This stack of petitions represents the people of Marion County who want a chance to vote on whether or not they will fire the judge who said, ‘it is illegal for the people to limit the powers of their government.’ Since launching our signature drive in October, our committee has become convinced that we can put this question on a ballot, and that the people of Marion County will recall Judge James.
This past week, as planned, our volunteers began verifying the signatures on these petitions. We wanted to submit a pure list, full of valid signatures.
In the process of checking these against a list of registered voters provided by Marion County Elections, one volunteer discovered an error. This little filing number in the upper right corner is missing from some of the petitions.
Clearly this is a technicality. The people who signed these petitions knew what they were signing. There are no competing petitions in circulation to confuse the issue. I personally think we ought to be able to simply complete the form and have the signatures counted. After all, these signatures represent real people! I do not think their voice should be ignored because of the color of the paper, the thickness of the paper or a clerical oversight.
We learned of this problem last Thursday, our team immediately began checking to see how many signatures were affected. It was a lot. On Friday, I called the Secretary of State’s office to review my options. They confirmed to me that they will not count the signatures on these incomplete forms. If we complete the forms ourselves, our opponents will cry foul and the recall will be stuck in limbo while lawyers argue over technicalities.
Our PAC officers called an extra meeting Saturday morning. With more signatures coming in every day, we still had several questions: How big was the problem? Did we have enough signatures on the good forms to move ahead? Did we have enough time to mail good forms back to Recall supporters who, through no fault of their own, had signed a bad form? Could we get those signatures back before the deadline? We decided to keep counting and see where we stood on Tuesday night.
But we’re recalling a judge here. A sober event. Covered by media outlets from San Diego to Boston. Local reporters caught wind of a scoop.
· We already have over 10,000 valid signatures on the incomplete form.
· We think that sending out new petitions, while the first batch are still coming in will cause confusion. We do not think we can complete the process before our ninety days expire.
· We need these signatures to put the recall on the ballot.
This week the Oregon Supreme Court is hearing the appeal of Judge James’ arbitrary ruling. We are glad the Court decided to expedite this case. Obviously they understand the importance of this situation. If judges can overturn the will of the people and redefine the constitution without an immediate an effective response, then we are no longer the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The Recall Judge James Political Action Committee believes the best way to steward the time, money and signatures of our supporters, at this time, is to wait. We will not be submitting our signatures before the January 24th deadline.
A grassroots campaign is what it is: normal people. Our team has put in a yeoman’s effort, working through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years in all kinds of weather. It is frustrating when the referees call back a touchdown. It is frustrating to have a game decided by a ref’s bad call. But great teams can overcome bad calls; and one game is not a season.
Our PAC will now wait until the Supreme Court issues its ruling before we decide how to proceed. With the expedited briefings and the abbreviated schedule we won’t have to wait long.
In the meantime, we urge everyone who still has their petitions at home to go ahead and send them in. We will post this press release on our website later this morning.
Contact: Tom Steffen – Tom@RecallJudgeJames.com