- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2001

Arizona Republicans are organizing for a recall election of Sen. John McCain because he has sided with Democrats on key issues and voted against President Bushs tax cut.
Petition applications by two state residents were filed last week calling for a recall election, and a "Recall John McCain Committee" was formed online to solicit signatures.
More than 300,000 signatures are needed to force a recall election Oct. 1, but supporters of the effort say they feel confident they have enough time to force a vote of confidence on the three-term senator.
"We recognize that as an incumbent senator, he has a lot of resources, but I think it is very possible we can get the required signatures and then force a recall," said Marcia Regan, a Phoenix Republican.
Mr. McCains absence from a Memorial Day event featuring President Bush and Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, drew boos from the crowd of veterans and Republicans, Miss Regan said.
"That was a wake-up call," Miss Regan said. "The local party is not going to say anything, but the people who vote are, and that is what this grass-roots effort is all about."
A call to the Arizona Republican Party seeking comment was not returned yesterday.
The application petitions were filed by William Crosby of Scottsdale and Jerry Clingman, a Republican precinct committeeman in Phoenix, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper. Mr. Clingman did not return calls for comment and Mr. Crosby could not be located.
Mr. Clingmans application cites differences with Mr. McCain because the senator "refuses to support the Republican president of the United States of America."
"We dont feel the senator represents Arizona anymore, he represents himself, he represents his own agenda, which doesnt seem to be what most Arizonans agree with," said Miss Regan, who has volunteered to gather signatures.
Specifically, Miss Regan cited disagreements over campaign finance reform, gun show sale restrictions and Mr. McCains rocky relationship with the White House.
"He doesnt support the president; thats a big bone of contention," Miss Regan said.
Mr. McCain hosted Senate Majority Leader Tom A. Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, at his Arizona ranch one week ago. The visit fueled speculation Mr. McCain planned to join Vermont Sen. James M. Jeffords in abandoning the Republican Party.
Mr. McCain said the event was strictly social and has denied any plans to switch parties. He also says he has "no intention" of running for president in 2004.
"I have not instructed nor encouraged any of my advisors to begin planning for a presidential run in 2004. I have not discussed running for president again with anyone," Mr. McCain said in a statement.
The Recall John McCain Committee Web site details dissatisfaction with Mr. McCain and rumors he may abandon the Republican Party or run against Mr. Bush for president.
"This committee believes the senator has reached the limit," the Web site statement said.
"This recall activity, when successful, will end the speculation about John McCains upcoming political future," it said.
Republican aides hesitated to criticize Mr. McCain or to encourage a recall drive. Despite policy disagreements, one top aide said Mr. McCain remains "welcome in our party."

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