Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Editor's note: Randy Parraz will be speaking at the Northside Democrats Club on Wednesday at Noon, at Mimi's Cafe, 4420 N. Oracle Road (Tucson). See www.northsidedems.org. Bring your check book and be generous.
Good news this past week: recall organizers have collected valid signatures at a very brisk pace. Arpaio recall group: Third of signatures gathered:
Leaders of an effort to oust Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio say
they’ve gathered a third of the signatures needed to force a recall
Recall organizers say they’ve gathered 120,000 of the more than
335,000 valid voter signatures required by May 30 to prompt an election.
The recall group has refused to abandon its bid to oust the sheriff even though Arpaio supporters are threatening legal action.
Larry Klayman, a lawyer representing Arpaio supporters, says his group will take legal action March 19.
And what kind of bullshit legal theory is Klayman pursuing now? Arpaio allies assail outside role in recall:
[The recall] effort has already been met with threats of legal action from Arpaio’s supporters in the “tea party.”
Two men from Surprise formed Citizens to Protect Fair Election
Results and hired a Washington, D.C.-based attorney to threaten legal
action against Fisher if he does not drop the recall effort by Saturday.
The two are affiliated with tea-party groups in the Valley and are
listed in documents filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission as
principals of the anti-recall group. Calls to them were referred to
Klayman, who declined to discuss his clients.
[Citizens to Protect Fair Election
Results, LLC – James D. Wise, statutory agent and manager/member; and Jeff Lichter, manager/member. Established February 13, 2013.]
Klayman said the threat of legal action is based on his belief that
the Arizona Constitution prohibits recall elections for officials in
their first six months of office. Any interpretations that would exclude
incumbent candidates from the six-month protection are not codified in a
constitutional amendment, he said.
Klayman also said recall supporters could not point to any abuse of
Arpaio’s office that has taken place since the November election, when
the sheriff’s opponents had ample opportunity to remove him from office.
“There are other ways if you have a problem … than to subvert the electoral system,” Klayman said.
These Tea Party tools are pissing away their money. There is settled case law in Arizona that the six month prohibition against recall applies only to individuals elected to their first term, not to incumbents who are reelected, despite what Klayman may think.
[UPDATE: Klayman might want to check the Secretary of State's 2011 recall handbook [PDF]:
"The commencement of a subsequent term in the same office does not renew the six month period delaying the circulation of petitions." p. 20]
As for his claim that nothing has taken place since the November election, Klayman needs to read more. Arpaio Recall: 'Systemic failures' in botched sex-crimes cases. (MCSO report: Blame the system for botched sexcrime cases).
William James Fisher, chairman of Respect Arizona, the group behind the recall effort, said “If they want to make it a fight between the Tea Party and Latinos in this state, bring it on.”
Even The Arizona Republic(an)'s Laurie Roberts, who previously was whining "Leave Joe Arpaio alone!" on behalf of the GOP establishment, has had a change of heart this past week. Arpaio recall off to impressive start:
Leaders of a group seeking to recall Sheriff Joe Arpaio today announced
that they have 120,000 valid signatures, which would put them well over a
third of the way to the promised land.
* * *
Respect Arizona must turn in 335,317 valid signatures by May 7 to force a
November recall, according to Maricopa County Elections Director Karen
Osborne. The group will likely need 450,000 or 500,000 signatures to
ensure a cushion. (They actually have until the end of May to turn in
signatures, but that would put them into a March election.)
* * *
As for Arpaio, if Respect Arizona gets this to a ballot, the sheriff might want to start packing up his pink undies.
A recall election isn’t like a regular election, where a Republican
nominee faces a Democrat or an independent (or both). Recall organizers
will surely look for a fellow Republican to run against Arpaio, who won
in November with a skimpy 50.7 percent of the vote despite a
Split the Republican vote and Arpaio is gone.
Then again, never underestimate the sneakiness of certain Republican
operatives. I imagine they’re out there, even now, scouring the county
in search of a spoiler or two.
That would be Russel Pearce acolyte Rep. Steve "Secession" Smith, R-Maricopa, in the Arizona House. Laurie Roberts again, Legislature acts to boost Arpaio's chances in recall:
On Wednesday, anti-Joe Arpaio forces announced that they are on track
in their drive to recall the sheriff this fall. On Thursday, Arpaio got
an early 81st birthday present from his friends the state Capitol.
The Arizona House passed a bill making it harder for the citizens of
this state to exercise their constitutional right to recall elected
Then they made the bill retroactive to Jan. 1.
Which would affect, oh I don’t know…..
One person. One.
Two things seem certain. Arpaio is really sweating this
recall threat. The idea of going one-on-one against a challenger must
terrify the guy who was once Arizona’s most popular politician.
And two, this bill, should it become law, will head to court faster
than Joe can crank out a frantic fundraising plea about the “radical
extremists” out to get him.
Attorney Tom Ryan — who fended off legal challenges and other dirty
tricks in the Russell Pearce recall — on Friday pledged to sue the state
should House Bill 2282 pass. The bill, he says, is “clearly
* * *
The bill is brought to you by Rep. Steve Smith, the Maricopa
Republican who last year spearheaded a sweet piece of work that would
have reimbursed Russell Pearce $260,000 for his non-existent recall
expenses. Even his fellow legislators lacked the chutzpah to go along
with that scheme.
Now Smith is trying to add a primary election to the recall process,
never mind that the Arizona Constitution calls for one special election
and sets out how it’s supposed to work.
* * *
Smith’s bill passed on a party line 5-2 vote, and on Thursday Republicans sent it sailing over the Senate, 36-23.
But first Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, amended the bill to
be retroactive to Jan. 1. If that sounds like special-interest
legislation – which would, of course, be illegal – think again.
Kavanagh tells me he made the bill retroactive not because he wants
to throw a lifeline to Arpaio but because he wants to abide by the
wishes of voters, who in November rejected the top-two primary
“We have a mandate from the voters based upon the 2-to-1 defeat of
Prop 121,” he said. “The voters said partisan elections need to stay
partisan and that’s what this bill does and I wanted to make sure that
what the voters said from then forward is what they get.”
The fact that he decided to make sure of that just 24 hours after
Respect Arizona announced it has collected 120,000 valid signatures
toward Arpaio’s recall is just coincidental, I suppose.
I wasn’t a fan of this recall, figuring that voters ought to have a
reason to want to reconsider their vote before we spend $5.5 million on
another election. But here’s the thing: the law allows it. If those
120,000 signatures are good and the group can raise the money to collect
another 215,000 by May — no small feat – then a recall we should have.
Our founding fathers risked statehood to make sure of it. But don’t take my word for it.
* * *
“The delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1910 were willing
to risk statehood over a robust recall system that subjected every
official to removal,” Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch wrote, in a
unanimous opinion. “Adopting a standard that makes it more difficult for
the public to remove its own officers would frustrate that historical
Translation: if our leaders want to change Arizona Constitution – even for a pal — they should do it the old-fashioned way.
By asking our permission.
It is up to the Arizona Senate to kill this unconstitutional bill, or see it struck down by the Arizona Supreme Court on the taxpayer's dime again, because there is nothing our Tea-Publican legislature likes to do more than to pass unconstitutional bills and piss away the taxpayer's money in defending their unlawful actions in court.