The Pat Davis recall finally got the go ahead from the Supremes. The court said in its unanimous decision, posted this afternoon, that Davis acted "without the support of the commission or a necessary public vote" when she signed the Oct. 2006 memo to outgoing chief executive Mic Dinsmore, promising him that generous retirement package and obligating $239,000 in Port funds. Though the court found that two of Chris Clifford's charges-- both relating to subsequent executive sessions and alleged violations of the Open Meetings Act-- were not sufficient to make the ballot, he only needed to prove one example of Davis breaking the law.
Clifford, a Renton school teacher who argued the case himself, is ecstatic. "Jesus Christ, 9-0!" he says. "If anybody wonders why she appealed. It's so she could drag this out. She has abused the system to hold the office as long as she can. I can't imagine anything more humiliating than 9-0!"
Except, perhaps, getting thrown out of office by recall. Clifford already has a Web site set up and he's going to start collecting signatures in earnest. He needs 150,000 to get a vote on the ballot, which he admits is a huge task. And he doesn't have much time. It's unlikely Davis will choose to run again when she's up for reelection next year.
Still, says Clifford, the effort will be worth it, if only to ensure her legacy as a scoundrel is secure. "Every signature is one more insult," he says. "Another sign of the shame she's bringing to the port."
Update: Davis has announced she will not seek reelection in 2009. But Clifford pledges to press on. Checking with the county to see the earliest he could get a recall vote on the ballot...
County says Clifford has 180 days to collect the signatures. After that, and after King County certifies them, a special election must be held in 60 days. A tight schedule to be sure, but a recall is possible before Davis leaves office.