Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Mid-Year Report: 103 recalls in 1st half of 2012, 17 to take place today

The day of the election is always a waiting game, so I might as well put out the Recall Elections Blog's midyear report for the recalls. To review from last year, for the entire 2011, we had 151 recalls, resulting in 85 removals. So far, we seem well on the way to breaking that pace (some big caveats below).

In the first half of 2012, we have had 103 recalls have either taken place, been scheduled or have had the official resign in the face of a recall. Once again, they've taken place in 17 different states.

Today alone, there will be 17 recalls. There will be the six in Wisconsin; three in Fullerton, California, which would be a major national story if it wasn't for the Wisconsin recalls; three in Greenfield, California and five in Hermiston, Oregon.

Of the 103 recalls, they breakdown like this:

  • 32 recalls resulted in a vote for removal. They took place in 17 different states
  • 14 recalls resulted in a resignation in the face of removal
  • 1 recall failed to get on the ballot, but the official resigned anyway
  • 1 recall saw the official die in office
  • 27 recalls resulted in the targeted official won the recall election
  • 30 are scheduled to take place between today and August
  • 6 instances, most notable El Paso, Texas, a judge rejected the recall.
  • 6 other instances, the targeted officials are either still fighting the recall in court or refusing to schedule one as a member of the city council.
  • 52 attempted recalls (at least) that failed to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot.
  • 115 (at least) open and unresolved recall petitions circulating now (I may be off on this -- in some of these, the recall might have been abandoned).
The recalls are against all types of officials, Six mayors have been removed, five have survived, and another four are facing a recall vote. 

The reasons for the recall span the spectrum. Some of the more noteworthy ones including opposing another member's appointment of his girlfriend to the village council, trashing a hotel room, and one launched by the wife of a losing candidate. In one ongoing recall attempt, we have the official facing charges of rape, pimping, pandering and maybe attempted murder (don't worry, that was just a school board member). Last year, we had a school board member facing a recall who was caught sexting with a 14 year old. That was not the reason for the recall (it came out during the campaign).

Among other nuggets are that the mayors of both Troy, Montana and Troy, Michigan are facing recalls (the mayor from Montana lost). And, while it may be time to stop all of your weeping and swallow your pride, the mayor of Tombstone, Arizona was recalled. And yes, he was replaced by the owner of Johnny Ringo's bar, who will now be your huckleberry.

In summary, we should be ahead of last year's pace. The big caveat, outside of the fact that I may be missing a number of recalls both this year and last, is that this is a presidential election year, not an off year election. I think it is possible that there may be less recalls on Election Day than last year (there were 30 on the first two Tuesday's in November). Perhaps people will be more focused on the presidential race, and will ignore recalling local officials. Of course, the opposite could occur. We will see in November.

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