Oregon Voters Can't Abuse A Tool They Haven't Used
Update: Saul Hubbard published a correction noting that there have been three Oregon Legislators that have been recalled since Oregon offcially became a state in 1857. They are:
- Rep. Harry Merriam (R—Goshen)
- Rep. Pat Gillis (R—Portland)
- Sen. Bill Olson (R—Southern Oregon)
Because this tool has only been used 3 times in 158 years, I think it's still safe to say it's not being abused.
A number of groups have suggested that Oregon voters are abusing the democratic process by attempting to recall elected officials. The Statesman Journal Editorial is one of them:
[…] recalls should be reserved for egregious situations, such as Kitzhaber’s, and not for petty grievances or political differences.
The Statesman Journal suggests that it's abuse to use democratic tools such as the recall for reasons the paper disagrees with. They also claim that voters are abusing the recall tool even after voters actually failed to use that tool against a number of Oregon legislators. How exactly can you abuse a tool that's never been used?
No state lawmaker has ever been successfully recalled in Oregon. But such efforts have become more and more frequent nationwide in recent years.
Does The Statesman Journal think I'm abusing the pack of gum I've talked about opening but haven't yet? They might have a case if Oregon legislators were being recalled left and right but they're not being recalled in any direction. It's silly to call what voters have done abuse. Oregon voters can't abuse a tool they haven't ever used.