Sunday, September 25, 2022

Georgia: Newton County Commissioner threatened with recall effort

Newton County Commission Chair Marcello Banes is facing recall threats from another Commissioner, J.C. Henderson, over Banes' request to remove a sign naming a bandroom for local arts leader T.K. Adams. 

Banes claims that the commissioners must approve the naming for it to be allowed. 

Georgia is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so Henderson would need a showing of cause to get this on the ballot. They would need 30% of registered voters, about 24,000 signatures, to get on the ballot.

State law requires at least 100 New

Colorado: 12th Judicial District Attorney (Alamosa/San Luis County) disbarred -- resigned after recall made the ballot

A new development against Alamosa/12th Judicial District Attorney Alonzo Payne, who has now been disbarred by Colorado's Supreme Court. Payne resigned after the recall against him got to the ballot. Petitioners handed in 5974 signatures, with 4757 being declared valid. They needed 3996. The resignation was after a monitor was appointed by the state Attorney General.

The recall effort was over complaints of being soft on crime (not pursuing charges on large drug busts and not following up with crime victims on plea deals, as required by law), so it seemed a bit along the lines of the Boudin/Gascon recall efforts in California. However, the disbarment suggests that he failed to act for months on warrants for serious crimes and domestic violence; that his employees ignored, belittled and shouted at crime victims; and that Payne made false and "disingenuous" court statements. The petitions were taken out by Alamosa Mayor Ty Coleman.

Ohio: Ohio Supreme Court rejects part of lawsuit seeking to toss out East Cleveland Mayor recall

The Ohio Supreme Court threw out one part of a lawsuit filed by the East Cleveland Law Director Willa Hemmons to stop the upcoming Election Day recall vote against East Cleveland Mayor Brandon King. The decision, which has no written component, rejects a complaint that the petition exceeded the 200 word limit.

There are additional complaints, including that petitioners handed in 322 valid signatures and needed 311. The law requires that signers voted in the last election. Hemmons claims that 43 signers did not, so their signatures should be tossed out. Hemmons seems to be acting in a private capacity and being paid by King himself.

Petitioners claim that King used the police to target his Democratic primary opponents in 2021 for towing a van he was using to promote another candidate using loudspeakers.

King has been mayor since 2016 when the last mayor, Gary Norton, was kicked out in a recall with the council president, Thomas Wheeler.

Tennessee: Proposed bill would lower signature requirement for recalls in state

 A new bill has been proposed to lower the signature requirement for recalls in Tennessee, though it is aimed directly at Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert. State Representative Mark White (R) hs proposed the change. The bill would lower the signature requirement from 15% of registered voters to 1%, which would be the lowest in the country (for Shelby County, the signature requirement would go from 87,000 to 5800). There would also be a grace period of 180 days at the start and end of the term.

The issue seems to be delays in getting car tags, part of which took place while Halbert was on vacation. Halbert claims to be a whistleblower and is accusing the county government of taking millions from her department and slowing down the license plate mailout process.

Kansas: Amendment to Sheriff law includes ability for recall

Kansas is looking to insist that it will change its laws to require block counties from appointing rather than electing County Sheriffs. The amendment would also list recalls and an Attorney General initiated writ of quo warranto provision to be the only way to remove the sheriff.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Ohio: Lawsuit seeks to toss out East Cleveland Mayor recall

East Cleveland Law Director Willa Hemmons has filed a petition to stop the upcoming Election Day recall vote against East Cleveland Mayor Brandon King.

Petitioners handed in 322 valid signatures and needed 311. The law requires that signers voted in the last election. Hemmons claims that 43 signers did not, so their signatures should be tossed out. Hemmons seems to be acting in a private capacity and being paid by King himself.

Petitioners claim that King used the police to target his Democratic primary opponents in 2021 for towing a van he was using to promote another candidate using loudspeakers.

King has been mayor since 2016 when the last mayor, Gary Norton, was kicked out in a recall with the council president, Thomas Wheeler.

Virginia: Prince William County Supervisors facing recall talk

Price William County Supervisors Ann Wheeler (D) and Pete Candland (R) are facing recall threats over what seems to be their support for development proposals for data centers. 

Michigan: Two candidates filed for three Richfield Township official recall vote

Two candidates, Ray Wlosinski and Pam Scott, have filed for the recall elections that have been scheduled against Richfield Township Supervisor John Bawol, Clerk Greg Watt and Treasurer Terri Hidey for Election Day, November 8. No word on the third position.

Unfortunately, the details are behind a paywall (and nothing is on the government sites), so we'll have to still wait for more information about this one.

Oregon: Editorial in favor of having a recall vote against Baker City Councilor

Here's a rare editorial supporting the idea of a recall effort (if not necessarily the recall itself, though it does definitely lead that way). This is over the recall of six Baker City Councilor, Joanna Dixon, Johnny Waggoner Sr., Dean Guyer, Kerry McQuisten, Shane Alderson and Jason Spriet, for a decision to accept the City Manager's proposal to remove ambulance services from the fire department's job and cut fire department employees. A seventh councilor is ineligible until September 22. 

Petitioner need 680 signatures.

Florida: Martin County Commissioner facing recall threats

Martin County Commissioner Stacey Hetherington is facing calls for a recall (perhaps just in this column) over her vote in favor of a land use change that will allow higher density projects to be built.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Maine: Medway Select Board member recall makes Election Day Ballot

Medway Select Board Member Peggy Jo Stanley (R) is facing a recall election on Election Day in November. Petitions accuse Stnaley of being disruptive at meetings and yelling at staffers. Stanley is also a member of the Maine House of Representatives, though she is not running for reelection.

87 valid signatures were handed in. Petitioners needed 79.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Ohio: Berea Councilmember survives recall vote

Berea Councilmember Leon Dozier survived his recall election on September 13, 126-93. The issue seems to be complaints of a lack of responsiveness and problems with flooding. 70 signatures were handed in.


Michigan: Recall Effort against two St. Joseph School Board members fails

The recall effort against St. Joseph School Board members Kathy Weykamp and Brett Wier failed. Petitioners needed 2498 signatures for each. They handed in 2590 for Weykamp and 2580 for Wier, but got 2320 and 2321. 

This is the latest failed recall effort in Berrien County, all over board members support for mask policies designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Niles Community School Board President Mark Wortham, Trustee Kyle Zelmer and Trustee David Fink, Lakeshore Public School Board President Jason Beckrow and Secretary Rachel Wade,  and Watervilet School Board President Bill Spaulding. all faced recall efforts, though it seems none have gotten to the ballot.

Texas: La Marque Council member facing petitions

La Marque Councilmember Kimberley Yancy is now facing petitions, which appears to be part of the same recall effort to kick out Mayor Keith Bell. The complaints are over divisiveness and "racial" politics, which are also compared by the petitioner to "prison politics." No word on how many signatures.

Florida: Signatures in Riviera Beach Council recall tossed out due to lack of county info in petition

Signatures collected in the recall effort against Riviera Beach Councilwoman Julia Botel have been tossed out, because the petition did not include the county as part of the address. Petitioners are looking to appeal.

The recall is over claims that Botel tried to stop a beach party from taking place on Singer Island. Petitioners claim they got 2700 signatures and the Palm Beach County Elections claim it was at 2400.

Georgia: Cordele Commission Chair recall effort survives judicial review

The recall effort of Cordele Commission Chairman Joshua A. Deriso has survived a judicial review and are on too stage two. The recall is over complaints about removing a picture from the police department, insulting another commissioner and kicking one of the lead petitioners out of the movement.

Petitioners have gathered 126 signatures, they needed 100 valids to move to the next stage. Georgia is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a judge had to sign off. Petitioners need 1785 and claim to have 750 at this point.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Colorado: Signature collection started in recall effort against party-switching State Senator

The recall effort against Colorado State Senator Kevin Priola, who switched from Republican to Democrat, has received the green light from the Secretary of State.

Previously, the Secretary of State announced that any recall effort against , would take place in the 13th district, his new, more Republican district (4%  GOP lean), rather than the 25th, which is evenly split. 

Petitioners would need 18,291 signatures in 60 days.  

The Senate is safely Democratic (21-14) and Priola is term-limited. He barely won office in 2020, 50.84-49.16. Priola switched parties due to his opposition to Republican election denial and conspiracy theories.  In addition to his switch, petitioners are also citing his vote for road-use fees and a bill to make most drug possessions a misdemeanor, as well as drug injection sites in Denver.

Republicans leaned heavily into recalls after their disastrous showings in 2018, though to no effect (none got on the ballot). Colorado did have two recalls which led to the removal of two Democratic Senators in 2013 over gun control laws. 

Voters have used the recall against party flippers twice in the past (arguably three times). In 1995, California Assemblyman Paul Horcher was ousted over moving from Republican to Independent and voting for Willie Brown for Speaker. Assemblywoman Doris Allen also moved from the Republicans in the same year and had herself elected Speaker, which led to her ouster. While seen as a betrayal, I don't believe she actually left the party. And in 1981, Washington State Senator Peter Von Reichbauer switched from Democrat to Republican, which flipped control of the chamber. Von Reichbauer survived the recall vote. 

Missouri: Judge rejects attempt to strike signatures in Robertson Fire District Board recall

A judge has rejected a lawsuit which sought to remove 140 signatures from the Robertson Fire Protection District Board recall, which would be enough to kill the effort. One of the plaintiffs is the daughter of the fire chief (who is not a board member) who signed under what she said was false pretenses. The judge noted that there was no provision allowing the courts to strike signatures after certification.

Board members Joan Noel, Becky Reinsmith, Mike Conley are facing a recall vote on November 8, after 630 signatures were verified for each. The board is blamed for putting Hazelwood near bankruptcy due to a "costly contract." Supporters of the board members claim that Hazelwood is trying to get out of the contract with the recalls. The issues listed include failure to lower costs, retaliation, failing to turn over public records and selling property for below market value.

California: Corona-Norco School Board Member recall failed

The recall effort against Corona-Norco School Board Member Jose Lalas has failed, as petitioners seem not to have turned in signatures. The recall is over his support for vaccine mandates to combat the spread of the coronavirus, as well as claims of critical race theory. Petitioners  needed 6916 signatures by September 2. Lalas has been on the board since 1990.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Michigan: Four more officials -- three in Cato, one in Belvidere -- facing recall votes over wind turbine ordinances

Cato Township Supervisor Larry Gilbert, Clerk Todd Lincoln and Trustee Jourdan Lindsay and Belvidere Township Supervisor John Anderson are all facing recall efforts over votes to approve wind and solar energy ordinances. The Montclam Election Commission is set to decide on whether the petitions meet the clarity/factualness grounds.

Recalls against Douglass Township Supervisor Terry Anderson, Clerk Rhonda Snyder and Trustee Tom Jeppesen is on the November ballot, also over a vote on a wind ordinance.

Maple Valley Township Supervisor John Schwandt will be on the ballot for a recall, also over a wind ordinance. 

Winfield Township Supervisor Phyllis Larson, Clerk Colleen Stebbins and Trustee John Black are on the ballot in November over a wind ordinance. The town voted down a solar ordinance, which failed in a voter referendum, and will vote on the wind ordinance in November.

Sidney Township trustee Jed Welder was kicked out over a wind ordinance. 

Missouri: Nixa Councilmember resigns in face of recall effort

Nixa City Councilmember Any Hoogstraet resigned in the face of a recall effort over what she said is criticism of her work as youth services coordinator at the GLO Center and her advocacy for LGBTQ residents. The petitions seemed to be focused on complaints about undermined the authority of the City Administrator.

Nixa's Mayor survived a recall vote in 2021.

California: Second Napa County Supervisor facing recall effort

 A second Napa County Supervisor, Belia Ramos, is being targeted with a recall effort, though it unknown why the recall is being launched as of yet. Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza is also facing a recall, which over his support for a vineyard project, which claims that his in-laws (who own nearby property) would benefit from it's adoption.

Petitioners would need about 3500 signatures to get on the ballot.

Michigan: Three Richfield Township officials face Recall Votes on Election Day

Recall elections have been scheduled against Richfield Township Supervisor John Bawol, Clerk Greg Watt and Treasurer Terri Hidey for Election Day, November 8. Unfortunately, the one story with details is behind a paywall (and nothing is on the government sites), so we'll have to wait for more information about this one.

California: Sacramento City Council member recall effort fails

Petitioners did not hand in any signatures in the recall effort against Sacramento City Council member Katie Valenzuela. The issues seemed to be complaints about homelessness, crime and property values.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

California: Two op-eds criticizing bill looking to change local recall laws

Here are two op-eds, one which I co-wrote with David Carrillo and the other with Steven Duvernay, taking on the proposed local recall reform law. As you can see, we take quite a skeptical look at these proposed reforms.

New Mexico: Otero County Commissioner, subjected of failed recall effort, barred from holding office

A state court judge has kicked of office Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin for his role in rioting at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Griffin, the founder of Cowboys for Trump, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal charges. Griffin denies that he violated the law. 

Griffin was previously the target of a recall effort, which failed. Petitioners collected 1229 signatures and needed 1574 in 90 days. A judge greenlit the recall effort (New Mexico is a Malfeasance Standard state).

Griffin has also been accused of calling for the murder of the Governors of Virginia and Michigan, and called for violence at President Joe Biden's inauguration. 

Oregon: Eugene City Councilor losing in early results

Early results are showing that Eugene City Councilor Claire Syrett is losing in the recall vote, 2016-1351, though ballots are still being counted. About 25% of voters seem to have cast ballots.

Syrett still has an ongoing lawsuit to stop the upcoming recall election, claiming that signature gatherers lied about the basis of the recall. The recall effort is over her support for a traffic and public transit plan and the claim is that the vote was about further study. She is seeking $2500 in damages from the plaintiffs.