Nov. 8, 2003 Though he doesn't know how many signatures have been collected, the leader of the movement to recall Gov. Charles W. Turnbull said Friday that he remains hopeful about garnering the requisite 17,518 signers by the Nov. 15 deadline.
"I do have a good feeling in the sense of our wide response from the community," said Tyrone Molyneaux, president of the St. Croix local of the American Federation of Teachers, who is spearheading the recall movement. He said the response has come from a "wide cross-section of the community youngest to oldest, different nationalities, races and economic strata."
Molyneaux started the recall campaign Sept. 30, sending out around a thousand copies of the recall petition, and he hopes he can get 20 signatures apiece. The union represents roughly 2,400 people territorywide.
The United Industrial Workers of the Seafarers International Union joined the recall movement the first week in October. The union has about 2,500 members in the territory, according to a spokesperson at the SIU office on St. Thomas.
Petitions can be dropped off at the union's headquarters on the second floor of the old Pennysaver Printing building across from Nisky Shopping Center weekdays from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. Petitions also are available at Red Hook Mail Services in Red Hook Plaza and on St. John at Connections of St. John at either its Cruz Bay or Coral Bay office.
If Molyneaux has any idea of how many signatures have been collected, he is not saying.
"I'm requesting that the individuals turn in the petitions to the St. Croix teachers' office by Friday," he said."We are still looking for signatures."
Molyneaux said he has had no public support from members of the legislature, but "many government officials have spoken off the record (in support), but they haven't come out publicly."
He said the petition is his main focus, but he also is drafting a proposal to forward to Delegate Donna Christensen to change the recall law. "It's not user-friendly to the voting public," he said. "We are calling on the Delegate to streamline it," he said. "We think to require 50 percent of the voters should not be there; it should be five or 10 percent."
Molyneaux said he would wait until after the petition drive is over to contact Christensen.
The teachers' union has a deadline of Nov. 15 to submit 17,518 valid signatures of registered voters in support of a recall that is, at least one-half of the number of persons who voted in the 2002 gubernatorial election plus one. If that deadline is met and the mandatory number of signatures is certified, the Senate would then have 60 days to decide whether to hold a recall election.
In order for the recall to succeed, according to Supervisor of Elections John Abramson, at least two-thirds of the 17,545 voters — the number who voted for Turnbull 2002 — would have to turn out for that election, and a majority of those voters would have to vote to recall the governor.
A copy of the petition is on the Source at Recall Petition
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