Joe Arpaio's Birther Buddies Say They'll Take Recall Effort to Court to Shut It Down
Klayman and "Citizens To Protect Fair Election Results, LLC," -- AKA, the birthers -- held a press conference yesterday, and having been fooled into attending a birther-led press conference before, we didn't make that mistake yesterday.
So, thanks to the Associated Press for attending, and discovering that Klayman kept it just as vague at the press conference (read it for yourself, here). In fact, Klayman only mentioned one specific part of the recall effort he finds illegal.
"In arguing the recall effort was unconstitutional, Klayman cited a section of the Arizona Constitution that prohibits the circulation of recall petitions against an official until he or she has held office for six months," the AP reports.
Let's flip open the Arizona Constitution, Article 8, Part 1, Section 5:
5. Recall petitions; restrictions and conditions
Section 5. No recall petition shall be circulated against any officer until he shall have held his office for a period of six months, except that it may be filed against a member of the legislature at any time after five days from the beginning of the first session after his election. After one recall petition and election, no further recall petition shall be filed against the same officer during the term for which he was elected, unless petitioners signing such petition shall first pay into the public treasury which has paid such election expenses, all expenses of the preceding election.
"[H]eld his office for a period of six months," huh?
That seems strange. Arpaio's been in office since 1993, which seems to us to be longer than six months, with the year being 2013 and all.
If that's not clear enough, let's get clarification from Title 19 of the Arizona Revised Statutes:
19-202. Recall petition; limitations; subsequent petition
A. A recall petition shall not be circulated against any officer until he has held office for six months, except that a petition may be filed against a member of the legislature at any time after five days from the beginning of the first session after his election. The commencement of a subsequent term in the same office does not renew the six month period delaying the circulation of a recall petition.
If that's still not clear enough, let's get clarification from Secretary of State Ken Bennett's "Initiative, Referendum, & Recall Handbook" from November, 2011:
For good measure on the cease-and-desist letter, Respect Arizona's Chad Snow sent a somewhat-unrelated cease-and-desist letter to Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman A.J. LaFaro, ensuring that Respect Arizona's doing everything by the books -- just like some of its members did when they successfully recalled Russell Pearce.
"Our effort to remove recalled-Senator Russell Pearce from office was found to be entirely within the bounds of the law and the Constitution of our State by the Superior Court, Court of Appeals, and Arizona Supreme Court," Snow's letter says. "I can assure you that the current effort to remove Sheriff Arpaio will similarly comply with every requirement of the law and the Constitutionally-guaranteed right of recall of public officials."
Respect Arizona's still in the signature-collecting phase, so we'll keep you posted on any signature counts they release.