By Ballotpedia staff
Recall campaigns are a polarizing process. Some see them as a means of political accountability. Others view the efforts as frivolous wastes of taxpayer dollars. Either way, so far in 2014 there have been 236 public officials in the United States targeted to be ousted mid-term.
Ballotpedia has compiled a list of the most interesting, contentious and bizarre recall efforts of 2014. No office holder is safe. A school board member from Idaho raised public ire for his view on teachers being allowed to carry guns. A Tennessee city councilman sparked recall proceedings with a proposed domestic partnership law. In North Carolina, a tribal chairman is in trouble after assault charges on a former secretary.
Media coverage has made the public more aware of recalls, a method of direct democracy that's available, in some form, in all but 14 states. Past campaigns have rarely been dull, and nearly always revolve around scandal or controversy.
In June 2012, protesters, political activists and national media outlets flocked to Madison, Wisconsin, to witness a contentious and nationally-publicized recall. Democrats and labor interests collected more than 900,000 valid signatures to initiate a recall campaign against Gov. Scott Walker (R). Only two governors in U.S. history have ever been successfully recalled. Walker was attempting to limit collective bargaining rights, via Act 10. After a dramatic year and four months of intense protests, lawsuits and all-out political warfare, 14 Democratic senators fled the state to avoid the quorum necessary for a vote on Act 10. Walker ultimately defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) and retained his position.
The recall process also garnered national media attention in 2013, when three state senators in Colorado - Angela Giron (D-3), John Morse (D-11) and Evie Hudak (D-19) - were targeted for their support of state gun control legislation that successfully passed in February 2013. Giron and Morse were recalled. Hudak resigned, saying she didn't want taxpayers to bear the financial burden of a third recall election.