Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Wyoming: Op-ed on the legal challenges of a federal recall

Here's an op-ed I wrote for the Casper Star Tribune on why a recall against Congresswoman Liz Cheney is very unlikely to occur as well as providing a look at the recall in Wyoming.

Oregon: Former Portland Mayor, target of recall threats, joining current city administration

An update on former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who faced recall threats back in 2009, and is now in talks to return to City Hall as a high level staffer. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

Arizona: State GOP Meeting leads to some calls for Gubernatorial recall

A raucous State GOP meeting/election featured Daniel McCarthy, a former U.S. Senate candidate, calling for the recall of Governor Doug Ducey (R). McCarthy, who was booed, had previously proposed a third party after he lost the Senate primary in 2020. 

Ducey has previously faced recall efforts that failed. Two of them were over the statewide mask mandate to combat the coronavirus pandemic and earlier effort opposing stay-at-home orders. 

Congressman Paul Gosar (R) was supporting a recall effort over Ducey's refusal to violate the law and support the unconstitutional overthrow of the state's Electoral College vote. 

Petitioners would need over 594,111 signatures in 120 days.

Colorado: Douglas County School Board members facing recall effort over shutdowns

Douglas County School Board members Susan Meek, Elizabeth Hanson, Christina Ciancio-Schor and David Ray are facing a recall effort over a vote to postpone a classroom return due to the coronavirus pandemic. One parent is putting up $100,000 for the recall effort. The petitioner is looking to get 80,000 signatures -- presumably in the aggregate, rather than for each member. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Canada: Call to expand recall in British Columbia to local level

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation is looking to expand the British Columbia recall to the local level. Right now, it is only available against MLAs.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Missouri: Senate Education Committee reports out bill that would establish procedures for school board recalls

The Missouri Senate Education Committee has pushed forward a bill that, among other things, will establish procedures for school board recalls. It sounds like petitioners would need 25 percent of registered voters, though let's see the final bill. This bill was sponsored by Senator Cindy O'Loughlin (R). Presumably, this is different than an earlier bill which also proposed expanding the recall to school boards.

Colorado: Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District Board Members facing recall effort

Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District Number 2 (BVMD) board members are facing a recall effort. Presumably, the members are John Hill, Anna Maria Ray, David Garton, Jr. and Scott Green (a fifth seat is open). Petitioners got approval from a District Court Judge. They would need about 300 signatures to get on the ballot (40 percent of voters). 

The issue is developer control of the community (petitioners claim the developers of the area have too much control of the board and its decisions). 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

New Mexico: Otero County Commissioner facing recall effort for role in Capitol riot

Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, who was arrested for rioting at the US Capitol on January 6, is facing a recall effort, with two fellow commissioners, Vickie Marquardt and Gerald Matherly, saying they will support the recall effort if he does not resign. The Attorney General of the state has also called for his resignation. 

In addition to his participation in the seditious riot, he has been accused of calling for the murder of the Governors of Virginia and Michigan, called for violence at President Joe Biden's inauguration. 

Alaska: Petitioners making new effort in Governor recall effort

Petitioners have announced they are making a new push to collect the remaining 22,000 signatures to get the recall of Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) on the ballot. Petitioners need 71,252 valids to get on the ballot. 

The Supreme Court has already upheld the recall and said that it meets the state's malfeasance standard. There is no time limit for the collection of the signatures. 

If Dunleavy were recalled, there would not be a replacement race. Instead, the Lieutenant Governor (a Republican) would automatically be moved up to Governor.

Maine: Signatures handed in against New Gloucester Selectman

Petitioners have handed in 335 signatures for the recall of New Gloucester Selectman George Colby. The need 293 (10% of turnout in the district in the last gubernatorial election) to get on the ballot.

Colby been censured after yelling out racist comments at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance during a recent board meeting (he allegedly said "Liberty and Justice for all, for everyone. Even us white folks!). E. The lead petitioner is a former Selectman. There is a supermajority provision, which requires that 55 percent of voters oppose Colby for the recall to lead to his removal.

Wisconsin: Waunakee School Board President recall fails

The recall effort against Waunakee School Board President Dave Boetcher has failed, with no signatures handed in. The effort focused on Boetcher's push to protect students during the coronavirus pandemic, with complaints that he condemned gathering and voted against medium and high-risk sports for the winter. Petitioners needed  2612 signatures to get on the ballot.

Oklahoma: Petition to change recall law fails to get enough signatures

Unite Norman, the political group that has led recall efforts in the city over the coronavirus pandemic response, has failed to get enough signatures to get a measure on the ballot that would change the recall law. The current law requires signatures of 25% of registered voters. The proposal would have changed that to 35% of turnout, a much lower figure. 

Florida: Former Sebastian City Council member sues to overturn recall

Former City Councilman Damien Gilliams, who was one of three Sebastian City Council members kicked out in a recall in September, is suing to overturn the result. Gilliams is arguing about the validity of the signatures, that the recall started on the wrong date and that the malfeasance standard was not met.

The recall seems to have started over fights with the Mayor and other council members -- the three were elected on on a platform of opposition to an 1100 acre annexation plan last year. Gillams and Parris notably voted against the hiring of a new city attorney.  They were also arrested for breaking the Sunshine Law and perjury for lying to investigators. The three members allegedly voted to fire the city staff and appoint Gilliams mayor in what investigators call an illegal meeting. The two allegedly lied under oath.

Massachusetts: Governor vetoes Barnstable recall law

A proposed recall provision for Barnstable County has been vetoed by Governor Charlie Baker. The bill would have allowed recalls for the County Board of Regional Commissioners.  

Baker said he would work with the legislature to craft a new bill, but had problems with both the timing and the language.

The recall effort came after Commissioner Ronald Beaty Jr. (who lost election in November) heavily criticized a Parkland School Shooting survivor (among other things.

Idaho: Idaho Falls School Board recall set for March 9

The recall against Idaho Falls School Board Trustee Elizabeth Cogliati has been scheduled for March 9. The issue is the hybrid alternate day schedule the board adopted by a 3-2 vote in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The vote followed widespread social distancing guidelines.  

Signatures were also handed in for the recall against Chairwoman Lara Hill, though the didn't meet the requirement. Petitioners needed 481 valid signatures for Hill and 280 for Cogliati. 

There was also an attempt against Trustee Hillary Radcliffe, but because she was appointed to the position, the signature total needed was over 1400, so it seems to have failed.

One of the leaders of the recall effort is State Representative Bryan Zollinger (R), who apparently wanted students in school four days a week. Zollinger had supported Hill in her campaign

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Alaska: Anchorage Assembly Chair recall set for April 6th

The recall of Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera looks like it will be set for the April 6th General Election. Rivera has filed a lawsuit to toss out the recall effort.

The claim is that Rivera didn't stop a meeting which, due to the size of the audience, violated the emergency order limiting crowds during the coronavirus pandemic (there may have been 17 people at the meeting, which had a limit of 15).

Petitions have been rejected for Assembly members Meg Zaletel, Austin Quinn-Davidson and Kameron Perez-Verdia. New petitions are being reviewed for Quinn-Davidson and Perez-Verdia.

California: Riverside City Councilwoman facing recall effort

Riverside City Councilwoman Gaby Plascencia is facing a recall effort. Unfortunately, the article is currently blocked off, but hopefully we'll see the details. Plascencia did previously face complaint over her social media posts claiming that it was hypocritical for Republicans to celebrate Labor Day. Petitioners need about 4300 signatures to get on the ballot.

New Hampshire: Nashua Board of Education members face recall efforts over remote learning/pandemic restrictions

Nashua Board of Education members are facing recall threats over requirements for remote learning in order to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

This would be an interesting case, as New Hampshire does not have a recall law, but the Nashua City Charter provides for recall of "any elected at-large position."

The article notes that a Superior Court judge ruled the recall provision invalid in 2005, but was not appealed and it remains in the charter. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Washington: Supreme Court rules that Snohomish County Sheriff can face recall

The Washington State Supreme Court has greenlit a recall against Snohmish County Sheriff Adam Fortney over his Facebook comments against the Governor's coronavirus pandemic restrictions, as well as hiring officers previously fired for misconduct. (there's also a recall effort over his handling of the jails during the pandemic). Fortney claimed that he "will not be enforcing an order preventing religious freedoms or constitutional rights."

The 6-3 Supreme Court vote accepted three of four charges, tossing out one that he failed to investigate the use of force by an officer. The three members who dissented upheld the recall effort over hiring officers for misconduct. They dissented over whether Fortney could face a recall over inciting people to ignore pandemic restrictions in his Facebook comments. 

A Cowlitz County Judge (moved for conflict of interest reasons) has previously approved the legal grounds for the first submission, though is not approving online signature gathering or any other changes to the process.


California: California Democratic Party criticized for calling recall "coup"

The California Democratic Party has been criticized for calling the recall effort against California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) a coup. The LA Times and others has criticized this language and the party seems to have backed off

Here's some of the relevant language from the LA Times:

We fear that party leaders might not have access to one, based on their imprudent decision to dub a recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom the "California coup," thus likening a perfectly democratic process enshrined in the state's Constitution to the act of forcefully or even violently seizing government power.

Here's what the party could have said instead: Recalls, though allowed by the state Constitution, ought not to be used lightly and certainly not to settle political scores. These powerful tools of democracy are expensive and distracting, and they ought to be used only in situations in which a sitting official has committed malfeasance or is no longer capable of governing, not simply because you don't like that person's policies.

Alaska: Anchorage Assembly Chair recall goes to the courts

A lawsuit has been filed to toss out the recall effort against Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera. Petitioners claim that they have enough signatures for the recall -- they handed in 5100 signatures and claim that 2971 have been verified. They need 2735 signatures. 

The claim is that Rivera didn't stop a meeting which, due to the size of the audience, violated the emergency order limiting crowds during the coronavirus pandemic (there may have been 17 people at the meeting, which had a limit of 15).

Petitions have been rejected for Assembly members Meg Zaletel, Austin Quinn-Davidson and Kameron Perez-Verdia. New petitions are being reviewed for Quinn-Davidson and Perez-Verdia. 

UK: MP who travelled with COVID symptoms facing recall push

Minister of Parliament Margaret Ferrier (a former SNP member) is facing recall threats after refusing to self isolate and taking a train from Glasgow to London despite having the coronavirus. Ferrier has been charged with culpable and reckless conduct. She could face a recall vote if suspended for more than 10 days. Petitioner would need 8100 signatures to get on the ballot. 

California: Placentia-Yorba Linda School Board member facing recall threats for attending Capitol Hill riot

Placentia-Yorba Linda School Board member Leandra Blades is facing recall threats after she attended the rally before the January 6 US Capitol riot. Blades, a former police officer, was criticized for being a part of a Facebook group that was eventually blocked. No word on how many signatures are needed, though since Blades was just elected, she may be under a 90 day grace period until a recall can start.