Sunday, September 15, 2019

Mashpee Wampanoag Recall canceled just days before recall vote

The recall of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell and Treasurer Gordon Harris were canceled just days before the scheduled vote on September 15. 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

Friday, September 13, 2019

California: Former Santa Clara Judge fired from job coaching tennis

Former Santa Clara Judge Aaron Persky, who was removed in the first recall/removal of a judge in the US since 1977, was fired from his job as a girls' high school tennis coach. Persky was targeted over his sentencing of Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to a six month jail term for sexual assault.

Michigan: Midland Councilman petitions rejected on clarity grounds by Election Commission

Nine-term Midland City Councilman Marty Wazbinski is now facing petitions, after being rejected three tomes by the Election Commision over clarity issues. The recall was launched over his support for a "road diet" plan. Petitioners would need 1072 signatures to get on the ballot.

California: Redondo Beach Councilman facing recall threats

Redondo Beach Councilman John Gran is facing a recall effort after switching his vote to cast one against a study to explore using the LA County Fire Department. Petitioners would need 2344 signatures to get on the ballot.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Colorado: State Senator Proposes changes to recall act

Colorado State Senator Jack Tate (R) has introduced a bill to change the recall act. Note it has a provision similar to Michigan's factual standard and an interesting provision restricting recall petitions against state legislators when the assembly is in session. Here's the key provisions -- Tate notes that the recall was adopted in 1912, though I'm unclear if and when the state moved away from a malfeasance standard.

The Colorado Valuing Open, Truthful, and Ethical Recalls (Colorado VOTER) Act includes:

  • Keeping taxpayer-funded ballot language factual. The law would explicitly state that petition recall statements ("statement of grounds") may not contain unlawful or defamatory language and are limited to statements of verifiable fact.
  • Protecting citizens’ right to representation when a state legislator is subjected to a recall effort. The Colorado VOTER Act restricts the filing or circulation of a recall petition of a state officer during the 120 days when the General Assembly is in session, reducing the amount of disruption a recall can cause when lawmakers are at the Capitol.
  • Full disclosure on the cost of recalls so that electors can make informed decisions. The measure requires the recall petition to include a disclosure of the estimated taxpayer cost to administer the petition campaign and a recall election, if the petition campaign is successful  

Tennessee: Signatures handed in against Jackson-Madison School Board Member

The recall against Jackson-Madison County School Board member Doris Black has not yet cleared the signature hurdle. Pettioners handed in 1189 signatures and they need 1151 (66% of the her vote total from the last election). 967 were found to be valid. Petitioners have until September 23 to get enough signatures.

The recall effort seemed to be over her opposition to the Superintendent's 10-year plan, though there is now a different list of complaints.

 In addition to Black, Chairman Kevin Alexander and Janice Hampton were both facing recall efforts.

The recall is taking place just after Governor signed a law allowing recalls in the Madison County Board of Education members. There is no replacement race if Black is removed. It would be an appointment to fill the slot.

California: Gubernatorial recall efforts start


Texas: Kyle Mayor and City Council members facing recall efforts

Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell and City Council Member Rick Koch are facing recall efforts, with a push for a vote on an rfp for a municipal complex among other issues. Petitioners would need 3403 signatures to get on the ballot. There was last a recall attempt in 2003 against former Mayor James Adkins.

Colorado: Two State Senate Recall fails

The attempts to recall Colorado Senators Pete Lee (D) and Brittany Pettersen (D) failed with no signatures handed in. Only one recall effort, against Senate President Leroy Garcia, is still outstanding.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Alaska: Longtime Columnist looks at the legal issues of past Alaska recall attempts

Longtime Alaska State Government reporter Dermot Cole has a great examination of the previous recall rejections and provides some thoughts as to why the Governor Mike Dunleavy recall may be different.

I'm really not sure how the courts may rule (Alaska's recall law seems to be a one of a kind), so it's great to have some people with experience provide a road-map to what has happened and what they think will happen.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Oregon: Petitions filed against Democratic House Representative

State Representative Tiffiny Mitchell (D) is the latest Democratic legislator to face a recall effort, which seems to be lead by a group called "Timber Unity." Petitioners claim they have no role in the Governor Kate Brown (D) recall attempt, though they support the effort.

Petitioners would need 4883 signatures in 90 days. If Mitchell would be recalled, there is no replacement race. Commissioners in the four counties they represent would be required to choose a Democrat as a replacement.

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayor, who lost a recall vote but won replacement race, now facing another indictment over bribery/extortion charges with marijuana vendors to remain in office

Fall River Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II (D), who lost a recall vote in March yet won his seat in the five candidate replacement race, is once again under indictment, though this time on bribery and extortion charges over his dealings with marijuana vendors.

Correia faced the recall after being indicted for stealing from investors and tax fraud. He lost the recall run overwhelmingly, 7829-4911. However, Massachusetts allows a candidate facing a recall to run in the replacement race (not that uncommon a provision). In this case, Correia was one of five candidates. He came in first with about 35% of the vote, beating out City Councilor Joseph Camara, School Committee member Paul Coogan, School administrator Kyle Riley and Erica Scott-Pacheco.

Can Correia face another recall? Looking at the recall provision he can, though not until 270 days after his last one. The Fall River recall provision does not contain a "double jeopardy" clause (preventing two recalls in one term). However, even if if it did, I suspect that would be inoperative. Correia is on a second term -- this term would probably be seen as a separate one from the one he was recalled from. 

Idaho: Ammon water rates lead to threats of recall efforts

High water rates have led to a petition in Ammon calling for lower bills, with threats being made for a recall against Mayor Sean Coletti and city council members.

Georgia: Signatures handed in against Hoschton Mayor, Councilman over racist comments/behavior

Petitioners handed in 270 signatures for the recall of Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Councilman Jim Cleveland after the revelation that Kenerly allegedly withheld consideration of a city administrator candidate because he was black. In an interview, Cleveland discussed his opposition to interracial marriage due to his "Christian beliefs."

Petitioners need to get 96 valids to pass the first stage of the recall effort.

Oregon: Metolius Mayor recall on the ballot for October 8

Metolius Mayor John Chavez is facing a recall vote over allegations that he concealed his criminal record, including an assault case from fighting with his brother and a DUII in March. Petitioners handed in 45 signatures, they needed 43. The recall is an all-mail ballot, with ballots due by October 8.

The leader of the recall is former City Councilor Tryna Muilenburg, who lost the 2018 race to Chavez by one vote.

Arizona: Petitioners claim to have enough signatures for Payson Mayor recall

Petitioners claim to have enough signatures to get a recall against Payson Mayor Tom Morrissey on the ballot, claiming that they have 974 signatures -- they need 770.

Therer are also recall attempts against Councilmembers Suzy Tubbs-Avakian, Janell Sterner and Jim Ferris over their votes to  fire a town manager and spend and transparency issues.

Opponents of the recall are claiming that the non-recall facing councilmembers "voted against God, out taxpayers at risk in supporting a $43 million prep school project and are trying to bring Chinese and Canadian immigrant students to town to claim taxpayer-funded benefits." Morrisey has said he has nothing to do with the flyer.

In addition, Councilman Steve Smith is now facing petitions over claims that he causes discord at meetings.

Smith was appointed to the seat in a controversial move -- the appointment in between the election for the rest of the council and their inauguration, so there was debate over who should have made the appointment. Smith has since opposed Morrissey and other council members, including filing open meeting violations claims.

Petitioners need 1638 signatures to get the other three recalls on the ballot. Petitioners claim they have over 900 signatures for Ferris, Sterner and Tubbs-Avakian.

Tennessee: Signatures handed in against Jackson-Madison School Board Member

Petitioners have handed in 1189 signatures to force a recall of Jackson-Madison County School Board member Doris Black. They need 1151 (66% of the her vote total from the last election) -- they are still collecting signatures for a cushion. The recall effort seemed to be over her opposition to the Superintendent's 10-year plan, though there is now a different list of complaints.

 In addition to Black, Chairman Kevin Alexander and Janice Hampton were both facing recall efforts.

The recall is taking place just after Governor signed a law allowing recalls in the Madison County Board of Education members. There is no replacement race if Black is removed. It would be an appointment to fill the slot.

Colorado: Recall attempt against Governor Jared Polis fails to turn in signatures by deadline

The recall attempt against Governor Jared Polis (D) has failed, with petitioners not turning in any signatures by the due date. Petitioners needed 631,226 and claimed to have 300,000, but as they won't have anyone check it, it is impossible to say how many they actually collected. The issues cited were his support for the National Popular Vote law, gun control legislation and the oil and gas law.

The leaders of the recall attempt have claimed that the recall was not an attempt for data mining purposes.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Arizona: Graham County Clerk of the Superior Court facing petitions

Graham County Clerk of the Superior Court Cindy Woodman (R) is facing petitions over complaints about her tenure, including high turnover, lack of knowledge and a court ruling that she was "derelict in her duties" due to evidence mishandling. Petitioners need 2698 signatures by January 1.

Rhode Island: Tiverton Council President sues to stop recall vote over notification issue

Tiverton Council President Robert Coulter is suing to stop the recall against him and Vice President Justin Katz over complaints about an executive session at meetings. Coulter is claiming that he wasn't properly notified.

The council approved a vote for October 10. The lead petitioner, William McLaughlin, lost as a council candidate in November.

Petitioner got 625 signatures for Katz (they needed 587) and 553 for Coulter (needed 505).

The town has an absentee veto provision. The turnout has to exceed the amount of votes each got in the last election for the recall to count (though unlike Idaho, the amount voting yes does not have to top the previous election's numbers).

Update: Coulter's suit was rejected.

Texas: City Clerk quashes Mineral Wells Mayor recall date

Petitioners have announced that they are ending the recall effort against Mayor Christopher Perricone after the city clerk said that they are too late to make the November 5 ballot. The recall would have to wait until May to get to the voters. Petitioners needed 1828 signatures by Friday to make the ballot, which they didn't have.

Alaska: Petitioners hand in 49,006 signatures for Governor recall

Petitioners handed in over 49,006 signatures to get over the hump of the first stage of the recall effort against Governor Mike Dunleavy. This is over 20,000 signatures than needed. However, now the challenges begin:

In Alaska’s case, petitioners must first gather verified signatures amounting to 10% of the turnout in the previous election (28,501), and then have the director of the Division of Elections-- headed by the same Lieutenant Governor who would become governor if Dunleavy is removed -- agree that the reasons stated in the petition meets the cause requirements in Alaska’s law. If the director approves this, petitioners must then gather signatures amounting to 25% of turnout (71,252 signatures). In the past, the division has rejected recalls against a governor, two state senators and one assembly representative due to a failure to state a valid cause of action.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Nebraska: Broken Bow Mayor facing petitions

Broken Bow Mayor Johnathan Berghost is facing petitions over claims of a hostile work environment, operating with out council approval and allegedly threatening police officers. Petitioners need 410 valid signatures.