Recall movement: Organizer makes Prescott 1st stop on statewide tour

August 20, 1987

By Marc Benjamin
The Prescott Courier

Ed Buck said he does not think of himself as a “dissident Democrat,” nor as a “homosexual,” just a conservative Phoenix businessman with no political aspirations who wears a “Mickey” Mecham wristwatch.

The 33-year-old Phoenix native, who has become the most visible figure in the effort to recall Gov. Even Mecham, was in Prescott Wednesday to promote the Mecham recall mobile’s first stop on its statewide tour to gather signatures.

Buck said although he has become a figure in the recall movement, he is not considering a run at political office if the recall election becomes a reality.

“I don’t see myself as running for governor, as much as I see myself running from the governor,” Buck said. “I have definitely become a major player in the recall movement, but I do not have any political aspirations, and I think the fact that I have no political aspirations is one of the strengths of the recall movement.”

According to Buck, the movement has barely started and will only become stronger.

“I see us as very strong right now,” he said. “And we are only now beginning to gain strength because we are finally getting organized throughout the state, not just around Maricopa County.

Buck called the July signature numbers one of the more pleasant surprises of the recall movement’s early going.

“July is the worst month of the year to get signatures,” he said. “It will only get better.”

“We have signatures come in from every county in the state, even Greenlee and Graham.”

The recall needed 2,500 signatures a day to be successful. More than 103,000 signatures were obtained statewide in the first month, representing an average of more than 3,000 a day.

As assessment developed by people who have worked on former Gov. Bruce Babbitt’s Iowa presidential primary campaign, said the recall movement’s strongest ally is Mecham.

“Bill Scheel of the Babbitt Iowa campaign said our leading strength is Mecham and our two other major strengths are community volunteers and good political instincts,” Buck said.

Buck said the assessment concluded the recall movement’s lone shortcoming was it had become a statewide movement so quickly.

“The movement caught on statewide in such a short time there were no clear lines of communication between all our people,” he said.

“It is easy when you have some money and you can take some time off from your job,” he said. “But, a lot of volunteers involved have five kids and work eight hours per day. I may be making a sacrifice, but it is nothing like what some of these other people are doing.”

Buck said he believes one of the biggest needs of the recall movement is money.

“What we need is organizational help and money,” he said. “We only have three people statewide that are being paid. We are making ends meet on $25,000 per month.”

He lashed out at the Democratic Party for not taking any kind of stand against the governor.

Buck’s next stop with the recall mobile home is Miami and Globe.