COVID-19 hasn’t just impacted citizens’ it’s taking its toll on politicians as well, mostly for their responses to the pandemic. As many Americans hunker down for another round of restrictions, closure of businesses, curfews, and stay-at-home orders during the holidays, citizens around the country have been gathering to do their best to remove elected leaders they feel are not representing the people. In the history of the United States there have only been two successfully recalled governors: Republican North Dakota governor Lynn Frazier in 1921 and Democratic California governor Gray Davis in 2003. The later resulted in a Republican taking office: none other than the “governator” himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Coronavirus dominated 2019 until the 2020 presidential elections took Americans, and the world, by storm with a record number of voters (alive, dead, registered, not registered, and older than 95) and alleged voter fraud. The election also inspired more people to rally against their current governors, utterly sick with their actions. From Arizona to Washington, governors are looking at numerous recall efforts. There also seems to be a theme: Democrat governors are doing too much, taking away too many liberties, while Republicans are not doing enough.
Arizona: Doug Ducey (R)
Accountable Arizona is a nonpartisan political action committee that has filed a recall petition for Governor Doug Ducey. Adam Halleck, the founder, said he launched the effort after there was a surge in COVID-19 cases in the summer. “We feel like a lot of his indecisiveness and a lot of his weak measures have led to negative impacts in the state,” Halleck told KJZZ in September. “He talks about listening to the science, but none of his decision have to do with science. If he listened to science, he would have issued a statewide mask mandate.”
The group said there has been a 400% uptick in donations since Election Day and an increase in volunteers by eight-fold. To force a recall election, 600,000 valid signatures need to be collected by Jan. 16, 2021.
California: Gavin Newsom (D)
The Golden State’s Governor Gavin Newsome may have won his election with quite a few votes, but his popularity is shrinking. His strict COVID-19 restrictions have not only earned him renewed recall efforts, but it has also resulted in a Superior Court ruling against him in a lawsuit alleging he had acted unconstitutionally and abused his powers. Liberty Nation’s Pennel Bird explained:
“Newsom has used the emergency powers granted him during the pandemic to issue over 50 increasingly draconian executive orders that effectively constitute rule by fiat. But the order that initiated the lawsuit was Executive Order N-67-20, which Newsom signed in June, and required that counties mail all eligible voters vote-by-mail ballots before election day and further regulated the number of polling stations.”
And, to add to that, Sacramento Superior Court Judge James P. Arguelles ordered an extension last week for recall proponents, allowing them an extra 120 days, until March 17, to gather signatures for a recall. The reason he cited was that they were too limited with the COVID-19 restrictions to be able to actively collect legal signatures.
Newsom’s decision to celebrate at a birthday party at the French Laundry while locking down and imposing a curfew on his constituents didn’t win him any brownie points either. A self-proclaimed lifelong Democrat and mother is now a volunteer for the recall effort. Andrea Hedstrom, 45, said, “We haven’t had school since March … I’m juggling things together, my husband took on a third job. And Gavin Newsom has continued to keep his kids in tuition-based schools. And I see them here in Sacramento playing with nannies and dog walkers.”
It will take about 1.5 million legal signatures to launch the recall proceedings. Reportedly, nearly 700,000 have been collected so far, and it is believed the number will greatly increase due to Newsom’s “latest escapades.” Californians seeking the governor’s removal from office cite his restrictive response to the virus as well as tax increases, sanctuary city policies, homelessness, suspending the death penalty, and restricting parental rights as reasons.
Michigan: Gretchen Whitmer (D)
Governor Gretchen Whitmer is certainly no novice when it comes to her constituents wanting her out of office. Just think of the plan to kidnap her and the angry protests that arose after her strong restrictions on citizens amid the pandemic. But it wasn’t just the governor’s mandates that had people up in arms; it was also her insults, as Liberty Nation’s Joe Schaeffer pointed out:
“Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s comments slurring Coronavirus lockdown protesters in her state as embodying ‘some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country’ are only the tip of the iceberg in an increasingly reckless demonization of citizens who have rallied against stringent social curbs in America in the name of public health.”
Recently, Whitmer added restrictions again, including a three-week order that limits indoor social gatherings. The Kalkaska County Board of Commissions just voted 4-2 in favor of supporting a resolution that calls for impeachment. Republican Representatives Beau LaFave, Matt Maddock, and Daire Rendon authored the impeachment resolution, claiming the governor was guilty of “corrupt conduct in office and crimes and misdemeanors.”
Washington: Jay Inslee (D)
Governor Jay Inslee just got elected to a third term, despite many efforts to defeat him as well as a recall effort currently going on. Change.org has actively been trying to gain enough signatures to initiate his removal. On its petition website, it says:
“Raise their taxes he [Inslee] says, truly a resemblance of Prince John from the Disney version of Robin Hood. Wasn’t there a time when taxation was the fuel for a revolution? He is a plague on this state we need to be rid of, he cares only about himself and the taxes that line his pockets. Help have this criminal recalled for the sake of Washington State.”
The governor is also under fire for rumors that he is on the short list to lead the Department of Energy should Joe Biden become president. As KIRO 7 News reported:
“But there’s the question Inslee’s been asked ever since he took on the third term as governor: Will he serve the full four years?
‘Yes, that’s my intention, and that’s what I would do,’ he said while leaving the presidential race in August of last year.
We asked him again at the beginning of October, ‘Will you serve out a full four-year term if reelected?’
‘Yes,’ Inslee replied.
And after Biden was declared the winner on Saturday, Inslee was asked again.
‘Well, I’d certainly take the call because I’m an admirer of his. But right now, I’m making sure I’ll be governor. … I am committed to this job,’ Inslee said.”
Funny how promises can be altered to fit one’s desires and opportunities.
The 2020 presidential election saw a record number of voters, partly because of so many mail-in ballots and a spike in Americans becoming more involved in exercising their constitutional rights. Republicans and conservatives are fed up with the severe restrictions, loss of income and businesses, and curtailing of personal freedom and liberties. What’s good for the goose is not good for the gander. Thousands of people can protest for Black Lives Matter and attend a funeral for George Floyd, but Christians cannot attend church or visit a loved one in the hospital or nursing home. Now, Thanksgiving has all but been canceled in many states as power-drunk governors try to regulate who is in your home. This year has already seen every holiday canceled or limited, including our Independence Day, so some would say it’s about damn time the people start holding the elected leaders responsible and removing them from their thrones.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.