Friday, August 16, 2019

Alaska: Petitioners claim over 29,000 signatures collected against Governor

Petitioners claim to have gathered 29,577 signatures for the recall of Governor Mike Dunleavy (R), which is more than the 28501 needed to move pass the first stage of the recall. Of course, they will almost certainly need a larger cushion to top the verification process.

Petitioners need to first get the 28,501 signatures before the Division of Elections will consider if they meet the petitions meet the state's malfeasance standards. Then they would need an additional 71,252 signatures to get to the ballot.

Alaska is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed (though the state courts has taken a lenient view of the the cause requirement in past instances).

North Dakota: Surrey Mayor resigns in the face of recall effort; Signatures being collected against Council President

Surrey Mayor Jason Strand has resigned in the face of a recall and Council President and Acting Mayor Karla Walsh is still recall effort over complaints of employee turnover. There has also been threats to recall Council Member Rodney Hjelden, but because his term ends within the year, he is not eligible.

Colorado: Nederland Mayor, two Trustees facing petitions

Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larson and Trustees Dallas Masters and Julie Gustafson are facing petitions over claims of "dereliction of duty." A regular town critic who is actually lives outside the town is one of the leaders of the effort. The complaints seems to be a kitchen sink effort, including complaints about Nederland's growth and lifting a moratorium on cannabis dispensaries. Petitioners need 58 signatures for Larson and 47 for the other two.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Nebraska: Plattsmouth Mayor recall effort fails

The recall against Mayor Paul Lambert failed, with petitioners handling in 200 signatures. They needed 538 in 30 days. The recall was after city workers threw out items left on or near gravestones. Petitioners are claiming that there was a lack of communication before the clean-up.

Rhode Island: Tiverton Council President, Vice President recall voted to be scheduled for October 10

Signatures were verified against Tiverton Council President Robert Coulter and Vice President Justin Katz over complaints about an executive session at meetings. The council approved a vote for October 10. The lead petitioner, William McLaughlin, lost as a council candidate in November.

Petitioner got 625 signatures for Katz (they needed 587) and 553 for Coulter (needed 505).

The town has an absentee veto provision. The turnout has to exceed the amount of votes each got in the last election for the recall to count (though unlike Idaho, the amount voting yes does not have to top the previous election's numbers).

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Newsweek Op-ed on the Recall Moves against Governors

Here's an op-ed I wrote for Newsweek on the moves against Governors throughout the country, especially the unusual fact that many of the efforts are being led by the Republican leadership in the states. I intend to write a full "state of play" post later on.

Colorado: State Supreme Court turns down effort to stop Cripple Creek-Victory School District Board Member recall; Set for November 5

The State Supreme Court has turned down a request from Cripple Creek-Victory School Board President Tim Braun to end the recall effort against him. The article describes the decision as almost "apologetic" over the delay, which has led the recall to be moved from an original target of July 16 to November 5.

Two other board members, treasurer Dennis Jones and secretary Tonya Martin resigned in the face of the recall.

The recall is over claims of violation of the open record act and possibly a suspension of the superintendent. One of the leader was a former Head Start director who lost to Jones by 30 votes in November 2017.

Nebraska: Signatures handed in against two Antelope Commissioners

Signatures were handed in to get the recalls of Antelope Commissioners Tom Borer and Allan Bentley on the ballot, though they need to be verified. The recall is over claims of mismanagement of funds. Petitioners need 203 signatures for Borer and 135 signatures for Bentley (35% of turnout) in 30 days.

Northern Arapaho Tribal Chairman facing recall efforts

Northern Arapaho Tribal Chairman Lee Spoonhunter is facing a recall effort over issues over the casino and the use of advisors and law firms.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Colorado: Brighton Mayor will face recall

Brighton Mayor Ken Kreutzer will be on the recall ballot over the firing of the City Manager. The City Manager was allegedly fired because he uncovered $70 million in unused water money. No word yet on when the recall will take place -- it may wait until Election Day in November.

Petitioners handed in 1782 signatures, they needed 1136 signatures.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Louisiana: Jefferson Parish President who faced recall efforts won't run for reelection

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni, who was the subject of a prominent recall effort after he was accused of sexting with a 17-year old high school student (this was back when he was Kenner's mayor), has announced he won't run for reelection.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Alaska: Petitioners claim 18,000 signatures collected against Governor after first week

Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) is the target recall effort, with petitioners claiming to have 18000 signatures after the first week.

Alaska is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed (though the state courts has taken a lenient view of the the cause requirement in past instances).

Petitioners need to first get 28,501 signatures before the Division of Elections will consider if they meet the malfeasance standards. Then they would need 71,252 signatures to get to the ballot.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

California: Second recall effort targeting Governor by former Senate candidate

A second attempt has been filed to recall Governor Gavin Newsom (D), this time by Erin Cruz, who came in sixth in the US Senate primary in 2018.  The recall effort mimics an early one set up by Dr. James Veltmeyer, who lost the Republican primary for a Congressional seat in 2018. The petitions seems to be focused on immigration issues, though there are also claims of capital punishment and the cost of the state wildfires and "medicare for all." There is also a preexisting online petition led by someone else that has 42,000 signers, of which exactly zero would count to a real petition.

Petitioners would need about 1.5 million signatures to get on the ballot.

Oregon: New debate over who would actually replace Governor in case of recall removal

Oregon is now having a debate about its gubernatorial replacement law. Bill Currier, the chairman of the State Republican Party, has filed recall papers against Governor Kate Brown (D). Another petition was also filed by a local resident, focusing on homeless issues.

What is perhaps most noteworthy is that Oregon's recall law does not provide for the immediate election of a replacement. Replacements are instead "filed immediately in the manner provided by law for filing a vacancy in that office arising from any other cause." A special election replacement race would take place on Election Day, 2020.

For Oregon, that would seem to mean that Secretary of State Beverly Clarno (R), an 83-year old former Speaker of the State House of Representatives, who was recently appointed after the death of her predecessor, would  automatically become Governor. Clarno was appointed by Brown herself.

However, Oregon law also appears to disallow the replacement by an appointed official. Under this interpretation, which is supported by Clarno, the replacement would be State Treasurer Tobias Read (D). The recall backers claim this is incorrect, though this article seems to be basing it on a tortured understanding of the use of the term "acting Secretary." Regardless, Clarno could herself resign, resulting in Read taking the position.

This no-vote provision is fairly common on the local level. However, it is relatively rare on the state level. I believe Idaho has a similar provision. State lawmakers appointed for a vacancy must be of the same party. In the wake of a 2011 state House recall and the 2012 Wisconsin recalls next door, Michigan changed its law so that the Governor  would be replaced by the next in line (i.e., the Lieutenant Governor), thereby short circuiting any recall push.

The recall was filed on the first possible day (after Brown had been in office six months). Petitioners would need 280,050 in 90 days. 

Oregon, the first state to adopt the recall for state-level officials way back in 1908, has had recalls against three state legislators, but never a Governor. Brown actually got the job when her predecessor John Kitzhaber face a recall threat.