Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Texas: Denton City Council member recall set for May 6th, setting up reelection/recall on same ballot

The recall against Denton City Council member Jesse Davis has been set for May 6th, resulting in an unusual (though not unprecedented) event -- two races for one candidate. Davis' two-year term ends in May and he is already seeking reelection on that same election, so he would just lose office for a brief time (though presumably, this would help in an attempt to defeat the reelection run). 

The recall seems to be a reaction to the removal of Councilmember Alison Maguire in November (Maguire's attorney is a volunteer representing the petitioners).

Petitioners needed 254 valid signatures to get on the May ballot. 

California: Charges filed against petitioners in failed 2019 Buena Park City Councilwoman recall effort

The recall proponents who pushed the 2019 recall of Buena Park City Councilwoman Youngsun "Sunny" Park (D) are facing criminal charges of lying to election monitors and falsifying documents. They apparently forged the signatures of the petition gathers (though the article notes some ambiguity if they forged the actual signatures of voters as well). Charges were filed against three defendants, who all pled not guilty (two of them seem to now live in Nevada).

The recall effort failed, as petitioners handed in 2106 signatures, but had 700 tossed out + 82 for duplication). Park was charged with allegedly stealing campaign signs that claimed she was a "carpetbagger." Park has since stepped down to unsuccessfully run for county supervisor. 

Missouri: Ferguson Councilmember kicked out in recall

Ferguson Councilmember J. Toni Burrow was kicked out in a recall 326-139. The council will select a replacement. The recall was over her battles with the former city manager, who first temporarily resigned and claimed discrimination for his sexual orientation.

Burrow was running in the April 4 mayoral election, but the recall bars her from city office until the end of her term in 2024. No word on what will happen.

Louisiana: Lawsuit allows release of signatures of New Orleans Mayoral recall petitions

A lawsuit by the Capital City Press (owners of some of the biggest New Orleans papers) has been settled, which will allow reporters to receive the names of signers of the petition against Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

States have a split on whether signatures are releasable. As we saw in the two most noteworthy recent recalls, California bars it, Wisconsin allows it. 

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Georgia: Bill looks to change District Attorney recall signature requirement to 2% of registered voters

Georgia Bill 231, sponsored by Representative Joseph Gullett (R) is looking to change the rules for recall of District Attorneys, radically cutting the amount of signatures needed for a recall from 30% to 2% of registered voters. 

Oregon: Eugene School Board member facing recall effort

Eugene School Board Member Laural O'Rourke is facing recall efforts over complaints about her behavior in a board meeting during an event to honor the women's volleyball team. O'Rourke has called the effort racial harassment.

New Jersey: Plumstead Township Representative facing recall effort

Plumstead Township Representative Dominick Cuozzo (R) is facing a recall effort over claims that he "harassed and discriminated against women and LGBTQ persons and spending taxpayer money to settle personal grudges."

Petitioners need 1650 signatures in 160 days. 

Arkansas: Constitutional Amendment proposed for a recall

Arkansas House Representative Fran Cavenaugh (R) has proposed HJR1003 to adopt the recall for state officers. I'm not clear from the language on whether it would be a straight-up yes or no vote or instead a new election. 

Arkansas has a long history with the recall, including adopting it in 1912, where it was thrown out on a technicality. 

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Massachusetts: Charlemont considers recall provision

Charlemont is sending a recall provision to the annual town counsel for potential adoption at the meeting. The provision mimics a recall provision in Colrain.  The recall would require signatures of 10% of registered voters to get a recall on the ballot (the town currently has 945 registereds). The election would be a two-step process, with an up or down vote on the recall, with a replacement vote on the same ballot. The removed official cannot run to replace themselves. 

There is also a six months grace period at the start of the term and the official cannot be appointed to a town position for a year after removal.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

California: Downey Councilmember ousted in recall vote

Downey Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Catherine Alvarez was blown out in the recall ellection 2587-318 (though more votes may come in). The recall is reputed to be over Alvarez's failure to disclose her criminal history, where she was arrested for welfare fraud and shoplifting. The recall was backed by leaders of both parties.

Petitioners handed in 4700 signatures and 3881 were found valid. They needed 3471. Notably, at the moment more people signed the petitions than voted.  

Here was a good explainer of the recall effort by Joe Brizzolara from the Downey Patriot, who has been all over this recall effort for years.  

This was the second effort against Alvarez  The first petitions came 35 signatures short of qualifying (Petitioners handed in 4,016 signatures and need 3454 valids). 

Update: Here's a look at the replacement race timeline (seems like it will stay open till November).

California: Santa Ana City Council members facing police union-led recall effort

Santa Ana City Council members Jessie Lopez and Thai Viet Phan are facing recall efforts led by the police union over a labor contract. The contract reportedly doesn't met the union pay-raise proposals. The recall chairman cited a 2021 rent control policy as the reason for the recall. The recall effort comes after progressives won four council seats in 2020. 

The union backed a 2020 recall vote against Council member Cecillia Iglesias, who was kicked out.

Louisiana: Big donor revealed in New Orleans Mayoral recall effort

One developer appears to be responsible for most of the $488K funds raised for the recall effort of New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell on the ballot. Richard Farrell, a big GOP donor to Trump, has been the backer of the recall. Petitioners recently claimed they were 15,000 signatures short of the 53,353 valid signatures needed to get the recall on the ballot (though that is probably not including failed signatures). 

Cantrell has faced complaints about a failure to put New Orleans first as well as recent revelations over her travel expenses, including a $17,000 flight to Paris. Petitioners have 180 days (late February) to get the signatures.

Michigan: Petitions rejected against Kalamazoo County Treasurer

A petition against Kalamazoo County Treasurer Thomas Whitener was rejected on factualness/clarity grounds. The recall effort is over claims that millions of dollars are not being invested, a backlog of processing receipts and no investment reports presented to the board. Former Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Quinn has been pushing Whitener to resign.

Alaska: Hoonah Mayor survives recall vote

Hoonah Mayor Gerald Byers seems to have survived a recall vote 110-172. Byers was facing the recall over claims that he used racial slurs at a council meeting and harrassed Alaska Native elders.

Colorado: Two Cripple Creek Councilmembers ousted in recall (based on preliminary totals)

Two Cripple Creek Council members Mark Green and Charles Solomone appears to have been ousted in a recall vote, though the Solomone may still change based on outstanding ballots. Green lost 55-33 and Solomone was 45-41. 

The recall is over a plan for a gift shop at the heritage center, with accusations that the city department will compete with private businesses as well as complaints that they aren't connected with the community. 

Mayor Milford Ashworth and Councilwoman Melissa Trenary signed the petitions. Bruce Brown received 51 votes in the replacement race for Brown. Jared Bowman appears to have won the Solomone replacement race.

The article notes that Cripple Creek hasn't had a recall in two decades, but there was one for a school board member in 2019.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

South Dakota: Bill proposed to allow school board recalls

South Dakota has proposed a bill to require school board members throughout the state to face potential recalls. This version is a modified malfeasance standard, as it includes "oppression" and "gross partiality." Petitioners would need 15% of registered voters. Senate Bill 96 has been introduced by conservative members who are focused on school board issues.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Canada: Petitions taken out against British Columbia MLA

MLA Dan Davies (Peace River North) is facing petitions over claims of being absent and failing to notify constituents. Petitioners would need 10,487 signatures by April 4. 

North Carolina: Oak Island Town Council members facing petitions

Oak Island Town Council members John Bach, Mark Martin, Sheila Bell and Charlie Blalock are facing recall threats over a plan to improve paid beach parking. Petitioners need 2050 signatures by February 27 (25% of registered voters)

Friday, January 27, 2023

Wisconsin: Petitions taken out against Sparta School Board members

Petitions have been taken out against Sparta School District Board Members Nancy Sikorski and Eric Soldberg over their vote to reinstate a mask mandate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Massachusetts: Winthrop Town Council considers adopting recall provision

Winthrop Town Council is debating potential charter/ordinance changes including adding in a recall provision.

Florida: State Representative sponsors bill for expansion of recall to all county commissioners

Florida State Representative Dr. Joel Rudman (R) is proposing a recall of county commissioner law for the State. This is the third year that he has sponsored the bill (House Bill 209). The bill would expand the recall to 47 of 67 counties. 

There is some discussion that the law could target supervisors of elections, though supporters denied that.

Some good background on the state's recall law (which does not allow for state legislative recalls). In 1968, a law passed that allowed 20 chartered counties and the Jacksonville/Duvall County (a municipal county) to allow recalls of county officials. These recalls require a malfeasance standard/judicial recall showing of cause. Florida does have political recalls in some local jurisdictions. 

There have been similar bills introduced in 2021 and 2022. A Senate bill in 2022 sponsored by State Senator Joe Gruetens would have allowed recalls of all county constitutional officers. 

Texas: Denton City Council member recall makes the May ballot, potentially setting up reelection/recall on same ballot

It seems signatures have been validated in the recall effort against Denton City Council member Jesse Davis. The article said that the council will vote on holding the election in May.

The recall seems to be a reaction to the removal of Councilmember Alison Maguire in November (Maguire's attorney is a volunteer representing the petitioners).

Petitioners needed 254 valid signatures to get on the May ballot. However, Davis' two-year term ends in May and he is already seeking reelection on that same election, so he would just lose office for a brief time (though presumably, this would help in an attempt to defeat the reelection run). 

Ohio: Cleveland Councilwoman Recall effort fails after signatures rejected

A recall effort against Cleveland Councilmember Stephanie Howse failed, seemingly with no signatures handed in. Former Councilmember, Basheer Jones, who faced a recall effort in 2018, was tied to the recall. The recall seemed to be over a cut in funding for specific nonprofits.

Petitioners handed in 641 signatures and needed 535. They got only 165. 

UK: Labour Party member suggests full recall law for parliament

A Labour Party MP Richard Burgon (and former Shadow Minister has proposed a new bill allowing for voters to recall the entire parliament with a new general election. Under the proposal, at least half the total voters in the last election need to sign, and the recall can only take place after a long grace period (at least halfway through the 5 year term).