Thursday, February 28, 2013

Colorado: Six Colorado Springs Board of Ed members facing petitions

Six Colorado Springs District 11 Board of Education directors, Elaine Naleski, Nora Brown, Al Loma, Sandra Mann, Luann Long and Jan Tanner, are facing recall petitions. Petitioners need 15,000 signatures each to get on the ballot. Issue is the closing of two elementary schools and a high school.

Note this as well:
The 2006 recall election involving District 11 cost $256,729.22.

Maine: March 4 election to replace three ousted Poland Selectmen


California: Blogger that pushed the Fullerton City Council recalls to the fore calls it quits

Here and he seems disappointed with the replacements selected in the recall.

Oregon: Clackamas County River Water Board member facing recall also fighting appointment of new board members

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Washington: Five member North Valley Hospital Board of Commissioners facing petitions

The five North Valley Hospital Board of Commissioners are facing recall petitions, alleging violations of the Open Meeting Act (Washington requires a showing of malfeasance). The recall is apparently based around decisions on an Assisted Living facility, closing hospital districts and filling jobs.

NVH Board of Commissioners ChairHelen Casey, and members Lael Duncan, Dick Larson, Clarice Nelson and Herb Wandler are facing the recall.

Petitioners will need 35% of turnout -- between 237 and 289 signatures within 180 days

She said the last recall petition filed in the county was against Conconully mayor Leland Church in 2006, which was ruled by the court not to meet the requirements for sufficiency of charges.
nThe last such successful recall effort was against Okanogan County Prosecuting Attorney Jeremiah McCormick in 1977.

Colorado: State Rep facing petitions due to gun-control vote

State Rep. Mike McLachlan D-Durango, is facing a recall threat by gun-rights activists for his vote banning ammunition clips of over 15 rounds. Petitioners are threatening recalls against other Democrats. 

Petitioners need 10,586 signatures in 60 days. McLachlan won office by 917 votes.

Missouri: Ellisville city council considering impeaching mayor

The Ellisville City Council is considering impeaching Mayor Adam Paul, in a fight over allowing a Walmart project to go forward. Last year, a group tried to recall five council members, though a judge ruled that the recall was unconstitutional.

Monday, February 25, 2013

New Jersey: Candidates for proposed West New York Mayoral recall

The recall campaign against West New York Mayor Felix Roque has gotten two potential candidates, though let's see if they get the signatures. The article is a little unclear, as the two candidates will be running on a slate with Commissioner Count Wiley. 

Wisconsin: Judge who signed Walker recall facing tough reelection fight

Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Tom Wolfgram, who faced some criticism for signing a petition to recall Governor Scott Walker, is facing a tough re-election bid. Wolfgram has run unopposed in all of his reelection campaigns. The vote is on April 2nd.

Texas: El Paso mayor threatens to seek reimbursement if referendum law found illegal

El Paso Mayor John Cook, who was the subject of a widely followed recall attempt last year (that was shot down by a judge) because of his support for health benefits for gay and unmarried partners of city employees after a referendum ban that right, is now threatening to sue for $535,000 in legal fees that he ran up during the legal battle.

Apparently, there is some claim that the ballot measures were not allowed on the ballot.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wisconsin: High voter turnout in presidential election presaged by recall

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert looks at the voter turnout for the presidential election -- Wisconsin was second in the nation, with 72%, and was one of only three states to exceed 2008's totals. He notes this important fact about the recall:

 Turnout for June's recall election for governor in Wisconsin (57.5% of voting-age adults) was higher than the November turnout for president in 30 of the 50 states.

In short, if you're looking for the reasons behind Wisconsin's unusual levels of participation, you have a very long list of factors to choose from. Some of them are more enduring: demographics, geography, tradition, habit. And some are circumstantial or subject to change: a convenient, user-friendly voting system, stark political divisions, intense partisan competition, and high levels of political organization and activity.

Minnesota: Red Wing mayor quits

Looks like Minnesota will go a little while longer without a recall, as embattled Red Wing Mayor Dennis Egan will be stepping down on April 1 in the face of a recall effort.

Egan was just elected to his term, but the fact that he represents the frac sand industry as a lobbyist was a killer.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Alaska: Petitioners starting State Rep recall

The recall campaign against State Rep. Lindsey Holmes, who flipped from D to R, is slated to start this weekend.

New Mexico: Two Raton School Board members recall scheduled for April 30

Two Raton school board members, Sheila Castellini and Michael Anne Holland, are facing a recall vote on April 30. If they lose, the positions will be filled by appointment.

New Mexico law requires malefeasance, in this case the accusation is that they "violated the district’s Code of Ethics and that they exhibited lack of professionalism toward board members and school staff and engaged in “micro-managing the district.”

Petitioners needed 41 signatures -- they handed in 152 and 140.

California: Bell attorneys call for acquital


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oregon: Clackamas River Water Board member facing March 19 recall vote

This is against Patricia Holloway. No word yet on the recall against Grafton Sterling which was derailed by clerical error.

Arizona: Pro-Arpaio group threatens bizarre legal action against recall proponents

The recall campaign against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio took a turn to the bizarre as a group called "Citizens To Protect Fair Election Results" sent a cease and desist letter to recall petitioners. The letter claims the recall is "false...fraudulent  and a "blatant illegal attempt to disenfranchise voters" that "rises even to the level of criminal conspiracy and enterprise..."

The group is represented by Larry Klayman, a long-time activist on the right and the founder of Judicial Watch. According to the article, they are apparently claiming that the recall petition "violated the free speech, equal protection and due process rights of the majority of county voters who re-elected the sheriff." Note this:
“There are no valid reasons for this recall petition,” Klayman said. “Nothing happened between the day of the election, the swearing-in of Sheriff Arpaio and this recall petition.”
I have no idea what the legal basis of this claim could possibly be, but it will clearly be thrown out. Arizona is a political recall state and the recall can be launched for strictly political reasons. Additionally, we should point out that in the Russell Pearce recall, the Arizona Supreme Court held very strongly that the recall is not a joke. No word on whether the group will try find a way to sue the drafters of the Arizona constitution for including this provision.

There is also a more legitimate question of whether Arpaio can be recalled so soon after being reelected. The state law generally prevents recalls from being launched until 6 months after election. But, Arizona law appears to say that does not hold true for a reelection.

The Arpaio recall is still a long shot. Petitioners are claiming that they have 50,000 signatures already. They need to get 335,000 by May 30. To give you a hint of how that signature requirement stacks up, only three recalls in US history have gotten on the ballot needing more signatures (California Governor, Wisconsin Governor and Lt. Governor). The recall of Arizona Governor Evan Meacham in 1988 (Meacham was impeached) needed only 216,746. Additionally, ancillary evidence suggests Arizona's election commissions find failed signatures more frequently than other states.

Peru: Look at Lima Mayor recall

The article notes that a new poll shows 50 percent in favor of removal, though that is a 10% drop since December.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Kentucky: Fairview School District "recall election" on utilities tax

Different type of recall, but worth noting -- they needed 313 signatures and got it:
When school districts enact such a tax, state law enables voters to step in if enough petition signatures are submitted.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Virginia: Petitioners claim enough signatures for Albemarle County Supervisor recall

The recall/trial of Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler may move to the next stage, as petitioners claim they have at least 372 signatures (which equals the 10% of turnout needed). They are waiting to double the amount before handing it in.

Since this is Virginia, the petition will result in a trial, rather than an election. 10-percent of voters who cast ballots in the last election for Dumler's seat - totaling 372 needed signatures.

There is some question whether Dumler can face a recall for his plea on a misdemeanor sexual battery charge.

Alaska: More on State Rep party-flipping recall

Here's coverage of the potential recall of State Rep. Lindsey Holmes, who almost immediately flipped parties from Democrat to Republican after being elected. Alaska has a malfeasance standard (judicial recall), so it is impossible to know if switching parties will meet the legal requirement to allow a recall on the ballot. At least one other instance of a recall for party flipping was in a judicial recall state -- in Washington State in 1981. The courts or the election commission allowed that one on the ballot, though I don't think it was ever appealed all the way up the ladder. I have not been able to find a written decision on that case.

Minnesota: Red Wing mayor facing recall threats over conflict of interest clais

Red Wing's newly elected Mayor Dennis Egan is facing recall threats after it was revealed that he was also recently hired as a lobbyist for frac sand companies.

Minnesota is a malfeasance standard (Judicial recall) state, so there's a good chance that this (apparently legal) arrangement won't meet the misdeeds hurdle and be able to get on the ballot. Previous reports have noted that Minnesota has never had a recall election get to the ballot.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Virginia: Loudoun Supervisor facing recall threats

Loudoun Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R) is facing recall threats backed by local Democrats. Delgaudio is the subject of a special investigation for hostile work environment (based on pushing a city employee to set up meetings for donors). Delgaudio was stripped of his committee assignments.

540 signatures are needed. Virginia does not allow straight recalls -- instead, if enough signatures are gathered, a judge is empowered to decide whether to kick the official out.

Good history here:

In 1997, a similar recall petition drive was launched against then-Sugarland Run District Supervisor Steven D. Whitener (R), who was accused of bullying two female supervisors. Whitener faced board sanctions, including being stripped of his committee assignments, and a recall petition signed by 283 voters in his district. In court, the judge threw out the petition and chastised board members for bickering. The board’s authority to sanction board members for their conduct was upheld in a federal lawsuit filed by Whitener.

Texas: El Paso not voting on recall gutting amendment to charter

It looks like the city council rejected the charter amendment which would have gutted the recall.

Wisconsin: Trial of ousted Sheboygan mayor to start


Florida: Dundee mayor who survived recall looking to run years later

Former Dundee Mayor Joe Garrison, who beat back a recall in 2003 for sexual harassment claims, is now running for Winter Haven City Council in a special election.

New tool for ballot measures

This was launched by the ballotpedia folks.

Maine: Milford School Board recall doesn't hand in signatures

The attempt to recall Milford school committee Chairman Gary Drinkwater and member Michael Bond has been dropped, as petitioners did not hand in the 260 signatures needed by the deadline.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Washington: Pacific mayor keeps recall tied up in court

Pacific Mayor Cy Sun is facing a recall threat, but legal maneuvers keep the process tied up in court.
The mayor recently walked out of another city counsel meeting, and he has previously fired the city manager, police chief, and caused the city's insurer to drop coverage. Because Washington requires malfeasance or misconduct, there is a need to get over the judicial hurdle before this one gets on the ballot.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Michigan: Six candidates on the ballot to replace Troy mayor

They include the interim mayor and a former state Rep.

Maine: York Selectmen recall dropped

The attempt to recall Selectman Ron Nowell appears to have failed, as petitioner claims to have gathered 400-5000 signatures, a bit short of the 641 signatures needed by February 13. Petitioner notes that the weather hasn't helped.

Petitions against Chairman Mary Andrews and Vice Chairman Scott Fiorentino failed earlier this month.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Oregon: One Clackamas River Water Board member recall scheduled

Petitioners turned in 4,000 signatures to recall one of two Clackamas River Water board members, Patricia Holloway. Recall is scheduled for March 19.

Petitioners also turned in signatures to recall member Grafton Sterling, but that has rejected due to a "clerical error." That decision is now being challenged.

The recall was started after the board ran up $1 million in legal fees over four years, "driven in large part by infighting among board members and improper meetings held by Holloway and Sterling."

Unions have been very active in the fight:
Both campaigns received $11,303.19 each of in-kind contributions from a community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, Working America. The union members collected signatures door-to-door for the campaign as their contribution. The union is not connected to the water district's branch of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Florida: Petitioners claim enough signatures in Tamarac City Council recall

Petitioners trying to recall City Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad, who was recently acquitted for trading votes to developers, claim to have collected 1,370 signatures. They need 1,250. There is a second round of signatures needed, but not sure what that total will be. Note also:

If the movement is successful, it will be the first recall in Broward County. There was a move years ago to oust a mayor in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, but organizers could not get enough signatures.

Virginia: Albermarle County Executive misdemeanor plea leads to calls for ouster, discussion of rarely used recall trial law

Virginia's rules for ousting elected officials are now being discussed, as there are discussion about removing Albemarle County Supervisor Christopher J. Dumler after he pled guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery.

Apparently, Dumler was so dismissive, that he said: "I am thinking of signing the petition myself."

Virginia does not have a recall, but a petition-trial. It has a rule that voters can gather signatures on a petition, and the judge can then remove for misusing the office or for a conviction for a hate or drug crime. There is another provision for a mandatory ouster, but it still wouldn't hit Dumler.

Petitioners need 372 signatures (10% of turnout).

Wisconsin: Report notes that Walker received 80% of donations from out of state addresses

This article note that "more than 80% of Walker's individual donors in the second half of 2012 listed their residence as outside Wisconsin..." However, this money is simply the individual donors, and does not refer to the big money that was spent on the recall.

"In all, Walker got more than 3,600 checks from out-of-state backers, averaging $69.... Nearly three out of every four of Walker's donations from individuals were $50 or under."

Friday, February 8, 2013

Washington: Look back at a plane crash, and Seattle mayoral recall


Op-ed on the Lima, Peru Mayoral recall

Here is an article from for the Peruvian Times.Also, note this article giving some details about the fact that  President Ollanta Humala’s Nationalist Party will not make an endorsement, though several of the party’s local committees have come out against the referendum.

Nebraska: Second Attempt at recalling Wayne County Commissioner

A second attempt has been filed to recall Wayne County Commissioner Kelvin Wurdeman. The first recall was tossed out because of flawed petitions.

The recall is based on Wurdeman's pleading no contest to charges that he stole a truckload of publicly owned scrap metal, for which he was fined $1,000.

The first recall effort accused Wurdeman of removing dirt from a landowner's field without permission and using it for a nearby road problem. He denied the allegation.

Arizona: House committee passes recall primary law

The Arizona House is once again trying to add a primary to the recall. The measure HB 2282, passed the House Judiciary Committee.The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Steve Smith, was a supporter of Senate President Russell Pearce.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

California: Suit filed over written statements of candidates in Coastside Fire Directors recall

Interesting case here. A petitioner has filed suit arguing that the candidate statements from Coastside fire directors President Doug Mackintosh, Director Mike Alifano and Director Gary Riddell (who are all facing recalls) did not focus on their education and qualifications, which is the primary purpose of a candidate statement. He wants them changed.

California: Seville School Boar Recall April 9th

Seville school board members Rebecca Quintana and Reynold Esquivel facing up coming recall for alleged misuse of district money, with one of the candidates a former board member who lost his seat in 2011. Election is April 9.

Colorado: 400 signatures handed in for the Evergreen Fire District recall

Petitioners need 300.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vermont: St. Albans considers adopting recall

St. Albans is debating a new Town Charter and considering adopting a recall. The recall would require 15% of registereds to get on the ballot:

There is some discussion of other towns in Vermont that have a recall law:

Hardwick requires 35 percent of voters to ask for it, while Waterbury needs only 50 voters. In Shelburne the selectboard has authority to remove any elected official for cause.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Florida: Sheriff accused of removing signs promoting Tamarc Commissioner recall

More developments in the possible recall of Tamarc Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad, who was acquitted on charges of trading votes for favors to a developer. Petitioners have gathered 900 signatures (need 1250) and have until next week.

However, the Sheriff's office is removing pro-recall lawn signs from front yard. The Sheriff's office is claiming that the signs represent a code violation, though it seems to be a first amendment violation.

Colorado: Four Estes Park Board of Trustees members facing petitions

Four board of trustees members, Eric Blackhurst, Ron Norris, John Phipps and Wendy Koenig, are facing petitions, due to their votes against a downtown theatre project.

Petitioners need about 400 signatures (25% of turnout) in 60 days.

Massachusetts: Hanson Board Chairman faces recall vote

Health board Chairman Tom Constantine is facing a recall election in 45 days. Petitioners handed in 935 signatures out of 6,943 registereds (they needed 10%).
Constantine’s recall, including an inability “to act and conduct the Board of Health in a credible manner” and to “sustain the confidence of the majority of voters” in town, as well as a failure to “keep the best interest of the town of Hanson in mind when making important decisions of his office.”

Monday, February 4, 2013

Idaho: Second Blackfoot School Board member resigns

Jenny Hong  joined Chairman Scott Reese in resigning her School Board seat in the face of a recall threat.

Mynamar (Burma): Recall of representative launched

Petitioners are trying to recall Mandalay Region’s Tada Oo township's  National League for Democracy Pyithu Hluttaw representative, Daw Khin Thandar.
The issue has to do with alleged misdeeds in helping elect her brother to a ward assembly. Apparently, Mynamar has a malfeasance standard:
hluttaw representatives can be recalled for high treason, breaching the constitution, misbehavior failing to meet the criteria for a hluttaw representative and inefficient discharge of duties.
Petitioners need at least 1 percent of the “original” voters in the electorate to submit a complaint to the Union Election Commission, which then investigates the allegation. However, to allow a recall has not been approved. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Arizona Republic denounces Sheriff Arpaio recall effort

Note this fact:
The recall organizers claim to have $1.3 million with which to collect 350,000 signatures in the next 120 days.

India: Kerala looks to adopt recall

Looks like another Indian state will adopt the recall --the Kerala, as the Kerala institute of local administration (Kila) is forwarding a proposal.

From this description, it is a very tough recall law:
According to the act, if voters feel that their elected representative is inept or corrupt after two years, they can press for the Right To Recall. A no-confidence motion can be initiated against the tainted representative and three-fourth members will write to the district collector saying they have lost confidence in the candidate. The State Election Commission can then order a recall election.

Note that the states of Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh have already adopted the recalls.

Arizona: Bill to change financing laws for recall

State Senator Michele Reagan introduced the following bill which seems to add the recall into the basics of campaign finance law.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Michigan: Charlevoix city council signatures handed in

Petitions were turned in for the recall of three Charlevoix city council members, Jill Picha, Bryan Vollmer and Dennis Kusina.

This recall is based on the outdoor community fireplace at a park.

It looks like this will be the first recall under Michigan's new law, which mandates recalls only on primary and election days. If they meet the signature requirements, they should get on the ballot on May 7.

Montana: Troy Mayor who lost recall running for old office

Former Troy (Montana) Mayor Don Banning, who was kicked out in May recall, is looking to run for his old position.

Lots of bad blood all around. Two council members pushed for the recall (one of whom became interim mayor), and hire an attorney (who is now the current city attorney) to draft the petition.

The four reasons for the recall: the termination of Charles Evans as city attorney, cashing a city check, allowing a construction project in Roosevelt Park and making changes to the city charter, all without council approval.

Idaho: Blackfoot School Board Chairman resigns in face of a recall

Blackfoot School Board Chairman R. Scott Reese has resigned in the face of a proposed recall (which was strangely hinted at here). Apparently, the big issue was a six-figure separation agreement (which was later ruled inappropriate by the court due to its passage in an executive session) with the former Superintendent. Reese has been hired by the county for an undisclosed job.

There is still an attempted recall of board member Jenny Hong. No word on what will happen there.

Last year, a separate Blackfoot School Board member survived a recall vote.

New Mexico: Judge allows recall of two Raton School Board members to go forward

A state judge has ruled that petitioners can start gathering signatures against two Raton school board members, President Sheila Castellini and Secretary Michael Anne Holland. Two current school board members Art Salazar and Art Armijo, and Raton school staff members, signed affidavits to start the recall.

Raton has recently seen a spate of recall threats, including against the Mayor and the City Council.

The two members are accused of violating the Code of Ethic, having a lack of professionalism toward board members and school staff and engaged in “micro-managing the district."

Interesting wrinkle here:
In order to force a recall election involving a board member, a petition against that person must contain the signatures of no less than one third of the number of people who voted on the office in question at the last election. When they were last elected in 2011, Castellini and Holland were each unopposed. Castellini received 122 votes and Holland received 121. When rounding is done, one-third of each of those vote totals equals 41, which would be the number of signatures Hestand and Stuart would have to collect on each petition in order to force a recall election on each board member.