Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Petitions handed in for Arizona Majority Leader Pearce recall

Petitions have been handed in for the recall of Arizona Majority Leader Russell Pearce. The organizers claim that they have more than double the amount of signatures need. The tried, and apparently succeeded, in gathering more signatures for the recall, 18,315, than votes Pearce received in the last election, 17,552.
I don't think this should be read as a statement on Pearce's chances. For reason I'll get to once my op-ed in the Arizona Capitol Times comes out, I think the Pearce recall is much different than the Wisconsin ones, in ways that are very beneficial to Pearce.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Recall Review: Arizona, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Nevada

Arizona: Overview of the Pearce recall -- petition's due on Tuesday.

South Carolina: Editorial attacks state-wide recall bill, which doesn't much of a chance t passing

Texas: La Marque's recently recalled Mayor looking to run to replace herself in replacement vote; Killen Council members dispute legality of recall

Wisconsin: Petition gathering starts for recall of Ashland Mayor; Petitions handed in for Clark County Board Member recall, no reason given for the effort

Nebraska: Omaha World Herald wins award for recall coverage

Nevada: Recall rules for Homeowners Association Board

Friday, May 27, 2011

Recall Review: Remorse edition -- Wisconsin's possible delay, Michigan, N.M. Arizona's Gov, Tennessee, Texas and California

Wisconsin: GAB slowed down in reviewing petitions against three Democrats and one Republican, calling into doubt the July 12 recall date; Primer on recalls

New Mexico: Judge rules against recall of 9 of 11 Kit Carson Electric Co-Operative trustees. Decision holds that recall must be for cause

Michigan: Petitions taken out against Republican state Senator over tax reform issue; New petition language need for Speaker recall

Arizona: Gov. Brewer recall attempt falls way, way short

Tennessee: Attempt to recall Nashville School Board members over transfer of popular program director

Texas: Killeen recall has signatures for 6 of the 7 members

California: Leader of recall effort against Lake Elsinore Councilman faces campaign finance fraud charges
California: Recall remorse over Schwarzenegger -- The article hits on the big four points of explaining why the Davis recall happened. Also Miami Herald looks at the cost of recalls

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Arizona's Election Director's Blunder: Will the Pearce Recall be Pushed Off Five Months Due to Election Director's error

Recalls laws vary greatly between each state, with some focused on quick resolutions and reducing costs (like California's recall vote and replacement election on the same day), and others actually holding extremely expensive recalls (like Miami-Dade, with a recall, replacement vote and potential rerun vote). Arizona is on the extreme of cost savings -- they do not provide for a special election. Instead, the recall is pushed off till the next consolidated election date. As I've mentioned before, this probably benefits incumbents. But Arizona's laws are even more complicated, as the Senate Majority Leader Russell Pearce recall is showing.

Arizona's Election Director gave organizers erroneous information of the drop-dead date to hand in recall petitions to trigger a November recall (while she was contrite, her "it is what it is" comment might not endear her to recall proponents) The signature checking requirements, the need for a Governor's sign off, and a statutory delay, all mean that the petitions had to be handed in several weeks earlier than they were told.

The result is fairly monumental. Instead of a November recall, the recall vote would be pushed off till March, giving Pearce almost an entire legislative session to continue his service. Pearce obviously has good reason to want to push it off. Not only for the more time, but then the election would be held the same day as a presidential primary, drawing out all of Pearce's supporters, and negating the low voter turnout advantage that help propel recalls. The recall proponents have already lawyered up. I'll have more to say about the likely success of the Pearce recall and some historical antecedents after the article I wrote for Arizona Capitol Times runs. But this is certainly one to watch.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shh! Ruling in Miami-Dade Council Race will prevent the winner from being revealed for at least a week

Bizarre ruling in the Miami-Dade Council recall. The judge has suppressed the results of the vote for a week until he rules on a suit filed by a third party candidate who claimed that the county did not give candidates enough time to qualify for the ballot.

Poll Find Majority of Voters Favor Wisconsin Gov. Recall

Public Policy Poll finds that a majority of voters (50%) in favor of a recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recall Review: Miami-Dade Replacement going to a run-off; Michigan, Mass and Texas

Florida: Miami-Dade replacement vote narrows down to a two-person runoff. Luther Campbell from 2 Live Crew came in fourth; Voter turnout dropped from 209,312 for the recall to 186,639 for the replacement vote; The cost is believed to be $12-15 million for the three elections

Michigan: Working for petition against State Rep approved; Taylor Mayor facing 2nd recall attempt since 2009; Petitions for recall of Shelby Township Supervisor submitted

Massachusetes: Recall date set for three Chelmsford selectmen

Texas: Killen recall petition submitted, six councilmembers have five days to decide whether to resign

Sunday, May 22, 2011

For the Republicans, separate's always better when there's (partisan) feelings involved

An update on Wisconsin -- it now looks as if all three proposed recall attempts against Democratic Senators will sport a Republican primary. As I mentioned before, this means that there will be two separate recall election dates -- one for the six Republican seats on July 12 (with Republican primaries for the three Democratic seats on that date), and three recalls for the Democratic seats on August 9th.

One of what should be the ironclad rules of politics is that, despite protests to the contrary, party leaders invariably hate primaries. So, I doubt this is an intentional move. But this can definitely be very beneficial for the Republicans. After seeing the results of their defensive efforts on July 12, they get to adjust and go on the offensive. More importantly, voter turnout will be high for the big July 12 battle. But a month later, anger will probably have crested, the GOTV operation may need some R&R time, and turnout will probably drop.

By having a separate date, the Republicans could get the the anger and motivation shifting to their voters, especially if the lose control of the Senate in July. Since voter turnout is critical to recalls (with low voter turnout frequently helping the pro-recall side), this fact, plus a dog days of August date to depress turnout even further, could help prove very helpful for the three Republican challengers.

As with any primary, a bad candidate or bruising battle could devastate the party's chances of success. But the separate election date could be a difference-maker for the Republicans.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Recall Review: Wisconsin's primaries; Texas, Michigan Fundraising and Arizona

Wisconsin: Wise, if unintended, tactical move? Two of the three recalls scheduled to take place against Democratic Senators look like they will have multiple Republican challengers, which will result in a primary. This changes the timing of those elections -- the primary would take place on July 12 and the General Election on August 9th. This could prove very fortuitous for the Republicans. Voter turnout will probably be high for what will almost feel like a state-wide vote on July 12. But a month later the anger will have already crested, and turnout will probably drop. Furthermore, if the Democrats take control of the Senate, the anger and motivation may shift to the Republican voters. Lower turnout frequently helps out the pro-recall side. Of course, a terrible candidate winning the primary or bruising primary battle could hurt the party, but there are clear potential benefits for the Republicans in the primary.

Wisconsin: Costs of Recall weighing on County Clerks

Texas: Saturday's recall (and removal) of 3 Cleveland council members still being fought over

Michigan: Republican Party already starting fundraising to defend Snyder from a recall

Arizona: More on the Pearce Recall Attempt -- I should have an op-ed out about that soon

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recall Review: Nebraska's charges, Seattle's Mayor, Michigan and Wisconsin

Nebraska: Prosecutors file charges against two (one on each side) for violations during Omaha's Suttle recall

Michigan: Recall confirmed for Tribal Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Washington: Facebook Page started to recall Seattle Mayor

Wisconsin: Decision expected this week by the GAB on first three senatorial recalls

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recall Review: Split decision in Belchertown, MA; Big sustained victory in Texas for Mayor, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Canada and Sweden

Massachusetts: Belchertown recall results -- one councilman loses (by 27 votes), the other two survive: Holden voters reject recall

Texas: College Station voters overwhelming retain mayor, councilmembers (74% of the vote)

Michigan: Governor, Senate Recalls are a longshot, analysts say -- always a good bet when talking about a recall, but the article does not consider the technological changes that have occured since the groundbreaking 1983 recalls in the Michigan state Senate

Wisconsin: The fights are shaping up. Check out the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Wisconsin Recall Blogger for some detailed analysis

Wisconsin: Thorp Mayor faces recall charges after domestic dispute allegations

Canada: British Columbia also has its peculiar (or completely unknown) campaign finance rules for recalls. Wonder how many states, like Wisconsin, have different rules for recalls and regular elections

Florida: Avon Park recall against Deputy Mayor, Councilmembers handed in

Sweden: Victories in two recall elections for Social Democrats

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Recall Review: Towns in N.M. and Texas kick out mayors; Florida, Arizona, Mass

Wisconsin: Looks like the remaining recalls will not get the signatures

New Mexico: Socorro City Mayor removed in recall (70% of vote against) following public corruption investigation.

Massachusetts: Chelmsford recall petitions certified; date for recall to be set at next meeting

Texas: La Marque Mayor removed in recall, follows two councilmember recalls in Nov.

Florida: Recall campaign launched against Hall County Commissioner

Arizona: Campaign finance complaints filed against recall proponents in city council recall efforts; Recall campaign launched against Fountain Hill Council Members

Friday, May 13, 2011

Recall Review: Wisconsin, Arizona on pace; Ohio, Washington, Texas and NC

Wisconsin: Four recalls (all Republicans) appear to be certified; Some history of the argument against the recall; Republicans fast-tracking Voter ID laws amid accusations that they are moving fast on a number of fronts (including redistricing) before the recall;

Arizona: Senate Majority Leader Russell Pearce within 500 signatures of advancing to the Ballot according to recall proponents. I'll have something on legislative leaders and recalls soon enough.

Ohio: City of Elyira looks to tighten up recall requirements in wake of failed campaign against mayor.

Washington: Cost of recall of Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer estimated at $350-900K. Investigators have found that he created a hostile workplace and retaliated against employees.

Texas: Campaign to Recall Galveston Mayor starts

North Carolina: Recall in Pender County Bill passes Senate committee

Nebraska: Wymore City Councilman losses recall vote (70-60)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Going over the Top: Phoenix, Wisconsin and the Signature Requirement

I've received a number of questions about signature gathering. Many people (obviously not from NY) seem to wonder why the Wisconsin parties are gathering thousands more signatures than necessary. This recall campaign in Phoenix shows why. More than 4,000 signatures were handed in. They only needed 2,329. But the City Clerk's office must have invalidated close to half of the signatures, as the recall failed.  It could be that the signatures were highly suspect, or it could be that Phoenix has a much more stringent signature requirement than Wisconsin. But it does show why you want to be get plenty of signatures.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wisconsin unlimited donations law for recalls

The non-partisan Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is featured in this story on one of the more unusual aspects of Wisconsin's  recall law -- there is no limit on donations (normally its $1,000). As the story notes, the GAB claims it's not a loophole, though that is clearly a generous interpretation. The legislature itself wrote the law, and, as the targets of recalls, they are the prime beneficiaries.

Due to the heightened interest in the recall, it might not make that much of a difference in these races, which have become state-wide (if not national) battles, I have to imagine that the money would come in through third party spending. In other, less exciting races, it might make all the difference in the world. At least we get to see exactly where the money is coming from.

Recall Review: Wisconsin, Florida, Nebraska, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado

Wisconsin: Races heating up, with Democrats charging that Republicans are racing to pass their agenda in case they lose

Florida: Miami-Dade Replacement race heating up, early voting starts today

Nebraska: Wymore City Council recall tomorrow

Michigan: Campaign to recall Gov Snyder forced to change name; Senatorial recall campaign begins, with emergency financial manager appointment votes, and naturally, taxes leading the complaints

Arizona: The recall against Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski recall campaign fails. Lesson for everyone asking about the Wisconsin signatures -- in this race, 5000 signatures were handed in, 4000 signatures were reviewed, but it still did not meet the 2,329 valids needed.(They missed by 24).

Colorado: Pubelo Councilman who was recalled for backing a smoking ban in 2003 looking to run again

Point-Counterpoint on recalls in US News

Friday, May 6, 2011

Recall Review: More on Wisconsin, Michigan state Reps targeted, Arizona, N.M. and Mass

Wisconsin: Democrats allege fraud in petition-gathering and challenge the three recall campaigns, Republicans challenge one; Some analysis of the special election; Tea Party leader to run against Democrat Holperin -- two assembly members bow out, which has to be a good sign for the Democrat;

Michigan: Recall petitions taken out against governor and nine Republican legislators (all in the House)

Michigan: Two Bertrand Township Supervisors removed in recall vote, one survives; Recall Campaign launched against three Portage School Board members, complaints over expensive buyout of Superintendent; Recall against Shelby Township Supervisors fizzles; Flushing Township recall 75% there. according to gatherers

Arizona: One of two Senate Majority Leader Russell Pearce recall gathering efforts has stopped, but reports suggest the other is on track to meet the petition requirement

Arizona: Recall campaign against Pima County Sheriff over remarks made after the Rep. Gifford shooting is floundering

New Mexico: Recall effort to replace majority of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees in Taos has filed signatures; Appropo of nothing, big recommendation for Hampton Sides' Blood & Thunder, which explains Carson. It's a great read

Massachusetts: Auburn voting on whether to approve recall procedures

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wisconsin Assembly Special Election result: Voter Turnout numbers as precursor?

The Wisconsin Democrats got some good news in yesterday's special election, as they captured a long-held  Republican assembly seat (the other two seats up for election were strongly Republican). Democrats see this as a very good sign for their recall campaigns. Unquestionably, it is a positive, but how much of a good sign?

As I've mentioned before, one of the advantages of the recall is that it is a special election, which historically have much lower voter turnout. The result is that the angry party (the recall proponents) have an easier time motivating their base and getting people to go out to the ballot box for one race. For a particularly Wisconsin-focused example, in the last Senate recall, Gary George in 2003, turnout was very low (can't find a link, but I have a contemporary AP story that cites 8%).

However, there are exceptions to the lower vote turnout rule. Gray Davis was one (voter turnout much higher in the recall than in 2002 general election), Scott Brown arguably another. No guarantees, but there is a good chance that due to the atmosphere surrounding the Wisconsin recalls, we will see a higher voter turnout than in the 2010 general elections.

Let's look at the turnout results from the special election. Turnout was much lower for the special than in general election in November 2010 (23,747 people voted for the seat in November versus 15,588 in the special). However, equally unsurprisingly, the one contested seat saw much higher turnout than the two safe Republican seats (11,208 and 9,688). So, people are motivated, but the assembly seat (which also mattered a great deal less, as the Republicans still maintain a formidable majority in the Assembly), didn't see a massive vote. So, a good sign for the Democrats, but I wouldn't read too much either way.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Recall Review: Wisconsin, Michigan Gov, Tennesse, Mass, NM and the Philippines

Wisconsin: Two of the three outstanding recall efforts seem to sputter to a close; Losing Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett making noises about running in a recall against Gov. Walker; Editorial on Recall Costs; Lower house members are considering taking the free shot and running in recall campaigns;  Refusal to combine petitions with scandal-tarred petitioner prevented minority leader recall from hitting the signature bar; Some more thoughts on the recalls with fundraising data

Michigan: Long story on approval of language for Gov. Snyder recall petitions; Group would need more than 800K signatures to get on the ballot

Tennessee: Defamation suit from successful 2009 Nashville City Council recall

Massachusetts: Winchendon Board Selectman loses bid to regain seat lost in December recall

New Mexico: State Supreme Court tosses out recall attempt against School Board Member due to insufficient evidence

Philippines: Mayor Killed, suspicion focused on role in possible recall race for Governor