Recalling past elections

  • Follow Letters

In response to the Chronicle editorial “How well we recall” (May 30): To those who think recall elections must have specific parameters, I say hogwash.

Recall election is one of the tools a democratic society can use when a lawmaker “goes off the reservation” and affirms laws that adversely affect the electorate.

In present-day politics, there seems to be a rash of elected officials voting against their constituents’ wishes. These counter-intuitive changes in political position seem to be spurred on by popular events, which compel these politicians to support bills that they would otherwise not support.

I give the same example: Colorado’s gun control law. It is for this reason that the recall election is not only necessary, it is imperative if the electorate is to maintain control over the body politic.

But does the use of such a political tool cause turmoil and the destabilization of our political system? No, not in the least. On the contrary, the use of a recall election reaffirms the power of the electorate.

And it is the duty of the electorate to use any lawful tool at their disposal in an attempt to keep our elected officials cognizant as to who is in control: the people. The only ones who fear a recall are those of the minority opinion, as demonstrated in the Wisconsin recall vote.

Insofar as the recent use of this tool seems to indicate an abuse of the electorate, the use of recall elections is not new. It has been used to remove governors in North Dakota in 1921 and California as recently as 2003.

Historic records also show that six Republicans and three Democrats in the 33-member state Senate faced a recall vote, though only two senators, both Republicans, were defeated. There are many more examples that can be cited.

So, as far as recall elections go, it may be an under-used tool at best. But one can’t deny the clear message a recall election sends, and for those who initiate such a political tool, they are then obligated to live with the consequences, regardless of which side the recall election falls.

Larry Rodgers

Evans

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
GiantsAllDay
9853
Points
GiantsAllDay 06/10/13 - 01:15 am
5
0
Good LTE, Larry. The original

Good LTE, Larry. The original column by ACES was very one sided. In California history, 117 recall elections have been held against state wide officers. Out of this number, only ONE has been sucessful-Gray Davis in 2003. A recall attempt is a tough process. You have to start a petition and get signatures totalling 12% of the people who voted in the last election. That's a LOT of signatures. In the Gray Davis case it was almost 1,000,000 signatures. All the signatures must be verified, so the petition organizers usually try to get about 110% of the required amount. Additionally, they have only 160 days to get ALL of the required signatures. Then and only then, is the recall election held. The ACES made it seem as if it were the easiest thing in the world---to recall an elected official.

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 06/10/13 - 07:06 am
1
6
It stunk in California, it
Unpublished

It stunk in California, it stunk in Wisconsin, and it stinks in Colorado. If the elected official commits a crime, go for it. Because you don't like one vote, sore loseritis, especially right after an election when platforms where spelled out and positions were out in the open.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/10/13 - 07:38 am
8
1
What about when they do the
Unpublished

What about when they do the opposite of what they said they would do in order to get elected. In that case they are not representing the people that elected them. Examples would be failure to close GITMO when it was promised it would be done within a year. Or appointing lobbyists to your cabinet. Or failure to post all bills for 2 weeks for the people to read before signing them. Or being the most transparent administration ever. Or ending the war in Afghanistan. Or not raising the debt ceiling.

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 06/10/13 - 08:20 am
1
8
Or if they say their number
Unpublished

Or if they say their number one priority is to defeat an official in the next election and swear an oath to block all legislation and not to run the country and look after the welfare of the people? Instead of backing off campaign promises, which all politicians have a tendency to do, that would be a personal vendetta and a refusal to govern and a deliberate attempt to harm the country. That would be treason. Do they still get the firing squad for that?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/10/13 - 10:46 am
5
1
"Or if they say their number
Unpublished

"Or if they say their number one priority is to defeat an official in the next election and swear an oath to block all legislation and not to run the country and look after the welfare of the people?"

If the people were told that when they elected them, what is the problem?

This is about recalling politicians that don't do what they were elected to do.

And just for the record, blocking the current democrat's legislation IS looking after the welfare of the people. Allowing Obama's legislation would be deliberately harming the nation. Just look at the ACA. It is causing premiums to skyrocket, and people who already HAD health insurance to lose that insurance. Too bad the conservatives weren't successful in blocking THAT piece of harmful legislation.

RMSHEFF
16659
Points
RMSHEFF 06/10/13 - 12:35 pm
5
1
Bod

I see nothing being blocked except by Harry Reid who allows nothing produced in the House to reach the floor in the senate.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/10/13 - 12:51 pm
4
1
True, RMSHEFF....can you name
Unpublished

True, RMSHEFF....can you name a piece of legislation that the republicans have refused to let congress vote on?

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 06/10/13 - 02:19 pm
7
1
Funny how when you call them
Unpublished

Funny how when you call them on actual facts, they just fall silent and vanish.

CobaltGeorge
164652
Points
CobaltGeorge 06/10/13 - 05:51 pm
2
1
HA

That is the only possible avenue they can take....

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 06/10/13 - 06:26 pm
5
1
As always half-truths. Bod,

As always half-truths.

Bod, you stated "Or if they say their number one priority is to defeat an official in the next election and swear an oath to block all legislation and not to run the country and look after the welfare of the people?"

Actually what Mr. McConnell said was "In an interview with National Journal magazine published October 23, 2010, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained that "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

I see nothing wrong with wanting to defeat someone who you feel is ill-equipped to run this Nation.

Asked him whether this meant "endless, or at least frequent, confrontation with the president," McConnell clarified that "if [Obama is] willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues, it’s not inappropriate for us to do business with him."

Please show us where Mr. McConnell stated "swear an oath to block all legislation".

Fiat_Lux
15912
Points
Fiat_Lux 06/11/13 - 11:33 am
4
1
@HA, 2:19

It's like turning on the lights in a kitchen infested with cockroaches. When the light shines on them, they hide, only to crawl back out when nobody's paying attention.

They're old tactics of hit and run, bait and switch, the end justify the means, and lie, lie, lie.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs