It’s That One Peter Gabriel Album Where His Face is Melting on the Cover

I’ve been asked by two R-Cubed fanaticos why I haven’t commented on Humberto Lopez’s recall movement, which he will be kicking off today. Well, I’ve been busy with other politics, okay?

It’ll be interesting to see who Lopez manages to get on board with this. Part of the trouble with recalls is that because of the way the election is structured (there is no pirmary, and the election is by plurality), it makes it difficult to be successful unless the incumbent is really, really disliked. For example, think back to the recall of County Assessor Alan Lang, who only managed 8% of the vote. With numbers like that, it didn’t matter how many serious candidates were running against him splitting the vote.

Even with the troubles of the current council, does anyone think that any of them couldn’t manage at least 40% of the vote? That would likely be enough against a field of two or three candidates running against them. What organizers of the recall have to do is agree on a candidate and run a campaign that makes it clear that their person is “the opposition.” This is complicated by the fact that every person who has ever imagined his or herself running for office will be thinking of filing to run, since there is no partisan primary as a hoop to jump through. The aborted 1988 recall of Evan Mecham featured Alice Cooper in addition to several “establishment” candidates, for example.

The contradictory complaints against the council will make it hard for opponents to agree on a slate of candidates. Look at one of the big issues from the last election: Lopez was prominently against Proposition 200 while he will likely be counting on the support of the Jon Justice-TPOA alliance for his recall effort. Business organizations like the Tucson Chamber of Commerce may want to run a candidate against say, Karin Uhlich, but conservative activists led by Joe Higgins are trying to stage a rebellion against the Chamber (It’s worth remembering that there was a split between the Chamber and SAHBA in the last election too). How are they going to coalesce for a group of candidates?

All of this assumes that they will get the signatures in the first place.

3 thoughts on “It’s That One Peter Gabriel Album Where His Face is Melting on the Cover

  1. Maybe someone can convince the council to raise water rates. That’ll get a successful recall!

  2. Wait, I thought it was eastside pest control entrepreneur Eric Ruden (creator of Tucson’s Last Stand) leading the effort to exterminate the Chamber, with Higgins sort of riding shotgun. So hard to tell who’s leading who right now, with all this leading going on. My notes say Ruden started the “Change Tucson Chamber” website, and Higgins has that website saying for Tucson to grow up, and that Higgins also has an AM radio show (on KVOI!) for conservative folks who’d rather hear a low-fi discussion of Tucson’s shameful anti-business-ness than listen to Jon Justice make fun of Regina’s accent.

    Perhaps the trouble started when the old Chamber named Humberto Lopez Man of the Year, and now dude thinks he can get away with anything. What if SAHBA is secretly backing the Ruden/Higgins effort so that a new Chamber can name not Humberto but, um… maybe Larry Lopez for Man of Next Year. I bet that’s it. Because he’ll need the extra clout for a city initiative campaign, already in the works for 2011, called the “Super Duper Safety” bill, to be backed by TPOA, which would amend the City Charter to require one new cop for each new KB or Pulte home built and for TFD to begin serving all of Pima County.

    FINE, ALRIGHT, I jest. But is what’s actually going on any less absurd?

  3. As far as I can tell, Mr. Lopez’s most visible contributions to Tucson are the mediocre Hotel Arizona and a crater downtown where the Santa Rita once stood. When people gripe about dysfunction in this town, it should be remembered that if this is what passes for “brilliance” and “leadership” in our business community, then clearly the problem is not entirely at city hall.

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