On November 6, 2012, Chattanooga voters opted to amend their city charter by repealing one section and inserting new language having to do with recalling an elected official.
Or, put another way, Chattanooga voters simply made official what a state appellate court has already decided: that the requirements pertaining to validation of petition signatures have been set by the Legislature.
Several provisions in Chattanooga’s recall procedure were out of line with state law, but the one change that motivated this amendment—from requiring 50% of the number of voters in the last election to requiring 15% of registered voters—is one of two* pieces the state statute leaves flexible. Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-5-151 (j) carves out the ability for qualified municipalities to set their own numeric thresholds, if they enact or amend charters after June 1997.
Do you feel like you just went in a circle? Hold tight and get something to clench your teeth on, because this post is going to get wonk-y. Continue reading
Recall election blogger Joshua Spivak has a story in the Los Angeles Times about the recent sharp increase in the number of recall initiatives.
The recall’s increasing popularity and effectiveness is directly connected to technology. Campaigning, fundraising and, critically for the recall, signature gathering have become easier thanks to the digital revolution. It may seem like a paradox: At the same time that we are witnessing billion-dollar campaigns for president, the most basic political action launched by non-professionals is becoming cheaper and more effective.
Interestingly, only nineteen states currently have recall provisions, although more are considering whether to adopt them. Here are some more stats.
Question for you: does this information adjust your perspective on Chattanooga’s mayoral recall attempt?
Also, is it just me, or is it fascinating that former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger won election to office following the recall of his predecessor, former Gov. Gray Davis, and starred in a film titled Total Recall? Yeah, it’s probably just me.
In case you missed it, last week recall election blogger Joshua Spivak weighed-in on Chattanooga’s current linguistic dilemma.
The short answer to the title question? April 15, 2013.
Now, but here are some confounding evidential specimens and alternative theories. Meander with me, will you?
Dude: Oh, man, my thinking about this case had become very uptight.
Jay “Jammer” Scott lays out the facts related to the recent and ongoing mayoral recall battle. Those—on either side—who may have struggled with the legal, temporal, and numerical details would be well served to read his excellent rundown. Here is my favorite part:
If you want to ‘play the game’, know the Rules of Engagement. Facts don’t lie. Anger, frustration, disappointment and opinion are all healthy. Ignorance is not.
I’ll say it again: even though I admire with great affection the spirit behind getting thousands of everyday citizens involved in watching and demanding accountability from their government, the facts of this case do not support an actual recall.
Read the whole thing.