Sunday, February 26, 2017

Texas: San Angelo Councilman resigns under threat of recall

Councilman Bill Richardson, who came under a fire of criticism for a Facebook post asking non-Hispanic citizens to keep a written record of their encounters with Hispanic police officers has submitted a letter of resignation following the release of a audio recording of the incident. Richardson was threatened with a recall effort by the San Angelo Law Enforcement Spouses Association, and it sounds like they had already started getting the petitioning effort going.

California: Recall filed against mayor and four councilmembers after City Clerk hit with restraining order

Mayor Ramon Medina and councilmembers Eduardo De La Riva, Sergio Calderon, Thomas Martin and Ricardo Villarreal are all facing recall threats. Medina and the City Attorney filed a restraining order to keep City Clerk Gerardo Mayagoitia out of City Hall over claims that he threatened the mayor. Mayagoitia  (who is reported to be planning a run for the city council) and Councilman De La Riva has criticized the hiring of City Manager Reuben Martinez, who they claim was hired because he was a longtime customer of Medina's auto repair shop.

Maywood has had significant issues over the years and had to shut down it police department after being on the verge of bankruptcy in 2010 -- oddly, the city was set to hand over administrative responsibilities to the city of Bell, which became the poster boy for local corruption.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nevada: Storey County Sheriff recall gets signatures

Sheriff Gerald Antinoro appears to be facing a recall over his excessive settlement from sexual harassment cases. Petitioners handed in 491 valid signatures, they needed 477.

Massachusetts: Signatures handed in against Townsend selectmen

Signatures were handed in against Selectmen Gordon Clark and Cindy King over claimed that they neglected their duties and numerous claims about handling the police leadership. Petitioners claim they have more than 700 signatures. If approved, it seems that there will be a second stage, where petitioners need signatures from 10% of registered voters, which seems to be about 639. Most likely those earlier signatures count for this effort.

Last year Clark and Selectman Carolyn Smart faced recall efforts, but both failed.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Arizona: House passes bill designed to limit use of initiative

The bill also requires strict construction with petition laws rather than substantial compliance -- an issue that came up during the recall of Arizona State President Russell Pearce. The bill will also ban the use of paid circulars.

Virginia: Charlottesville Court hearing Vice Mayor Recall effort

The recall effort against Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy was heard by a circuit court. The issue was racially-charged tweets.

The signature amount is up for debate, as each voter cast ballots three times for three open council seats. So the question is whether the signatures needed are 527 or 1580.

Texas: Editorial calls for San Angelo City Council member to resign

Councilman Bill Richardson has been facing recall threats and pushes to resign following his Facebook post against Hispanic officers. Here's an editorial by the Standard-Times calling for his removal.

California: Otay Water District Board Member under threats over tweets against Muslims

Water District Board Member Hector Gastelum (R) is facing recall threats after negative tweets about Muslims with a #SubhumanMonsters hashtag. Gastelum won his first term in November.

California: Tulare Regional Medical Center Board not scheduling recall

The recall of board member Dr. Parmod Kumar has not yet been scheduled, as the board ignored election officials who recommended dates for the recall vote. Thanks to California law, the board is irrelevant for the procedure, as the election officials will schedule the vote. It must take place by July 11.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Colorado: Otis Town Council recall scheduled for April 10

The recall against Otis Town Councilmembers Jesse and Sue Stackhouse, Lana Rogers, Lacie Denney, Jennifer Brandon and Linda Bethel was scheduled for April 10.

The petition was started by a former board member, Leon Payne. The issue seemed to be a heated debate over an executive session.

Tennessee: State Senator files legislation to give Rutherford County recall law

Senator Bill Ketron is introducing a bill giving Rutherford County the ability to hold recalls, though it will be limited to officials who were indicted on felony charges. The issue came to the fore over former-Sheriff Robert Arnold's indictment (and later guilty plea) for extortion, wire fraud and honest services fraud.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

California: Orange County Register editorial calls for potential recall of Orange Coast College Trustees

A brouhaha in Orange Coast College has led for an editorial calling for the Board of Trustees potential recall. A student recorded an instructor during class making negative comments about the election of Donald Trump, including calling it an "act of terrorism" and then calling on students who voted for Trump to stand and be counted. The student was then punished for recording on school grounds without consent and required him to write a letter of apology and three page essay before returning to class.

The editorial calls for the student to be reinstated with an apology and for the instructor to be reprimanded.

Wisconsin: Green Bay Mayor survives council vote for removal; Recall next?

An attempt to remove Mayor Jim Schmitt (R), who was convicted of three campaign finance violations, from office failed by one vote, with the council voting 8-4 for removal (the council voted 9-3 for finding enough cause for removal, but Alderman Randy Scannell switched his vote). Schmitt is now likely to face a recall effort.

Oregon: Push to allow impeachment for Governor


Rhode Island: Providence Councilman recall signed by "who's who"

A list of former senior officials, including two former state senators, have signed petitions to get a recall against Councilman Kevin Jackson on the ballot following his indictment for embezzlement.

Texas: San Angelo City Councilman facing recall threats over alleged targeting of Hispanic police officers

Councilman Bill Richardson is being hit with calls to resign and discussion of a recall, including with supportive comments from the mayor, after Richardson posted a complaint with a Hispanic police officer on Facebook. Richardson asked non-Hispanic officers to keep a written record of their interactions with Hispanic police officers. Richardson, who was elected in May 2016, is now facing recall threats from the San Angelo Law Enforcement Spouses Association.

Louisiana: State Representative looks to open up recall process

State Representative Paul Hollis is getting set to introduce a bill for the new legislative session that should make it easier to get a recall on the ballot. Hollis is apparently looking to lower the signature requirement for recalls in larger jurisdictions, potentially by changing the law to the voter turnout requirement from 33 1/3 percent of eligible voters.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Virginia: Charlottesville Vice Mayor facing petitions for recall trial over tweets; dispute over signatures needed

Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy is facing petitions for a recall trial over some controversial tweets he made between 2009 and 2014 that led him to leave a teaching position and resign from the Virginia Board of Education.

Jason Kessler, the leading petitioner is a blogger who is accused of being a white supremacist (he has a Pepe the Frog symbol on his site, though he denies the racist charge) and targeting Bellamy because he is the only African-American on the city council (in the story, he calls Bellamy a "race pimp.")  One of the speakers against Bellamy,GOP gubernatorial candidate and Prince William County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart a focused on Bellamy's vote to remove a statute of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park as "politically correct madness."

There does seem to be a dispute on the number of signatures needed to get to the judge. Virginia law requires signatures totally 10% of the total number of votes cast in the last election for the office. The debate is over whether the signature total is for the total number of votes cast in the 2015 City Council election (which was 15,798 -- meaning 1580 signatures needed) or just those that Bellamy received (which was 4688 -- meaning 469). Kessler claims that it should be the lower number.

We've discussed Virginia's peculiar recall trial law in the past. It doesn't seem likely that this charge would meet the narrow criteria that judges use to allow a recall trial to go forward. Note the Loudoun County Supervisor attempt.