Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Massachusetts: Uxbridge Selectmen to recall petition language before sending it to state Legislature

The issue seems to be the amount of signatures needed and language that allows the recall for "any lawful reason" - which sounds like they may be pushing for a judicial recall/malfeasance standard recall, rather than a political one.

Uxbridge's town hall approved the recall provision, but the Selectmen seem to be slow walking it and now trying to replace the citizens petition.

Alaska: ACLU of Alaska filed brief in favor of Homer City Council members opposing June 13 recall

The ACLU of Alaska has filed suit claiming that the recall effort against Council members Donna Aderhold, David Lewis and Catriona Reynolds over their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline is should not be on the ballot due to Alaska law (and a question of free speech).

The free speech part of the claim is odd and out of place, but the councilmembers case against the recall is actual quite strong. Alaska is a judicial recall/malfeasance standard state and courts will frequently throw out recalls that don't meet the for cause statute (though they have allowed a number of recalls to go forward). Here's a copy of the complaint.

Rhode Island: Providence Journal endorses recall of indicted Councilman Kevin Jackson


Philippines: Cebu Mayor facing recall threat

Mayor Tommy Osmena won a rematch in 2016, but his opponent Mike Rama appears to be pushing for a recall, even as they wait for the results of a recount.

Massachusetts: Bridgewater Councilwoman who won office in recall loses re-election run

Sandra Wright won office in the 2012 recall race. After losing a state senate race, she lost her re-election run 88-78.

Iowa: Logan city council shrinkage showed the issue with lack of recalls

Firings of City Administrator Angela Winther and City Attorney (back in 2012), led to a 2013 law that cut the size of the city council from 5 to 3 members. The council is now looking to add back the two members. What's interesting is that Winther (who was hired back after a lawsuit) notes that Iowa doesn't have recall elections, seemingly blaming that failure for the reason for the shrinkage.

Wisconsin: Superior Councilor facing calls for resignation after criminal charges filed

City Councilor Graham Garfield is facing charges after pointing a loaded gun at his fiance, with Mayor Jim Paine calling for his resignation. Garfield was reelected to the council by one vote last year, so a recall cannot start until he is in office one year.

Colorado: Signatures handed in against Frederick Mayor and trustees

320 signatures were handed in against Mayor Tony Carey and Board Trustees Fred Skates and Donna Hudziak. The issues were the approval of a four-story building that exceeded land-use height requirements, a restaurant that was too close to residential properties and a $5.6 million budget deficit.

There's also apparently a recall effort led by a failed Trustee candidate Mike Schiers against two other trustee members, Rocky Figurilli and Salvatore SeSantis, due to their alleged vote against developments.

Petitioners need 25% of turnout, which in Carey's case seems to be 146 signatures.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Michigan: Flint Mayoral recall appeal going to a judge

Mayor Karen Weaver is appealing the approval of a recall petition against her to a Circuit Court Judge -- with the hearing set for today. The recall language is over an emergency waste collection contract that she signed that the city council voted against. Petitioners would need about 5800 signatures.

Update: The Judge allowed the recall to move forward.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

North Dakota: Article on recalling Ward County Commissioner

The resignation of the Ward County Sheriff Steve Kukowski with a $75,000 payout has led to discussion of recall efforts against County Chairman Larry Louser and Commissioner John Fjeldahl. Petitioners would need 6927 signatures to get on the ballot, though it would have to get to the ballot by November.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Arizona:A look back at Arizona legislators push to cut back on initiatives and recalls

The Arizona Republic has a great look at how legislators worked to make signature gathering much more difficult. They could have submitted it to the voters, but they figured the voters would kill it.

Of particular note is that Strict Compliance, which overturns the Arizona Supreme Court decision holding that the recall is so important that a "substantial compliance" doctrine should be in effect. That means that Arizona recall petitions will now have a much higher burden to get on the ballot.

Louisiana: Welsh Alderman facing petitions

Alderman Jacob Colby Perry is facing petitions over claims that he has disrupted government and refused to acknowledge that his accusations are unfounded. Perry is out of the country on military duty.

Petitioners need at least 695 signatures (33 1/3 of registered voters) in 180 days.

Missouri: Springfield City Council member facing recall effort

Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky, who recently lost a mayoral race, is facing a recall effort led by a longtime vocal critic, with claims that she is unable to cooperate, vindictive and a bad leader. Fulnecky has called other council members the "Gang of Five" and criticized a pilot program to connect panhandlers with jobs. The city council approved a report that said she was not eligible to run for the council because she failed to obtain and pay for a city business license for seven straight years.

Petitioners need 7774 signatures to get on the ballot.

The last successful recall and removal in Springfield was against Councilmember John Wilson in 1996. There were two recent campaigns against former Mayor Bob Stephens and against councilman Justin Burnett (who resigned following nipplegate). Neither got to the ballot.

Colorado: Four protests filed against signatures in Broomfield Mayor Pro Tem recall

The protest is an attempt to stop the recall against Mayor Pro Tem Greg Stokes (who is term-limited out this year). The article notes some residents claiming a partisan tilt to the recall, with conservative Republicans pushing the effort.

Maine: Op-ed by Maine Senator on his proposed recall law

Here -- I've discussed this one point before, but someone put out the idea that three-quarters of the recalls in the US have taken place on the local level. It is really probably about 99% on the local level.

Colorado: Fremont County Sheriff facing petitions

Signature gathering has started in a recall against Sheriff Jim Beicker. One of the leaders of the petitions is a resident who found evidence from a 2006 homicide in a storage unit that he bought at an auction. The Sheriff's office was also in the news for seizing horses under an animal cruelty claim, though some of them were returned by judicial order.

Petitioners would need about 4,000 signatures, and there is a claim that the recall would cost about $85,000.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Washington: Petitions taken out against Black Diamond Councilmembers

Council members Pat Pepper and Erika Morgan are facing petitions. The treasurer for one of the recall PACs is a former councilman. Since Washington is a judicial recall/malfeasance standard state, the petition claims that the two violated different rules, including the Open Public Meetings Act and usurping the authority of Mayor Carol Benson.

The councilmembers claim that the leader of the petition is the wife of former Councilman Ron Taylor, who lost to Pepper in the last election. PEtitioners would need 262 signatures for Pepper and 393 for Morgan.

Massachusetts: Judge rejects attempt to stop Townsend recall


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

North Dakota: Fargo Commissioner welcomes recall

Fargo City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn said in a radio interview that he welcomes the special election over his push for a study on the impact refugee resettlement. Petitioners need about 3500 signatures by May 12. Piepkorn won office with 21% of the vote, so it could be an interesting race.

California: SJ Mercury News columnist looks at DA opposition to recall of Santa Clara Judge


New Mexico: Tucumcari Commissioners recalls set for June 13

Recalls against Mayor Ruth Ann Litchfield and Commissioners Ralph Moya and Amy Guiterrez is scheduled for June 13. The petition against Mayor Pro Tem Robert Lumpkin failed to qualify. The issue is fines that the petitioner would get for keeping rusting equipment on their property.

North Dakota: Signatures handed in for Bismarck Mayor recall

Petitioners have handed in close to 2500 signatures against Mayor Mike Seminary. They need 1898 valids. Seminary is up for reelection in 2018.

Alaska: Three Haines Borough Assembly members facing recall threats

Borough Assembly members Heather Lende, Tom Morphet and Tresham Gregg are facing recall threats over claims of Open Meeting Act violations and pressuring the police department to perform duties to benefit their private businesses (Morphet owns the Chilkat Valley News, the others are a writer and an artist). The battle seems to be about the police department providing a police blotter, which the newspaper would be able to run.

Haines is called the adventure capital of Alaska. Petitioners need 258 signatures in 60 days for each.

India: Editorial opposed to push for recall law


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Arizona: Governor facing petitions over school vouchers

Governor Doug Ducey's signing of legislation that will expand the school voucher program (and his support of a bill that bans paying signature-gathers for initiatives at a per signature rate) has led to what the Arizona Republic calls a "gadfly" filing a recall effort against Ducey.

California: Santa Clara County Judge gets backing from D.A.

Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen has endorsed Judge Aaron Persky in his attempt to defeat a recall effort for the perceived lenient sentencing of a Stanford athlete in a sexual assault trial. Rosen had criticized Persky's sentencing in the trial.

Persky had already received endorsements from two other district attorneys. Recall advocates have raised moe than $400,000; Persky has raised $64,618.

Florida: Sweetwater mayoral recall effort tossed by judge, appealed by PAC

A Political Action Committee is filing an appeal for a judicial ruling tossing out the recall effort against Mayor Orlando Lopez (who also serves as city manager). Lopez missed five commission meetings and workshops, and the ruling holds that these absences are not a reason to allow a recall to go forward.

California: Gas tax vote leads to recall effort against State Senator

State Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) is facing a recall effort led by Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego Councilman and losing Republican candidate for San Diego Mayor against Bob Filner and for Congress, is facing a recall threat over the vote to raise the fas tax as part of a $52 billion road repair package.

DeMaio seems to suggest that this is part of a plan to take the Democrats down from their supermajority control over the legislature. The recall effort against Senator Jeff Dunham in 2008 was a mirror image of this (where the Democrats were hoping to get a supermajority).
Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article144036464.html#storylink=cpy

Nebraska: Table Rock Board member resigned before recall

Table Rock Village Board member Wayne Schulenberg faced a recall petition over claims of violations of the Open Meeting Act. Petitioners had enough signatures to get on the ballot so Schulenberg (and two other board members) resigned.

Oklahoma: Recall launched against Colbert Mayor and city council members

Mayor Roxanne Reed and council members Louis Presley and Terry Bell are facing a recall petition. The issue seems to be the firing of the former police chief (and the use of emergency meetings).

Washington: A look at Seattle mayor recalls

Jumping off of the criticism of Mayor Ed Murray, this article looks at the trouble Seattle mayors have faced.
In 1975, Mayor Wes Uhlman survived a recall by a 2-1 ratio. The recall was launched by firefighters and City Light employees over a progressive hiring practice.

In 1931, Mayor Frank Edwards was kicked out for firing the head of City Lights.

In 1911, Hiram Gill was kicked out very shortly after his election over his support for opening the city to "brothels and gambling parlors." Gill than came back and won the office in 1914 and 1916.