For those of you who don't watch the news or "aren't from around these parts" - there has been a huge recall election in Mesa. Arizona has a silly clause in their constitution that allows a recall election to be demanded for ANY reason (and apparently by anyone!). Well a few months ago, an organization from outside the state of Arizona - that's right, NOT the citizens of Mesa - collected enough signatures (mostly through deception from what I have learned - sigh) to get a recall election to remove the president of the Arizona senate from office. (You may have heard of him - Russell Pearce. That's right, the guy that wrote that immigration legislation that put the country in an uproar.) Well, this is BAD! I am all for the recall process to remove someone who has committed a crime, isn't doing his job, or has committed something worthy of being ousted. But ONLY when demanded by the citizens of that district! No one can say what Pearce has done wrong - other than write legislation that this "outside" group didn't like. Then to make matters worse, this group convinced a former Stake President (leader in the LDS church - most of Mesa is LDS by the way), Jerry Lewis, to run.
He's a good man. Everyone likes him. So what's the problem you ask? Let me esplain Lucy... In a regular election you have primaries. Each party has a "run off" to determine the best candidate to represent their party. Then in the election all of the parties run against one another creating a "balance" of ideas (I know I get frustrated with our party system too, but it does serve a good purpose when used correctly.). But in a recall election only one party runs. In this case it was the Republican party. So what did this "outside" organization do? They picked a candidate that was a "Democrat in disguise" - (you know a "liberal" Republican), thus assuring that he would receive all the Democratic votes - stacking the deck so to speak.
So how is that bad? Mr. Lewis is still a "good" guy. This is BAD because it sets a dangerous precedent. A group of people NOT of the state of Arizona have just trumped the vote of the people of Mesa - remember, Pearce won a fair election. Where will this stop? Any group with enough power and money can come into any state (silly enough to have the same clause as Arizona - and there are a lot of them!) and remove any candidate they want. This is BAD because, now our representatives are not accountable to the people in their district, but are now influenced by outside sources who can threaten to remove them from office. This is BAD because a lot of time and money will be wasted trying to stop these outside organizations from negating our votes. This is BAD because it creates a lot of divisiveness within a community (just look at what is happening in Mesa!).
This whole "mess" reminds me of a scripture - "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." This recall is definitely an example of "wickedness in high places."
In one of the "debates" I participated in yesterday, one individual said, "People don't have to be informed voters. People have a right to be as informed or uniformed as they wish and still have their voice counted equally...You only have a moral responsibility to vote your conscience." Yes, that is true. But only when we become a nation of "informed" voters will we maintain our freedom. Sadly, yesterday, we gave up another little piece of that freedom.