Saturday, March 31, 2012

Impact of Petition Signing on Voter Turnout

The Election Law Blog notes an interesting paper

North Dakota: NYT op-ed on the Non-Partisan League's bank

This op-ed gives some of the details surrounding the 1921 recalls of the Governor, Attorney General and Agriculture Commissioner. See this article by David Schechter, a Cal State Fresno Political Science professor for possibly the best detailed explanation of the Frazier recall.

Wisconsin: Assembly Minority Leader not running for Gov


California: Calaveras Supervisor recall abandoned

Second recall effort against District Supervisor Darren Spellman abandoned. The proponents handed in only 10 signatures on the original petition request -- they needed 20. They claim that the delay will end a chance of getting on the November ballot, and they did not want the expense of a special election. Note that in December, the first recall fell 366 signatures short of the 1,702 need.

The article notes a few of the actions that led to the recall campaign:

After showing up to his first board meeting in hip waders to suggest he would be trudging through mud, Spellman has accused other officials of corruption, announced his intent to run for Congress, and used his position on the Board of Supervisors to threaten the job of a high school teacher.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wisconsin: Republicans to run "fake" candidates in Democratic Senate Primaries

The four Democratic Senate hopefuls will all face "fake" primary opponents, according to Republican Party officials. The goal is to push the election so it is on the same day as the Walker recall -- otherwise, the Democrats may have had a serious advantage in those races (as their votes would be more likely to come out for the Gubernatorial primary vote).

Barrett Announces for The Governor's Seat -- a brief history of recall rematches

Here's the announcement. Most recalls are not rematches, though Wisconsin has three recent counter-examples -- Sheboygan Mayor, the upcoming Wanggaard v. Lehman Wisconsin Senate race and the Randy Hopper v. Jessica King race last year. Arizona's Quartzsite mayor is a different example from this year -- mayor lost the recall last year, and came in first (though there is a runoff) in this year's election.

Wisconsin: Fundraising limits now apply

Once the GAB signs off on the recall (as they did today), the unlimited donation period ends. Now, there is a $10,000 limit per person. Of course, since most of the money may be spent by outside groups, this might not matter.

Why are there so few invalid signatures in Wisconsin? Comparison with past recall gathering campaigns

Update Below:

A look at the GAB's totals show very few invalid signatures for the Walker recall. 931,053 signatures were handed in. 900,938 were found valid (4,001 duplicates, 26,114 struck out by staff). This a 3.2% failure rate. For Kleefisch, the failure rate was 4%.

Generally, we have come to expect a 10-15% failure rate. Note that in the Gray Davis recall the failure rate was just under 18%. In other states, we've seen much larger failure rates (though it is hard to say whether the state laws prevent a full count, or every one just gives up on fighting once they hit the needed limit). Arizona Senate Majority Leader Russell Pearce recall last year may have seen a 42% failure rate. On the other hand, the Michigan State Rep Paul Scott recall had a 9.4% failure rate.

The Miami-Dade Mayoral recall, the largest recall by population of last year (they collected over 100,000 signatures), saw a 16% failure rate.

Update: Richard Winger of Ballot Access News points out in the comments below that Wisconsin law differs from other states in that it allows eligible voter in the state, not just any registered voter (as in the other states). This is clearly a critical point, but it doesn't invalidate the discussion.

Let's look at the Wisconsin senate signatures. For the Galloway petitions, there were 21,022 signatures handed in, and the GAB struck out 1,658. Galloway further challenged 863. The board did not bother looking at the challenged signatures So, the failure rate on the GAB was 7.8%. If we add in the Galloway protests, it is close to 12%. The Wanggaard petitions are a little more complex, as he challenged many more signatures -- if all of his signature challenges had been approved, it would be a early 20% failure rate. From the board's review it was less than 3%. For Moulton, the board threw out 5.7% of the signatures. His challenges would have pushed it up to about 11%. For Fitzgerald, the board tossed out 4.1%. With his challenges, it would be just under 12%

My guess would be that it is some combination of vetting by the petitioners before handing in the signatures, better training of signature gatherers and the fact that Walker did not contest the signatures. The burden shifting certainly does matter -- though in this case it was simply academic. If Walker could have gotten a high failure rate, say 20%, I think he would have contested, simply for the PR value.

As for the Mickey Mouse signature claimNote that the elections officials claimed to have found only 5 fake names in the Walker petitions: Adolf Hitler, Mick E. Mous, Donald L. Duck, Fungky Van Den Elzen, and I Love Scott Walker Thanks. 

Michigan: Joke petitions filed against Troy rejected

The petitions were filed by Troy Mayor supporters as either a joke or to confuse voters. 10 petitions were filed, including claims that she wears red in front of a camera crew and smiles all the time. Petitions also included supportive statements about keeping the city’s library open and having perfect attendance as mayor. Earlier stories here.

Massachusetts: Westwood Town Charter proposes recall revisions


California: More weird doings in Shasta Lake recall, with Councilwoman facing recall now arrested

The recall of Shasta Lake City Councilwoman Dolores Lucero took another strange turn when she was arrested for submitting documents and police reports with fabricated claims of voter fraud against recall petitioners. On Thursday, she had gone to Sacramento to lodge the complaint against Shasta County DA and the Sheriff.

Among the complaints:

Lucero is accused of talking people into signing declarations they hadn't read thoroughly that contained false information about what they supposedly witnessed when petitioners had visited them to collect signatures for their recall petitions. Deputies said they even interviewed a man who told them he was "totally blind" and incapable of reading Lucero's declaration or identifying anyone who had visited him with a recall petition.

Oregon: Lake County DA running for reelection and trying to stave off recall

Lake County District Attorney David Schutt is running for his fourth term, while trying to avoid a recall for being overly aggressive. This is the second recall attempt against Schutt in three years. The petitioner, who called Schutt "evil", said that he wants to recall him to prevent Schutt from being a judge. Note that the petitioner was convicted of a DUI in August.

In a 2010 recall campaign, petitioners submitted enough signatures, but too many were found invalid.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wisconsin: Muskego mayor and two city councilmembers facing petitions

Muskego Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti and aldermen Neome Schaumberg and Keith Werner are facing recall threats due to their rejection of  a referendum on a proposed $3.55 million purchase of lakefront property for a park.

City officials ruled that direct legislation cannot be used to repeal an existing ordinance. The plan is currently on hold.

Note that the referendum petition had 3,409 signatures. Petitioners will need 3,004 signatures to recall the mayor, 433 for Schaumberg and 346 for Werner. They have 60 days.

Louisiana: Governor and House Speaker face recall threats for education bill

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and House Speaker Chuck Kleckley have become targets of recall efforts from a number of veteran teachers based on Jindal's proposed public education revamp, which looks "to end teacher tenure as it is currently structured and move taxpayer dollars from public education into subsidies to send children attending failed public schools to private and parochial schools."

The petitioners face an incredibly large hurdle to get on the ballot -- Louisiana has arguably the hardest recall provisions of any state: One-third of registered voters in 180 days -- that's more than was needed to get the Gray Davis one on the ballot. Same for the state legislature. Here's an article I wrote on the Louisiana law (which, bizarrely, has a by-line and picture of the op-ed editor though my byline is on bottom).

California: Two Vallejo City Councilwomen facing recall threats

Two Vallejo City Councilwomen, Stephanie Gomes and Marti Brown, are facing a threat of a recall from a two-time losing candidate (who lost to both of the councilwoman). The petitioner, Sam Kurshan, called the councilwoman anti-public safety and against new business development efforts. He needs 10 more signatures to start the process (he handed in only 10).

Petitioner would need about 8,200 signatures (15 percent of registered voters) in 160 days.

Colorado: Democrats discuss possible recall of Secretary of State

Democrats are mentioning removal possibilities against Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R), including a recall, following the defeat of a bill on mail-in ballot procedures that Gessler testified against. Gessler has been controversial ever since he sued local county clerks for mailing ballots to voters who deemed inactive-failed to vote, because they did not vote in the 2010 election.

Note that Colorado has never had a recall for a state-level official (that I know of), and that no Secretary of State has ever faced a recall.

Wisconsin: Emanuel holds fundraiser for Barrett

Is this a sign of a run? We'll see soon enough.

Signature totals announced for Gov and LG -- both well over the minimum

The totals were also announced -- there were 900,938 valid signatures on the Walker petitions, and 808,990 on the Kleefisch ones. For whatever reason, there were over 3,000 more incorrect signatures on Kleefisch's petition and 262 more duplicates. Note that these lower numbers still put both officials well over the 540,208 to get on the ballot.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wisconsin: LaFollette attacks Falk


U.S. Virgin Island Governor facing recall threats

I'm not sure what happened to this one -- doesn't seem to be any real updates since February, but the United States Virgin Islands Gov. John de Jongh (D) was being threatened with a recall from the legislature (unclear from the article how their recall law works -- sounds like a modified impeachment/recall, ala the current UK proposal).

The recall grows out of a Daily Caller investigation which uncovered allegations that de Jongh accepted cash bribes in exchange for facilitating the sale of a telecommunications company to a politically embattled U.S. telecommunications cooperative.

US Virgin Island's First Recall Election ever certified for the ballot -- four members of the Board of Elections

Looks like the U.S. Virgin Islands will have its first recall election ever, as the Supervisor of the Elections has certified the petitions against four members of the St. Croix District Board of Elections. The four board members, Ana L. "Anita" Davila, Carmen Golden, Lisa Harris-Moorhead and Dodson James, were all elected in 2008. Petitioners failed to get signatures for the original target of the recall,  Chairman Rupert Ross, and for board member Raymond Williams. Recall will cost an estimated $350,000. Recall should be held within 30-60 days.

There is still a disagreement over how many signatures were required (each voter was able to cast three votes) but the Attorney General has certified the lower number. The supervisor said his reading of the law would have required a much higher number. Here's the numbers per person.

Davila: 1,777 signatures needed, 2,379 signatures validated out of 2,894 turned in.

Golden: 1,839 needed, 2,383 validated out of 2,895.

Harris-Moorhead: 1,543 needed, 2,446 out of 2,943 validated.

James: 2,124 needed, 2,415 out of 2,866 validated.

Ross: 2,858 needed, 2,452 out of 2,913 validated.

Williams: 2,707 needed, 2,452 out of 2,876 validated.

Wisconsin: Fourth candidate in the Lieutenant Governor primary race

Dale Paul, a guard at the Columbia Correctional Institution, is the fourth candidate in the LG race. According to Paul, he served on the Portage Common Council for two years, and ran for an Assembly Seat in the 90s.

Wisconsin: School board member accused of intentionally misspelling name on Walker petition

Just one of the weird stories that somehow get out there.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nebraska: Fight to Recall Hayes School Board member rages on

The board is deadlocked in scheduling a recall election for Randy Richter, even though petitioners have the signatures. The petitioners are now going to a district court to force the issue.

Non-Recall Op-ed: The Inevitable Quadrennial Third-Party Shooting Star in the Atlantic

I wrote this article for The Atlantic on the failure of third parties in America. One of the commentators mentioned Duverger's law, which is worth checking out.

Michigan:Three Ishpeming Council members face recall on May 8

Follow-up on this story. The recall of the three council members will be held on May 8

Wisconsin: New Poll shows super-tight races

Walker is up on Barrett by only two points, four on Falk, and eight on Vinehout and seven on LaFollette.

In the primary, it is Barrett 36-25 over Falk.

Wisconsin: Webcam shut off


Wisconsin: State Republicans more focused on the recall than on the presidential primary

I guess the question to ask is if the presidential race was a close dogfight, would this still be true? Quite possibly, it would be.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wisconsin: Recall of Senator Schultz's could backfire on conservatives

Quite obviously, yes. It is rare to have a friendly-fire recall of this type. I do wonder if this one gets to the ballot -- all of these other recalls have serious money behind them. The Schultz-Jauch ones probably don't.

Wisconsin: Union group running ads for Falk provokes questions

Note that only one of the people running the Falk field offices has a Wisconsin number. Note that the group Wisconsin for Falk is not Falk for Wisconsin (which is her official campaign name). The story by Dan Bice notes that there are questions over how the ad has video of Falk staring into the camera, as the campaigns are not allowed to work together. What does seem to be clear is that this is the teacher's union getting heavily involved in the campaign (the Wisconsin for Falk group's headquarters are in the union's offices).

Well, at least it's another chapter in the wonders of independent expenditure advertising.

Nebraska: Newman Grove Mayor facing May 15 recall

Newman Grove Mayor Fawn Steiff will face a recall election on May 15 (same day as the primary). 115 signatures were turned in, needed 91 (35% of turnout). The reasons include "complete lack of capable skills required to function in the office of mayor" and "spending without prior council approval."

The key petitioner is the wife of former mayor David Johnson.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wisconsin: Big money fuels recall

No surprises in this article. The recall is a paradox -- money has it made it more likely to happen, but at the same time that money is so pervasive in the system, an action by a small, non-professional players can be used as a destructive weapon against people in power (not talking about the Wisconsin Governor race, BTW, just other recalls).

India: Hazare steps back from Right of Recall

Looks like the Anna Hazare reform movement is stepping back from a recall law to a "Right to Reject" (none-of-the-above option).

Wisconsin: 25 Gannett Wisconsin employees signed recall petitions

Here's a mea culpa from the president of Green Bay Press Gazette. Seems a bit much. After the revelation on judges, I'm reminded of the mention in Woodward's The Brethren, where the NY Times Washington Bureau chief Scotty Reston is shocked that Justice John Marshall Harlan doesn't vote, because "all of us at the New York Times vote."

California: Desert Hot Springs Police Officers' Association President resigns under recall threats

Paul Tapia, the president of the Desert Hot Springs Police Officers' Association, has resigned in the face of recall threats. Apparently, the annual toy drive was (no kidding) a big cause of controversy.

Wisconsin: Recall may be draining donations from presidential candidates

The numbers are a little murky, so I'll have to qualify this. The donations have plunged more than 50% from four years. That number may not mean much (as donations overall have dropped by nearly the same amount -- no Democratic primary has got to have an impact).  Perhaps more indicative, through the end of February, the state's donations per capita are fourth lowest in the 50 states, and it had the 17th largest drop-off in donations of any state.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

California: Oakland Mayor Jean Quan hold big fundraiser

Looks like the petitioners have 3-5,000 signatures and have raised $10K

Wisconsin: Senator Dale Schultz discussing vote leading to latest recall effort

This is the proposed recall against a Democrat and a Republican for their vote on a mining legislation.

Wisconsin: Third candidate enters the Lieutenant Governor Primary

Former Marinette County Supervisor Bruce Berman is running in the Lieutenant Governor primary, facing off against firefighter union chief Mahlon Mitchell and Milwaukee private investigator Ira Robbins. Berman served on the board for six years and lost a run for mayor of Marinette (population 10,968).

Wisconsin: Recalled Seantor Randy Hooper found not guilty of OWI charges

Hopper, who lost his recall race last year, claimed a union conspiracy was behind his arrest. His attorney noted that the arresting officer signed the Scott Walker recall petitions.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Texas: State Supreme Court denies motion to get El Paso recall back on

The Texas Supreme Court upheld the appellate court's reversal (and smack down) of the trial court in the El Paso recall. Sounds like this will end the El Paso recall campaign.

Wisconsin: Jim Holperin won't seek reelection

Recall Hall-of-Famer Wisconsin state Senator Jim Holperin, the only state legislator to face two recalls on the state level, is retiring at the end of his term. There have been others who faced two recalls (Jim Owens faced one as a city council member and another as a California State Senator in 1913), and there has been one person who lost two recalls, but none have done them both on the state level.

Wisconsin: Republican Governors Association Puts Attack Ads Out against Democratic contenders

The RGA is getting into the game early, and apparently it believes that Tom Barrett will run.

Wisconsin: Potential Democratic Primary opponent in Van Wanggaard recall not registered Democrat

The mystery opponent who may turn the Senator Van Wanggaard v. former Senator John Lehman rematch into a primary contest is apparently not a registered Democrat.

California: Three West Covina Councilmembers served with recall petitions

Councilmembers Steve Herfert, Shelly Sanderson and Mike Touhey have all been served with recall petitions claiming that they have have driven the city to the brink of insolvency. One other council member also faced recall petitions, but she resigned last month. Petitioners claim that the council has taken the city's general fund reserve from $29 million to $6 million over the course of months, and complain about the sale of public land to a private developer. Council members claim that the reserve fund is still there, though $21.5 million was loaned to the city redevelopment agency.
Petitioners need 10,000 signatures per member.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Idaho: Blackfoot School Board member recall set for August 28

The Blackfoot School District 55 Board of Trustees approved a recall election for Peter Lipovac, 4-2. Petitioners allege Lipovac violated district travel policy when he too a trip to New Mexico for an Indian education conference without pre-approval from the rest of the board. Election will be held on August 28.

Wisconsin: Legislative districts upheld by federal court, but not to be used in June recall

We'll see how the state court rules on that, but a win for the Democrats on the recall (and a big loss for them otherwise).

Belize: Prime Minister promises easier recalls


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Michigan: Third petition approved against Troy Mayor


California: Two Millpitas City Council members face recall threats


Massachusetts: Easthampton City Councilor facing recall threat over sexual harassment claims

Easthampton City Councilor Donald Cykowski is facing recall threats over his alleged harassment of a  former  library director, Petitioners need 400 signatures to start the recall, plus 20% of total voter turnout in 21 days. The paper claims that is 2,034.

Arizona: Pearce facing tough fight for nomination

Looks like it will not be a cakewalk.

Wisconsin: Robin Vos looking for a cleansing of the soul for the legislature

Don't think it will help his amendment to the recall, though.

Alabama: Senate committee approves recall bill


Wisconsin: Barrett pledges to declare intent by April 3

Here -- he has polled the best of the Democrats, and has the most cash in the bank.

California: Three San Diego's Sweetwater Union High School Board Members facing recall threats

A Pay to Play scandal has led to the threats of recalls against three members of the Sweetwater Union High School District Board (San Diego). John McCann, Jim Cartmill and Arlie Ricassa are all facing recalls after raids on board members houses. McCann and Cartmill's homes were not raided and they are not under investigation, but recall proponents are hoping to sweep the board out (there have already been resignations).

Non-Recall Oped: The Failed Dream Ticket

I wrote this piece for MarketWatch

Wisconsin: ex-Walker aide pleads guilty

An ex-Walker aide (Kelly Rindfleisch, his deputy chief of staff in Milwaukee County) pleaded guilty to charges that she campaigned for political candidates during publicly-paid office hours. There are still other charges against Walker associates outstanding, though none against him directly.

Wisconsin: House Rep running to replace Galloway

Republicans have avoided a primary in the Galloway replacement race, with State Rep. Jerry Petrowski making the run (and Mary Williams declining).

Louisiana: Caldwell DA facing recall threat

Caldwell 37th Judicial District Attorney Mark McKee is facing a recall threat after his prosecution of Caldwell Parish Sheriff Steve May. May was accused of fixing traffic tickets.

Petitioners need 2,129 signatures, they have half. According to petitioners, the ticket-fixing allegations were public knowledge before May's reelection.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Kansas: Basehor elects new mayor

Since there was only one other member voting, it wasn't a hard choice.

Arizona: Russell Pearce announces run for state Senate seat

After losing the recall in 2011, former Senate President Russell Pearce is running for a newly redistricted seat. Pearce would not be the first to come back from a recall defeat -- it just happened in Quartsize last week.

Maryland: New Windsor residents continue pushing for recall

The Town Attorney notes that even if they are successful i pushing for a referendum on the recall, the officials who are removed are replaced by members of the council. The council also has the ability to schedule an election.

Wisconsin: Recall launched against two state senators

More from the story that took place earlier in the day. One Senator is a Republican and one is a Democrat.

Wisconsin: Firefighter/Union leader to run against Lieutenant Gov

The president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin and a Lieutenant in the Madison Fire Department, Mahlon Mitchell, is going to run against Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. There's one other candidate in the race, Ira Robins.

Wisconsin: Two state Senators threatened with recall over vote on Mining legislation

An apparently non-Walker related Wisconsin Senate recall effort is brewing. A conservative group called Citizens for Responsible Government Network is looking to recall two state Senators (one Democrat, one Republican) for their opposition to mining legislation that passed the assembly, but failed in the Senate.

The Senators are Bob Jauch (D) and Dale Schultz (R). The petitioners claim that the legislation would have spurred job and development growth by helping Gogebic Taconite open an iron mine near Lake Superior; Jauch (whose district the mine would have been located in) and Schultz said that they wanted environmentally responsible legislation.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Michigan: Wayne County Commissioners debate vote on asking County Executive to step aside

Here. The Executive Robert Ficano, is under investigation by the FBI, has 9 subpoenas against him, not to mention a recall is brewing.

Arizona: House passes bill limiting elections to even numbered years

The Arizona House of Representatives recently passed a law (HB 2826) that would limit all elections in the state (including recalls, initiatives and referenda) to even numbered years. Sponsors and supporters claim that this will save a ton of money and increase voter participation. 

Note that regardless of the language of the bill (which includes recalls), Arizona's law mandates that recalls should be held on the same day as a regular election. So this law would limit the recalls to ever other year.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill 6-2. 

Wisconsin: 29 state judges state-wide signed recall petitions

None are appellate or Supreme Court level judges. No word if any federal judges signed. This represents 12% of the judges in the state.

California: Willie Brown calls Sheriff recall inevitable

The battle over Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi will present some serious problems for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, notes former Speaker, SF Mayor and Recall Hall-of-Famer Willie Brown. Brown goes through some of the options for Lee (none pleasant) and calls a Mirkarimi recall "inevitable" if he is not ousted beforehand.

Arizona: Russell Pearce to announce plans on Monday

Rumors are that Pearce will once again run for the Senate. If he wins, Pearce would not be the only Republican in Arizona to be kicked out in a recall last year, only to come back and win office. The Mayor of Quartzsite may be pulling off that feat as well.

Texas: El Paso Petitioner get national backing in appeal

The James Madison Center for Freedom of Speech (co-founded by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and campaign finance legal  pioneer James Bopp Jr. ) and the Liberty Legal Institute are both joining the case.

Massachusetts: Town Council refuses to delay recall effort

The Bridgewater Town Council refused to delay a recall effort by asking for a judge's ruling on whether the recall is legal. There are still some questions as to whether the 10% of registered voters should be of the entire town or just in the council district.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

California: Mayor Quan goes on the offensive, as she gets a serious possible recall challenger

Here. Joe Tuman, who came in 4th in the 2010 election, said he would run. The recall committee is looking for 26,000 signatures, 7,000 more than needed. Since the good rule of thumb would be 15% signature failure rate, 26,000 should put them safely over the line.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Massachusetts: Northampton City Council rejects recall law

Vote was 6-3. 

Idaho: Caldwell School Board member tossed out

Sheila Harris, the Caldwell School Board Member who was facing a recall for a sexual harassment lawsuit she filed against the school before she was elected to office, was kicked out, 280-221. The article discusses the replacement procedure (Appointment).

Wisconsin: Senator Galloway resigns seat in face of recall

Republican State Senator Pam Galloway, one of the four facing a recall election, is quitting the Senate, which will now be deadlocked 16-16. Timing actually matters here -- under Wisconsin law, if she resigns more than 10 days after the certification date, she would stay on the ballot. Arguably, this actually could be tactically beneficial to Republicans, as it would force a primary and delay the general election to the same day as the gubernatorial one.

Wisconsin law appears to be somewhat different than many other jurisdictions, which provide a 5 or 10 day window after certification to allow the official to resign, resulting in the cancellation of the recall. Wisconsin does not have this provision. Of course, it is questionable whether it matters -- the resignation just means that the position is to be filled by either a special election or appointment.

Virginia: Warsaw Town Council rejects recall


Michigan: Five Wheatland Township members facing recall vote on May 8

Five members of the Wheatland Township are facing recall votes in May 8. Petitioners need 25% of 121 signatures. Township Supervisor Tim Knox, Clerk Dawn Johnson, Treasurer Pamela Wonders, Trustees Mark Resiter and Dan Wonders are all facing recalls over some zoning decisions.

California: A 20 year look back at Lake Elsinore recalls

Here. Semi-regularly threatened, but only two made it to the ballot, and both failed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Colorado: Three Cherokee Metro Water District board members facing recall vote on May 22

Three Cherokee Metro Water District board members, President Dave Hammers and Directors Bill Beahan and Jan Cederberg, are facing a recall on March 22. Petitioners needed 300 signatures. The issue is less water and higher rates, though it may be that the previous board was recalled in 2010 (there seems to be a question of whether they resigned or were recalled). Once again, the officials facing a recall claim that voters were not told about the recall when they signed the petition.

Michigan: Election Commission approves language of Troy Mayor recall

Vote was 2-1. Really should learn how those clarity hearings work.

New Mexico: Clovis Mayor facing recall threats over anti-Obama comments

David Lansford, mayor of Clovis is facing a recall threat after making some inflammatory comments about President Obama. According to the article, the Planning and Commission member quit the committee and is threatening the recall after Lansford called Obama "the carnal manifestation of evil" and an illegitimate president.

Lansford had previously participated in a mock treason trial of Obama and claimed his election was part of a CIA conspiracy.

Lansford was a former three-term mayor who was elected on March 6 with 63% of the vote.

Arizona: Tusayan Mayor and Vice Mayor survive recall

Final results are in for the Tusayan recall, and reversing the election night small margin against them, Mayor Greg Bryan and Vice Mayor Al Montoya retained their seats. Bryan won 71-59 and Montoya 71-57. Turnout was 46%

Wisconsin: Two Democrats running in Van Wanggaard district

In what sounds like one of the big pick-up opportunities, two Democrats are running in to face Senator Van Wanggaard. One of the candidates is former state Senator John Lehman, who lost in 2010. The other is an unknown. This will push off the election to the same date as the Gubernatorial one.

Massachusetts: More discussion of the Bridgewater recall law -- recall set for May 19


Study notes that petition-signers are more likely to vote

I wouldn't call this study a shock -- people who sign a political petition are more likely to vote. The paper "The Impact of Petition Signing on Voter Impact" in Political Behavior notes that infrequent voters who signed a petition were as much as 20%  more likely to vote in an irregular or off-cycle election  than those who didn't sign.

The paper is by University of Arkansas Political Science Professor Janine Parry, U of Florida's Daniel Smith and Arkansas Undergrad Shayne Henry.

The paper also notes the benefits of crypto-initiatives.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Arizona: Quartzsite mayor returned to office after losing recall last year (Update -- looks like they'll be a runoff)

Ed Foster, who was ousted in a recall last August, staged a big comeback last night, winning the mayoral race. Foster received 312-235-56. UPDATE: Looks like Foster just missed the 50% mark. Sounds like they'll be a run-off.

Arizona: Tombstone Mayor kicked out in recall last night

Apparently, Stephen Schmidt, the owner of Johnny Ringo's Bar (And Depot Steakhouse), will now be your huckleberry, after beating sitting mayor Jack Henderson in yesterday's mayoral recall election. Schmidt won 298-249. The issue was whether the infrastructure of the town was being properly maintained.

No word yet from the ghost of Belle Starr, Ma Rainey or Beethoven.

Wisconsin: Dane County Circuit Judge Approves May 8, June 5 recall dates

We'll see what lawsuits bring, but looks like we got some dates.

Arizona: Palominas Fire District Commissioner survives recall vote

The last one of the evening, Palominas Fire District commissioner Debbie Stoner appears to have survive her recall fight 383-275.

Arizona: The Sun's Not Yellow, it's chicken edition -- Mayor of Tombstone shot down in recall fight

Looks like Mayor Jack Henderson went down to defeat today, 298-249 in the unofficial results.

Arizona: Down to the wire in Tusayan

Looks like the Tusayan recalls are as close as they come -- 54-56 in one recall, 53-54 in the other. There's a third recall on the ballot, but the official facing the recall quit.

Arizona: Fountain Hills Councilman survives recall vote

Councilman Henry Ledger survived the recall vote tonight,, without approximately 60% of the vote.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

California: Scandal-plagued sheriff facing recall threats

Sheriff is facing calls for recall (or removal by another means) for claims of abuse against his wife and former girlfriend. They would need 45,000 signatures to get him on the ballot.

Wisconsin: May 8, June 5 will be recall dates -- 931K signatures handed in against Walker

The GAB reports that the petitioners turned in over 931,000 signatures against Walker and 843,000 signatures against LG Rebecca Kleefisch. The staff has disqualified 25,500 against Walker and 29,000 against Kleefisch.

The dates for the recall are May 8, and if there is a primary, June 5.

Arizona: Tusayan recall today

The mayor and vice mayor of Tusayan will face a recall vote today over 374 acre new development planned for the area.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Texas: Rezoning projects waiting for quorum on Killeen City Council

Since the November recall of a majority of the city council, projects have been piling up in Killeen.

Idaho: Bingham County Blackfoot School District Board member faces recall threat

Petitioners in Blackfoot School District #55  have launched a recall of board member Peter Lipovac. The claim seems to be that he travelled to an Indian Education Conference without the pre-approval of the board. Lipovac supporters claim that the recall is about Lipovac's support for a charter school on the Fort Hall reservation.

Washington, DC: Final results in Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner recall

Final results in on the ANC recall -- Doug Smith lost by 19 votes. Turnout was less than 10% of eligible voters.

Wisconsin: Recalls against four state Senators approved

The GAB has announced this morning that the recalls against the four Republican state Senators will go forward.  We're still waiting to hear about the all-but-certain recalls of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, but that should come down shortly. The GAB seems to be focused on getting all these recalls on the same day.

The GAB rejected the use reviewing the findings of the Verify the Recall Group, because they do not have the authority to consider challenges from outside entities. Expect a lawsuit on that one, as well as on the districts that the senators will run in.

A couple of key points to look at below.

Until last year, there were 21 state legislative recalls in US history (that I know of). In two years, there will be 15. 

Because if the use of the primary, the state Senators and the LG could facing recalls on a different date than the Governor.  Last summer, the Republicans ran "fake" Democratic primary candidates to delay the recall (and also have all the Republican recalls on the same day. Will they do the same thing this year? 

Presumably, the Republicans would want them all on the same day. Wisconsin has an open primary system, so Republican voters may come out to vote strategically (i.e. choose the weakest candidate to run against Walker). However, they may not turn out in the same amount as Democrats, leading to some Democratic advantages in the Senate recalls.

Flipping the Legislature

If just one of the Republican state Senators lose their seat, the party will flip from Republican to Democrat. Based on past history, should we expect voters to shy away from switching party control of the Senate? Nope! There have been four recalls (we could list it at five or six, if you want to count California in 1995 multiple times, which we won't) that could have switched the legislature (Washington 1981, Michigan 1983, California 1995, Wisconsin 1996). All but the one in Washington succeeded.
You have selected Regicide
If the Fitzgerald recall qualifies, he will be the fourth state legislative leader to face a recall. The first was California President Pro Tempore David Roberti in 1994. The second was Michigan House Speaker Andy Dillon in 2008. Both of men triumphed. See the details here.

The third was Arizona Majority Leader Russell Pearce, who was kicked out of office on November 8 in a bitter recall battle. Perhaps worth noting is that Pearce lost to a Republican (Arizona does not have a primary, and the recall is just an all-in affair).

There was one other recall of a legislative leader, though the circumstances were so bizarre that it has to be separated out. Without going into too much details about the California recall wars of 1995, Republican Doris Allen backed the Democrats in a closely divided Assembly that had already seen two recall votes. Allen was elected Speaker of the Assembly and served for a little over 3 months, but she stepped down before her recall. She lost her recall race.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Michigan: Potterville school board recalls delayed by error

An error has led to a delay in approving the language for petitions in the recall of four Potterville school board members. The error is that the submitter does not live in Potterville (though his children go to school there). The issue is the elimination of three full-time special ed teachers, and violations of Robert's Rules of Order.

Kansas: Recall against Shawnee County Treasurer fails to get the signatures

The attempt to recall Shawnee County Treasurer Larry Wilson has failed -- petitioners needed 31,395 signatures (though they are not clear when the petitioning period ends). Here's some more details on the recall, and how it met the Kansas malfeasance threshold.

Wilson says he doesn't plan on running for reelection, though there is still a possibility for an ouster proceeding.

Oregon: Recall against Lakeside councilor fails, she resigns anyway

Surprising development in the Lakeside recall. After the recall effort against Councilor Sue Allen failed, Allen resigned anyway, calling the recall effort "totally bogus."

Petitioners handed in 145 signatures, 34 were tossed out. They needed 127 signatures.

Wisconsin: Democrats/petitioners unhappy with May 15/June 12 date

Petitioners would rather have the recall held sooner. Under the new voter ID law, the delay would kick out college students, and of course allow Walker to continue raising unlimited money. This sounds like an unsurprising development and more of a "working the ref"/complaining about the unfair of the other side argument.

Wisconsin: Thousands rally against Walker in state Capitol


California: 13 candidates file for three Fullerton City Council seats


California: Attempt to recall Plumas Schools Superintendent

Petitioners have submitted a notice of intent to recall Plumas County Superintendent of Schools Glenn Harris (who serves in both that elected role, and in an appointed role as superintendent of the Plumas Unified School District), over Harris' recommendation to close Greenville H.S., Taylorsville Elementary and one of two elementary's in Quincy. PEtitioners need 2,563 signatures.

Two other schools board members, Brad Baker and Sonja Anderson, are also facing recall drives. Petitioners need 2,491 signatures.

Read more here:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Idaho: Details on Tuesday's Caldwell School District recall

Sheila Harris is facing a recall because when she ran for office, she did not disclose that she had a pending sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the district. As this article notes, the petition drive has caused some questions to be asked about the recall effort.

Arizona: Tucson Unified School District Board member facing recall threats

Petitions have been taken out against Tucson Unified School District governing board member Michael Hicks, who spoke out against Mexican-American studies classes, and allegedly lied about about fearing for his life at a school board meeting in April 2011 where a student group took over the dais.

Petitioners need 24,000 signatures to get it on the ballot.

Oregon: Petitioners didn't enjoy Winston-Dillard Fire Board recall

A little more on that recall. The county commissioners will appoint one new board member, who will then join with the other two board members to select the remaining two new board members.

Friday, March 9, 2012

South Carolina: LG resigns

Lieutenant Governor Ken Ard resigned today under an ethical cloud. Ard was the impetus to the potential adoption of the recall in South Carolina. No idea if this effectively kills the plan (or if it was dead beforehand).

Wisconsin: GAB recommending recalls against all four state Senators, May 15/June 12 dates

GAB staff are recommending that recalls move ahead on the four state Senators, with proposed dates of May 15 and June 12. The Board has actually asked for more time -- until April 6 -- to make a decision. That would mean May 15 would be the election date - however, if there are primaries, it would be the primary date, and June 12 would be the election day.

This need for a primary could lead to some strange results, such as the Gubernatorial election being held on a different day than the LG election.

Perhaps most importantly, the recall could result in the state Senators facing recalls on a different date than the Governor. Wisconsin has an open primary system, so Republican voters may come out to vote strategically (i.e. choose the weakest candidate to run against Walker). However, they may not turn out in the same amount as Democrats, leading to some Democratic advantages in the Senate recalls. Last summer, the Republicans ran "fake" Democratic primary candidates to delay the recall (and also have all the Republican recalls on the same day. Will they do the same thing this year?

Some additional info on each petition:

Recall organizers submitted about 20,735 petitions to recall Fitzgerald, which is above the 16,742 required. The board staff is recommending that 867 of those signatures be disqualified, with the remaining signatures more than enough to allow a recall to go forward.
A spokesman for the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate had no immediate response to a request for comment. A spokesman for the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee also had no immediate response to a request for comment.
There were 23,712 signatures filed against Sen. Van Wanggaard of Racine, with 15,353 needed to allow a recall election. The board staff recommended striking 643 of those, leaving more than enough for the recall to move forward. The board staff recommended striking 11 apparently fraudulent signatures because of information provided by the Racine County Sheriff's Department, the memo said.
There were 21,022 signatures submitted against Sen. Pam Galloway of Wausau, with 15,647 signatures needed in that case to force a recall. The board staff recommended striking 1,658 of those, leaving more than enough of them to force a recall.
There were 20,907 signatures submitted against Sen. Terry Moulton of Chippewa Falls and 14,958 needed. The board staff recommend striking 1,212 signatures, leaving enough to force a recall election

Florida: Miami Marlins President complains about recalls


Texas: Complaints in Killeen replacement election

Allegations of false Facebook pages, links and the like.

Kansas: Basehor taking applications to fill recalled members seats

Here. Of particular note is how the council will deal with a lack of a quorum:

The council’s vacancies leave it without enough members to provide the quorum of three normally required for a vote. But state law allows for the remaining two council members to elect one of themselves as a new president (and, therefore, mayor), and to appoint new members, said Sandy Jacquot, general counsel for the League of Kansas Municipalities. It’s a rare exception to the quorum rule, she said.
In fact, she said, other cities around the state have found themselves without enough council members for a quorum from time to time, usually as the result of a mass resignation.
“It’s a very common question to the League,” Jacquot said.
She said the council would need to appoint a mayor and at least two members before it conducts any other business, though, as almost any other vote requires a quorum of members present.
That, Martley said, is why the council will appoint two members later this month, so that the council can conduct other business at its March meeting. The council will wait until April to appoint members to the other two seats, he said, to give candidates as much time as possible to complete their applications.

Alaska: Wasilla having trouble selecting successor to recalled councilman

Wasilla is having a tough time choosing a successor to recalled councilman Steve Menard. The five members of the councils have been at an impasse in choosing from three possible choices for the seat (city law requires 2/3rds vote to choose the successor). Because Menard's seat became vacant more than 180 days ahead of the next regular election, the council can call a special election to fill it.

Michigan: Redding Township ousts two in recall

Just saw this one as well, Redding Township ousted Supervisor Michael Trzcienski and Clerk Autumn Scarbrough on February 28. Trzcienski lost 79-25, Scarbrough, 77-26. The issue was that Trazcienski "Failed to appoint Board of Review members for the 2011-2012 years, violating Michigan Tax Law." Scarbrough was criticized for violating open meeting laws and taking incomplete minutes.

The author of the petitions was the former Township Clerk who resigned in June 2010. Scarbrough succeeded him. The remaining Township Board members will appoint the successors.

Oregon: Three Winston-Dillard Fire Board members ousted

All three Winston-Dillard Fire Board members, Dale Stutzman, Lyle Jefferies and Stan Keeler, were kicked out of office on Tuesday with overwhelming votes against.  Stutzzman was 1159 to 304, JEfferies, 1128 to 324 and Keeler 1165 to 295.

California: Petitions taken out to recall three Redding Council members

Medical Marijuana advocates are looking to recall three Redding City Council, Francie Sullivan, Patrick Jones and Rick Bosetti, due to their vote to ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

Petitioners will begin collecting signatures -- and need 9,381 for the recall  (20% of registered voters).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Colorado: Petitions turned in against Hot Sulphur Springs Mayor

Petitions have been turned into to recall Hot Sulphur Springs Mayor Hershal Deputy, over allegations of spending funds without town board approval (which is debated in the article). The other reason is firing of some city employees. 
Petition had 102 signatures (town has 350 active voters).  The recall is estimated to cost $2,000, and cannot councide with an upcoming April 3rd election (due to the mandatory protest period).

Wisconsin :Verify the Recall signature checking database swamped by visits

The website Verify the Recall, which has an online database of every recall signature, is so flooded with users that searching the database for one name can take hours. The site had 50,000 hits in the first 20 minutes since it opened on Wednesday.

California: Judge to rule on Shasta Lake recall in one week

Also, struck down a request for temporary restraining order.

Michigan: Election Commission sets clarity hearing for Troy Mayor

I have to look into these clarity hearings -- they are checking this out on March 15.

Texas: Pastor/Petitioner files appeal of El Paso recall decision

All newspaper reports seem to find it unlikely that the Texas Supreme Court would take the case, as there is no conflicting appellate decision in another court, and the ruling was unanimous. Note that in other states Supreme Courts have gotten involved in overturning appellate decisions stopping recalls, but that would have no bearing here.

Alabama: More on the proposed Senate recall bill

Senator Roger Bedford has proposed the law, which would be of the malfeasance or judicial recall variety. Republicans, and editorials, have noted that Bedford never proposed the law when the Democrats were in power.

West Virginia: Casino recall efforts fracture GOP


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Texas: Vinton residents wish for recall after town council votes down sewer system


Texas: Fredericksburg Council facing recall files for mayoral race

Councilman Tommy Segner has said that he is not challenging the recall (but may do so later), and he is running for mayor.

Wisconsin: Assembly approves Vos' Malfeasance or Judicial Recall Standard law for recall

On a 60-37, nearly party-line vote, the Wisconsin State Assembly approved Robin Vos' amendment to the recall law. The amendment would change Wisconsin from a political recall state -- a recall can be undertaken for basically any reason -- to a judicial recall (or malfeasance standard) state -- petitioners need to meet a judicially decided criteria to allow the recall to go forward.

This is the first step in a long process to change the law. It needs to pass both houses in two separate sessions of the legislature to get on the ballot, and then the voters have to approve it.

Some basic background here.

  • 18 states have the recall for all state level officials (and Illinois has it for just the governor). 
  • 11 have political recalls, and 7 have judicial recalls (Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Rhode Island, Washington) -- Virginia has a recall trial, which is a bit different.
  • The vast majority of the recalls take place in political recall states (though this year we've seen recalls on the local level in Alaska, Kansas and Montana).
  • Of the 32 state legislators who faced a recall in US history, only one was in a judicial recall state (Peter Von Reichbauer of Washington in 1981). I'm still looking for the reason that the Von Reichbauer recall was allowed to go forward.
  • At least four of the last five states to adopt the recall have taken a judicial recall approach (Alaska, Georgia, Minnesota, Montana). I don't know when Rhode Island adopted the recall. New Jersey was the one state that did not adopt a judicial recall.
  • On the other hand, the recall was adopted by at least three jurisdictions last year. None took a judicial recall stance.
As I mention in the AP article, after every prominent recall, there seems to be calls for radically revising the recall. Both Michigan and Arizona are undergoing similar questions (Michigan's may be muted by the fact that a Republican succeeded the recalled Republican). 

If the Vos amendment would become law, it would effectively end the recall (note that Minnesota adopted the recall in 1996, and according to this article, has yet to have a recall). But voters seem to like the recall -- and an attempt to mess with it might very well backfire.

Tennessee: Recall Group to appeal decision in mayoral recall


Shasta Lake: Facing recall, councilwoman calls for two other council members to resign instead

City Council member Dolores Lucero, who is facing a recall on April 10, called for two council members to resign. Lucero is challenging the recall in court.

Wisconsin: Judge who stopped voter ID law signed recall petition

Not the best of moves. Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan granted a temporary injunction halting the new, restrictive voter ID laws. He also signed a petition to recall the Governor (his wife was circulating the petition).

Kansas: Bizarre ending to post-recall Basehor council meeting

Fred Box, one of the council members -- who would have also faced a recall except that the law prevents recalls of a majority of the members at once -- resigned. There was a stand-off over a move by two of the recalled councilmembers to appoint Box Council President, which would have led him to automatically step up to the mayor's office once the recall removals (of the mayor and two city council members) became official. The two recalled council members and Box refused to adjourn, until Box resigned.

Oklahoma: More on the proposed recall bill


Wisconsin: Private Investigator throws hat in the ring for the LG

His lack of interest in raising money may not help as much as he thinks.

Wisconsin: Union support could backfire on Falk

As I mentioned before, you can start the fire, but it doesn't mean you get to control it. Now, there's talk that the unions strong support for Falk could backfire on her.

Philippines: Citing lack of funds, election commission drops 34 recall attempts

No word on whether they consulted with petitioners.

Wisconsin: Kathleen Vinehout profile


Massachusetts: Northampton still ironing out possible recall law


Maryland: New Windsor residents ask for recall

This would be an amendment to the town charter, caused by a new wastewater treatment plant (which led to a dounling and tripling of sewer rates) + higher water rates.

Article has some interesting data, including that the Maryland Municipal League reports that 33 of the state's 156 jurisdictions have recall provisions.

The town council can approve it or voters can get it on the ballot by referendum. The proposed amendment has a 20% registered voter signature requirement. It does not appear to have a time limit for the collection of signatures.

Oregon: Petitions handed in to recall Lakeside Councilor

Petitioners handed in 150 signatures calling for the recall of Councilor Sue Allen. Allen has been accused of blocking the appointment of two candidates to a vacant council seat. Petitioners need 127 valid signatures. Part of the reason Allen is facing a recall (instead of two other councilors who opposed the candidates), is that the two other councilors recently faced failed recall campaigns. Under the law, the petitioner would have had  to pay the $3,500 price for the recall against them.

Lakeside had recalls in 2006 and 2009.

Monday, March 5, 2012

California: One of three Oakland recall groups folds

One of the three groups seeking to recall mayor Jean Quan has folded after gathering only 3000 signatures. It should be noted that this seemed to be the least significant of the recall efforts. Wonder if they will combine those existing signatures with one of the other groups totals.

Arizona: Senate passes Recall revision bill

The bill will create a primary vote before the general election in future recalls. The House previously killed the bill.

Arizona: Secretary of State investigating failed Phoenix City Council recall effort for campaign finance violations

A failed attempt to recall Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio is leading the Arizona Secretary of State to investigate a nonprofit that put up nearly all the money to finance the recall effort.

The nonprofit Project Voters' Rights claimed that they had enough signatures, but didn't turn them in (which can and should be translated as they didn't have enough signatures). The head of the nonprofit was the spokesman for three Phoenix mayors. According to the coverage, Project Voters' Rights gave $50K for the recall, which amounted to almost all (save $100) that Save Phoenix Taxpayers raised for the DiCiccio recall.

The issue is whether Project Voters' Rights should have to disclose its donors -- as Save Phoenix Taxpayers seems to be a simple pass-through entity designed to shield donors from scrutiny. There was some stories regarding DiCiccio's fundraising, but none with questions about his donor's identity.

Texas: Corruption case leads to call for recalling entire Patton Village City Council

Last month, Mayor Pamela Munoz was indicted in a public corruption case. Now, 30 Patton Village community members are calling for a recall of the entire city council (which may be just two council members -- not clear from the story). The person cited calling for the recall lost to Munoz in the last election.

One interesting development -- have to look at their laws. It says petitioners will need to submit signatures from 51% of the voters (145) in the last election to the Montgomery County DA's office (who would send it along to a judge to decide the validity of the claim). There will be another petition circulate to registered voters who didn't vote in the November election -- that will go to the Texas AG. Never heard of that type of law before.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oklahoma: Sand Springs voters trying to make recalls easier

They are voting on a proposition to change the signature requirement from 20% of registered voters in the whole city to 20% of registered voters in each ward.

North Carolina: Removing DA leads to troubling questions

Article is only tangentially about the recall, but does discuss some problems with the way North Carolina (or Durham) removes their DAs.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

California: Oakland Mayoral recall raising funds, shooting for November ballot

The Committee to Recall Mayor Quan Now has been advertising for signature gatherers, and has apparently collected enough money for to pay for half of the signatures needed. The group is also looking to get on the ballot in November, thereby avoiding a special election.

Wisconsin: Turnout and the dreaded undecideds are the key to the election

Here, though I have to quibble with the point about voter turnout. The author notes that turnout was much lower than in the last regular election for those seats, but since that election was a presidential election, that is not a surprise. Also, aggregating the senate recalls together (though he only lists seven, not nine) is not a good way to look at it. Some were hyper competitive, others were near blowouts.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Michigan: Iron County Commissioner survives recall

Didn't see this one before. Iron County Commissioner Wayne Wales survived his recall vote, garnering 62% of the vote, 237-381. Turnout was 23%.

California: Calaveras County Supervisor again targeted with a recall

After falling short by 366 signatures in December (they needed 1702), petitioners are once again trying to recall Darren Spellman.

Massachusetts: More trouble for the Bridgewater Councillor recalls

More trouble in Bridgewater. Two Town Councilors, Mike Demos and Peter Riordan will now receive the written notice that they are subject to recall. There is a possible lawsuit over whether the act allowing the recall was properly enacted and whether it was superseded by the charter. The town attorneys have rejected this argument. 

Another serious problem is that the law says that the petitions have to be signed by 10% of registered voters in the town, and the attorneys interpreted that to mean 10% of the district in question -- obviously, a much lower number. This actually came into play earlier in the process, as petitioners tried to recall an at-large Councillor. There, they needed 1500 signatures, which they were unable to get. For the other two councilors, they needed 300. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Michigan: 1 of 2 petitions to recall Troy mayor approved

One of the two petitions filed to recall Troy, Michigan Mayor Janice Daniels was approved. The failed petition noted that Daniels refused to swear support for the city charter. Apparently, state law notes that the official can only be recalled for actions that took place during their term, and the swearing-in might qualify as before the term started.

Washington: Petition to recall Snohomish County Executive denied

The first petition to recall Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon was rejected because the filer wasn't a resident. Reardon is facing an investigation into campaign finance actions and using state property and time to make campaign finance calls. 

Ohio: Cleveland Councilman faces recall threat

Petitions were taken out to recall Cleveland Councilman T.J. Dow, by a man who claims to have managed Dow's 2008 council campaign. The petitioners need to get 20% of voter turnout in 30 days.

Wisconsin: Primary on May 1st, General election early June?

That's what it's looking like

Wisconsin: GAB looking for more time

The GAB is looking for extra time to review the recall signatures -- the board currently has until March 19 to certify. 

Additionally, a tea party group is intending to challenge the signatures on a third party basis. It looks like they will sue for that right. 
The board has also asked for a total of $975,000 to review the signatures.

West Virginia: Republicans look to recall law allowing table games

I'll have to look some more into this law, but West Virginia's Republican Party is looking to try to recall a law allowing table games in Kanawha County.

The legislation that allowed table games in the four racetrack counties of West Virginia passed the Legislature March 8, 2007, after a few years of debate. It was approved in Hancock, Ohio and Kanawha counties. Jefferson County defeated the issue, but passed it in 2009.  
The bill also allowed for a vote five years after the bill passed for any county that wanted to change its mind on table games. A petition with 5 percent of the registered voters in the county is necessary for another vote.

California: Profile of Southeast LA powerplayer notes "Low voter turnout and recall efforts are routine"


Virginia: House subcomittee kills bill to change Franklin City Charter and allow for Recall

 A Virginia House subcommittee killed a bill that would have allowed recall elections in Franklin. The subcommittee has already killed two similar bills.

Washington: Appeal of court decision on recall charge against two Quilcene Fire Department Commissioners

Petitioners are appealing a court decision striking down part of a recall charge against two Quilcene Fire Department Commissioners.

Texas: Fredericksburg Councilman considering fighting recall petitions

Fredericksburg City Councilman Tommy Segner is facing a recall vote on May 12, with petitioners focused on a $420K back tax bill. He is considering challenging the petitions in court (it got 595 signatures).

Massachusetts: Recount confirms results of Templeton recall