Today, the U.S. Conference of Mayors premiers its new video, “Recall Fever: Stop the Madness,” at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The video is part of a “public awareness initiative” to convince folks that recalling their mayor is “destructive” and “costly.”
“This archaic rule,” said U.S. Conference of Mayors chief executive Tom Cochran recently, “is being put to sinister use.”
But just how sinister was it when 69 percent of Ogden, Kansas, voters recalled their mayor last year? What would you do were you to discover, after the election, that your mayor had served more than a decade in neighboring state prisons for burglary, aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter?
The 88 percent of Miami/Dade, Florida, voters who unseated their mayor last month don’t seem sinister, either — his self-dealing and cronyism, on the other hand, surely qualify.
Though the anti-recall event doesn’t feature any mayor who has actually been removed from office through recall, more sensible testimony can be found from the ranks of the ousted: Carmen Kontur-Gronquist of Arlington, Oregon. After online pictures of her posing scantily clad on a city fire truck created a firestorm, voters recalled her by a mere three-vote margin. Still, her reaction was philosophic: “[T]he democratic process took place, and that is a good process that we have in the United States, and it’s fair.”
Maybe Cochran and his cabal of mayors should keep their shirts on . . . so to speak.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.