Friday, October 23, 2020

California: Best of Three? Another look at the Senate race of iusted state Senator Josh Newman/Senator Ling Ling Chang

Another look at the recall rematch where former state Senator Josh Newman (D), who was kicked out in a recall in June 2018 with 58% against, will  face Senator Ling Ling Chang (R), who was selected as Newman's replacement in the recall. This will be the third go-round for the two, as Newman beat Chang in 2016 by 2498 votes. (Chang did not technically run against Newman in the recall -- the vote was an up or down against Newman, with Chang selected in a same day replacement vote).


The recall was launched over a gas tax and the Republicans push to deprive Democrats of a 2/3rds supermajority in the Senate. The Democrats quickly recapture the supermajority in the fall elections.

Colorado: Signatures insufficient in Avon Mayor, Councilmembers recall effort

The City Clerk has found that petitioners failed to hand in enough valid signatures to get a recall on the ballot against Avon Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes and Councilmembers Amy Phillips and Tamra Underwood. The recall effort is over leaving a real estate transfer tax in place is still ongoing. Petitioners need 496 signatures, though it was originally believed to be 479. They came missed on Underwood by 71 and by Hymes by 51. An earlier article said they handed in over 600 signatures, and the article mentions 620 handed in. It is unclear why there are these discrepancies. Phillips is up for reelection in November, so the recall was not allowed based on the grace period.

Petitioners said that they will try and cure the signatures and still get on the ballot.

California: Vallejo City Councilman facing recall efforts over domestic violence claims

Vallejo City Councilmember Hakeem Brown is facing a recall effort after an article was published claiming that he has faced repeated charges of domestic violence and other crimes. Petitioners would need about 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot. 

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Nebraska: Lincoln Mayor and City Council facing recall threats

A City Council candidate in 2021, Benjamin Madsen, has said he is considering recall efforts against Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird and members of the city council. The recall is over the appointment of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director.  Petitioners would need 21,652 signatures in 30 days to get the Gaylor Baird recall on the ballot. Three Council members are ineligible to be recalled, because they are in the grace period before the 2021 election. 

California: Petitions taken out against Tehama Supervisors

 Tehama County Supervisors Bob Williams and Dennis Garton are facing petitions, with Supervisor Steve Chamblin also being threatened. The issue seems to be contract extensions for the Chief Administrator and the Planning Department head. 

Petitioners need 2043 signatures for Garton and 1562 for Williams. 

The last Tehama County recall was in 1996, where three supervisors were removed. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Wisconsin: Petitioners claim they have enough signatures for Governor/LG; Strange Facebook claim throws statement into confusion

Petitioners are claiming that they have more than enough signatures to get recall efforts against Governor Tony Evers (D) and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (D) on the ballot, though later statements on Facebook is calling the claim into question. 

Petitioners need 668,327 signatures by October 27. One of the leaders has claimed that they have the signatures, but on Facebook she said that she was going to mislead the media, so not clear what that was about.

Wisconsin does have an unusual eligible voter law, which allows signatures to be counted if the signer is just eligible and not registered. Even so, we probably would expect that they need somewhere on the order of 725,000 signatures to succeed. 

Michigan: New recall effort against Detroit Mayor

 A new petition has been launched to recall Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. This is the third recall attempt against Duggan. Petitioners claim it is over taxes and other issues. Duggan claims it is over Proposal N increasing vacant home demolition funding.

California: Manteca Mayor facing recall effort

Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu is facing a recall effort over municipal financial issues and the replacement of the City Manager, who then fired the police chief.

Petitioners would need 7687 signatures to get on the ballot.

Manteca last had a recall in 1982, when three council members were kicked out.

Oklahoma: Norman looking to increase signature requirement in recall law

 A charter amendment would increase the signature requirement to get a recall on the ballot from 25% of turnout to 35%. This follows a prominent recall fight against the Norman Mayor and two councilmembers. 

Georgia: Blackshear Council member recall signatures verified; Recall scheduled for December 1

The signatures handed in against Blackshear Council member Shawn Godwin have been verified. The election has been set for December 1. Petitioners handed in 98 and got 95. They needed 89 valids. Petitioners already passed the first stage of the recall, handing in 30 signatures.

Council members Linda Gail Dennison and Timmy Sapp were also facing recall petitions, with the council holding a hearing on the charges. Two former mayors have signed the petitions. The issue appears to be their initial opposition to the hiring of the City Clerk. There's also a kitchen sink of other complaints over meeting attendance, open meeting violations and claims of censorship on social media.

Georgia is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed. I haven't seen any discussion of whether this has already occurred. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

California: San Diego voters to decide on giving school board members ability to put recall on ballot

San Diego voters will be deciding on Measure D, which would allow the school board to put a recall on the ballot if four of the five members approve it. The recall would have to be for malfeasance, dereliction or violation of duties.  This rule already applies for the City Council. Here's the precipitating event

Idaho: Petitions taken out against Idaho Falls School Board Members

Petitions have been taken out against Idaho Falls School Board Chairwoman Lara Hill and trustee Hillary Radcliffe, with signatures still be collected against Trustee Elizabeth Cogliati. The issue is the hybrid schedule the board adopted for the high schools to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners will need 481 signatures for Hill and over 1400 signatures for Radcliffe.

Oklahoma: Norman Councilwoman claims duplicate signatures should end recall effort

More challenges in the recall effort against Norman City Councilmember Alison Petrone, The recall effort against appeared to get enough valid signatures to get on the ballot. Petitioners handed in 3444 signatures and had 2580 valid. 2573 were needed. Now a law suit is claiming that the petitioners did not have enough signatures, and it appears that the City Clerk acknowledged this, as eight of the signatures were found to be duplicates. The petitioners claim there are at least 100 other signatures that should be validated.

The recall against Mayor Breea Clark failed, as petitioners handed in 20661 and needed 18,124. Over 3600 signatures have been tossed out.  

City Councilwoman Sereta Wilson previously resigned in the face of the recall threat. It seems that they haven't handed in signatures against two other councilmembers who were threatened, City Council members Kate Bierman and Stephen Holman. 

The recall is over a vote to cut the police department's proposed budget by $865,000 (it appears not to be an actual cut -- the police wanted a big increase and got only a smaller one). There are also complaints about the council's push to require masks to stave off the coronavirus.

One other wrinkle -- Petrone is up for her regularly scheduled election a month later. 


Colorado: Signatures handed in against Avon Mayor, Councilmembers

Signatures have been handed in the recall attempt against Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes and Councilmembers Amy Phillips and Tamra Underwood over leaving a real estate transfer tax in place is still ongoing. Petitioners need 479 signatures to get on the ballot and supposedly handed in more than 600. Phillips is up for reelection in November, so the recall seems like it will be rejected for her.


Idaho: West Ada School Board Chair Resigns

West Ada School Board Chairman Ed Klopfenstein has resigned, complaining about the board's failure to listen. Klopfenstein, along with board members Steve Smylie, Phillip Neuhoff, Rene Ozuna and Amy Johnson, are facing recall efforts over the school shutdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The focus is on the 6-12 grade students. 

Idaho has an absentee veto provision, so if the recall gets to the ballot, the vote must top the number of votes that the board members got in the last election for the recall to succeed.

Four of them board members (all but Johnson), were originally appointed to the board after a 2016 recall led to the ouster of two members and the resignation of two others.

Texas: Granite Shoals Mayor resigns after recall certified

Following the verification of signatures, Granite Shoals Mayor Carl Brugger has resigned. Brugger was termlimited and not running for reelection. The recall is over a vote to give the City Manager a raise. Two councilmembers tried to rescind it but failed in a 5-2 vote. 

Councilor Bruce Jones is still facing a vote, though he is running for reelection on the November ballot.

Petitioners handed in 221 signatures and 186 were validated. They needed 152 signatures (6.5 percent of registered voters) to get on the ballot. 


New Mexico: Santa Fe Mayor facing recall threats over destruction of monument

Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber (D) is facing recall threats following the destruction of a historic obelisk war monument. The police department walked away from protests, which allowed for the destruction. The monument was dedicated to Union soldiers in the Civil War and to "'heroes' who died in battle 'with savage Indians in the Territory of New Mexico...'"

Webber's term ends in November 2021, which means that a recall may not be possible to launch, as there is a 1 year grace period at the end of the term. Petitioners would need 33.3% of the turnout (called "actual voters" here), as well as 15% from each council district. 

Michigan: Petition language approved against Attorney General

Petition language has now been approved against Attorney General Dana Nessel (D). The petition was previously rejected due to factualness and clarity reasons. Petitioners need more than 1 million signatures to get on the ballot. The Nessel recall was over complaints over enforcement of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions at long-term care facilities. 

Petition language was previously approved for a recall effort against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D).

The petition against Benson is over mailing postcards to voters encouraging them to apply for vote from home ballots in November.

There are also recall efforts against Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II as well as multiple attempts against Nessel.

Wisconsin: Signatures due for Governor/Lieutenant Governor recall; Petitioners claim they are nearing amount

Signatures are due on October 27 for the recall effort against Governor Tony Evers (D) and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (D) over the responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the unrest in Kenosha. Petitioners would need 668,327 signatures to get on the ballot. Petitioners claim that they had over 625,000 signatures. Wisconsin does have an unusual eligible voter law, which allows signatures to be counted if the signer is just eligible and not registered. Even so, we probably would expect that they need somewhere on the order of 725,000 signatures to succeed. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Washington: Supreme Court tosses out Seattle Mayor recall petition

Washington Supreme Court has tossed out the recall effort against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D). This was after a lower court judge greentlit the recall effort. The recall petition is over the police reaction to the protests surrounding the killing of George Floyd. 

Washington is a malfeasance standard state, so a judge had to approval the petitions saying the language reached the for cause statutory definition.  The judge threw out six of seven charges, leaving in the one regarding using chemical agents to disburse crowds.

Petitioners would need over 56,000 signatures to get on the ballot (25% of turnout).

There was a second petition, which claimed that the curfew was set too quickly without giving protesters enough time to get away. 

Alaska: State ordered to pay attorney fees for recall effort

A Superior Court Judge ruled that Alaska's government must pay $190,000 in attorney fees and costs to the group seeking a recall of Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. This follows the Supreme Court's ruling allowing the recall effort to move forward (it seems to be at 66% of the signatures needed). 

Texas: Signatures validated for Granite Shoals Mayor and Councilor

Signatures against Granite Shoals Mayor Carl Brugger and Councilor Bruce Jones have been certified. 221 signatures were handed in, and 186 were validated. They needed 152 signatures (6.5 percent of registered voters) to get on the ballot. 

The recall is over a vote to give the City Manager a raise. Two councilmembers tried to rescind it but failed in a 5-2 vote. 

Jones is running unopposed for reelection on the November ballot. Brugger is term limited.

Colorado: Berthoud Trustees facing recall effort

Berthoud Trustees Maureen Dower and Jeff Hindman are facing recall efforts over complaints that they jeopardized the town relationship with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office and for a vote to fund a Park and Recreation Center using certificates of participation.

Petitioners need 304 signatures for Hindman and 420 for Dower in 60 days. Since Hindman is in the six month grace period since election (in April), they may have to wait to start that recall effort.


Update: The petitions were rejected. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Wisconsin: Middleton-Cross Plains School Board members targeted in recall effort

 Middleton-Cross Plains School board members Robert Hesselbein and Minza Karim are facing recall efforts after they voted to continue virtual school in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The vote was 5-4, but the two of the other three members are ineligible for the recall. Petitioners need about 5000 signatures in 60 days to get on the ballot.

Massachusetts: Holyoke City Council passes recall provision, mayor set to veto

Holyoke City Council passed a recall election provision 11-2, one which it's Charter and Rules Committee recommended. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who recently lost a race for Congress against Ways & Means Chairman Richard Neal, has said he will veto it. Regardless, it would need to be approved by the state legislature. Neal faced a recall effort after heavily disputed claims of inappropriate behavior during his time as a lecturer at UMass. 

Several prior attempts to enact a recall were rejected by Morse.

In 2017, the mayor's term moved from 2 to 4 years, but he refused to sign a plan to also put in a recall law.  

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Massachusetts: Braintree School Board member facing recall drive

Braintree School Board Member Kelly-Cobb-Lemire is facing a recall effort over a Facebook post that petitioners claim is offensive to veterans. Petitioners claim they have 400 signatures to meet the first step of the recall. They would need about 2700 to get on the ballot after that. 

Update: Petitioners claim they have enough signatures  but are asking to lower the amount needed due to COVID laws.