Recall Starts Before Anti-Common Core Arizona Schools Superintendent Even Takes Office

Since Democrats couldn’t beat her fairly, they are now going about it underhandedly, misusing the electoral system in order to overturn the democratic process. This is an abuse of the recall system, which was created for recalling politicians who have done things the voters don’t like while in office. Douglas doesn’t even take office until January.


By Rachel Alexander l December 15, 2014


Recall Diane Douglas screenshot

Diane Douglas, a little-known, outspoken opponent of Common Core who ran for Arizona Superintendent of Schools on that issue, surprised everyone this fall when she won. Incredibly, only five days after the election – the day it was announced she had won – a couple of opponents launched a recall effort against her. They formed a political committee and started a Facebook page, which has almost 10,000 likes already.

The premature recall is even more ill-timed considering teachers are now turning against Common Core. A recent poll found that support from teachers dropped from 76 percent in 2013 to only 46 percent in 2014 – lower than the general population’s support. In fact, 60 to 65 percent of teachers are either “frustrated” or “worried” by Common Core. Public opposition has increased from 12 percent to 40 percent.

Douglas describes Common Core as “controlled by federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., or ivory-tower academics or quite frankly people who just want to make a dollar off our poor children.” Instead, she says as schools superintendent she intends to listen to parents and teachers.

Anthony Espinoza, the 25-year-old organizer behind the recall, told 3TV, “I believe that she’s unqualified to lead the state schools because the way she ran her campaign was behind closed doors. She refused to talk to media, she ran on one issue which was to repeal Common Core.” In Arizona, where the media is controlled by the left, it is not unusual for conservative candidates to refuse to speak to the media, instead going straight to the people to deliver their message.

Most of the comments on the recall’s Facebook page are nothing more than cheap shots at Douglas’s intelligence and experience. I attended conservative political meetings with Douglas for years, where she frequently gave speeches, and was nothing less than impressed with her knowledge, intelligence and competency. One commenter wrote, “She doesn’t know how to speak properly!! She’s a complete moron!!!” Clearly, they never have actually bothered to listen to her speak.

Another wrote, “The point is that she is just anyone selected off the street and placed into a high stressed, crazy responsibility position with ZERO experience and knowledge about how to educate.” Actually, Douglas served on the Peoria Unified School District Governing Board for seven years, including two years as president. She also served on the Site Councils of Desert Valley Elementary and Ironwood H.S. in the Peoria district, the Apostle’s Lutheran Church Board of Education for five years and its preschool board for two years. She has taught classes on creating stained glass.

Many on the Facebook recall page attack Douglas for only having an undergraduate degree, and some don’t even bother to find out that much about her, as evidenced by this comment, “Does she even have a college degree in anything? I know nothing of her personally, so am trying to find out.” Another declared without anything to back it up, “She is barely qualified to teach stained glass.” Similarly,, “She stands for ignorance and is damn proud of it. That’s the problem,” another wrote. However, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer doesn’t have a college degree and virtually no one has criticized her. Nor did previous Arizona governor Rose Mofford.

One commenter who was surprisingly not censored off the page called out the criticism:

I’m just curious: Can someone tell me how many K-12 teachers we’ve had as Superintendent of Public Instruction? (In my opinion, in my ideal world, a solid background in K-12 public school teaching should be a requirement for the office.) I’m looking back at all of the people I remember off the top of my head – Huppenthal, Horne, Molera, Keegan – and I’m not remembering anyone who was really qualified. As far as I know, David Garcia never taught K-12 a day of his life. Am I wrong?

The far left Daily Kos had nothing but crude and disgusting words to say about Douglas – more of a commentary on the writer’s lack of education than hers.

Douglas’ experience in education consists of serving mostly thanklessly on the school board; a relatively low-level position with no pay, little recognition or prestige. Anyone with the dedication to serve in such a position – especially as usually the lone conservative among the leftists who are attracted to school boards – is doing it because they really care.

Some of the comments were downright offensive, speaking volumes about the type of people trying to remove Douglas. One woman wrote,

It’s the retirees … they don’t want to pay anything to churn out educated youth in this state. They are too stupid to realize that educated youth equates to them getting better jobs and lower property crime in the wealthy neighborhoods in which these retirees live. Because I can’t see how any sensible Republican who is raising children and is actively involved in building business would have ever voted for this woman, unless they are trailer trash Republicans, which the wealthy Republicans absolutely adore … for their stupidity alone.

Yet, another vicious, big-government loving commenter wrote, “Home schooling is ruining Arizona. Since when does ignorance trump knowledge? Obviously no Civics training.”

It is acknowledged on the Facebook page in a backhanded compliment that Douglas stood out during her tenure on the Peoria school board because she stood up to the establishment.

In contrast, the candidate the recall advocates supported, Democrat David Garcia, is obsessed with race, more detrimental for the state’s top education official than a dislike of Common Core, which reflects the majority and teachers.

Douglas cannot be recalled until she’s been in office for at least six months, according to state law, which means opponents cannot start collecting signatures until the end of June 2015. They will need to collect signatures from 25 percent of those who voted for school superintendent, approximately 363,462, in order to force a recall election.

Since Democrats couldn’t beat her fairly, they are now going about it underhandedly, misusing the electoral system in order to overturn the democratic process. This is an abuse of the recall system, which was created for recalling politicians who have done things the voters don’t like while in office. Douglas doesn’t even take office until January. Even the Arizona Republic’s left-wing columnist Laurie Roberts admits the recall is inappropriate. Andrew Morrill of the Arizona Education Association said since Douglas has been elected, the AEA will work with her. When even the teachers’ union is not backing the recall of a conservative Republican, the recall must be pretty shady.

Douglas won fair and square, with little support from establishment Republicans, and despite the fact that prominent liberal Republicans – including two former state school superintendents – crossed party lines and supported her Democratic opponent. Garcia outspent her 7-to-1. Douglas won because she isn’t the extremist the left attempted to portray her as. All around the country, Common Core is gradually being repealed, state by state, as parents and teachers discover it is not working.

No one thought Douglas could win the race. To the left’s credit, the recall demonstrates they have wisely figured out not to underestimate her – despite their laughable pretense that she is not qualified. If Douglas could surmount all odds to get elected, she can get Common Core repealed.


Rachel Alexander is the founder of the Intellectual Conservative and an attorney. Ms. Alexander is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.