Monday, March 5, 2012

Recalls. How A Republic Morphs Into A Democracy

We've seen a significant increase recently with the use of a recall process in an effort to overthrow the will of the people in Arizona and Wisconsin.  The latest effort is taking place in Michigan.

Mayor Janice Daniels from Troy, Michigan is the latest victim.

The leader of this group is (surprisingly) a lawyer, Michael Binkowski.  The story, so far, has played out exactly the same way as the playbook for Arizona Senate President and author of SB1070,  Senator Russell Pearce recall effort.

1.  One leader
2.  Give the illusion of a movement with only a handful of "followers"
3.  Initiate a recall less than 3 months after the candidate takes office
4.  Have a good "reason"
( "In the few months in office, she has become a polarizing figure. Polarizing, because her rigid ideology has damaged Troy's reputation, alienated the business community, and made Troy the object of ridicule and scorn.")

Aside from being a "polarizing figure", the real problem according to those behind the recall effort, was that Mayor Daniels refused to accept a federal loan to the tune of $8.5 million dollars to finance a transportation center connected to the Detroit to Chicago Amtrak network.  Now, it is important to point out that Mayor Daniels CAMPAIGNED AGAINST the transit project so this should not have come as a huge shock to anyone.
The leader of the recall effort, Matthew Binkowski, said Recall Janice Daniels has a “core group of about a dozen individuals.”

So did the Recall Russell Pearce group.

It should be noted that there were plenty of other recall efforts which have been attempted (and were successful) mostly by leftist groups and unions over the last two years.  On the same day as the Russell Pearce recall election, Rep. Paul Scott from Michigan was also recalled.  The recall group managed to gather over 12,000 signatures in just 13 days.


2011  (20 Republicans, 6 Democrats)
To put the recent recall efforts into perspective, here is a list of recall attempts prior to 2011:

2009  (5 Republicans, 1 Democrat)

2008 Andy Dillon recall, Michigan (2008), Jeff Denham recall, California (2008), Robert Dean recall (2008)

2003 Gary George recall, Wisconsin (2003)

1996  George Petak recall, Wisconsin (1996)

1995 Mike Machado recall, California (1995) , Paul Horcher and Doris Allen recalls, California (1995)

1994 David Roberti recall, California (1994)

1990 Jim Holperin recall, Wisconsin (1990)

1988 Bill Olsen recall, Oregon (1988)

1985 Pat Gillis recall, Oregon (1985)

1983 David Serotkin recall, Michigan (1983), Phil Mastin recall, Michigan (1983)

1971 Fisher Ellsworth and Aden Hyde recalls, Idaho (1971)

1935 Harry Merriam recall, Oregon (1935)

1932 Otto Mueller recall, Wisconsin (1932)

1914 Edwin Grant recall, California (1914)

1913 James Owens recall, California (1913), Marshall Black recall, California (1913)

In the words of the Occupy Movement....
This is what Democracy looks like.

And in the words of John Adams:
"Democracy never lasts long. 
 It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. 
 There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."