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.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Louisiana: State Senator Resigns in face of expulsion and recall threats

State Senator Troy Brown (D) resigned instead of facing an expulsion vote or a threatened recall. Brown twice plead no contest for domestic abuse charges.

Nebraska: Table Rock Village Board member facing petitions

Petitions have been filed against board member Wayne Schulenberg. The story is behind a paywall, so we'll have to wait for more details.

Comanche trial petitions ask for recall


Colorado: Otis Town Council recall on hold

Otis Town Council members are facing a potential recall threat, though the effort has been put on the backburner due to other issues. Councilmembers Jesse and Sue Stackhouse, Lana Rogers, Jim Weibers and Linda Bethel are facing petitions. The only other council member has recently been appointed.

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Washington: State Senate recall paperwork filed

Petitions have been filed against state Senator Doug Ericksen, who is working for the transition team at the EPA while he still serves in the state Senate.

Colorado: Federal Heights Mayor survives recall vote, Mayor Pro Tem resigns

Mayor Daniel Dick (405-658) survived a recall over his support of a Residential Inspection program.

Mayor Pro Tem John Hamlin also faced a recall, but he resigned prior to the election (he is moving out of town).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Arizona: Three Whetstone Water District Board Members facing May recall vote

Board President Tim Sulger, and members Leonard Howell and Robert Tinney are facing an upcoming recall election on May 16. Sulger is accused of violating open meeting laws, threatening the health of water customers and failing to obtain board approval before working on a repair with a private contractor. The recall is led by one of three employees who the board fired on January 25

Petitioners needed 74 signatures, they got 76 for two and 79 for Sulger. The recall is slated to cost about $3000, which Sulger calculated as $75 per customer.

Washington: State Senator facing recall effort over position on Trump's Transition Team

State Senator Doug Ericksen is facing a recall effort over his role as communications director for the EPA for the Trump transition team. According to the report, Ericksen, the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee Chair,  has missed at least 75% of committee meetings this session (since January), though it's unclear how many actual meetings that is. Ericksen claims that his committee is among the most productive in the Senate.

Washington is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, and it is definitely very questionable that this would meet the for cause part of a recall petition. A Judge will have to decide that next. If it does go forward, petitioners would need 18,061 signatures in six months. An editorial in another paper calls for Ericken to resign.

California: Santa Clara Judge recall out-raised Judge by 5-1

The recall effort against Judge Aaron Persky over a Stanford student sexual assault sentence has seen a significant fundraising. Stanford professor Michele Dauber, who is leading the recall efforts, has raised $323,785, with donations from co-founder of Linkedin and the CEO of CrowdPac. Persky has raised $64,618.

Virginia: Editorial on Recall Trials in Petersburg

Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham and councilman (and former mayor) Howard Myers are both facing recall effort. The editorial is focused on the very odd recall trial law that Virginia uses, and recommends a bill proposed by Delegate Richard Anderson that would create a recall election law.

Oklahoma: GOP Stephens County Treasurer calls for recall law

Steve Fair, the Stephens County Republican Party treasurer, has an op-ed calling for a recall law. He notes the recent resignation of a Tulsa legislator over sexual harassment charges. The article is a straightforward look at recall laws.

California: One candidate in replacement race for Oakdale Irrigation District board seat

The April 25 special election against Linda Santos has only one replacement candidate, Nate Ludlow. A second candidate dropped out after she claimed vandals were outside her home.

South Dakota: Mitchell Mayor hearing recall threats

A look at South Dakota's recall law following "heated exchanges" between Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey and residents, one of whom Toomey called the man ran several stoplights (the resident called Toomey a drunk) and the other is the owner of a janitorial supply company who claims that Toomey's personal vendetta led to bid issue.

The state has a malfeasance standard/judicial recall requirement, so there has to be a showing of cause. Petitioners would need 1455 signatures to get one on the ballot.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Louisiana: Parish Presidents facing recall efforts show part of the challenges in Louisiana politics

The two recall efforts are front and center in this story. The push against Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni over inappropriate text messages sent to a 17 year-old boy is still going on, though petitioners need 90,000 names.

The second recall, against Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa is on hold until hearing from a grand jury. Matassa has been accused of trying to bribe a candidate to drop out of a city council race.

Myanmar: New Recall bill proposed


West Virginia: Huntington Mayor facing recall effort:

Mayor Steve Williams is facing a recall effort led by Steven J. Davis, who was a former Republican candidate for mayor. The issue seems to be claims of tax increases and lay-offs.  It sounds like they may need a charter change to get a recall on the ballot.

Colorado: Crawford Mayor survives recall vote

Mayor Wanda Gofforth beat back a recall vote 99-79 (55%) on Tuesday. Gofforth, who won the office in April by one vote, was launched over allegations that she wasted taxpayer money in attorney fees and violated open meeting laws. The candidate that Gofforth between in April, Gil Saunders, was the only candidate running in the succession race.

Oregon: Lincoln Mayor recall effort fails

No petitions were submitted in the recall effort against Mayor Don Williams. Petitioners needed 456 signatures to get on the ballot.

Arizona: Buckeye Water Resources Director resigns

The rise in water bills has been the source of a recall effort against Buckeye Mayor Jackie Mecks. Petitioners have until March 22 to hand in signatures.

Texas: Hearne City Council refuses to schedule recall of councilmember

The city council was stymied by a tie vote in its effort to set a date for a special election (and the general election). Councilman Rodrick Jackson, who is facing a recall effort in the special, claims the petition was illegal. The fight will now go to a judge.

We've seen this happen a number of times in Texas.

Pennsylvania: 19,000 signatures for online US Senator Toomey recall petition

Outside of online petitions being worthless for electoral purposes, the article notes that Pennsylvania doesn't have a statewide recall law and, of course, that US Senators may not be subject to recalls. The article is a bit too strong on that point -- as I've said in the past, I imagine the US Supreme Court would rule 9-0 that federal officials can't face recalls, but I've been wrong plenty of times before. One other thing to note -- 19,000 signatures is not that much for a recall of a federal officials.

Nevada: Signatures handed in against Storey County Sheriff

597 signatures were handed in for the recall of Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, who is being blamed for the cost of legal settlements due to his managing style. He has also been accused of sexual harassment. Petitioners need 477 verified.