Monday, April 30, 2012

New Jersey: Emerson Councilwoman facing recall threat

A "notice of intent" was filed to recall Emerson Borough Councilwoman Danielle DiPaola, a first term Republican. The issue is over funds  donated to the Emerson Volunteer Ambulance Corps (EVAC). DiPaola, who formerly served as the corps' liaison, publicly raised concerns over whether it is legal for the volunteer 501(c)(3) organization to grant clothing allowances out of contributed funds.

Petitioners will have 160 days to collect 1,178 signatures, or 25 percent of turnout. Here's a weird provision that I should look into "the Republican committee would need to select a candidate to run against DiPaola, who's term expires in December 2013." Don't know why that would be.

Emerson had two other experiences with the recall. A petition to recall Former Council President Gina Calogero got 1,357 of the 1,150 signatures in 19 days -- Calogero resigned.

Mayor Steve Setteducati faced a recall threat in 2004, but it was withdrawn.

Wisconsin: Kathleen Vinehout profile


Wisconsin: Walker's historic numbers

Big fundraising numbers for Scott Walker. Taking advantage of the unlimited fundraising law, he has taken in $13.2 million since January and more than $25 million in total since January 2011. Walker has $4.8 million in cash on hand. Two thirds of the money came from out of state.

By comparison, the Democratic challengers (who were both subject to cash donations limits) Kathleen Falk raised $1 million since January, and Tom Barrett raised $830,000 in the three weeks since entering the race (plus, he has $500K left over from his runs for other offices).

And of course, these numbers will probably be dwarfed by the money poured in by independent outside groups.

In 2010, candidates and independent groups spent an estimated $37.4 million in the 2010 governor's race ($11.3 million by Walker). The nine Senate recalls in 2011 cost $44 million. So, expect some real records here.

Wisconsin: Crossover voting in the primary


Wisconsin: Wanggaard raises $157K since recall

He has about $191K in the bank.

Wisconsin: Considering some unlikely scenarios for primary day

What happens if the fake/placeholder (delaying action) candidates win? What is the Republicans some how take the Democratic Gubernatorial nomination, and the protest candidate oust Walker in the Republican primary? Here's some speculative thought on that.

Wisconsin: Democrats divided over Gubernatorial nominee

Washington Post has this story. It calls Falk the candidate of the unions and Barret the establishment pick, though I have to question that second description. It seemed that most of the establishment started officially backing Barrett after polls showed him with a comfortable lead.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Letter in the NYT Sunday Dialogue

Here's my letter in the NYT's Sunday Dialogue. I wrote a lot more detail into the original piece, but (as expected), it had to be cut in half. No problem with that -- letters to the editor are suppose to be shorter than op-eds. In case you are interested, here's the original piece:

Mr. Brost makes a common mistake in unilaterally deciding that recall elections are about “nefarious activity” rather than unpopular legislation or just unpopular officials. If the people of Wisconsin wanted a recall limited to a small set of misdeeds, they easily could have chosen to do so when they adopted the recall back in 1926.

Currently, 18 states provided for the recall for state level officials (and Illinois has it for just the Governor). Of those 18, 11 allow recalls for political reasons (so called “political recalls”) and seven states limit it to a specific set of misdeeds (a so-called “judicial recall” or malfeasance standard). Almost all recalls in the US – and there were 151 recalls last year alone – take place in political recall jurisdictions. Of the 36 state legislative recalls in US history that I have managed to track down, all but one were in “political recall” states. By the time Wisconsin adopted the recall, the benefits and dangers of political recall laws were well known. Wisconsin could easily have adopted the limited “judicial recall” standard – there were already two states that had such provisions limiting their recall by 1926. The voters chose to afford themselves a more powerful weapon.

The complaint that the recall should be so limited – if not outright eliminated – is a longstanding one, with such luminaries as Alexander Hamilton and William Howard Taft strongly denouncing the device. However, voters have a very different take on the value of a political recall. Last year, at least three jurisdictions in the US adopted a no-holds barred political recall for their local officials. Several others states have debated adding a recall law (though in a couple of them, it would be of the judicial recall variety), and overseas, the UK, and states in Canada, Australia and India have had serious pushes for recall laws.

Mr. Brost’s argument that the recall should be limited to “nefarious activity” has already found proponents in the Wisconsin legislature, who have proposed laws limiting the recall to a narrow set of misdeeds. They will have to appeal to voters to adopt a constitutional amendment limiting the recall. The voters like recall laws – they should be the ones who decide whether to dial the laws back. This proposed amendment apparently will get Mr. Brost’s vote, but good luck getting the rest of the state’s populace to back it.

Wisconsin: Controversial Wauksha County Clerk not seeking reelection

Kathy Nickolaus, who blundered the judicial election, and then had another hiccup in the recall last year, is not running for reelection.

Wisconsin: Walker gains new fame with Recall

I've mentioned this before -- the recall may end up producing a great boost for Walker's career.

Florida: Appellate Briefs submitted in the Haines City recall

The recall was stopped by a lower court in October, but the petitioners are fighting that ruling on appeal.

Massachusetts: Boston Globe on the Bridgewater recall

This provides more of an overview of the battle.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wisconsin: Walker facing recall primary

Somehow this escaped me. On May 8, Governor Walker will also face a recall primary. His opponent is an 23-year old activist and Occupy Madison protester named Arthur Kohl-Riggs, who has been known to dress up in Abraham Lincoln costumes. You can read more about him here.
Note that Walker refers to the Republican-supported candidates running in the Democratic primaries "placeholders." The Democrats use the term "fake."

Massachusetts: Bridgewater recall being "filibustered" bu

The recall of two council members are facing what the council president called a version of a filibuster, resulting in the continual delay of the recall. Two council members, including Mike Demos, one of the councilors who was facing a recall vote, have filed charter objections, which has prevented the council from scheduling an election.

Wisconsin: Democratic Senate candidate claims $100K in fundraising

Lori Campos, who is running against Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, reported has raised $100K for the race.

Wisconsin: NPR looks at Kleefisch


Arizona: House member calls for legislature to reimburse Pearce for recall expenses

Arizona Speaker Pro Tem Steve Montenegro is calling for passing a bill to reimburse former Senate President Russell Pearce for recall costs in his last election -- part of a quirk in Arizona law that allows elected officials to seek reimbursement for recall expenses. Pearce is running for a new Senate seat and that money obviously couldn't hurt.

There's some big questions here, most prominently what qualifies as a reimbursable expense. Montenegro is claiming that Pearce should be reimbursed for all of the campaign costs ($260,302), though others claim that at best it should be limited to his own personal expenses, not funds he raised and spent.

Here is a previous look at the question of recall reimbursement.

Note that:

Until 1973, state law included provisions to reimburse recalled officials: maximums of $500 for statewide officers, $200 for legislators and $150 for municipal officers. However, that law was repealed as part of a sweeping overhaul of the state’s initiative, referendum and recall statutes.
And the only time it came up was when Governor Evan Meacham faced a recall (that never occurred because of his impeachment). Here's what happened:

When Mecham requested an advance payment of $1.5 million to fund his campaign, Attorney General Bob Corbin issued an opinion that said the Legislature must enact a provision to make the payment, as one does not exist in statute – and that the amount reimbursed could be whatever lawmakers choose.

Wisconsin: Appellate Court maintains suspension of Voter ID law for recall


West Virginia: More on the proposed Keyser recall

An update on the bizarre Keyser recall story. Perhaps most importantly, the key backer of the recall claims that he spoke with the West Virginia Secretary of State and the city charter recall law that calls for a "loser pays"-type system (anyone who signs a petition could be forced to pay for the cost of the recall), and was told the law is in violation of West Virginia's law.

The recall allegations stem from criticism on a website called "Eye on Keyser." One of the prominent people on the site, Mark Tranum, is seeking the recall, though he didn't say who he will try to recall. Apparently, at the City Council meeting, the former City Administrator called the Mayor Randy Amtower a “pervert” and “loudmouth know-it-all.”

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wisconsin: Recall Hall of Famer Jim Holperin reflects on facing two recalls

Holperin, who is the only state legislator to face two recalls, reflects on his career.

BH: You have the reputation of being the only state legislator in American history to face two recall elections. How do you feel about that reputation?
JH: Well, it’s not something that I’m going to put on my resume, and since the recalls were when I was in two different houses and they were 21 years apart and one was a federal issue and one was a state issue, there was a lot that was different about them. I think it was as much coincidence and happenstance as anything else.
BH: How does it feel to face a recall election?
JH: I always viewed those recall elections as regular elections, because that’s what they are — they’re held the same way. You have two candidates. The voting always takes place the same way. I just viewed them as two more elections that needed to be run and won. I approached the issues the same way. I campaigned the same way. I contacted voters and ran media campaigns the same way as if they were regular elections.

Michigan: Kalkaska County Commissioner facing recall vote on May 8

Kalkaska County Commissioner Stuart McKinnon is facing a recall vote on May 8. Petitioners needed 213 signatures, handed in 263 approved ones.

Issues include McKinnon’s vote to eliminate funding to the Kalkaska County Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) and Kalkaska County Soil Conservation District, both of which have since had funding reinstated, his vote on two separate occasions to deny the placement of a bond proposal for the construction of a new library on 2011 election ballots and voting to eliminate funding to "a Housing Program that was serving senior citizens."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

West Virginia: Keyser City uses "loser pays" recall law

It is not really a "loser pays" law -- it is much, much worse than that! The official doesn't have to pay if he loses. But everyone who signs the petition is liable for the cost of the election if the official is not removed. A special election is estimated to cost $10,000 in Keyser (including, amazingly, the cost of a paid holiday for all city workers). Quite a disincentive to the recall, and once again it looks like an incumbent protection maneuver.

Some other details of the law -- petitions have to be signed by at least 20% of turnout in the last election (we're not talking that many voters, the last mayoral race had 499 votes).

The city is also empowered to place liens on signers' property. No word if the city can try to collect all the money from one or a few petitioners if some of the signers can't pay, or if instead it is limited to collecting the $100 from each.

Wisconsin: Petitions against State Senator Robert Jauch hits halfway point

Petitioners refused to release any numbers, though.

Massachusetts: Bridgewater Town Clerk sues council over failure to schedule recalls

This fight is now going to court. There is an actual question here (once again, a poorly written law), but these suits frequently results in a lose for the elected official.

Arizona: Pearce testifies before Congress on immigration law


Wisconsin: Statewide Police Union endorses Barrett, Milwaukee Police Association endorses Walker

The union endorsement seems like another blow to Falk.

The difference between the unions? The Wisconsin Professional Police Association is the largest police union in the state, but does not represent Milwaukee officers. The Milwaukee union has fought with Barrett.

West Virginia: Keyser City Council hears rumblings of a recall

One local resident is bringing it up at the city council meeting, though it sounds like the town doesn't know much about the recall law.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wisconsin: State Rep debating whether to run for both Assembly and Senate

The Republican candidate to fill the one open recall senate seat (Pam Galloway resigned from the seat in March), is debating whether he will run for the Senate, Assembly or both. He has filed papers for both positions.

Canada: Wildrose loses Alberta election

The Wildrose Party, which put out a platform calling for a recall law in Alberta, came in second in the Province elections. No word yet on whether the recall will survive (or whether the Edmonton Journal will still run my op-ed on the subject).

Oregon: Three Fair Oaks Fire District board members facing recalls reported to have resigned

Here. Note that the source is the leader of the recall.

Monday, April 23, 2012

UK: Wales also discussing introduction of recall

Looks like this is more about the proposed UK law, but seems like Wales is also looking at a recall for Assembly members.

Michigan: Three village trustees facing recall filed by village president (who is facing a recall himself)

Excellent write-up by Matt Vande Bunte for Grand Rapids Press/MLive on this small town recall. Pierson Village President Karl Van Haren, who is facing a recall on May 8, is now trying to recall three of his opponents, Village trustees Duane Griffes, Verna Smigiel and Rebecca Starr.

Van Haren, who has been president since 2010, is alleged to have created a hostile work environment. Several Village Council members and officials resigned last year and the council was unable to meet for months due to a lack of a quorum.

Not a surprise that Van Haren calls the recall “a personal vendetta," blaming his neighbor Starr over a fight over the removal of infected ash trees from 66 feet of village easement.

The county clerk notes that it very rare that another individual is specifically blamed in a justification statement.

The recall cannot get on the ballot before August. However, the signature requirement is not that great of a burden. He needs six signatures. Of the village's 112 registered voters, 26 voted in the November 2010 general election and 11 voted in February's presidential primary election.

And finally, here's a great quote:

“He filed fairly similar wording against them,” Montcalm County Clerk Kristen Millard said. “I hope we can get this resolved because it has taken a lot of effort on everyone’s part. We’re talking about a village of, what, 100 people?”

It is apparently 172 people.

Wisconsin: The inevitable Cross-over voting discussion

I've never heard of it working, but here's some discussion of the use of cross-over voting in the Democratic primary. I imagine the best hope would be for the cross-overs to vote for Falk (who is second in the polls), and take out Barrett, but I haven't seen any organized effort.

Wisconsin: Short profile on Kleefisch


Non-Recall Op-eds: Two on Vice Presidential Selection

Here are two recent op-eds that I wrote on Vice Presidential selection. The first was in The Daily and focuses on who the Republicans have historically selected as VP nominees. In VP selection, the Democrats have been conservative and the Republicans have been the more adventurous party.

Despite the focus on swing state nominees, a Republican swing-stater has not been selected as running mate in a long time (obviously, depends on what you call a swing stater, but it is clear that there have been none in the four or five decades. Who was the last one -- was it NY's Miller in 1964? How about Massachusetts' Lodge in 60? Nixon in 52? or do we have to go back to Ohio's Bricker in 44?).

The Republicans seem to do two things: One is choose an attack dog. The other is someone who bridges an internal division, whether it is new conservative/old line moderates (Ford/Dole, Reagan/Bush), Age/experience (Bush/Quayle, Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin) or ideological (Dole/Kemp). The Democrats, on the other hand, choose sitting US Senators.

The second piece is in the Los Angeles Times and focuses on the importance of the VP position. It is questionable if the VP selection ever really makes a difference in the race. But the focus is only on the race, not on the best candidate for the job. This is unfortunate, as the VP choice is maybe the single most important decision of the presidential race. 

Ever since Truman, the VP has become a critical player in the administration (the only two who played a real role before were Van Buren and McKinley's Garret Hobart). This is actually a positive -- better than some unnamed and unvetted adviser. And the VP is also the most likely successor for the party nomination -- 7 of the past 11 VPs have won their party nomination for the presidency. It should be noted that losing VPs are generally cast away. Only three have ever received the presidential nomination, and two of those (Dole, who became Majority Leader of the Senate, and Mondale,who actually served as VP) get a huge asterisk. The third, of course, was FDR.

Furthermore, once elected, all other decisions are revocable -- any position can be changed, anyone can be fired, spouses can be divorced and children can be disinherited. But the VP cannot be removed. This is a decision that has to be lived with. It's just too bad that it is not taken that seriously. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

California: LA Board of Ed President facing recall petitions

Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education President Mónica García is facing recall petitions. Petitioners need 120 days to collect 26,608 signatures.

The issue appears to be the proposed elimination of adult education and early education and other programs.

Oregon: Petitions handed in against five Hermiston officials, including the Mayor

Petitions were handed in against Mayor Bob Severson and council members Rod Hardin, Frank Harkenrider, Joe Harn and Jackie Myers. Each petitions is reported to have approximately 700 signatures. Petitioners needed 508 valid signatures needed.

Note that the mayor's term ends at the end of the year, and he is not running for re-election.

This is reported to be Hermiston's first recalls, which is based on complaints from police department employees about then-Police Chief Dan Coulombe, and the extension of the City Manager's contract.

Wisconsin: Republicans hold big leads in 3 of 4 senate seats

Unsurprisingly, the seat that is a deadheat is the recall rematch.

UK: Recall shouldn't be for laziness

The UK is still pursuing its recall options, with Deputy PM Nick Clegg criticizing the political recall (the  government's proposed recall law is more like a modified impeachment procedure).

Wisconsin: Falk attacks "insiders" for trying to take over the recall

A not-at-all-veiled attack on Barrett.

Idaho: Questions about Coeur d'Alene petition drive.

A bit of debate came out in the timing of the recall. The law gives petitioners 75 days to gather perfected petitions, and the County Clerk's office has 15 business days to verify. The City Clerk claimed that the 15 days were included in the 75. The Secretary of State just shot that idea down, noting that perfected does not mean certified.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rick Hasen on the winners and losers of the recall

Here is his post, and his article in the New Republic.

Wisconsin: Walker now leading in a poll

This one has a 50-45% lead for Walker. David Nir at the DailyKos explains what changed.

Wisconsin: Walker only running ads against Barrett

Makes sense, as Falk is the union candidate (and that will certainly be a focus of a Walker campaign). According to the article, Walker mentioned both Falk and Barrett as targets of his ads, but only hit Barrett.

Wisconsin: John Doe probe continues to shadow recall

Dan Bice's article discusses the possibility of charges against Walker in the probe, with the DA suggesting he would rather wait until after the election.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

California Portola Mayor loses by 7 votes

Dan Wilson is ousted in a recall, vote is 242-235.

New Jersey: West Wildwood mayor, commissioner not seeking reelection after recall win


Wisconsin: UWM Professor touts Walker as Romney's VP

I actually have thought this for a while. I have two op-eds which hopefully be coming out soon on the history of VP selection

Wisconsin: Five candidates kicked off ballot, including three LGs

Looks like the Republican Party was very wise to run a candidate in the Lieutenant Governor primary -- three of the four Democrats were kicked out (all but union leader/firefighter Mahlon Mitchell). Two gubernatorial candidates were thrown off, but none of the four major ones.

Wisconsin: Barrett gets Kohl's endorsement; Feingold staying neutral

Here and Here

Texas: New effort to recall El Paso Mayor

There is a new attempt to recall El Paso Mayor John Cook. The backer is Michael Hayes.

Wisconsin: State AFL-CIO endorses Kathleen Falk


California: Shasta Lake Councilwoman loses landslide recall vote

With 200 more votes to count, Dolores Lucero lost, 1,207- 492 opposed. It is a close race to succeed her, Pam Morgan (512) over Richard Kern (439) and Rose Smith (466).

The 1,699 ballots counted so far represent about a third of the city's nearly 5,100 registered voters and more than either of the city's two most recent elections.
In 2009, the election that put Lucero in office, 1,511 voters cast ballots, roughly 30 percent of registered voters in the city at the time. Some 1,105 ballots were cast in 2005, representing about 23 percent of voters. Lucero wasn't a candidate then

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wisconsin: Five file for LG position

Here. None are elected officials. I assume Mahlon Mitchell, the union leader and firefighter, is the favorite.

California: Shasta Lake Councilwoman kicked out

Looks like Dolores Lucero has lost her seat. Current vote is 833 to 332.

Canada: More on the Alberta Wildrose recall plan


Florida: Osceola County Commissioner recall appears to collapse

The recall campaign against Osceola County Commissioner John Quinones seems to have died.

Wisconsin: SIgnatures handed in for recall runs

Barrett, Falk and Vinehout all handed in signatures today. They need 2000. Falk had 4,000 and Vinehout 3300

Arizona: Bill to add primary to recall law advances

The House looks set to adopt the Senate bill adding a primary to the Arizona's recall. I believe it still needs voter approval.

California: Moreno Valley School Board member facing recall campaign following charges of pimping and rape

Moreno Valley School Board Mike Luis Rios is facing a recall campaign after he was jailed on charges including rape, pimping and pandering involving six victims – including two underage girls. Petitioners need about 3,000 signatures.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Michigan: Clarity hearing approves the Michigan Governor petitions

Vote was 2-1

Canada: Alberta leader pushing for recalls if elected

Danielle Smith, the leader of the Wildrose party, is pushing for recalls if elected. From this brief write-up, the recall would require the signature of 1/3 of registered voters to get on the ballot. Note that a referendum would require 20%.

Idaho: More on the Coeur d’Alene recall

This post on the Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and three City Council members argues that the claim of a $40 million upgrade to McEuen Field is actually only $14.2 million.

I also notes that Mary Souza, one of the recall leaders, lost a three-way race in 2005 to Mike Kennedy, one of the recall targets and that State Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, is a recall leader.

California: Recall against Devonwood Homeowners Association President going forward

This is in Hercules

Wisconsin: Interactive recall page in the Journal Sentinel

Check it out here. Note that Walker raised $6 million from Wisconsin residents, $1.1 million from Texas and $900,000 from Missouri.

California: Shasta Lake City Councilwoman complains about being shut out of office before recall vote

The vote is tomorrow.

Wisconsin: John Nichols notes the power of the recall


Wisconsin: Article on Wisconsin's adoption of the recall law

Here is the piece by Christian Schneider, arguing that the use of recall is very different than what the adopters of the recall envisioned. I'll have more on this hopefully in a couple of weeks.

Tennessee: Mt. Juliet considering adding recall

The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners is considering adding a recall law to the city's charter. The amendment will require signatures of 32.5 percent of registered voters. No word on the rest of the law. Voters will have to approve the amendment (if approved today) in November.

Arizona: Committee requested to examine recall laws

The state Senate president has been asked by a bi-partisan group of state senators to appoint a committee to study and propose revisions to the recall law.

Among the claims are that the laws governing recall-petition drives are less restrictive than those for initiative and referendum petitions.

For example, unlimited financing and contributions are allowed, and signature gatherers or circulators do not have to identify whether they are a paid circulator or volunteer. There is no requirement to verify the commission status of a notary public and circulators are not verified either.
Note this quote from the big proponent of the issue, a Fountain Hill resident Paul Ryan, suggesting he is not onboard with Arizona's political recall law:
"The idea of recall in its early stages was to throw the rascals out," Ryan said. "If these people aren't rascals by the definition of missing all of the meetings or committing crimes while in office, then I don't see personally that that was what the recall constitutional amendment was there for."

Wisconsin: Unions battling in the Walker recall

Following up on AFSCME's push for Kathleen Falk, the police union is warning AFSCME that its campaign may help damage the Democratic contender.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Massachusetts: Bridgewater continues to refuse to schedule recall

Bridgewater Council continues to fail to schedule recalls against two councilors, using "point of information" to stop it from getting on the ballot.

Michigan: Petitions handed in for Pontiac mayor

Petitions have been handed for the recall of Pontiac Mayor Leon Jukowski. 3,597 signatures were submitted, petitioners need 3,237.

Wisconsin: Barrett picks-up big endorsements

Three candidates who considered running have all endorsed Barrett.

Oy, Waukesha County in the news again

Nobody is looking forward to that. Update: The County Clerk step aside.

Wisconsin: Republicans announce "fake" slate

It seems like they only needed candidates for the state Senate positions, but I guess they are going on a better safe than sorry platform.

California: Three Tuolumne Utilities District members face recall petitions

Three members of the Tuolumne Utilities District, Barbara Balen, Robert Behee and Delbert Rotelli, have officially been served recall notices. Petitioners need 5,600 signatures. Issue is a rate increase/

California: Initial paperword filed in Milpitas recalls

Efforts to recall two Milpitas City Council members, Armando Gomez and Althea Polanski, have begin. The two council members support for Medical marijuana dispensaries may be the issue.

Washington, DC: Recall effort against mayor and council member dropped

The recall effort against DC Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown has been dropped. The lead petitioner claims that the federal investigation will force both men from office, though it appears the petitioners were nowhere near collecting the signatures needed for the recall.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

South Dakota: Reporter wins award for recall coverage


Idaho: Four Coeur d'Alene council members are facing recall drives, including the mayor

Four Coeur d'Alene council members are facing recall drives, including the mayor. The issue is a plan to overhaul McEuen Park. The members facing threats are Mike Kennedy, Woody McEvers, Deanna Goodlander and Mayor Sandi Bloem.
The petitioners, RecallCdA, will have 75 days to collect signatures from 20 percent of the registered voters during the last election. Only registered voters count -- looking like 4,311 signatures

A couple of particularly different hurdles: For a recall to win, the petitioners must not only get an absolute majority, but each incumbent must receive more votes in support of a recall than the incumbent received votes during their last election.
In 2009, each of the four candidates won re-election. Kennedy earned 3,162 votes, McEvers 3,280, Goodlander 3,146, and Bloem earned 3,955.

Massachusetts: Dartmouth voters adopt amendment to use recalls

Dartmouth voters adopted an amendment to use the recall -- vote was 2,582 to 907.

Oregon: Creswell City Councilor facing recall petitions

City Councilor A.J. O’Connell is facing recall petitions. A 24 year old who has twice been publicly censured by the council, once for inappropriately contacting city staff and the second for complaining about the mayor and other council members votes against a bill of his.

Petitioners need 251 signatures.

The Creswell Chronicle editor also complained that O'Connell violated campaign finance laws by not reporting spending on yard signs in 2010 and by his spending on a campaign website (though the editor says she was just looking to find out if there was a complaint.

Maine: Berwick replaces three removed selectment

Berwick replaced its three selectmen who were removed in February.

Michigan: WSJ reporter on the proposed Michigan recall

Here -- though it cites the lesser impact of the Michigan reforms, rather than the practical problems that make the Michigan recall unlikely.

Wisconsin: Kleefisch calls the recall message "national"


Wisconsin: Walker extremely popular among Republicans

Newest poll says that 71% of Republicans strongly approve of Walker and another 11% somewhat approve of him. To put that in some context, that is higher than the amount of NY Democrats who approve of the job that Cuomo is doing (75%).

Wisconsin: State has online searchable recall database

You can only search by name, not by address.

Arizona: Mammoth County can't certify March 13 recalls of two city council members

File another one in the annals of local officials styming recall results. A March 13 recall resulted in the removal of two Mammoth City Council members Bart Goff and Robert Koch, seemingly over complaints of private dealings. Both lost handily (Goff got 79 votes, Koch 98. The winners got 220 and 199). However, a majority of the city council has not shown up to the last to meetings to make the vote official.

Wisconsin: Barrett easily wins reelection

Now, the question is whether they will have to fill his position in two months.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Arizona: Fourth Attempt to recall Colorado Indian Tribes Treasurer


Louisiana: House Speaker recall petitioners going door to door

The effort to recall House Speaker Chuck Kleckley is going door to door. Petitioners need over 9,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot. If it got on the ballot -- and due to Louisiana law, I imagine that is a long shot -- Kleckley would be the fifth legislative leader, and second House Speaker, to face a recall.

Louisiana: Gibsland mayor facing recall threats

Mayor Odell Key is facing a recall campaign from a former town employee. Petitioners need 273 signatures (out of 681 registered voters). Petitioners complain that the mayor is not doing his job and refuses to answer questions. The mayor served from 1994-2006, then came back in 2010.

 Hall seeking comment, is no stranger to the town. He was re-elected mayor in the fall of 2010 and assumed office Jan. 1, 2011 after a four-year absence. He previously served as mayor from 1994 to 2006.

Loud's complaints about Key are echoed by Mayor Pro Tem Marketris Jones, a two-term alderman. Jones said he accompanied Key to Baton Rouge March 13 to appear before the Louisiana Legislative Audit Advisory Council to answer why the town's finances were in such disarray that an audit could not be done for fiscal year 2011.

Jones said spending is out of control, employees are being hired without council approval and official meeting minutes are altered or nonexistent. The financial problems also mean the town won't get any state funds, which jeopardizes plans to extend water and sewer services to a large industrial development across the interstate.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Missouri: Town and Country debate adopting the recall

The question arose in a candidates debate. Apparently, the issue is state law --  Town and Country is officially a “fourth class” city, and by state law is not allowed to hold recalls. The would have to change to a third class city.

Michigan: New attempt to recall Governor RIck Snyder started

This is the second attempt to recall Snyder -- the first one got 500,000 signatures. Note that Michigan's law is a bit looser than Wisconsin's in one way -- Michigan voters have a 90-day window, while Wisconsin has only 60 days. However, since unlike in Wisconsin, all the signers have to be registered voters, it is actually significantly harder to get on the ballot.  Petitioners will need 807,000 signatures. The recall would occur in November, and then (as peculiarity to Michigan law), the replacement vote will not take place until February. In that time, the Lieutenant Governor will serve. This strange, delayed two step recall election is very important to keep in mind. Last year, Republican House Rep Paul Scott was recalled. However, in the February he was replaced by a Republican.

Outside of Walker, that makes two gubernatorial recall discussed this week, the virtual impossible one in Louisiana, and the very difficult one in Michigan (plus talk in Arizona). Last week, we also heard of a recall proposal against the Colorado Secretary of State.

Poll shows a slight majority against Walker

I wouldn't say this is anymore of a shock than the earlier polls showing Walker barely leading -- it's going to be close and the polls seem to suggest that.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wisconsin: RNC Chair sees the upside in Wisconsin recall

Of course, this might be just be interpreted as spin, but he has a point.

Texas: El Paso petitioners fighting off criminal penalties for the recall

Here's some discussion. More here, including the fact that delay has probably killed this recall.

Massachusetts: Darmouth looking at new recall law

Darmouth residents are voting on whether to adopt amendments setting out a procedure for use of a recently adopted recall. Petitioners would need signatures from 2,000 registered voters (including at least 15 from each precinct)

Montana:Troy mayor to face recall in May

A Lincoln County District Court rejected Mayor Donald Banning's attempt to stop a recall campaign.  The campaign was started by Councilor Fran McCuly, who claims that Banning is difficult to work with and made decisions without consulting with the council.

Michigan: Troy Mayor recall signature gathering campaign starts strong

Petitioners claim they have collected 20% of the needed 8,000 total in the first few days.

Alabama: Op-ed on the state's proposed adoption of the recall

Here's my piece in the Birmingham News. It is focused on the differences between the judicial recall (or malfeasance standard) and the political recall.