Luna recall has consequencesPosted Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at 8:38 AM
As much as a recall of Superintendent of Education Tom Luna sounds like a good idea -- and it would be immensely satisfying -- it's important to look at the consequences of such an action.
The recall petition that will soon be floating around has merit in that -- if it is signed by a large number of voters -- it would serve as a wake-up call to Luna and the legislature. It wouldn't even have to be successful to do that.
It needs about 176,000 signatures to result in a recall election. If they only get 100,000, that would be significant and in many ways it would have served its purpose.
But what are the consequences?
If a recall election were to be held, it would cost Elmore County alone about $10,000 to conduct the election.
If the election is successful, the consequences could actually be counter-productive. Most people assume there would be a new election for state superintendent.
What happens is the state Republican Central Committee -- which leans a lot further to the right than the average Republican in Idaho (remember the embarrassing insanities of the state convention last year) -- would select three candidates to send to Gov. Butch Otter, who would then select one to finish Luna's term.
There's a good chance you could get someone actually worse than Luna -- as unbelievable as that may seem -- someone who has even less regard for public education than he has exhibited.
The problem of Luna could have been solved at the last election and will probably have to be solved at the next election just under four years down the road. A recall is unlikely to actually help.
But by signing it, you at least show your support for public education and our hard-working and under-appreciated teachers. So consider signing it at least a form of peaceful protest, planting a tree of expression so to speak, even it is unlikely to bear any sweet fruit.
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