Thank you, state legislator James M. LeMunyon
Americans Deserve Recall Power
An Article V convention is necessary to rein in Washington and all of the status quo corruption in the two-party plutocracy. “Congress is in a state of serious disrepair and cannot fix itself.” The writer is a frequent contributor. His opinions are his own and not necessarily of this website. Our interest stems from the fact that political reform may need to precede the economic reforms we’d like to see. If you’d like to be published here, please send us what’s on your mind.
by Joel S. HirschhornAmerican democracy would be better if citizens could recall members of Congress, the President, and even Supreme Court Justices. In a world moving faster and faster, why wait for the usual ways to fix government, especially when none of them seem to work? Recall is needed when representative democracy fails the public. Which most Americans definitely think is the case for Congress.
Eighteen states allow recall of state officials. Specific grounds for recall are required in only eight states. Eleven states allow recall of judicial officials.
In at least 29 states (some sources place this number at 36), recall elections may be held in local jurisdictions. Three-fourths of recall actions in the US are at the city council or school board level.
Californians in 2003 recalled their governor, Gray Davis. Here are some other recent successful recalls:
1983 recall efforts of two Michigan state senators
1988 recall of Oregon state legislator
1995 recall of two California Assembly members
2002 recall of mayor of Flint, Michigan
2002 recall of multiple Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, elected county officials
2003 recall of Wisconsin State Senator
2005 recall of mayor of Spokane, Washington
2006 recall of mayor of Roosevelt, New Jersey
In 1988, Arizona voters filed enough signatures to trigger a recall election for Governor Evan Mecham, but he was impeached by the state's House of Representatives before the date of the scheduled recall election.
In some places the successor to a recalled official is elected at the same time, others in a special election afterwards and in others by appointment.
Right now there is no way to recall federal officials yet it could be more effective than other methods of removing ruinous politicians.
* Voting federal incumbents out of office has never worked to any significant degree.
* Term limits lets politicians continue their error-prone ways for as long as the term lasts.
* Impeachment and criminal prosecution are difficult legal processes to remove an official from office.
If all government officials work for us, then we the people should have the sovereign right to fire federal officials, especially members of Congress, but even the President and Supreme Court Justices. That way they are more likely to respect the Constitution and really listen to the people, rather than the corporate and other special interests that feed them big money so they can keep telling us big lies.
Establishing recall requires amending the constitution. Clearly, Congress will never propose such an amendment. What is the alternative? The Founders gave us the option in Article V of a convention of state delegates that has the same power as Congress to propose constitutional amendments.
The Wall Street Journal published an oped article by Virginia state legislator James M. LeMunyon, a Republican, headlined: “A Constitutional Convention Can Rein in Washington.” LeMunyon has seen that an Article V convention is necessary to rein in Washington and all of the status quo corruption in the two-party plutocracy. “Congress is in a state of serious disrepair and cannot fix itself.”
His article stressed that there is no remotely possible scenario of a runaway convention that would do terrible damage to the Constitution, either from the left or right. Any amendments proposed by a convention would have to be ratified by a large number of state legislative houses, with many controlled by Democrats and others by Republicans, creating a “safety net”.
It would have been much preferred to avoid using the term “constitutional convention” and, instead, use “Article V convention”, because the language in Article V clearly limits a convention to amendments and prevents a wholesale rewriting of the constitution.
Ironically, many people who profess love and respect for the Founders and the Constitution keep opposing using what the Founders knew we would have to use when the public lost trust in the federal government. They rail against a federal convention yet there have been hundreds of state constitutional conventions that did not wreck states.
With over 700 applications from all 50 states, the one and only constitutional requirement for a convention has been met. But Congress has refused to obey the Constitution. So, state legislators like LeMunyon keep proposing new state legislation to submit still more applications for a convention.
Support using the Article V convention option. Let your members of Congress know that you want one. Let everyone know you support having the recall option for federal officials. Learn about it at Friends of the Article V Convention website.
[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.]
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