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.