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Phx Libertarian files to recall John McCain

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Phx Libertarian files to recall John McCain

  • McCain in 2014.
    Paul Ingram/ McCain in 2014.
  • Gutier, via Facebook
    Gutier, via Facebook

A Phoenix-area rightwing activist has filed paperwork in an attempt to recall U.S. Sen. John McCain.

The catch? Federal law doesn't allow for the recall of senators or representatives. Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan was holding back issuing petitions for the recall effort until state Attorney General Mark Brnovich weighed in.

Arizona law provides for a recall election to be held, but it wouldn't be a valid exercise, as the U.S. Constitution doesn't allow such a move.

Vann Gutier, a some-time Libertarian who's also active in GOP politics and lists his education as being in "wallbuilding" at "Trump University" on his Facebook page, filed an application to obtain recall petitions on Tuesday.

Gutier claims that McCain has been "absent from his job ... he is not returning phone calls, emails, none the less (sic) showing up for work."

"He has a serious illness and may be incapacitated from doing his duties to citizens of Arizona," Gutier's application for recall petitions said.

McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in July, when he had a two-inch tumor removed.

He has been treated at Walter Reed hospital outside Washington, D.C., and the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He was hospitalized for what his office said were "side effects" of his treatment in December.

The six-term senator has a form of cancer that is the most aggressive type that begins in the brain, with early symptoms that may include personality changes, headaches, and symptoms similar to those of a stroke.

Glioblastomas generally recur, despite surgery and cancer treatments, and most patients live 12-15 months after diagnosis. Less than 3-5 percent live longer than five years, with those patients who are not treated dying within three months.

Glioblastoma is the same variety of cancer that killed Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., in 2009. Kennedy was diagnosed in 2008 after a seizure.

McCain has had less-aggressive cancers before. McCain had surgery to remove Stage IIa melanoma in 2000, including removing the lymph nodes on the left side of his neck. He has had four operations to remove skin cancers since 1993, and at least one non-cancerous mole removed as a precaution, in 2008.

Even if it were possible to recall federal elected officials, Gutier's "Campaign to Recall John McCain" would need more than 630,000 valid signatures — 25 percent of the ballots cast in Arizona's last Senate election — by June 13 to put the question if he should remain in office to voters.

Gutier blasted Reagan on Facebook for not issuing petitions immediately.

"We are waiting on an opinion from the AG's office to determine whether it is even lawful to issue a serial number for a recall of a federal officer as said recall has been declared unconstitutional," she responded Wednesday.

Reagan's office did not respond to questions about the recall effort Thursday.

Thursday morning, Gutier said that the Attorney General's Office had given the go-ahead to circulate petitions.

Responding to a long string of Facebook comments that pointed out the inability to recall senators, Gutier's campaign said Thursday, "Under Arizona state law this recall campaign is entirely legal. Whether or not the courts uphold it if we are successful in turning in our signatures is another story."

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