Friday, June 28, 2019

UK: Analysis of problems with the UK Recall law and operation

Sir Paul Silk, the former Clerk of the House of Commons, wrote two articles examining the problems with the recall law, some of which are very familiar to the US audience.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Michigan: One of two petitions against Albion Mayor withdrawn

One of the attempts to recall Albion Mayor Dave Atchison has ended, with the sponsors canceling the clarity/factualness hearing. The recall was over a group of complaints regarding behavior to other council members and a vote against Indigenous People's Day and bringing a second grocery store to the city.

Atchison is the third Albion official to face recall petitions this term. Albion Councilwoman Jeanette Spicer is facing a petition claiming that the councilwoman is not responsive. Petitioners need 139 signatures. The Mayor Pro Tempore Sonya Brown is facing a recall fight over the removal of the head of the Albion Public Safety Department. Brown's recall has been in court.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

California: Pine Mountain Lake Association Board of Directors facing petitions

The private, gated community is looking to recall the five member board is facing petitions over a plan to spend $2-$2.5 million to fix buildings near the golf course.  The community would have to hire a private election consultant to run the election.

Michigan: Grosse Pointe School Board members targeted in recall petition

School Board treasurer Judy Gafa and Board Secretary Kathleen Abke and trustee Christopher Profeta are all facing recall threats over a plan to close schools. Profeta actually appeared to vote against the closure plan, which passed 5-2.

Michigan: Two more Flint Council member petitions approved

Petition language has been approved against Santino Guerra,and Allan Griggs after previously being rejected. Councilmember Monica Galloway's petitions have also been approved. Kate Fields is up for debate on Thursday.
Guerra and Fields were facing a petition over a vote to extend a $12 million waste removal contract. Galloway is facing the petition over being absent for a vote to enter into a $5.6 million contract with a construction company.

Fields claims that Mayor Karen Weaver, Councilmember Eric Mays  and Community Liaison for Economic Development Aonie Gilcreast are behind the recall effort. Mays has acknowledged this.

UK: Conservative MP Chris Davies will be candidate for in by-election for his seat that was vacated by recall petition

The Conservative Party is keeping Brecon and Radnor MP Chris Davies as the candidate in the upcoming byelection that was forced by a recall petition. Davies was removed after 10,005 signatures were handed in (petitioners needed 5303 (10% of voters) to get on the ballot.

Davies was fined 1500 pounds and hit with 50 hours of community service over two false expense invoices for landscape photographs. Since the sentence was under 12 months, he is not automatically ousted.

The election will take place on July 25 or August 1.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

New Jersey: Recall threatened against Hackensack School Board Member

Hackensack School Board member Frances Cogelja is being threatened with a recall for his criticism of an LGBT-inclusive curriculum for students. Petitioners would need about 5400 signatures to get on the ballot.

Friday, June 21, 2019

UK: Second recall makes the ballot, as signatures handed in against Conservative MP Chris Davies forces by-election

The UK is now set to have its second recall, as petitioners got enough signatures to get Brecon and Radnor MP Chris Davies (Conservative) on the ballot. According to UK law, Davies is removed, and now must face a new by-election (the Conservative Party is debating whether he will be the candidate). 10,005 signatures were handed in (petitioners needed 5303 (10% of voters) to get on the ballot.

Davies was fined 1500 pounds and hit with 50 hours of community service over two false expense invoices for landscape photographs. Since the sentence was under 12 months, he is not automatically ousted.

Washington, DC: Council member facing recall efforts has house searched by FBI

Washington, DC Council Member Jack Evans's (D) house was searched by the FBI after the disclosure of a memo that he knowingly violated ethics rules. Evans has been facing a probe into financial dealings.

Petitioners would need approximately 5200 signatures (10% of registereds).  Evans has been in office for 28 years.

Rhode Island: Over 1000 signatures push Narragansett Town Council recall law on 2020 ballot

Over a thousand signatures have been collected to put a recall law on Narragansett ballot in 2020. The City Council also approved the amendment. The impetus was a failure to approve a new library.

The law would require signatures from 25% of turnout in the last election in 60 days in order to get a recall on the ballot.

Texas: Recall effort against Edinburg Mayor and three other officials fails

The recall attempt against Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem  David Torres and Council members Jorge Salinas and Gilbert Enriquez failed, with petitioners not turning in any signatures. They needed about 2000 signatures in 30 days to get it on the ballot.

The recall is over Molina's arrest on election fraud charges. Molina allegedly pushed out of district residents to change their address and vote for him -- 19 people have been indicted including Molina's wife.

There were numerous delays due to the behavior of the city council with the recall effort as well as a push by officials to take down pro-recall signs.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Massachusetts: Phillipston School Board members facing recall

Phillipston School Board members are facing a recall effort over a busing plan. Petitioners handed 85 signature to clear the first barrier to get on the ballot.

Arkansas: Russellville Mayor facing petitions over opposition to marijuana dispensary

Russellville Mayor Richard Harris is facing the threat of petitions after he abstained from a tie-breaking vote that would have allowed a marijuana dispensary. He has also faced criticism for a casino gambling issue and for a failure to handle a neo-Nazi event.

Petitioners are looking for 2900 signatures (35% of turnout).

Massachusetts: Recall attempt discussed against married Plymouth Selectmen

Plymouth Selectmen Shelagh Joyce and Keven Joyce may be facing recall efforts, as online (completely legally irrelevant petition) has received 1088 signatures. Petitioners would need 6423 signatures, though they cannot start collecting until November. Petitioners would have 20 days to get the signatures and the vote would need turnout of at least 20%.

Joyce has been charged with embezzling about $28,000.

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Treasurer to face upcoming recall vote

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Treasurer Gordon Harris is now facing an upcoming recall -- petitioners handed in 120 valid signatures, they needed 100. Chairman Cedric Cromwell is set to face an upcoming recall vote, as petitioners handed in 104 signatures over transparency issues, such as their salaries. Petitioners also aimed a recall at Vice Chairwoman Jessie "Little Doe" Baird but couldn't get the signatures.

The council members previously tried to expel three other council members from the governing board. There has been significant debate over spending for a proposed $1 billion casino-resort

Update: The Election is set for September 15

Wisconsin: Door County Supervisors facing petitions

Door County Supervisors John Neinas and Roy Engelbert are facing petitions over their vote for a plan to draw down the Forestville Dam Mill Pond to dry out contaminated sediment from the pond. Opponents claim it will hurt the fish stock.

New Jersey: Rockaway Township Councilman resigns in face of recall

Councilman Victor Palumbo, who was facing a recall effort over complaints about his voting record, resigned. Palumbo said he resigned after a primary results. Palumbo was looking to run for an at large seat, rather than a district one, which would have changed how many signatures were needed to get a recall on the ballot.

Palumbo was targeted over votes against former Mayor Michael Dachisen and Councilman John Quinn taking health benefits. Petitioners would need 724 signatures to get to the ballot.

Acting Mayor Jeremy Jedynak (R) faced a recall effort, with one of the leaders being the widow of his immediate predecessor, Mayor Michael Dachisen (R). Dachisen died on August 15 of a heart attack, leading to Jedynak taking over. Petitioners need about 4564 signatures to get the Jedynak recall on the ballot.

Update: The Republican County Committee chose Mary Noon to replace Palumbo.

California: Los Angeles Mayor threatened with recall over homelessness

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is now the focus of petitions over claims that homelessness has grown in the city. The leader over the recall effort is Alexandra Datig, an apparently conservative political commentator.

Petitioners would need over 300,000 signatures. While there have been plenty of attempts to recall Los Angeles' Mayors, three have gotten on the ballot. Mayors A.C. Harper in 1909 (he resigned) and Frank Shaw (of L.A. Confidential fame) in 1938 were the only two mayors to actually be removed. John C. Porter survived a recall vote in 1932.

Michigan: Manistique Mayor petitions thrown out on clarity grounds

The Election Commission rejected petitions against Manistique Mayor Michael Perilloux  over clarity grounds. The petitions claim that Perilloux complained about FOIA requests as "threats and weapons" and that he placed Facebook page printouts on chairs before a city council meeting to complain about a non-profit.

Mexico: President suggests holding president recall by March 21, 2021

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who previously suggested that regular recalls are a good idea, suggested that a recall should be held on March 21, 2021(half-way through his term) if he can't face a recall during the mid-term congressional elections in June 2021.

Colorado: Two groups looking at Gubernatorial recall join forces

The two groups trying to recall Governor Jared Polis (D) have joined forces. The issues cited as his support for the National Popular Vote law, gun control legislation and the oil and gas law.

Petitioners would need 631,226 signatures in 60 days. So far, the state GOP is not backing the push. The recall can't start until Polis has been in office for six months.

Idaho: Three Middleton School Board members facing August 27 recall

The recall against Middleton School Board Members Tim Winkle, Marianne Blackwell and Alicia McConkie has met the signature requirement, and it will be on the ballot in a special election on August 27.

The recall is over a vote not to renew the High School principal's contact. The principal has accused school administrators of harassing him. A fourth member, Kirk Adams, is facing threats, but due to his recent election, is not eligible for a recall until the November election. For the recall to succeed, the vote to remove must exceed the amount of votes the candidate received when they won the office in the last election.

Tennessee: Third Jackson-Madison School Board Member being discussed for recall petitions

A third Jackson-Madison County School Board member, Janice Hampton, is facing talk of a recall. , Chairman Kevin Alexander and Doris Black are already facing a recall effort over their opposition to the Superintendent's 10-year plan. Petitioners need to get 66% of their vote total from the last election (1743 for Black).

The recall is taking place just after Governor signed a law allowing recalls in the Madison County Board of Education members.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Michigan: Albion Mayor hit with two recall petitions

Two petitions have been taken out against Albion Mayor Dave Atchison over a group of complaints regarding behavior to other council members and a vote against Indigenous People's Day and bringing a second grocery store to the city.

Atchison is the third Albion official to face recall petitions this term. Albion Councilwoman Jeanette Spicer is facing a petition claiming that the councilwoman is not responsive. Petitioners need 139 signatures. The Mayor Pro Tempore Sonya Brown is facing a recall fight over the removal of the head of the Albion Public Safety Department. Brown's recall has been in court.

California: Marin Independent Journal looks at Dixie School Board recall attempt

Here's a column by Dick Spotswood in the Marin Independent Journal discussing a possible way for Dixie School District Trustee Marnie Glickman to avoid a recall. The article notes that Glickman has decided to not run for reelection, and Spotswood claims that the recall will be the one way for voters to have a say on the issue that has divided the community (changing the name of the district from Dixie, due to its confederate connection). Spotswood suggests that Glickman run for reelection which would obviate the need for a recall, though past experience with other recalls suggests petitioners are likely to try to recall and defeat her in any reelection run.

Note that Spotswood leads the piece with the following claim:
"As a rule, California's institution of recall should be reserved to remove elected officials who are criminally corrupt or mentally ill. Occasionally, a recall is mounted when the motivation is about policy or the officeholder's behavior."

That seems quite off -- the reverse (as a rule, recalls are mounted over policy or behavior, and rarely  about corruption [not mental illness]) would probably be true.

Michigan: Manistique Mayor facing petitions

Manistique Mayor Michael Perilloux is facing petitions claiming that Perilloux complained about FOIA requests as "threats and weapons" and that he placed Facebook page printouts on chairs before a city council meeting to complain about a non-profit. The petition now goes before the Election Commission for a clarity/factualness hearing.

California: Senator facing second recall attempt over support for bill restricting vaccination exemptions

Ant-Vaccination supporters have filed a petition looking to recall Senator Richard Pan (D), a pediatrician and the lead sponsor of a bill that restricts vaccine medical exemptions.  Petitioners needed to hand in 61,224 (20% of turnout) signatures.

This is the second time anti-vaccine groups have attempted to recall Pan. In 2016, they took out petitions (and didn't hand in any at the end) against Pan, as well as Senator Jeff Stone and Senator Bill Monning (D). The new petition claims charges of "high treason."

One of the lead petitioners, Austin Bennett, ran against Pan in 2018, though he did not make the final ballot. He has also been accused of airing "conspiracy theories about a mass shooting and chem trails."

Friday, June 14, 2019

Idaho: Signatures handed in against third Middleton School Board member

Signatures have been handed in against a third Middleton School Board member, Marianne Blackwell, over a vote not to renew the High School principal's contact. The principal has accused school administrators of harassing him.

Petitioners claim to have enough signatures to get a recall on the ballot against Middleton School Board Members Tim Winkle and Alicia McConkie for an August vote. TA third member, Kirk Adams, is facing threats, but due to his recent election, is not eligible for a recall until the November election. For the recall to succeed, the vote to remove must exceed the amount of votes the candidate received when they won the office in the last election.

Colorado: GOP abandons recall effort against State Representative who was main sponsor of gun bill

The recall effort against State Representative Tom Sullivan (D), the sponsor of the gun bill that was one of the motivations for the GOP's wide ranging recall efforts, has been abandoned by the GOP.

The recall effort had already met statements of strong opposition from Cole Wist, the Republican who Sullivan defeated in 2018. Wist said that the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the major backers of the recall effort, referred to the Republicans "owns the Colorado Republican Party."

Sullivan's son was killed in the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting during a showing of the Dark Knight. Petitioner would need 10,035 signatures by July 12.

Sullivan was the first State Rep to have the petitions against him approved. Petitioners are claiming to seek the recall of 12 state legislators.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Texas: Signs calling for Edinburg Mayor recall removed from road by code enforcement officials

More drama in the recall attempt against Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina. Molina is facing trouble over his arrest on election fraud charges. Code Enforcement officials removed three pro-recall signs, with claims that at least one of the signs was there legally.

The recall attempt is over Molina's  allegedly pushing out of district residents to change their address and vote for him. Petitioners need about 2000 signatures to get on the ballot in 30 days (25% of turnout).

Previously, the City Attorney didn't know what forms to give the petitioners. The City Attorney said that because there has never been a recall in the city, they aren't sure what forms to use.

New Mexico: Judge approves Las Cruces School Board Recall effort, possible Supreme Court appeal next

A State Court Judge has green lit the recall effort against Las Cruces School Board members Terrie Dallman, Maria Flores and Ray Jaramillo over claims of violating open meeting laws and adding central office jobs during a hiring freeze. As a malfeasance state, a judge needed to first rule if the ground are valid. They are now appealing to the State Supreme Court.

They need 33 1/3rd of turnout, which is 424 for Flores, 252 for Dallman and 83 for Jaramillo. Any empty seat is filled by appointment.

Maine: Two Freedom Selectman survive recall vote

Freedom Selectmen Steve Bennet (184-64) and Ron Price (183-66) survived recall votes on June 11 recall (it took place on the same day as a school budget vote). The issue is claims of abuse of office and conflict of interest against Price. There were complaint about a renovation of a post office, a purchase of a property and a lease of an excavator. Petitioners handed in 53 signatures for Bennet and 51 for Price.

Turnout was seen as high -- normally, the tturnout is less than 44 voters, but this year it was almost 50%.

Massachusetts: East Bridgewater votes to ask legislature to allow local recall law

East Bridgewater voters passed a law asking the legislature to approve a recall. The vote took place at the town meeting on June 10. They had previously passed it in June 2015, but the state legislature did not approve it.

Based on the proposed law, petitioners would need 100 signatures and 15% of registered voters in each precinct.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Do Special Elections present an accurate picture of the electorate? -- my article in Governing Magazine

Here's an article I wrote in Governing Magazine -- this has been a focus of mine for a long time.

I looked at eight years worth of recall results to try and find out whether special elections presents an accurate picture of the electorate. I believe that recalls are really the only place to see a pattern, as they sometimes take place as a special election and sometimes take place on a general or primary election day.

My original idea was that officials were much more likely to be removed by special elections and therefore special elections were inaccurate. But after looking at 861 recalls over the last eight years my theory was shot down.

Sitting officials, it turns out, are not disproportionately hurt -- and sometimes may actually be helped -- by when a recall election is held. Moreover, the more-motivated, angrier voters do not seem to skew special elections in an obviously predictable way.

Nevada: Group formed to start recall effort against Governor over gun control legislation

A group has registered for a recall effort against Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D) citing a recent gun control bill and spending issues. As with Colorado, there is a very strong political bent to the recall effort, with the lead petitioner making comparisons with California's legislature.

Petitioners would need 242,950 signatures to get on the ballot.

Ohio: Fairview Park vote on charter amendment changing recall timeframes

Here
Update: The amendment passed 3919-528.

Maine: Petitions taken out against Thomaston Selectman

Thomaston Selectman Beverly St. Clair is facing petitions following the town manager's resignation.  Petitioners need 10% of turnout from the last gubernatorial election -- 133 signatures.

UK: Labour Party wins Recall Replacement race in UK's first ever successful recall

Labour Party's Lisa Forbes won the by-election in the the first ever UK recall. winning by 683 votes over the Brexit Party's Mike Greene. Turnout was down nearly 20%.

The recall took place after former Labour Party MP Fiona Onasanya (Peterborough) was convicted due to claiming someone else was driving her car when she was caught speeding (11 mph over the limit). Onasanya had already been expelled from the Labour Party and spent three months in jail.

Forbes has been accused of endorsing and commenting on anti-Semitic posts and conspiracy theories.


California: Two Monterey Park Council members facing petitions

Monterey Park Councilmembers Peter Chan and Hans Liang are facing recall efforts over a vote to move to a district election (which will remove to other councilmembers in 2020). Petitioners need 5609 signatures (20% of registereds) in 120 days.  Both Chan and Liang are in office to 2022 and were elected at large. A third councilmember, Stephen Lam, will not face a recall because his term is up in 2020.

The two are also facing complaints over their support for development proposals.

Nebraska: Plattsmouth Mayor facing recall effort over gravestone clean-up issue

Mayor Paul Lambert is facing a recall effort after workers threw out items left on or near gravestones. Petitioners are claiming that there was a lack of communication before the clean-up.  Petitioners need 538 signatures in 30 days.

Update: Petitioners claim to have half the signatures, though they need to get it by Friday.

Michigan: One Flint Council member petition approved, three rejected

Petition language has been approved against Monica Galloway while the petitions against Flint Council members Santino Guerra, Kate Fields and Allan Griggs have been rejected on clarity grounds.

Guerra and Fields were facing a petition over a vote to extend a $12 million waste removal contract. Galloway is facing the petition over being absent for a vote to enter into a $5.6 million contract with a construction company.

Fields claims that Mayor Karen Weaver, Councilmember Eric Mays  and Community Liaison for Economic Development Aonie Gilcreast are behind the recall effort. Mays has admitted as such.

Idaho: Petitioners claim they have signatures for three Middleton School Board members to be on August and November ballot

Petitioners claim to have enough signatures to get a recall on the ballot against Middleton School Board Members Tim Winkle and Alicia McConkie for an August vote. The issue was a vote not to renew the High School principal's contact. The principal has accused school administrators of harassing him. Petitioners need around 700 signatures to get on the ballot. A third member, Kirk Adams, is facing threats, but due to his recent election, is not eligible for a recall until the November election.

California: Recall launched against Three New Haven Unified School District Board Members

School Board Members Sharan Kaur, Jeff Wang and Lance Nishiria are facing recall efforts after teachers in Union City and South Hayward went on strike. The petitioners claims that the issue is that the board is letting the Superintendent "run the show."

Petitioners need 7487 signatures.

Colorado: Petitioners have enough signatures for three Cripple Creek-Victory School District Board Members

A recall against Cripple Creek-Victory School Board President Timothy Braun, Treasurer Dennis Jones and Secretary Tonya Martin has been delayed after being set for a July 16 mail-in ballot. It is unclear why the recall is being delayed, as the election board said it is due to "restrictive timelines" and "circumstances beyond our control."

The recall is over claims of violation of the open record act and possibly a suspension of the superintendent. One of the leader was a former Head Start director who lost to Jones by 30 votes in November 2017.

Wisconsin: Recall set for Merrill Council President and 4 other Aldermen; Election scheduled for July 16

The recall election against Merrill Aldermen, including Council President Rob Norton and Aldermen John VanLieshout, Dave Sukow, Paul Russell and Tim Meehean has been set for July 16.  The issue was confusion over a property tax rate increase which was higher than expected (which seems to have been done due to a calculating error).

Sunday, June 2, 2019

UK: Labour Party candidate for Petersborough by-election in recall replacement race has endorsed anti-Semitic posts

In the race to replace former Labour Party MP Fiona Onasanya (Peterborough), the Labour Party candidate Lisa Forbes has endorsed and commented on anti-Semitic posts and conspiracy theories.

California: Two Santa Cruz Councilmembers facing recall effort

Santa Cruz Councilmen Drew Glover and Chris Krohn are facing recall efforts with allegations of a focus on a homeless camp and issues at city meetings, though the article notes a focus on the city's rent control and eviction ballot measures. Petitioners would need about 8000 signatures to get on the ballot.

Colorado: Democrats choose replacement for State Representative who resigned in face of recall effort and sexual misconduct allegations

Mary Young has been selected by Colorado Democrats to replace State Representative Rochelle Galindo (D) who resigned her seat before signatures were handed in,. Galindo was facing accusations of sexual misconduct. However, another point to be noted is that due to the resignation, as per state law, the seat will be filled by a Democrat.