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

Recall Effort Grows against Texas City Council Member

(10/30/17) — “By Corey Paul Odessa American October 27, 2017 A group of Odessans seeking to oust District 3 Councilwoman Barbara Graff enters their second weekend with nearly 400 signatures on a petition to force a recall election -- a figure that organizers expect to double quickly. A successful recall petition requires 2,000 signatures, or nearly one out of every four registered voters in the central Odessa district. And they have just through Nov. 20 to gather the minimum number of signatures. The local insurance agent who organized the recall effort, Chris Wray, said he is confident they will succeed based on the response so far. Supporters of Graff's removal are gathering at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in San Jacinto Park at West County Road and 22nd Street, where they will collect signatures and give out hot chocolate to visitors into the afternoon. "Everybody is starting to pay closer attention," Wray said. "Everybody is watching what's going on, and not many people like it." He relayed an account from one canvasser who said she began leaving a telephone number at homes where no one answered, and now has 25 appointments to collect signatures. Graff has not responded to requests for comment since the recall effort officially began on Oct. 21, the first in a 30-day window that supporters have to collect enough signatures. She is one of three council members, who have voted as a controlling bloc on the City Council. To maximize their chances of a successful petition, Wray and other organizers target only her with this recall petition, saying they plan to move on to District 5 Councilman Filiberto Gonzales and District 1 Councilman Malcolm Hamilton next. The outcry stems from a series of City Council behaviors and decisions, including the the firing of City Manager Richard Morton last month, closed meetings and among other reasons, the decision to deny public incentives to an oilfield equipment supplier that responded by building its deca-million dollar facility in Midland instead of Odessa.”
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Lawsuit Seeks to Strike Down Nevada's Recall Election Laws

(10/18/17) — “LAS VEGAS -- A federal lawsuit challenging petitions to recall three Nevada state senators in districts with significant Hispanic and African-American populations alleges the effort is an unconstitutional attempt to replace the legislators with Republicans in violation of the U.S. Voting Rights Act. The suit filed Monday in U.S. District Court also seeks to strike down Nevada's recall laws, which do not require any cause or justification for a recall as long as the petition has signatures from 25 percent of voters in the previous election. Recall petitions were launched in August against Democratic Sens. Joyce Woodhouse of Henderson and Nicole Cannizzaro of Las Vegas, and Sen. Patricia Farley, a former Las Vegas Republican-turned-independent. Two African-American and three Hispanic women who live in the districts are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The defendants are two election officials who would oversee any recalls -- Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and Clark County Registrar of Voters Joseph Gloria. Among other things, the lawsuit says the recall elections would violate the Voting Rights Act because an election do-over would disproportionately impact minorities with lower turn-out rates in recall elections. No Nevada lawmaker has ever been successfully recalled from office, according to The Nevada Independent, which first reported the lawsuit. ”
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Persky Opponent Launches Fundraising Campaign

(10/24/17) — “Palo Alto Weekly Oct. 23, 2017 Cindy Hendrickson, a Santa Clara County assistant district attorney, is running against Judge Aaron Persky in a recall election. Photo taken in 2012 by Veronica Weber. The Santa Clara County assistant district attorney running against Judge Aaron Persky in an upcoming recall election has officially started fundraising for her campaign. Cindy Hendrickson, who was a civil litigator before spending 22 years as a prosecutor, launched an onling CrowdPac campaign this week titled "Cindy Hendrickson Seeks Justice for All in Santa Clara County." She publicly announced her intent to run against Persky this spring. Since last summer, Persky has been battling a recall effort launched in response to outrage over his sentencing of former Stanford University student Brock Turner for the sexual assault of an unconscious woman on campus in 2015. The recall campaign alleges Persky has shown a pattern of bias against women and defendants of color in other sexual violence cases. Hendrickson, who currently works on District Attorney Jeff Rosen's executive team, wrote on the fundraising webpage that her candidacy presents an alternative to Persky. She promised to be a "fair, hard-working judge with a continued devotion to all residents of Santa Clara County. ”
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3% of California Recalls Actually Work; They Have One Thing in Common

(10/16/17) — “(Los Angeles Times) Firing a politician, months or even years ahead of their next campaign for elected office, is the ultimate act of voter anger. And California voters gave themselves the power to do so 106 years ago this month. In all that time, two things have stood out about recall elections: They rarely succeed, but when they do, it's usually because of a political fight that goes far beyond the person whose name is on the ballot. It's unclear whether those maxims will hold true for state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), the Democratic freshman legislator whose fate may be decided by voters in his Orange County-based district early next year. Newman won an open seat last November by just 2,498 votes in what had been a Republican district. That also is part of the story of recalls. They're often launched by backers of the candidate who lost the last election by a razor-thin margin. In the case of the 29th Senate District, the gathering of voter signatures on a petition calling for a recall was almost solely paid for by the California Republican Party. Not counting the Newman effort, there have been 163 attempts to remove California elected officials since 1913, but only nine whose backers collected enough signatures to trigger a special election. In the last 25 years, there are three of note. One -- the 2003 recall of then-Gov. Gray Davis and the election of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- was a political milestone. The previous winning efforts came following a dramatic power struggle in the Assembly after the 1994 election, when two GOP lawmakers were recalled for helping Democrats retain control over the Assembly.”
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