The same day that Californians voted on whether to recall their governor, Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler proposed a recall law for Alabama. Zeigler made the recall proposal on the News and Views radio show with Joey Clark on Montgomery’s News Talk 93.1 FM Tuesday morning.
Zeigler, who is running an exploratory campaign for governor in Alabama’s May 24, 2022 primary, says he would make recall part of his platform.
“Nineteen states have recall laws for governors, but Alabama is not among them,” Zeigler stated. “If we had a recall law, Gov. Robert Bentley would have been recalled a year and a half before he finally was forced to resign.”
Zeigler filed the initial ethics complaint against Bentley, alleging that Bentley misused his office. Thirteen months later, the ethics commission found probable cause that Bentley was in felony violation. It referred the case for prosecution. Five days later, Bentley resigned and pleaded guilty to misdemeanors.
“If we had a recall law, I believe citizens would have started a recall petition against Gov. Kay Ivey after she rammed a 10-cents-a-gallon gas tax increase through. She had not run for re-election on a gas tax increase, but immediately after winning her election, she made the tax increase her top priority,” Zeiger commented. “If we had a recall law, citizens on Alabama’s Gulf Coast would have started a recall petition after Gov. Ivey tried to force a toll to cross Mobile Bay between Mobile and Baldwin counties. A recall law is a way for the citizens to have some accountability over the governor,” Zeigler said.
Zeigler said he is working on three recall bills for the January 2021 regular session. One would have right of recall over the governor. A second would have recall over all state constitutional officers. A third would also include recall of the 140 legislators.
“I have four months to get sponsors of the bills in the state House and state Senate. They would pre-file the bills and carry them in both houses. There would be a vote of the people on a recall proposal since it would be a constitutional amendment.”
Zeigler pointed out one unusual aspect of his proposal. “If I run and am elected governor, I would become the first Alabama governor to serve under a recall law. That is fine with me and is just as it should be. You don’t see any other potential candidates out calling for a recall law.”