Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Massachusetts: Uxbridge voting on recall law in town meeting

Uxbridge is voting on a recall law, submitted by petition newly-elected selectman Justin Piccirillo, at town meeting on Tuesday. The recall law would require 100 signatures for the first stage, then would need 75% of turnout from the most recent annual town election. Piccirillo said that approximately 170 communities in the state have a recall law.

California: Orange County Judge awards $100K in attorneys fees to Golden Rain Foundation director whose recalls were overturned

Judge Robert Moss handed down a $95,850 ruling for Golden Rain Foundation director Kathryn Freshley and former director Mary Stone over the recall they faced on November 2, 2015. The issue was a vote to fired a longtime managing agent for the retirement community.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Virginia: House of Delegates looking at state recall law

Delegate Rich Anderson (R) has proposed a recall law for the state -- currently Virginia requires a judge to rule on a recall. Anderson wants to turn recalls into an electoral method.

North Carolina: New Tobaccoville Mayor appointed

Following the recall of Mayor Bill McHone in November, Tobaccoville village council appointed Mark Baker, chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, as the new mayor. He was previously on the council before he became a member of the county commissioner.

Ohio: Problems in East Cleveland since recall


Louisiana: Mention of recall against state Senator

Senator Troy Brown (D), who was convicted of two separate domestic abuse crimes against two different women in two different cities, is not resigning. Brown can be expelled, though the article also notes the possibility of a recall.

Massachusetts: Shirley recall before a judge

The recall effort against Shirley Selectmen Kendra Dumont and Robert Prescott is before a superior court judge, though the judge's decision may be too late, as the election is on January 30.

Friday, January 13, 2017

California: Stanislaus County District Attorney facing recall talk

District Attorney Birgit Fladager (who tried the Scott Peterson case) is facing recall threats from former Mayor and current restaurant owner Carmen Sabatino. Sabatino has gone on the offensive after the arrest of his former attorney and friend Frank Carson (who ran against Fladager in 2014)in a murder case in 2015. Sabatino faced 11 felony fraud charges when he ran for reelection in 2003, which ended in a mistrial. Fladager did not try Sabatino in that case.

California: Fonatana Mayor facing recall

Mayor Acquanetta Walker is facing a recall effort alleging the mayor treats opponents with disrespect and wants to build housing that he opposes.

Colorado: Four Evergreen Fire Protection District Members survive recall

Four Evergreen Fire Protection District members, George Kling, Charles Simons, Jeff DeDisse and Davide Christensen all survived recall votes over their push to build a fire-training building in Bergen Park. Each of the challenges received about 6500 votes -- there were 1300 votes against each of them.

North Dakota: Recall effort filed against Bismark Mayor

Mayor Mike Seminary is facing a recall effort over a plan to expand the Event Center. Petitioners would need 1898 signatures.

Colorado: Sedgwick County Sheriff kicked out

Sedgwick County Sheriff Tom Hanna, who was indicted over sexual assault charges filed by a developmentally delayed inmate, was removed in a recall vote 944-89. He was replaced by Deputy Larry Neugebauer (though briefly, Howard McCormick had six jobs, including acting sheriff).

Colombia: Bogota Mayor facing recall effort

Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa is facing a recall effort over his privatization proposals, a new push for above-ground public transportation options and health sector reforms. Petitioners would need 271,818 signatures in 6 months (30% of the vote for Penalosa in the last election).

Petitioners would also need 40% of the turnout in a recall vote -- meaning at least 1092229 votes.

There have been 160 failed recall attempts over the last two decades, though a change in law in 2015 made it easier to get a recall on the ballot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Venezuela: Move to appoint new Vice President made to fight against recall effort

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro may have avoided a recall in 2016, but there is still a chance that he will face one in 2017. However, a recall in 2017 will result in his VP taking over instead of a replacement vote. Maduro is appointing Aragua Governor and former Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami as his vice president.

Louisiana: Jefferson Parish President recall effort claims still trying recall push


California: Leader of recall effort against Santa Clara Superior Court Judge attacks Commission on Judicial Performance review

Stanford law professor Michele Dauber has written a seven-page analysis criticizing a recent state Commission on Judicial Performance review of the six-month sentence handed down against former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner for sexual assault. The Commission held that Santa Clara Judge Aaron Persky did not engage in judicial misconduct in handing down the sentence. You can check out the analysis here.

Oregon: Clatskanie Mayor who survived 2015 recall vote loses mayoral race

Diane Pohl, who survived a 2015 recall vote, lost a reelection run in November to Bob Brajcich.

Oregon: Slander suit from recall effort against Columbia River People's Utility District Director dismissed


Rhode Island: Providence treasurer refuses to pay Councilman's recall legal bills

Providence Treasurer has rejected a request by Councilman Kevin Jackson that the city pay his $30,000 legal fee in a fight against a recall effort. The issue is the Jackson's indictment on embezzlement charges -- he is alleged to take $127,153 from a track and field team.

Massachusetts: Bolton recall law signed by Governor

The recall law was voted in May 2015, though the Governor just signed the law into effect.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

119 Recalls in 2016 -- 60 removals, 17 resignations, 42 survive; at least 402 attempts

A week later than I'd like, here's the Recall Elections Blog's annual end of the year stats: In 2016, we had 119 recalls get to the ballot or end in a resignation. The recall once again proved to be a powerful weapon, though not as successful as in last year. Of the 119, 60 were ousted in the vote, and 17 resigned. 42 officials survived a recall vote.

Additionally, one recall got enough signature to get on the ballot and then was withdrawn; one mayor resigned after the recall was rejected by a judge; two other officials resigned after the recall failed to get enough signatures.

This year saw an increase from 2015, which had 108 recalls, and was more in line with 2014 (which, I never actually wrote up), were we had 126 recalls. In 2013, we had 107 recalls2012 we had 168, and a 2011 we had 151.

For the third straight year, no state official has faced a recall (though in 2015, the Oregon Governor resigned in the face of recall threats). This is a return to the historic norm. The recall on the state level took off from 2011-2013, but despite the pitch partisan battles, recalls have not been used. There were discussions of recalls against legislators in Nevada and Oregon, but none went anywhere. The Michigan Governor has been a perennial target, but as discussed here, there is little chance or reason for the recall to get moving.

There were two recall attempts that did receive an enormous amount of attention, though neither got on the ballot: The recall threat against Santa Clara Judge Aaron Persky and, on the international stage, the recall against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Arguably the most notable recall was in East Cleveland, where Councilman Thomas Wheeler survived a recall in 2015 and in June, and then was finally ousted in December. I counted at least 402 attempted recalls, so once again, the vast majority of recall attempts do not result in signatures being handed in. Most recall attempts are abandoned.

Some basic stats:

  • 13 states had recall elections take place 
  • The big recall states were California (13) and Michigan (13) 
  • 22 mayors, one vice mayor and one village president faced a recall vote.
  • I have not included recalls in Native American territory (I count three, though there may be more), nor do I include HOAs or Senior Living Communities. 

Ballotpedia put out their year-ender on recalls, and the numbers are slightly different. Why the difference? It's not fully clear, but I do have easier access to all of their coverage, so that has to be figure into any fact. The resignations may be an issue of "when do you count a resignation in the face of a recall."  I also would not read that much into the calculation of attempt -- it is frequently not clear if someone took out petitions and there is some overlap between 2015 and 2016. So take that number with a grain of salt, but it does show how often recalls are threatened.

What can we expect in 2017? More of the same. 14 recalls are already on the ballot.

Kansas: Marion County Commissioner facing calls to leave

Commissioner Lori Lalouette is facing calls to resign and this story about a possible recall attempt. Laloutte has been criticized for walking out of meetings, missing 24 meetings and being late for 26 others. Lalouette has claimed illness is responsible.

Petitioners would need 588 signatures (40% of turnout) in 90 days, plus approval by the County Attorney (Kansas is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state).

Ohio: East Cleveland recall leader appointed to city council

Devin Branch, one of the leaders of the successful recall of Council President Thomas Wheeler and Mayor Gary Norton, was appointed to the council to replace Wheeler. Norton had filed assault charges against Branch following the election.

Kansas: Leavenworth Commissioner recall effort fails

The recall effort against Commission Chairman Bob Holland appears to have fallen short -- petitioners needed 2012 signatures. The lead petitioner said he would turn in the signatures, but claimed he doubts he got 500. The issue was claims of a violation of open meeting laws.

California: Signatures handed in for Tulare Regional Medical Center board recall

Petitioners handed in 1375 signatures in the recall effort against board member Dr. Parmod Kumar. They need 1049. Kumar has been in office since 1994. The board sought financing for an expansion tower, though that was defeat and two members lost their seats.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Washington: Napavine hearing discussions of recall following contentious meeting

The City Council is facing recall discussion following a difficult meeting that came after two council resignations, threats against officials and one audience member being kicked out of City Hall. The issue seems to be an ability to approve a budget.