Friday, October 18, 2013

San Antonio Recalls Generate More National Attention

Via National Review:
If San Antonio grassroots conservative activists have their way, Julian Castro’s career in politics could be cut abruptly short. Organizers of an effort to recall the mayor say their push is picking up steam, and tell National Review that they’re confident they have a shot at voting the mayor out of office. They’re targeting him because of the passage of an anti-LGBT discrimination ordinance that conservatives worry will hamstring freedom of speech and religion. (Katrina Trinko laid out concerns about the ordinance here.)  
Weston Martinez, president of the Bexar County Conservative Coalition, lays out the strategy this way: To recall a mayor or council member, you have a 180-day window to get one-tenth of the number of voters from the last election to sign a petition. That means, per Martinez, that activists need about 63,000 signatures from San Antonians to have a recall election. They’re also trying to recall city councilman Diego Bernal, who authored the ordinance, and they’ll need about 6,000 signatures from his district to pull that off.  
Martinez says activists have collected more than two-thirds of the signatures necessary to recall Bernal. And he estimates they’ve gotten about 6,000 signatures so far on petitions to recall the mayor. They have volunteers camped out in front of Bernal’s office every day getting signatures, Martinez adds, and the councilman has called the police about their presence there. But that hasn’t deterred volunteers.
Martinez says that between 80 and 100 people have already put in time gathering signatures. And Gina Castaneda, who’s helping coordinate the recall efforts, says 300 people have signed on to volunteer in the future. Ultimately, she hopes to recall all eight members of the council who voted for the ordinance. 
 “On a national level, the Democratic party doesn’t really represent the traditional values of the Hispanic community,” he says, “and they’ve just kind of inherited their loyalty even though they don’t deserve it. And so you have a lot of traditional, Catholic, always-voted-Democrat individuals who are signing the petition for the recall and are promoting the signing of the petition for the recall.”
 Read the whole thing here.

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