The Recall Option: Reclaiming People Power
By P.H. Rolen and Paul E. Vallely
Since Barack Obama took office in January 2009 over 20 states have considered measures that reassert state and individual sovereignty as outlined under the 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Most recently Texas Governor Rick Perry and his allies in the state’s congress made national waves by introducing a bill that rejects federal initiatives that attach stipulations to federal monies received by the states. On the heels of the first round of nationwide Tea Party protests the Texas governor joined in a growing grassroots campaign being waged against the perception of a tightening federal hand extending from D.C.
Unfortunately, it seems that the growing cries against parentalism and social democracy seem to be falling on deaf ears in Washington. When questioned on the significance of the Tax Day protests last week Obama administration officials coolly dismissed the demonstrations stating that the President was not even aware that the events were taking place. For a president who spent a significant portion of his victory speech on Election Day reaching out to those who did not support him it is unfortunate that Obama has now chosen to shift his administration into hear no evil mode.
Fortunately for proponents of limiting federal authority, capturing the attention of a President that comes off as detached and guarded is not the only option for retaining control over our life’s pursuits. There are already measures on the books nationwide, in over 18 states, which provides the people with an oversight tool and a mechanism for which to fight back against any party hack politician who only does the bidding of the people he represents during the election season. The 2003 recall against California Governor Gray Davis is a perfect example of the electorate exercising their right to oversight. The Davis example, however, is not the only case in American history when the recall tool was utilized.
In 1921 voters in North Dakota invoked recall proceedings against Governor Lynn Frazier. Not only were North Dakota voters successful at ousting Frazier they ousted his Attorney General and Secretary of agriculture as well. In 1983 for the first time in the state’s history voters in Michigan successfully recalled two of the states senators. Furthermore, in 1988 the people of Oregon successfully recalled one of their state legislators. In a more modern case California State Senator David Roberti was recalled in 1994 but won reelection by a wide margin of 59 percent of the total vote.
The growing apathy surrounding our political process here in America indicates a dangerous schism. President Obama’s clueless assertion that he did not know the Tea Parties were going on exemplifies the type of vacuum thinking that is going on from within the DC Beltway. The president ran his entire campaign on the promise of hope and change but It is now apparent that the only change we are going to be seeing is a more leftward leaning executive branch and increasing ideological parentalism in the initiatives that are pushed.
With near supermajorities being held by collectivists in Congress many of our elected representatives are about to begin feeling the squeeze. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are sure to utilize their majorities and their power over the ever coveted committee seat appointments in a blackmail attempt against the representatives from our districts. For Americans who are sick and tired of being represented by their politicians only during election time there is a third way.
The current eighteen states from, Alaska to Wisconsin, that permit the recall of elected officials can be used as a model. Citizens from states without any recall provisions can initiate the fight locally to have similar laws written into the books. States with current recall laws can revisit their laws and add amendments that make the recall process easier to access. Here in Montana the provision limits recall to only those elected officials who have committed a criminal offense. These provisions should be altered to give the people a fair shake in holding, party hack, career politicians accountable for betraying the public trust and misrepresenting the people of the United States.
In these times of trial and turbulence the world seems like it is getting smaller more every day. We agree with President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel when he says “Never let a crisis go to waste.” We agree that a crisis is the perfect time to actually fix the problem. The Recall would give Americans the leverage they need to fix their elected problems and remove incompetent politicians.
Phil Rolen is Chairman of the Liberty for All USA.com
Paul E. Vallely , MG US Army (Ret) is Chairman Of the Stand Up America USA Project and has worked as a senior military analyst for the Fox News Network