Community View | Justice wasn’t served
I am greatly relieved that the recall election of Mayor Miles has been nullified, because there was absolutely no “abuse of power” when she ordered a mask mandate within authority provided by the governor’s executive order and within CDC guidelines. However, I do not support the March 17 ruling by Judge Jantzen as “justice being served.”
Why would attorney Roopali Desai file this case against the City of Kingman and Mohave County? It’s absurd. Neither entity had anything to do with the legally flawed petitions, so how can she file a challenge against those who had nothing at all to do with the petition-signing process?
Judge Jantzen’s frustration is completely justified. Every citizen does have the constitutional right to petition for recall of an elected representative. And there is also a very specific legal requirement for how the petition signatures are to be collected. Roopali Desai should have filed the legal challenge against the petitioners who failed to collect the signatures within the proscription of Arizona election law, not the city and county.
So, how is this justice? It’s not; it’s a perversion of Arizona election law.
Do I believe the outcome would have been different had those who collected the signatures been directly challenged? No. The facts in the case were irrefutable. But the process of how this outcome was achieved is just wrong on every level.
This case should also serve as a cautionary tale to every club, group, organization, political action committee and party within Mohave County to make changes to their own petition-signature-collecting process, because I have personally witnessed people (across the state) signing the back of petitions that were collected by other people. And is the “witnessing” requirement really met when petitions are left in offices, on event tables, or passed around during meetings?
Moving forward, the recall election may have been squashed, but the anger of the “anti-masker” movement is far from over. And the disinformation campaign against the mayor is also far from over, which is why the Safe Community for Everyone PAC will be delivering Recall Election Fact Sheets to Kingman residents so they can be informed voters in the next election.
Justice may not have been served in this particular court case. But justice will be served when Mayor Miles wins her reelection in the 2022 election, in spite of this unjustified effort to recall her in the first place.
(J’aime Morgaine is a resident of Kingman.)