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Re: [WardOneDC] Re: Recall is Democracy

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  • James Treworgy
    I think you put it better than I did, thanks. What bothers me is the real cost. Sure, it s Adams right to do whatever he wants if he really thinks the mayor is
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 1, 2004
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      I think you put it better than I did, thanks.

      What bothers me is the real cost. Sure, it's Adams right to do
      whatever he wants if he really thinks the mayor is so bad. But it
      costs real money to have a recall election, and it diverts our leaders
      attention from the real issues at hand. There is no question in my
      mind that California showed people that recalls could be used for more
      than just a last-resort measure, but just another tool in the
      political toolbox.


      -- Jamie

      Sunday, February 29, 2004, 1:24:58 AM, you wrote:

      DS> It is each voter's duty to carefully consider and decide himself 1)
      DS> what constitutes that threshhold of negligence 2) whether or not the
      DS> official in question meets the threshhold.

      DS> For the most part, everyone in this argument is correct.  Adam has
      DS> the right to call for a recall, and should do so if he feels strongly
      DS> that Williams is neglecting what he views as his duties.  Those
      DS> against this recall, or recalls in general, are correct in reminding
      DS> people that recalls should be used only as a last resort, if at all. 
      DS> Where some people lose me is in claiming in absolute terms that
      DS> recalls are not a vital component of democracy.  Would it not be less
      DS> democratic to deny the electorate any recourse, even in extreme cases
      DS> where an official puts the public's safety at risk, or has grossly
      DS> misrepresented him or herself?

      DS> Although I personally disagree with Adam's view on the Mayor, if he
      DS> feels strongly the Mayor has failed in meeting his obligation to the
      DS> city's poor and marginalized populations, then he is doing the right
      DS> thing.  However, I expect most others will be doing what they see as
      DS> the right thing by not signing the petition, and, should the issue
      DS> make the ballot, not voting to recall the Mayor. 

      DS> The very fact that everyone on this listserv is able to so openly and
      DS> cordially discuss the issue leads me to believe that democracy is
      DS> alive and well.


      DS> --- In WardOneDC@yahoogroups.com, James Treworgy <jamie@t...> wrote:
      >> What, then, is the point of elections. Do you believe that every
      DS> time
      >> a politician falls below 50% popularity, an effective democracy
      DS> would
      >> remove him and immediately replace him with someone who is more
      >> popular at the moment? Should we streamline this process further,
      DS> and
      >> simply have everyone vote every Monday morning and create a true
      DS> revolving
      >> door for our elected leaders?
      >>
      >> Recalls give power to groups that are well organized or well
      DS> financed.
      >> There is not a single point in time, with even the most popular
      >> leader, that 10% of the people don't hate him and someone with
      DS> enough
      >> resources couldn't force a recall election.
      >>
      >> If a leader is breaking the law, then he should be prosecuted. If
      DS> not,
      >> then he should be voted out. That is why we have elections. Elected
      >> offices are not the same as being chosen "employee of the month".
      DS> Low
      >> popularity is not a good enough reason to subvert the basic
      DS> democratic
      >> process.
      >>
      >> -- Jamie
      >>
      >> Saturday, February 28, 2004, 9:15:28 AM, you wrote:
      >>
      >> AE> Dear James,
      >>
      >> AE> In case you hadn't read the law, it is very clear that voters
      >> AE> have not just the right to elect someone, but to also remove
      DS> them
      >> AE> from office.  Its fine if you don't support the recall, but
      DS> it
      DS> is
      >> AE> not a disdain for Democracy that is motivating people to work on
      >> AE> this, but rather a desire for a more responsive democracy. 
      DS> The
      >> AE> city has been hijacked buy big developers and out of town
      >> AE> interests, including right wing republicans on capital hill the
      >> AE> mayor is buddies with.  Throwing williams out for his
      DS> numerous
      >> AE> failures will give the city back to the people.



      DS> To unsubscribe, email WardOneDC-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com






      DS> Yahoo! Groups Links
      DS> To visit your group on the web, go to:
      DS> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WardOneDC/
      DS>  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      DS> WardOneDC-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      DS>  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.






      --
      Best regards,
      James mailto:jamie@...
    • James Treworgy
      Your point is taken: Recalls do have a place in democracy (at least in some - only 18 states have such a provision). However, the problem lies in the potential
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 1, 2004
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        Your point is taken: Recalls do have a place in democracy (at least in
        some - only 18 states have such a provision). However, the problem
        lies in the potential for abuse by people who are well organized or
        well financed enough to get out their special interest vote. Further,
        the threat of a recall can affect the ability to lead. Hard,
        unpopular decisions are almost always required to balance budgets, and
        solve long-term problems -- these are tough enough problems to face
        without having to consider whether you might start a recall effort
        each time you have to make a tough decision.

        While I expect that DC residents will not support this recall effort
        in any great degree, it takes real money from the coffers to hold an
        election, and it distracts our leaders from their jobs. In California,
        the estimate was $53 to $66 million just for the election, never mind
        the mid-term administration change procedure. In DC I expect it would
        be much less, but every dime we spend on political machinations at the
        will of some special interest group could have been spent elsewhere.

        What likely backlash might we see if Mayor Williams is removed? If the
        process starts to be abused, and I believe based on the reasons given
        for this recall effort that this is an abuse, then it is inevitable
        that legislation will be enacted to change it, restrict it, or remove
        it. While I generally believe that it's rarely if ever needed - and
        therefore I wouldn't care much if this happened - it would generally
        be a shame to remove a possibly important legal provision because it
        is seen as just another loophole to exploit by special interest
        groups.

        -- Jamie



        Monday, March 1, 2004, 7:20:51 AM, you wrote:

        JT> I think you put it better than I did, thanks.

        JT> What bothers me is the real cost. Sure, it's Adams right to do
        JT> whatever he wants if he really thinks the mayor is so bad. But it
        JT> costs real money to have a recall election, and it diverts our leaders
        JT> attention from the real issues at hand. There is no question in my
        JT> mind that California showed people that recalls could be used for more
        JT> than just a last-resort measure, but just another tool in the
        JT> political toolbox.


        JT> -- Jamie

        JT> Sunday, February 29, 2004, 1:24:58 AM, you wrote:

        DS>> It is each voter's duty to carefully consider and decide himself 1)
        DS>> what constitutes that threshhold of negligence 2) whether or not the
        DS>> official in question meets the threshhold.

        DS>> For the most part, everyone in this argument is correct.  Adam has
        DS>> the right to call for a recall, and should do so if he feels strongly
        DS>> that Williams is neglecting what he views as his duties.  Those
        DS>> against this recall, or recalls in general, are correct in reminding
        DS>> people that recalls should be used only as a last resort, if at all. 
        DS>> Where some people lose me is in claiming in absolute terms that
        DS>> recalls are not a vital component of democracy.  Would it not be less
        DS>> democratic to deny the electorate any recourse, even in extreme cases
        DS>> where an official puts the public's safety at risk, or has grossly
        DS>> misrepresented him or herself?

        DS>> Although I personally disagree with Adam's view on the Mayor, if he
        DS>> feels strongly the Mayor has failed in meeting his obligation to the
        DS>> city's poor and marginalized populations, then he is doing the right
        DS>> thing.  However, I expect most others will be doing what they see as
        DS>> the right thing by not signing the petition, and, should the issue
        DS>> make the ballot, not voting to recall the Mayor. 

        DS>> The very fact that everyone on this listserv is able to so openly and
        DS>> cordially discuss the issue leads me to believe that democracy is
        DS>> alive and well.


        DS>> --- In WardOneDC@yahoogroups.com, James Treworgy <jamie@t...> wrote:
        >>> What, then, is the point of elections. Do you believe that every
        DS>> time
        >>> a politician falls below 50% popularity, an effective democracy
        DS>> would
        >>> remove him and immediately replace him with someone who is more
        >>> popular at the moment? Should we streamline this process further,
        DS>> and
        >>> simply have everyone vote every Monday morning and create a true
        DS>> revolving
        >>> door for our elected leaders?
        >>>
        >>> Recalls give power to groups that are well organized or well
        DS>> financed.
        >>> There is not a single point in time, with even the most popular
        >>> leader, that 10% of the people don't hate him and someone with
        DS>> enough
        >>> resources couldn't force a recall election.
        >>>
        >>> If a leader is breaking the law, then he should be prosecuted. If
        DS>> not,
        >>> then he should be voted out. That is why we have elections. Elected
        >>> offices are not the same as being chosen "employee of the month".
        DS>> Low
        >>> popularity is not a good enough reason to subvert the basic
        DS>> democratic
        >>> process.
        >>>
        >>> -- Jamie
        >>>
        >>> Saturday, February 28, 2004, 9:15:28 AM, you wrote:
        >>>
        >>> AE> Dear James,
        >>>
        >>> AE> In case you hadn't read the law, it is very clear that voters
        >>> AE> have not just the right to elect someone, but to also remove
        DS>> them
        >>> AE> from office.  Its fine if you don't support the recall, but
        DS>> it
        DS>> is
        >>> AE> not a disdain for Democracy that is motivating people to work on
        >>> AE> this, but rather a desire for a more responsive democracy. 
        DS>> The
        >>> AE> city has been hijacked buy big developers and out of town
        >>> AE> interests, including right wing republicans on capital hill the
        >>> AE> mayor is buddies with.  Throwing williams out for his
        DS>> numerous
        >>> AE> failures will give the city back to the people.



        DS>> To unsubscribe, email WardOneDC-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com






        DS>> Yahoo! Groups Links
        DS>> To visit your group on the web, go to:
        DS>> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WardOneDC/
        DS>>  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        DS>> WardOneDC-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        DS>>  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.









        --
        Best regards,
        James mailto:jamie@...
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