While I am no fan of the governor, State Senator Don Harmon’s decision to not support a constitutional question on recall is a correct one. [Why I voted against a recall, Viewpoints, May 7]

It is the duty of the General Assembly to carefully consider all proposed amendments before submitting them to the voters. It was entirely appropriate for the General Assembly to act the way that it did and keep the measure from appearing on the November ballot.

With respect to the merits of recall, a great deal of bad legislation comes as the result of haste and great passion. The behavior of this administration, while an object lesson of dysfunctional government, should not be the basis for establishing new constitutional processes for dealing with unpopular elected officials. No one should have been surprised by last year’s events, given the governor’s first term. And yet, the governor was re-elected. The people had opportunities-twice in the primary and general elections-to change the state’s leadership. The people decided otherwise.

The senator is quite right in saying that we want our elected leadership to do just that: lead. The threat of recall will increase the likelihood that they will govern by the polls and by what is popular and safe. We want our leaders to be able to make wise judgments, irrespective of their popularity. Recall works against that.

Finally, I think the question of impeachment is independent of the question of recall. Impeachment, in my mind, is not an appropriate tool for resolving political differences. Its purpose is to remove public officials for serious lapses in conduct as it relates to their office. Therefore, it is entirely consistent to support a constitutional amendment on recall and not favor impeachment. The former is a political action; the latter pertains to legal and moral conduct.

Peter Creticos

Submitted to WednesdayJournalOnline.com

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