Friday, July 1, 2016

Michigan: AMI story on Michigan Governor recall efforts

Here's an AMI story on the difficulty in getting a recall against the Michigan Governor on the ballot. I am quoted in the piece.

Idaho: Canyon County Commissioner facing petition; editorial opposes recall

Petitions against Canyon County Commissioner Steve Rule have been started. Petitioners need 16,300 signatures, plus they would need to his reelection total from 2014 -- so they need 30,738 people to vote to remove him.

The issue was Rule's vote on a jail expansion.

The Idaho Press-Tribune, which has been highly critical of Rule, criticizes the recall effort, stating the usual comment that "recalls should only be used when public officials violate the law or commit serious ethical breaches or acts of gross negligence..."

Colorado: Salida mayor and council facing recall threats

Salida Mayor Jim Dickson and some members of the city council are facing recall threats by a recently removed Salida Natural Resource Center Development Corporation Board member Ray Kitson.

Kansas: Franklin County Commissioner facing recall threats over absences

Commissioner Steve Harris (R) is facing a recall over his repeated absences from meetings since he took a new job in April. They would need about 40% of turnout -- about 460 signatures.

North Carolina: Tobaccoville Recall bill headed to the governor

The bill passed the Senate and the House.

Texas: Signatures collected against Windcrest Mayor Pro Tem

Almost 500 signatures have been collected to recall Mayor Pro Tem Kim Wright (elected last year). A former council man led the effort over Wright's position favoring property rights. Petitioners need 391 signatures.

California: Signatures handed in against Calaveras County Supervisor

Signatures were handed in against Supervisor Steve Kearney. Petitioners need 1245 to get on the ballot over his vote to allow an asphalt plant.

Oregon: Signatures handed in against Grant County Commissioner

Petitioners have handed in 560 signatures against Grant County Commissioner Boyd Britton. They need 490 valids. They claim that the issue is a failure to investigate a wildfire last year that destroyed homes, though the Malheur Wildlife Refuge takeover appears to be a big motivating factor.

Ohio: Upper Arlington Councilman looks to strike recall off ballot due to use of his nickname

This one is interesting -- the petitions filed against council Kip Greenhill are being challenged by Greenhill because his real name is Francis. The petitions are still being reviewed.

Texas: Interview with El Paso Pastor on $450,000 judgment against him over failed mayoral recall


Virginia: Opinion column disputing idea of recall next to a general election in Portsmouth

This piece is really on point for any discussion of grace periods -- essentially Mayor Kenny Wright could face a recall, lose and then regain the office due to the general election in November.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Oregon: Harney County Judge survives recall over National Wildlife Refuge takeover; Signatures handed in for Commissioner

Harney County Judge Steve Grasty (the judge chairs the three person county commission) easily survived his recall, getting 70% of the vote. This recall was over the takeover of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by supporters of Ammon Bundy.

Grasty's term runs out in January.

Petitioners have also looked to recall Commissioner Boyd Britton over similar issues (and some other claims). Petitioners handed in 567 signatures and they need 490 valids.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Venezuela: Opposition claims they are ready to start major signature gathering effort

It sounds like there will be a big delaying action. The government has only validated 400,000 signatures from the first round -- many more than needed, but a bad sign to how they will behave for the second round of 4 million signatures.

Kenya: Recall law up to the court

Kenya's recall law is going up to their Supreme Court, with a three judge panel hearing the challenge to the law allowing recalls against MPs and Senators.

Texas: Signatures collected in Windcrest Mayor Pro Tem recall

Mayor Pro Tem Kimberly Wright is facing a potential recall over allegations that she lied about the allocation of city funds and has passed ordinances that bans the raising of chickens in backyards, refused to say the pledge of allegiance and denied being a US citizen. Those last two are definitely different. School issues seem to be playing a big role as well.

Petitioners claims to have more than 400 signatures in a week.

Oregon: Recall of Harney County Judge over Bundy occupation set for tomorrow

Harney County Judge Steve Grasty is facing a recall vote tomorrow over his position on the takeover of a federal wildlife refuge center that ended in February by supporters of Ammon Bundy.. Grasty (who is not a judge but an administrative officer) will be retiring in December regardless.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Georgia: Holly Springs Councilwoman facing petitions

Dee Phillips is facing a recall threat -- unfortunately, I can't read the article behind the paywall. Hopefully, there will be more info soon.

California: San Diego putting changes to removal process on the ballot

San Diego is finally changing their removal law, three years after Mayor Bob Filner was kicked out of office.

The rules will allow the city council to put a removal vote against the mayor and city attorney on the ballot with a no confidence vote. They also allow removal for conviction and suspensions for being criminally charged.

The council is scheduled to debate debate this in July and put it on the November ballot.

Colorado: Five Platte Canyon School Board members facing petitions

All five Platte Canyon School Board Members, Chet Lawrence, Katie Spodyak, Katy Davis, Susan Carpenter and Jon DeStefano, are facing petitions  over the non-renewal of a middle school principal and ACT scores, graduate rates, management and questions about water quality and emergency exits. Three of the board members are up for reelection next year.

Petitioners need 650 signatures by August 21 to be on the November ballot. The school board has not had a contested election since 2009.

Montana: Libby Editor resigns after revelation that he helped draft Mayoral recall petition

The recall effort against Mayor Doug Roll has taken a new twist. The editor of the Western News, Bob Henline, reportedly helped draft the recall petition against the mayor. Two petitions were rejected (Montana is a judicial recall/malfeasance standard state and the petition requires a specific legal cause to go forward), but a third one was accepted on June 17. Petitioners need 329 signatures in 90 days.

The issues cited in the final petition against Roll include an alleged refusal to follow the city council in scheduling meetings and listing items on the agenda as well as executing a contract for a city attorney without approval of the council.

Henline joined the paper in October 2014 and covered city government.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Ballotpedia sees rises in recalls in 2016

Ballotpedia's mid-year report is out and they are seeing a big rise in recalls. This shouldn't be a surprise -- 2012 is the year that has the most recalls since I've been tracking, so it could be that recalls see an increase in presidential election years.

Ohio: East Cleveland Councilman survives second recall attempt in less than a year

City Council President Thomas Wheeler survived his second recall attempt, winning about 52%. There were 267 votes cast -- about 6.9% of the vote. Wheeler is facing a recall due to his support for a move to merge East Cleveland into Cleveland.

California: Polls show big support for Judge Persky's removal


Colorado: Aurora School Board Member facing recall and resignation calls over fabricated information

Aurora School Board Member Eric Nelson, who is running for a state House seat, is being pushed to resign and facing recall threats after it was revealed that he fabricated college degrees, embellished his military record, downplayed his criminal history and missed child support payments. Nelson is running in the Democratic Primary for the House.

Here's an editor at the Aurora Sentinel calling for his recall.

Virginia: Portsmouth recall attempt moves forward

Petitioners claim to have 8108 signatures for the recall of Mayor Kenny Wright. They need 7776 (they won't be submitting until July 12). The petitioner also led the effort against Mayor James Holley III, who Wright beat in 2010.

Wright is also running for reelection in November.

North Carolina: Tobaccoville's recall law advances in Senate

Tobaccoville's proposed recall law passed a Senate committee. It has already been passed by the House. The precipitating event was the resignation and then the taking back the resignation of Mayor Bill McHone in January.

Oregon: Central Oregon Coast Fire and Rescue District Board Chair resigns

Board Chair Ray Woodruff resigned following the certification of a recall petition signed by 260 voters. The issue was the sale of fire ambulances.

Virginia:Norfolk Recall Trial makes the ballot

We are now going to get a chance to see a recall trial in action, as petitioners have met the signature requirement to put a recall against Norfolk Treasurer Anthony Burfoot on the ballot. Petitioners got 4670 signatures, they needed 4656. Petitioner handed in about 6500 signatures. No date has been set for the trial.

Burfoot (elected in 2013) has been indicted for kickbacks when he was a councilman. Retired Circuit Judge James D'Alton will preside.

Minnesota: Willmar Council approves recall amendments on payment for recalls

Willmar's council, which had some failed recall attempts, clarified the recall law, now holding that the city is not responsible for costs of a recall committee and a member of recall committee cannot be reimbursed for the service.

Washington: Garfield Mayor recall rejected by judge

The recall attempt against Mayor Ray McCown was squashed by Whitman County Judge Dave Frazier, with the judge holding that the recall lacks evidence and doesn't meet the requirements.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

UK: Isle of Man/Tynwald MHK calls for recall law


Ohio: East Cleveland Councilman facing second recall in seven months

Council President Thomas Wheller, who survived a December 8 recall that saw 7% of voters turnout out, is facing another one today, with results to be announced on July 8. Wheeler keeps facing trouble over his efforts to merge East Cleveland with Cleveland itself.

This is a rare recall. Most jurisdictions ban multiple recall votes in one term. You only get one bite of that apple.

Tennessee: State Senator looking into recall law

Following the federal indictment of Murfreesboro Sheriff Robert Arnold over charges of profiting from the sale of JailCigs (and e-cigarette business), State Senator Bill Ketron is looking into laws that would allow for removal of officials facing charges. Commissioner Robert Peavy Jr. noted that a recall law would make that possible.

New Mexico: Eldorado Community Improvement Association looking at recall over sign removal

Homeowner association board member Claudia Daigle is facing recall petitions for removing a political sign from private property. Daigle claimed that the sign was put up too early. Petitioners need 416 signatures. There are also issues of raising chickens on the property.

Virginia: Five Challengers in Portsmouth Mayor race

Portsmouth Mayor Kenny Wright, who won office in a recall and now may be removed in one, is facing five challengers.

Oregon: Statesman Journal editorial misses the point of recalls

Another day, another editorial claiming that: "Recall is an important right for Oregon voters. But it should be reserved for egregious situations, not personal or political differences."

Obviously, the Statesman Journal has a strong dispute with Oregon's actual law, which very specifically says no such thing.

California: Moreno Valley Councilwoman refuses to resign over past embezzlement conviction

More trouble in Moreno Valley, as Councilwoman LaDonna Jempson is facing a push for her resignation or recall over a decades old conviction. Jempson was charged with theft at a bank she worked at in 1982. She fled from San Francisco to Alaska and returned. In 1991, she turned herself in and was spent 45 days in prison.

The complaint is that Jempson did not disclose this information during her election over former Councilwoman Victoria Baca in a recall two years ago.

Colorado: No fraud in Castle Rock Councilmember recall signatures

The District Attorney has rejected Councilmember Renne Valentine's claim petitioners had fraudulently obtained signatures in the recall effort against her. The District Attorney independently verified the signatures with the signers. The recall is set for November 8. Petitioners got 273 signatures, they needed 268.

Of note is that Valentine's attorney was Scott Gessler, former Colorado Secretary of State and candidate for Governor (he lost in the 2014 Republican primary), who has been a controversial leader of the arguments that the country is overwhelmed by voter fraud.

The petitioners took note of Gessler's role in the attack:
"The way that Renee Valentine publicly sullied the reputations and questioned the integrity of myself and my fellow petitioners is unconscionable," Fienen said. "While we knew her allegations that we committed fraud were baseless, we feel vindicated that the district attorney's office found her accusations to be wholly and completely untrue." 
"What Valentine and Gessler did was a political stunt - a political dirty trick that didn't work," said Brooks, referring to Scott Gessler, Valentine's attorney.

Wisconsin: Petitioners claim they have the signatures for Sevastopol School Board Recall

Petitioners have claimed that they have enough signatures to get school board members Sue Todey and Bill Behme on the ballot over their vote to not offer a new contract to an elementary school principal. There was a previous failed attempt to recall school board member Jay Zahn and Jane Luebker.

Petitioners need 743 signatures. They have 829 and 824 unverified. They now have to hand them in.

American Thinker article touting Presidential Recall law

The article notes the 1951 proposed constitutional amendment which would have put in a recall law for president (it was proposed by New Jersey Senator Robert Hendrickson (R)). The Hendrickson recall was a mix of legislative and popular vote -- they needed 2/3rds of the state legislature to ask for a recall (no signatures required) and the Speaker would complete the term.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Venezuela: 600,000 signatures rejected, including from the former opposition presidential candidate

Venezuela has rejected more than 600,000 of the two million signatures, among them the two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles. This after a week of numerous food riots.

Nigeria: Three House of Representative members facing recall threats over prostitution scandal

Three members of Nigerian House of Representatives, Mohammed Gololo, Samuel Ikon and Mark Gbilah, are facing calls for their resignations or recall after they were accused of soliciting prostitutes in Cleveland.

California: Petitioners claim they have $90k raised for Persky recall

Here -- this piece by NBC News' Phil Helsel is very comprehensive and mentions some of the famed recall of judge events over the year, such as the O.J. Simpson judge and the Prop 8 judge, none of which got on the ballot.

Montana: Libby Mayor recall petitions start

After a rejection on being too broad, petitioners have gotten approval for a recall attempt against Libby Mayor Doug Roll. Petitioners need 329 signatures. Roll is accused of meeting the city attorney without the council's consent, though an earlier attempt focused on his suit to get an opponent kicked off the ballot.

Ohio: Upper Arlington signatures handed in

Petitioners have filed signatures against Council President Deborah Johnson, Councilmen David Decapua, Kip Greenhill and John Adams (4 of 7 members of the council). The issue is the $7 million renovation of Northam Park as well as an increase in the city's income tax. being used to fund the park redevelopment.

Petitioners need 2273 signatures, they claim they have over 3,000. The special will cost at least $63,000.

Montana: Whitehall Mayor and council recall has enough signature for August 16 vote

Petitioners handed in enough signatures to get a recall against Whitehall Mayor Dale Davis and Council President Joe Adams, Aldermen Gary Hosman, Tom Jenkin and Vincent Keogh. The claim is that the mayor and majority of the council (two members are not facing a recall) violated the open meeting law over a vote to dispatch the Whitehall ambulance to all fire calls. The two council members who weren't at the meeting are associated with a private ambulance.

The recall is scheduled for August 16, though the elected officials could challenge the vote. Montana is judicial recall/malfeasance standard state and requires a showing of cause. If the event wasn't a violation, then it is likely no recall can be held.

If it is a mail-in vote it will cost $1600, but if it is an in-person ballot it will be $10,000.