Tuesday, February 19, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Surprise Tea Party Issuing Legal Demand That Arpaio Recall Group Cease and Desist

(edited to correct spelling of "Klayman")

The new group formed by the Surprise Tea Party Patriots ("STPP") is holding a press conference Wednesday afternoon with the founder of the conservative Judicial Watch to announce that they are sending a legal demand to the Respect Arizona committee that they immediately cease and desist from attempting to recall Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Earlier today, it became known that the STPP - which has teamed with Arpaio on his investigation into President Obama's birth certificate - was planning legal action to stop the recall effort, which began in the end of January and has four months to collect approximately 500,000 petition signatures.  It then became known that they had formed a limited liability company ("LLC") called Citizens To Protect Fair Election Results, LLC ("CPFER").

The press conference will be at 2:00pm, and Judicial Watch founder Larry Klayman will be appearing as a private attorney for CPFER.  The media advisory claims that the recall is "illegal and unconstitutional".  It then seems to indicate that the grounds for that claim are "(S)ince Arpaio was only recently reelected to a sixth term on November 6, 2012, Respect Arizona's petition is not only untimely but fails to set forth any valid grounds for a recall so soon after this election."

However, as Arizona's Politics noted in response to a reader's question on January 29, the six-month "waiting period" for a recall ONLY applies to an office-holder's first term in the office.  "The statute (A.R.S. 19-202) specifically notes that it does not apply when the person is re-elected to the same office.  And, the following section states that the "valid grounds" shall simply be a "a general statement of not more than two hundred words stating the grounds of the demand for the recall".  (It will be interesting to hear what else Klayman has to back up the demand.)

If the recall organizers fail to immediately cease and desist from their efforts, the advisory notes that "legal actions will be pursued against Respect Arizona and its officers personally." (emphasis added)  The known officers of Respect Arizona are chair William Fisher and treasurer Robert Unferth. 

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Phoenix Justice said...


I think this new "tea party" group kind of knows that their "legal" challenge to the recall effort doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Phoenix in July. What I believe their true goal to be is to drain the recall effort of funds, especially since it appears Judicial Watch and their deep pockets are involved in the "legal" challenge.

Mitch M. said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the full "demand" at today's press conference (though I'll probably have to see it later because I have a conflicting meeting), and I'll refrain from conclusions.

But, if they don't have more than they showed in the announcement, and you are correct about their "true goal", that could backfire. They could - including their attorney, personally - be held responsible for attorney's fees (and "double damages"), pursuant to A.R.S. 12-349. (http://1.usa.gov/ZgnD5F)

Barry S. said...

I agree that "Respect Arizona" should cease and desist". The only reason they are trying to recall the Sheriff is because he enforces the laws of Arizona and their guy lost the election; not sufficient grounds for a recall.

Mitch M. said...

Thanks, Barry. Not sure that that's LEGAL grounds for cease and desist, but you can certainly urge it on a political basis. The recall statutes do not set any specific, sufficient grounds for a recall. I guess if the reason is really flimsy, they won't get the necessary signatures. (I've asked and been asked for petition signatures in the past, and people DO make a conscious decision whether to sign or not.)