Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
No. 1 on Fire the 219′s target list: Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich.
Following this past weekend’s 219-212 health-care vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, two leading tea-party groups have established a pair of new target numbers: 219 representatives to be “fired” and a top 10 list of those that most need to go.
The Nationwide Tea Party Coalition and Tea Party Nation have teamed up to create a new website and nonprofit corporation dedicated to ousting the legislators that backed “Obamacare” called Fire the 219.
“Over the last few days, you have heard very little from Tea Party Nation on the socialist health-care vote,” touts an e-mail alert from the organization. “I do not know about you, but my mailbox was getting filled up with urgent e-mails. No one needed
“Now, things are different,” the alert proclaims. “Now we are going to fight back.”
The Fire the 219 website states that is “dedicated to removing from power all 219 members of Congress who voted to destroy the finest health-care system in the world on March 21, 2010. We will use any and all legal means possible, starting with recall petitions in those 18 states that allow it.”
Whether or not recall of a U.S. representative is permissible is still a matter of controversy, as the U.S. Constitution is silent on the issue and no member of the U.S. Congress has ever been successfully recalled.
But as WND reported, a voter effort to recall Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., won an important first-step legal battle earlier this month when a New Jersey appellate court admitted there is no legal precedent preventing a recall from going forward.
Fire the 219 has also posted on its site an analysis of recall law drafted by Michael Farris, chancellor and professor of government at Patrick Henry College.
“Members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives are not exempt from state law processes allowing for recall of elected officials,” argues Farris. “Since members of the U.S. House and Senate are subject to other state laws regarding elections – and federal constitutional challenges to these requirements have generally been in vain – it stands to reason that state recall laws are equally binding on federal office holders from a state if such challenges are permitted by state law.”
Farris then provides a summary of various recall provisions from a number of states – including New Jersey, Oregon, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota and California – claiming 18 have states in total have laws in one form or another that address recall.
Though he admits the question of recall is still “unsettled,” Farris concludes, “The arguments in favor of the validity of the application of state recall laws are plain and evident. Moreover, all state laws are presumptively constitutional until ruled to the contrary. There is no time like the present to test the validity of these laws. And there is only one way to do so – begin the process of recall of members of the House and Senate.”
To start that process, Fire the 219 has drafted a “top 10″ list of representatives it intends to “fire.”
Not surprisingly, the top target is Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., who forged a last-minute compromise with the White House accepting the promise of an executive order banning federal funding of abortion instead of codified law enforcing the ban. Appeased by the compromise, Stupak led a contingent of self-proclaimed pro-life Democrats who had previously resisted the health-care bill to vote for it.
Rounding out the top 10, in order, are the following:
Rep. John Boccieri, D-Ohio
Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.
Rep. Allan Boyd, D-Fla.
Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas
Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas
Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y.
Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.
Rep. Scott Murphy, D-N.Y.
“This is the list of the top 10 we are going to get rid of because they sold us out,” the Tea Party Nation’s e-mail alert states.
The “throw-the-bums-out” sentiment exemplified by Fire the 219, already simmering before the health-care vote, has reportedly only grown since.
“I am deluged with phone calls this morning (from) people wanting to join the tea party,” Gina Loudon, a founder of the St. Louis Tea Party, told Fox News. “I literally cannot even return the phone calls quickly enough. … This has absolutely awakened a giant.”
Fire the 219 is now hoping to put that “giant” into action, seeking people who will sign recall petitions, push their state lawmakers to pass recall legislation and volunteer legal expertise in the upcoming drive to remove 219 “yes” votes from Congress.