Monday, February 8, 2016

Wisconsin: District Attorneys allowed to appeal cast to Supreme Court

This was over coordination issues, though the Wisconsin Supreme Court has banned the DA's from getting help from outside law firms.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Texas: Arrest hit Crystal City Mayor, City Council, City Manager who used absurd interpretation to kill recall

Huge follow-up to last year's story about James Jonas III, a former big DC lobbyist who basically took over Crystal City, Texas as City Manager/City Attorney and managed to pay himself almost half the town's property tax receipts. His supporters, the Mayor Ricardo Lopez and Councilmen Rogelio and Roel Mata faced recall efforts last year. Jonas came up with an absurd interpretation of the recall law  to stop the attempt.

Thursday, all four were arrested on bribery charges. A fourth councilman, Marco Rodriguez, is being hit with human smuggling charges.

A judge is suppose to rule next Tuesday on whether the recall can go forward. The recall has to be on the ballot in either May or November (Texas doesn't have special elections for recalls), so the city can be without actual leadership for most of the year.

Texas: Effort against Austin Councilwoman over Uber/Lyft regulations seems to moving forward

The effort against councilwoman Ann Kitchen over what is believed to be her push to tighten regulations on Uber, Lyft, Get Me and other ride sharing companies seems to be moving closer to the ballot. It is so far unclear about who is pushing the recall and the source of some mystery.
Other council members are calling the effort.

Petitioners need 4811 signatures (10% of registereds).

Tennessee: Nashville Councilman facing petition threats over charges he lied about money for bail

Loniel Greene, who is facing allegations that he lied in court about the source of his $10,000 bond to get a relative out of jail -- as well as discussed threatening a domestic violence victim in the case, is facing recall threats from Nick Leonardo, who Greene beat in September to win the council seat.

The recall effort couldn't start until March regardless.

We haven't had Nashville recently, but the one recall the city had was in 2009, when Councilwoman Pam Murray lost to James Hollin.

Oregon: Three Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection members facing petitions

Three Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District Board Members, President Sharon Clyde, Garry Smith and Linda Beck-Sweeney, are facing petitions over the firing of Chief Mike Balzer. Balzer is suing for $677,000 and reinstatement of employment benefits after he was fired in October over what he claims was retaliation for his wife's comments on social media.

Petitioners need 125 signatures (15% of turnout) by April 6.

New Jersey: Asbury Park Councilman petitions filed

An attempt against Asbury Park Councilman Jesse Kendle has been filed. Petitioners need 2175 signatures. No word yet on why the recall is being pushed

Idaho: Petitions filed against Blaine County School Board member

Blaine County School Board Member Liz Corker is facing petitions over a grab-bag of complaints, though it seems the one that is specific is her vote to dismantle the Finance Committee and proposing that staff be removed from the committee.

Petitioners need 489 signatures in 75 days (oddly, the fact is attributed to "a county official who didn't want to be named") -- 20% of eligible voters in the last school board election.

Virginia: Petitions filed in recall attempt against Norfolk City Treasurer

City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot is facing petitions over his upcoming trial on public corruption charges over taking close to $500,000 in kickbacks/bribes will serving as councilman. The petition had to be rewritten over inaccuracy in the limits Burfoot faces in speaking with potential witnesses who are elected and appointed officials, as well as civil servants.

Virginia has a recall trial -- meaning if enough signatures are handed in, a judge would hold a trial to decide if Burfoot stays in office. There is no vote. Petitioners need 4352 signatures (10% of turnout).

Idaho: Petitions handed in against four of five West Ada School District Trustees

Waiting for the verification process -- Tina Dean needs 253, Carol Sayles, 335, Julie Madsen 454 and Russell Joki 302. The effort against Mike Vuittonet was dropped (Vuittonet co-lead the recall efforts against the other four trustees).

Colorado; No candidates have jumped into the Parachute recall races over marijuana ban


Massachusetts: Rowley Water Board Commissioner kicked out

Tim Toomey was ousted in a recall, 675-26, losing to Mark Emery (it was actually two votes -- the recall was 661-48). 16% turnout. The issues were over Toomey's use of executive sessions, hiring of outside counsel and putting the water supervisor on leave.

California: Lucerne Valley School District School Board member ousted

Lucerne Valley School Board Member Dawn Turnbull was kicked out office, with 76.3 percent voting to remove. Only 520 votes were cast, which is significantly less than the 716 signatures handed in. The issue was Turnbull's allegations against a lot of different people, much of it posted on Facebook. She was censured twice and handed attended a board meeting in eight months.

California: Dixon Mayor, City Council members not facing recalls

No petitions were filed against Dixon Mayor Jack Batchelor, Vice Mayor Steve Bird and Councilmen Jerry Castanon, Sr. and Scott Pederson. Petitioners would be 2200 signatures on each. The issue was a suit against the Solano County Taxpayers Association over a sewer rate rollback initiative, which was ruled unconstitutional.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Texas: One Denton Councilman recall on May ballot; other tossed out for technicality

Denton Councilman Joey Hawkins is facing a May 7 recall over his support for fracking, though the recall for Kevin Roden was tossed out because of a technical requirement needing a signed affidavit over the number of signatures on each page of the petition.

New Jersey: Bloomfield Councilman facing petitions after indictment

Councilman Elias Chalet is facing petitions after he was indicted on accepting $15,000 after promising to secure the purchase of a commercial property. According to the leader, Councilman Joseph Lopez backed the effort to push Chalet out of office, and then was "terrorized by Chalet's cousin.

California: Carson City Clerk facing criminal investigation as well

Carson City Clerk Jim Dear, who is facing a February 23 recall, is now facing a criminal investigation into the belief that he resigned from the mayor/council position to get a better. The council pays $22,735 a year. The clerk's job is $120,000. His pension could rise from a little over $12k to $66K. due to having the job for one year -- though the recall might subvert that by less than a month. No idea why this is considered a possible legal problem though -- the argument seems to be about pension reform changes, but they don't seem applicable here.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Virginia: Henrico School Board Chair facing recall over sale of land for cancer treatment center

Henrico School Board Chair Michelle F. Ogburn is facing a threatened recall due to claims that she did not convey the community's disapproval of a proposed cancer treatment center that would be near residential properties (including that of the lead petitioner).

Apparently, the discussions took place before Ogburn was elected. Virginia has a recall trial law, so the petitioner is claiming that Ogburn is guilty of "neglect of duty" and "misuse of office." He would need 10% of the total votes cast, which should equal 1,076 or so. However, a Judge would have to rule that this meets the standard to get on the ballot and -- SPOILER ALERT -- that's not going to happen.

Wisconsin: Walker raised over $22.4 million from out of state sources in recall run; $16 million in 2014 reelection race

Walker had by far the best out of state network of any governor. The chart says it all. How much of that was the recall? Probably almost all.

Wisconsin: Six possible candidates who can take on Scott Walker in 2018


Oregon: Two Glendale School board members resign, one to face recall next month

Glendale School Board Chairman Henry Perry and member Judith Dickerson resigned from the school board after at least 178 signatures were verified to set up an upcoming recall. Member William Boal is facing an upcoming recall vote next month.
The issue seemed to take place agter two students brought in air-soft guns and were suspended for two days, which other parents felt wasn't strick enough. Parents and police were not immediately notified of the event.

Massachusetts: Board of Registers hearing appeal in Lawrence Mayor recall petitions

The Board voted 4-0 to hear an appeal to get the signatures of more than 1500 voters back on the petitions against Mayor Daniel Rivera. The board tossed out 3070 signatures -- and petitioners need just 665 to get on the ballot.

Colorado: Groups drops recall of State Rep. over her blaming Planned PArenthood for shooting

The effort against State Representative JoAnn Windholz has been abandoned, as the group raised just $5500. Petitioners had an online petition with 63,000 signatures (which doesn't count anyway), and about 2000 of those were from Colorado.

Texas: Electra Mayor on the ballot for a recall in May

Electra Mayor Pam Ward's recall will be on the ballot in May. Petitioners got 163 verified signatures. They needed 100. The issue was the firing of the former Police Chief. The attempt to recalls of Commissioners Kevin Byrd and Ricky Kelley is still waiting for verification.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Nebraska: Herman Village Board Member kicked out

Shaun Swan, who faced a recall after fights and a previous recall attempt was tossed out, lost the recall vote on a mail-in ballot 47-40. Swan is running for reelection in November regardless.

Texas: Petitions handed in against second Denton Council member

145 signatures were handed in against council member Kevin Roden over his vote to repeal fracking limits. Voters had adopted a ban in 2014, before his vote to repeal the ban in 2015. Councilman Joey Hawkins is already facing a recall on this one. Petitioners need 132 valids.

South Dakota: Rejected Hartford recall leads to Senate bills changing recall laws

The failure to get a recall on the ballot against Mayor Doyle Johnson, who had two votes to reject the recall, has led to proposed changes in the recall law. Senate Bill 65 would change the law so that councilors can only challenge the signatures, not the reason for the recall. The bill passed 5-0, and is going to the Senate floor.

Senate Bill 65 deals with procedure for a municipal recall petition. It gives a more clear understanding of what a council can do with the petitions. Under the bill, councilors would only be able to challenge the signatures, not the reason behind the petition.
These bills were in front of a committee Wednesday in Pierre.
"This has been our experience and this is what happened and so wanted to share that with them and help make it clear," Menning said.
One of the men testifying at the Capitol was Hartford Resident Jeremy Menning. He's one the men who helped collect the signatures for the petition. He's seen the problems firsthand, and he's happy to see the lawmakers take an interest in preventing future controversy.
"At least now it can be clear not just for us but hopefully for every community going forward, because it was unfortunate how this one worked out and how things happen here but going forward we hope that everything is clear so that nobody has to interpret what they think should happen," Menning said.
Committees looked at both bills. Senate Bill 65 passed with a 5-0 vote. It will be on the Senate Floor soon.

Senate Bill 64 is still working out a few amendments. The committee heard the testimony, but won't vote on it until next week.

Alaska: North Slope Borough Mayor facing April 5 recall

Mayor Charlotte Brower is facing the voters on April 5 over allegations of misusing funds. She is accused of purchasing cakes for her daughter and basketball camp in California for her grandchildren. Petitioners needed 492 signatures to get on the ballot,

Oregon: Pendleton Councilor facing petitions over utility fee

Pendleton City Councilor Al Plute is facing petitions over his vote to institute a $5 street utility fee after voters shot down a 5 cent gas tax. Petitioners need 705 signatures (15% of turnout of the Governor's election). There is also some discussion of a lawsuit that he settled with Pendleton Plumbing.

Here's some more on the case, including the opposition to the recall from his fellow councilors.

Texas: Floresville Mayor and City Council recalls unlikely

The attempted recall of Mayor Sherry Castillo and Councilmen Daniel Tejada and Juan Ortiz is not going to get on the ballot, according to the City Attorney. The Attorney claims that there is to little time before the February 19 deadline to get the recall on the ballot for May 7. After that, the recall could only happen on November, when the positions are on the ballot anyway.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Massachusetts: Injunction rejected in Rowley Water Commissioner recall

An attempt to stop the recall of Water Commissioner Timothy Toomey was rejected, and it will take place on February 2.

Arizona: Superior Mayor facing recall threats over cash withdrawals

Mayor Jayme Valenzuela, who is also a commander in the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, is facing calls for a recall after allegations by the former town clerk that he made $2300 in withdrawals from the town debit card, including at a casino. The Town Manager abruptly resigned last friday and the financial officer hasn't shown up for work.

Following the town clerk's revelation, she was fired, in a 4-3 vote, with Valenzuela casting the deciding vote (she was on a six-month probationary period).