-day standoff ended Feb. 11 and included the fatal shooting by police of rancher and occupation spokesman Robert "LaVoy" Finicum.
The recall election is June 28. Though his title is judge, Grasty's position is essentially chairman of the county commission.
He was outspoken in his opposition of the occupation and the ranchers holed up in the refuge. Their supporters blamed Grasty for not doing more to protect the Hammonds.
Some Burns residents are rallying around Grasty as the recall election draws near. About 100 people attended a rally for him last week and an ad running in the local newspaper this week will list the names of up to 150 supporters.”