If legislative recalls happen, the political terrorists win

UPDATED, 2:15 PM, 1/27/15: With a little help from the incomparable Legislative Counsel Bureau and the state's Bible, "Political History of Nevada," my research tells me there has never been a recall of a lawmaker in Nevada. Never.

So why would we think these exemplars of ineptitude can break that tradition? Of course there is no reason to believe so. 

"Although many notices of intent to circulate recall petitions have been filed to initiate recall elections in Nevada, a sufficient number of valid signatures (25 percent of those who voted in last election) are rarely collected to qualify the petitions for elections," Patty Cafferata wrote in the political history textbook. Cafferata told me Tuesday that she went all the way back to 1912, when the recall process was added to the Constitution, and found no lawmakers.

I doubt these folks will be the first to be successful. It's not in their nature.



Editor's Note: I don't usually do this, but because of the chatter generated by The Failure Caucus of Citizen Outhouse, Tony Dane and Michele Fiore, who basically talk a lot and accomplish little, their support for recalling people who have yet to cast one vote persuades me to pull my morning rant from behind the paywall. The real issue to me here is why should we, including and maybe especially the Fourth Estate, turn up the volume for people who are serial failures, routinely distort or fantasize, refuse to disclose funding sources and/or relationships and whose every move is one of destruction and based on nothing but power and profit.

For the record, I have attached here a recent record of recall attempts (now updated through last year). Bottom line: They are nearly impossible, especially in modern urban Nevada.

The people behind all of this are looking for attention and/or money, and while we can't ignore petitions that are filed, we should put them in historical context and point out that the people behind these efforts have a reputation for nasty, dirty tricks, have no discernible ethical moorings or actual principles, will opine (or hold off opining) for pay and, perhaps most importantly, they are almost never successful.

Isn't that part of the story?

After reading all of the stuff in the weekend papers, and comments from my broad range of weekly insiders, I really wonder why we are paying attention to what can only be called The Failure Caucus, Not to diminish real terrorism, but these folks – Tony Dane, Citizen Outhouse, Michele of the Thousand Tax Liens – are nothing more than political terrorists, who are relentlessly unsuccessful but have loud enough voices to keep being heard.

These folks threatening recalls, which almost never work and are being used against people (John Hambrick, Chris Edwards and now Stephen Silberkraus) who have not even cast a vote yet, are simply about the politics of fear and destruction – and they are not very good at it. Indeed, these are the same people who promoted Elizabeth Halseth as a great conservative, failed in numerous primaries last cycle and brought us Lt. Gov. Sue Lowden.

Why should we take them seriously? Is being blindly against tax increases an ideology or an idiocy? Shouldn’t they have to accomplish something, anything?

I know that everyone – myself included – wants to make 2015 into 2003. And there are undoubtedly similarities: GOP governor tries new tax and largest increase in history against vocal minority in Legislature and with no-pay businesses wanting to continue to not pay.

But Michele Fiore is not Bob Beers, and she neither has 12 votes nor does she have the ability to accomplish anything. That doesn’t mean the BLT can’t be blocked or will be.

But the only way this follows the same trajectory as 12 years ago is if The Failure Caucus is given sustenance and if Gov. Brian Sandoval doesn’t use his political capital and immense charm. The situation in Nevada’s educational system is much worse than it was in ’03, too, so those who want to tear down what’s left of it for attention and power should have to explain what their plan is.

The only way for the terrorists to win is to not show the hollowness of their religion, call them what they are and ensure that bad behavior is punished.