A Recall Effort Before Diane Douglas Takes Office?

Diane Douglas
Diane Douglas

Common Core advocates are starting to organize to recall Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction-Elect Diane Douglas.  That’s right a group of people want to recall her before she’s even taken office.

Do elections mean nothing in Arizona?

The Glendale Star reports:

Newly elected state Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, who narrowly defeated Democrat David Garcia in the Nov. 4 election, is already facing a possible recall.

Douglas, who served 10 years on the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board, is due to take office next month, and per Arizona law, cannot be recalled until she has been in office six moths.

A group has formed a political action committee (PAC) to begin organizing and preparing to gather the minimum 364,000 signatures of registered Arizona voters to force a recall election.

“We formed this PAC so we were able to start organizing and getting volunteers ready,” said Anthony Espinoza, who registered the Coalition to Recall Diane Douglas PAC. “We are teachers, students, parents and concerned citizens who are worried that our school system will lack to improve under Douglas.”

Douglas is not without her advocates however.  Doug MacEachem calls this group “low information voters.”

But how lacking in info does a voter have to be to start an opposition campaign against a candidateafter the election?

That is what a Phoenix elementary school teacher recently did. Anthony Espinoza, 25, recently took out forms from the Secretary of State’s office to launch his anti-Diane Douglas campaign, which he can’t kick off until July, since Arizona law forbids recall elections until office-holders have had enough time in office to actually do something meriting a recall.

Douglas won her election in the race for schools superintendent by a narrow margin, which her opponents are taking to mean that she actually lost.

Espinoza’s web site has been “liked” by over 9,800 people. I guess that means there are at least 9,845 other people who, like the surprised Mr. Espinoza, didn’t realize there was going to be an election on Nov. 4.

Judging from the reactions of those people who only noticed we were having an election after the election, their issues pertaining to Douglas (who they were astonished to discover was a candidate) appear to be these:

1) Douglas opposes the nascent, federal Common Core education standards. She opposes them for fundamental reasons, like hostility to federal intrusion into a local issue, a position she shares with another victorious candidate.

Douglas actually shares that commitment to opposing Common Core with groups like the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, Her opposition, however, is for more principled reasons. The unions are objecting to Common Core data being used to evaluate their members. So, of course, Douglas must be punished for not taking a more self-serving position in opposition to Common Core.

2) Douglas lacks vanity letters after her name. You know: The letters that indicate the person is a person of substance for having obtained graduate degrees in education.

Laurie Roberts doesn’t seem to be sympathetic toward Douglas’ positions, but even she notes that Douglas should be given a chance.

Like it or not, Diane Douglas won and, absent Espinoza finding 367,000 or so voters to sign his petitions next summer, we – or more accurately, our children – will have her for four years.

At some point, presumably she’ll emerge from her bunker and do something other than spout kooky conspiracy theories.

If not, hey this is Arizona. We’ve survived worse.

For now, the voters have designated Douglas to oversee the education of our state’s future generations.

Quit shuddering and give her a chance, people. I, for one, cannot wait to see what she does.

Opposition to Common Core alone doesn’t make one a great state school chief, but this effort to recall her is just in poor taste by a group of people who are apparently sore losers.  Common Core was weighed and measured by Arizona voters and it was found wanting.  That said Douglas can’t repeal the Common Core by herself.  She needs a cooperative governor and legislature.  Arizona needs ripe for a significant Common Core bill.  I just hope it’s not just a rebrand.  That would be disappointing.