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. 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

3 Alaska City Council Members Survive Recall Election

(06/20/17) — “HOMER -- KBBI -- (June 19, 2017) Three Homer City Council members who were the subject of a highly contentious recall effort will retain their seats. The political battle led to a court case with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska and two political groups have formed around the issue. Council members David Lewis, Catriona Reynolds and Donna Aderhold all enjoyed double digit wins as the official results came in Friday. As the canvas board counted hundreds of absentee ballots Friday afternoon, several Heartbeat of Homer supporters in the audience eagerly awaited the results. The pro-recall political action committee's spokeswoman, Sarah Vance, sat quietly as the stacks of ballots were counted. The three council members narrowly eked out a win Tuesday (June 13) in the regular vote and needed a strong showing from absentee voters. City Clerk Mellissa Jacobsen read the results for the record and those in attendance. Aderhold and Lewis were both favored by 57 percent of voters and Reynolds came away with 56 percent of the vote. Vance and her supporters were noticeably disappointed as they walked out of City Hall. "Of course we are disappointed in the outcome," Vance said. "We feel that they definitely were dishonest in their dealings over the issues, but the people have spoken and we'll proceed from here." The three council members found themselves subjects of the recall effort this spring. Petitioners took issue with two resolutions they crafted and sponsored, namely an inclusivity resolution. Petitioners argue it was the council members' intent to make Homer a sanctuary city, damaging the tourism industry. They also claim their actions were misconduct in office. The council members all had one word for the results, vindicated. ”
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Recall Initiated for Maryland Town Council Member

(06/06/17) — “A group of Taneytown citizens has initiated a recall petition for the removal of Councilman Donald Frazier from the Taneytown City Council. Kelly Buie, one of the organizers, said the petition's goal is "to allow the city council to function effectively." "Councilman Frazier has pushed an agenda of opposition versus progress for the last two years," Buie said. "It is now time for the citizens to be heard and to let the councilman know that these disruptions are no longer acceptable." Buie said the petition is self-funded and the group is composed of a coalition of citizens "who desperately want to defend their town from outside organizations and people who have other agendas for our small town." "We cannot let this continue any longer," Buie said. "Councilmember Frazier no longer represents the needs and desires of the citizens he was elected to represent." Frazier described the petition as "disgusting." "I ask a lot of questions and I hold their feet to the fire," Frazier said. "I tend to be mouthy about right and wrong. I ask the tough questions and all their faces turn red. That's my role as a councilman. I'm just doing my job. I'm so thankful that I get a chance to do it. I find it enjoyable to be able to have an elevated opinion. I'm one out of five votes and I hope people value that." Frazier was censured in December 2015 for conduct, harassment of city employees and lack of decorum. In May 2017, he was also censured for acts of misconduct and violations of Taneytown's Code of Conduct. In November 2016, Taneytown residents voted to amend the city's charter and to allow elected officials to be removed from office under certain circumstances. The city's charter indicates that "any elected official, after having been censured by an act of the mayor and council, may be petitioned for recall and removed from office for any reason by the qualified voters of the City of Taneytown." According to Maryland Municipal League's Director of Research and Information Management Jim Peck, only about 35 of Maryland's 157 municipalities, or 22 percent, have recall provisions”
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California Democrats Use Budget Bill to Change Recall Rules, Help Colleague

(06/19/17) — “SACRAMENTO (Mercury News)-- Over impassioned objections from GOP lawmakers, California Democrats on Thursday used a budget maneuver to help out a freshman colleague, Sen. Josh Newman, who faces an ugly recall battle in Southern California after voting for increasing the state's gas tax less than six months after he was elected. Slipped into a budget-related bill on a veteran's cemetery was a provision to add new requirements for qualifying a recall petition for the ballot. Such changes would almost certainly delay a Newman recall to a general election. General elections typically have better turnouts than special elections and favor Democrats. Republicans are furious about the move, which bypasses the lengthy process through which policy bills are typically vetted. That it appeared in a bill establishing a new location of a new Southern California veteran's cemetery made it more offensive to opponents. "It's just flat out wrong," said Assemblyman Devon Mathis, a Republican from Visalia, in an interview. "I'm a combat veteran, and I didn't get blown up twice in Iraq to come home and see this happen."”
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Judge Blocks Potential Recall in Massachusetts Town

(06/06/17) — “TOWNSEND -- Pro-recall leaders and the selectman facing a potential recall election said a judge has blocked the election called for June 19. "I have been notified that an injunction has been issued by the Court of Appeals STOPPING the recall," Selectman Cindy King, one of the two targets of the recalled, posted on Facebook late Friday. "Thank you for all the support. Have a great weekend!!" Joe Shank and Kelly Kelly, prominent voices in the recall effort, and King all said on Saturday that they received a call from a court clerk about the ruling. All three said they had not seen a copy of the ruling. John Dombrowski, King's attorney, declined comment on Saturday. King had asked a Middlesex Superior Court judge to block the recall last month, which was unsuccessful. On Thursday, Dombrowski aruged before Appeals Court Justice Mark Green that the reasons the recall group gave to remove King and Selectman Gordon Clark are not covered by the town's recall bylaw. It is not clear whether the Friday ruling would also cover Clark.”
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