Kwame Brown recall, District of Columbia (2012)
Reasons for recall
Frederick Butler, a Ward 6 resident, organized the recall effort. He contemporaneously organized the recall effort against DC mayor Vince Gray. Butler accused Brown of violating his oath of office through unethical behavior. He says, “The citizens of D.C. are frustrated. How many years of corrupt government do we need to deal with? I think it’s time to take matters into our own hands.” Brown has faced allegations of campaign finance violations. He is currently under federal investigation for campaign-related activities. Butler's petition charges that Brown has "violated the public trust."
Path to the ballot
Butler filed recall paperwork on January 11th, 2012. Brown had 10 days to issue an optional response that would be included on recall petitions.
On February 1st, Butler failed to attend a session of the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics. As a result, there was a two-week delay in the launch of the petitions for circulation. Butler says he plans to pick up the petitions on February 13th. On February 13th, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics officially adopted the petitions, meaning Butler can begin circulating them.
Recall organizers had 180 days to collect signatures from 10% of registered voters in the District of Columbia, or approximately 45,000 people. There is also a ward distribution requirement that would require recall organizers to submit signatures from at least 10% of registered voters in five of the city's eight wards.
If enough signatures had been submitted, a special recall election could have taken place in November 2012.
In April 2012, Butler announced that he was suspending the recall effort. He said that he believes ongoing federal probes into Brown's campaign activities will eventually remove him from office, and in the meantime, the recall effort is a "poor use" of money.
- Laws governing recall in the District of Columbia
- Political recall efforts, 2012
- City council recalls
- DCist, "Paperwork Filed to Recall Gray, Brown," January 11, 2012
- My FOX DC, "Effort To Recall DC Mayor Vincent Gray, Council Chairman Kwame Brown Stalls," April 5, 2012
- NBC Washington, "Activist Ready to Launch Vince Gray Recall Campaign"
- Washington Post, "Activist initiates recall proceedings against District of Columbia mayor, council chairman," January 11, 2012
- Washington Post, "Kwame Brown addresses campaign finance allegations," June 14, 2011
- NBC Washington, "D.C. Recall Notice Filed Against Gray, Brown ," January 11, 2012
- The DCist, "Recall Petitions Delayed by Two Weeks," February 1, 2012
- The Washington Examiner, "After false start, Gray recall effort gets official blessing," February 13, 2012