Friday, February 6, 2015

Oregon: Governor Kitzhaber, facing calls for resignation, now hit with possible recall effort

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (D) was just reelected in November but he is facing massive calls (including an editorials) demanding his resignation. Kitzhaber's fiancee is accused of effectively monetizing the office, with Kitzhaber's possible knowledge.

Now, two members of the campaign of Kitzhaber's Republican opponent, Dennis Richardson, are now moving forward with a possible recall push. There was another recall paper filed, but this one seems a bit more likely to work.

Petitioners would need 220,000 signatures in 90 days, and couldn't start until he is office for six months under his new term (there's some debate over this, but I would bet the courts hold it can't start to July). Interestingly enough, we had the exact same issue for a recall threat against Portland Mayor Sam Adams (Adams got caught in a sex scandal right before his second term started -- oddly, my op-ed from 2009 is bylined to the op-ed editor).

Though Oregon was the first state to adopt the recall for state level officials back in 1908, it has never used it against a Governor. It has had three state legislators ousted with a recall.

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