District 9 Recall Election

The Alibi Does Not Support

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The Alibi didn’t endorse lawyer Don Harris during his run for City Council two years ago, but we haven’t been nearly as annoyed with him as we thought we’d be. As Alibi Council reporter Laura Sanchez says, “Don Harris hasn’t been as bad as I expected. He’s certainly worked harder for his district than the appalling Tina Cummins [Harris’ predecessor] and has been more independent than expected.”

This summer, Harris’ critics gathered enough signatures to force a recall election. James Lowe, the district resident who organized the campaign, believes Harris should be booted out of office because Harris didn’t listen to his constituents enough and failed to attend important district meetings.

Even if the
Alibi had deep substantive reasons for objecting to Harris’ political vision for the city, these seem like pretty flimsy reasons to eject the man from office. Recall elections shouldn’t be frivolously promoted, and it’s quite possible that it’s too easy to force such elections under Albuquerque’s City Charter. (Voters have a chance to weigh in on that specific issue with Proposition 5, which would raise the bar required to force a recall election. See our analysis of that somewhat flawed proposition below.)

Anyway, Harris didn’t machete kindergarteners. Although some ethics complaints were lodged against him last week, he hasn’t had time to respond to them. This doesn’t seem fair. If his constituents think Harris is lazy and ineffective, they should vote him out in 2009. That’s what
regular elections are for. Don’t vote for his recall now. It just encourages the recall process to be used for pointless, time-wasting hit jobs on innocent public officials.
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