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

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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Signatures Submitted for Recall of South Tucson Mayor

(09/11/17) — “Arizona Daily Star -- Organizers of a recall effort to oust South Tucson Mayor Ildefonso Green and three council members have turned in roughly 450 signatures, nearly twice the number needed to trigger an election next March. A city official confirmed the forms were filed with the city last week, with organizers turning in 112 signatures on each of the forms to recall Green and councilmen Rufino Cantu, Robert Larribas and Carlos Romo. The forms are now in the possession of the Pima County Recorder's Office, which is required by law to verify that the signatures on each petition are valid. However, each petition only needs 60 qualified signatures to trigger a recall election. Results for the signature verification are expected later this week. Leading the recall effort is Rita Rogers, a failed write-in City Council candidate with close ties to the owner of the former Spanish Trail Motel, Dennis Luttrell. Rogers has been openly critical of Green and the council majority in recent months, complaining that the council reduced payments into the pension system, cut firefighter positions and zeroed out its reserve funds to address an anticipated $650,000 budget shortfall. Rogers also blames Green for the firing of former Police Chief Michael Ford after the two openly clashed at a council meeting. The mayor does not have the power to fire employees, although Ford's contract was not renewed by City Manager Sixto Molina a day after the contentious council meeting.”
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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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Four Recall Petitions Approved for Fraser, Mich. Mayor

(09/11/17) — “The Macomb Daily -- The Macomb County Election Commission approved four recall petitions against Fraser Mayor Joe Nichols on Thursday, Sept. 7. The board's approval means the petitioner, Thomas LaDuke, barring a reversal on appeal, has 180 days to collect 1,305 valid signatures on at least one of the petitions to force an election. The names must be collected within a 60-day period. The election could be held May 8 if county Clerk Karen Spranger calls for the election at least 95 days before, according to election officials. At the election, Nichols and other candidates could appear on the ballot. LaDuke said after the hearing he and his supporters are "very happy" with the decision and is certain he can collect enough signatures to force an election because of residents' opinion of him. "He has so soured on people because of his demeanor and his personality," he said of Nichols. Nichols and his attorney, Tom Ryan, did not return phone calls following the meeting. LaDuke said he expects Nichols to take advantage of his right to file an appeal within 10 days to appeal to Macomb County Circuit Court but already has started collecting. It was the second set of petitions LaDuke submitted in his attempt to recall Nichols. He said he and his supporters learned after the commissioner rejected three prior petitions and he withdrew one based on commissioners' input. "We corrected them based on the commission's suggestions and what the law stated," LaDuke said. Commission Chairwoman Kathryn George, a Probate Court judge, said she was impressed with the new versions. "The petitioner explored what he needed to write, and wrote clear and factual petitions," she said. Members also include Spranger and Treasurer Larry Rocca, who was unable to attend due to a meeting and was replaced by Deputy Treasurer Joe Biondo. Nichols is also under fire in Fraser for City Hall sexual-harassment complaints for which he and Councilman Matt Hemelberg will be subject of a Sept. 18 tribunal after which the City Council could remove him from office. LaDuke said if the council removes Nichols, he expects Nichols to appeal to circuit court so believe it will be necessary to continue with signature collection. The commission approved four of six petitions submitted by LaDuke.”
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