Friday, August 31, 2012

Massachusetts: Two Bridgewater councillors yet to get challengers

After all the fighting to get the recall of Councillors Mike Demos and Peter Riordan on the ballot, so far there is no candidates running against them. According to news reports, both of the presumptive challengers are waiting till after their vacations to decide whether to run. They have until September 19 to get petitions with 100 signatures in.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Idaho: Blackfoot School Trustee survives recall

Blackfoot School District Trustee Peter Lipovac survived a recall vote 180-101 on Tuesday.

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes' Fort Hall precinct was responsible for 135 votes. The issue was his failure to get pre-approval for attending a conference and his advocacy of a charter school.

Arizona: Pearce loses new run for office

Former Arizona Senate Majority Leader Russell Pearce, who was recalled and removed last November, lost his comeback bid in a primary on Tuesday. Pearce ran in a different district. The totals were very similar -- in the recall, he lost 12,812-10,121. In the primary it was 12,789-10,086.

Canada: Should Toronto have the recall

A look at discussion of adopting a recall in Toronto.

Kansas: Three Baxter Springs City Council face recall votes on November 6

Three Baxter Springs City Council members are facing a recall election on November 6. Gary Allen, Ron Costlow and Ed McAfee were all targeted by supporters of Mayor Jenifer Bingham. Petitions are still outstanding for Councilman Robert St. Clair was still circulating.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Massachusetts: Three Randolph School Board Members facing petitions

Three Randolph School Board membersSharon Swain, Marybeth Nearen and Larry Azer, are facing petitions from a former member.

David Harris, the former school board member, claims his targets are “obstructing and sabotaging the programs set in place within the Randolph School system by Superintendent Oscar Santos that are designed to improve the level of educational performance of the entire system.

Petitioner first need 500 signatures per petition, than needs to get 20 percent of registereds in 21 days.

Arkansas: Redfield mayor facing recall in November

Redfield mayor Tony Lawhon will face a recall on election day, with 113 signatures being turned in (25% of registereds). Apparently, no reason was given for the recall.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Non-Recall Op-ed -- The Tea Party’s New Model: Experienced Candidates Magnifying Movement’s Influence

I wrote this one for Time Magazine.

Kansas: Basehor City Administrator, whose firing sparked three recalls, receives $200K settlement, apology

In the denouncement to the Basehor recall, the former city adminstrator Mark Loughry received a $200,000 settlement and an apology for his firing for unfounded allegations of financial impropriety. 
The firing helped lead to the recall of the mayor and two city council members. The mayor supported Loughry and the two council members voted to fire him.
Apparently, the accusations were that he added extra health benefits to his contract and that he wasn't truthful about his salary at his past job.

Massachusetts: Bridgewater recall set for November 6

Though apparently (and surprisingly) it won't save any money, the Bridgewater recall is set for election day. Unsurprisingly  no thought was given to the recall when crafting election law.

there would need to be two separate ballots and two separate check-ins and check-outs. There wouldn’t be enough room for all the extra poll workers, so he’d have to relocate voting for districts 3 and 7 to a different part of the Bridgewater Middle School and the cost would actually be higher than holding two elections because of additional ballot machine programming, he said.
Adams said a town bylaw requires the polls to be open from noon to 8 p.m. for special elections such as the recall, while state law requires the polls to be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for elections such as the presidential election.

Washington: Pacific Mayor facing recall threats

Pacific's Mayor Cy Sun, who won election as a write-in, is facing recall threats, with petitioners handing in a 30 page document alleging the "misfeasance, malfeasance, and violation of oath of office," required to get a recall on the ballot in Washington State. 
Sun has fired department heads, and even ended up in handcuffs after he was accused of trying to break into a locked city office. 
Pacific police officers arrested Sun in July for allegedly trying to get into a city employee's locked office. He's now under investigation by the King County Sheriff's Department.
If approved, petitioners would have 180 days to collect 400 signatures.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wisconsin: Two Brazeau supervisors lose recall votes

Two Brazeau supervisors lost their seats in a recall election. Darrell Enix lost 389-171 to Gerald Kempka and James Hanna lost to Rodney Gretzon 307-176 (75 votes went to a third party candidate). Candidates needed to more than 50% to win the seat. Both of the new officials held twon office before. Gretzon was a rerun -- he lost his seat in April 2011 to Gretzon.

After resisting scheduling the recall election at several meetings in May and June before facing legal action, the Town Board set the Aug. 14 election date.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Idaho: Blackfoot school district trustee facing recall next week

Blackfoot School District Zone 1 trustee Peter Lipovac is facing a recall election on Aug. 28, due to his travel to New Mexico for a conference and his seeking disbursement without pre-approval.

Note the other issue at play -- charter schools: 
"Second, Mr. Lipovac has demonstrated at numerous school board meetings that he is not only advocating but is actively involved in the development of Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy, a Charter School in Fort Hall, Idaho," Kniffin writes. 
"By not excusing himself from the votes concerning Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy, he has demonstrated he cannot fairly represent the District in his actions as a board member."

California: Four San Bernardino council members facing petitions

Four San Bernardino councilmembers are facing recall threats for not putting a charter repeal on the ballot. Councilman Chas Kelley was the original target, but the effort has not been broadened to include Robert Jenkins, John Valdivia and Wendy McCammack. The report says the city held recalls in 1962, 1970 and 1976.

Florida: Appellate Court hears arguments in Haines City recall

An appellate panel is heard oral arguments in the two Haines City commissioners recalls. A lower court judge blocked the recall from taking place, claiming it did not meet the malfeasance standards.
The recall was started after the commission approved a $312K severance package for the city manager, who then filed for unemployment insurance. The court may be looking at whether the manager was actually a city employee at the time the compensation package was approved.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Jersey: Greetings from Asbury Park! -- Your petitions are hereby rejected

Petitions to recall Mayor Ed Johnson and two council members, John Loffredo and Susan Henderson was rejected by the county clerk. The clerk claimed that it was too late to meet the deadline (September 13) to get on the ballot for November.

Interesting logic here, one that may could easily be tossed out by a judge. Petitioners handed in 2,644 signatures for each. Petitioners needed 1,865 valids (25% of registereds).

The clerk rejected the petitions because he has 10 business days to determine validity, and 10 more business days to allow for objections. If there are no objections, he needs to wait five days for resignations to get it on the ballot. So, based on this timeframe, he would only have to days to get due the verification.

According to the article, the group also collected signatures against two other council members, James Bruno and Kevin Sanders, but failed to get enough to qualify.

 Unsurprisingly, given the argument, petitioners will contest this in court: I'm not sure if the city does not allow special election recalls, but I don't know why that wouldn't just be the result.

North Carolina: Statesville City Councilman facing recall threats for illegal voting activity

Statesville City Councilman Flake Huggins is facing recall threats following a grand jury indictment for illegal voting.

Louisiana: Heflin mayor recall petition tossed out by judge

A judge has thrown out the proposed recall of mayor Judy Tillman. Petitioners had gathered 69 verified signatures, three more than needed. However, Tillman's attorney showed that 4 of the people lived outside of Heflin and two other signatures weren't properly witnessed.

Texas: Three Sinton City Council members facing recalls

Three Sinton City Council members, Mayor Eloy Lopez, Linda Guzman-Alaniz and Michelle Soliz, are facing petitions, with petitioners claiming they have gathered over 500 signatures, enough to get the recall on the ballot. 
Petitioners unsucessfully tried to fire the City Manger and city secretary.The three council members were in favor of a plan (opposed by the city manager) to build two wind turbines at a high shool. Two city boards had rejected the plan. 

Florida: Port St. Lucie's mayor facing recall petitions

Mayor JoAnn Faiella is facing petitions due to what opponents claim is incompetence. Challenging two stage signature gathering process. Petitioners need to 4,951 signatures (and pay $495) just to get to the right to collect 14,853 more signatures (15% total registereds) in 30 days. Faiella supporters are counter-petitioning, though I can't imagine those signatures have any legal value.

Arizona: Attempt to revive Yuma recall fails.

Superior Court Judge John Nelson shot down an attempt to reverse the determination that the recall petitions of Deputy Mayor Paul Johnson and City Councilmember Jerry Stuart failed to garner enough signatures. Sounds like the Mayor is responsible for the recall attempt.

Massachusetts: Bridgewater recall leads to debate on date

Brian McNiff, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office, said the two elections may not be combined on the same ballot.
But he said no state law prohibits the elections from being held on the same day using separate ballots. Adams said not only would there need to be separate ballots and separate check-ins, but the hours are different for the two elections.  
By town bylaw, the polls must be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. for special elections, such as the recall, Adams said. But by state law, the polls must be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for state elections, such as the Presidential election, Adams said.

Oregon: Clackamas County Commissioner claims recall petition is factually inaccurate

Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard is claiming that the recall petition filed against him by a former Oregon City Commissioner (and failed candidate for the County Commission) is factually inaccurate.

The petitioner, Dan Holladay, claims that Bernard had a conflict of interest in a light rail extension, which will travel past Bernard's business. Petitioner also claims that Bernard is using his position to benefit his wife, the country's tourism director. They are also claiming that Bernard did not cooperate in an ethics investigation (which Bernard claims is demonstrably false).

The clock has started to tick on the recall, but because Holladay has not filed campaign finance papers, he can't collect signatures. Bernard cannot formally protest the petition until the papers are filed. Note also:

State elections policies require factually accurate statements in recall petitions. The form warns petitioners they face a felony conviction, a fine of up to $125,000 and/or prison for up to 5 years if they supply false information.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Maine:Franklin Selectman resigns in face of recall election

Facing a recall election, First Selectman Ian Staub resigned last week. Staub resugned along with the Town Administrator and another selectman who was not facing a recall.  The recall was about his "poor performance" in the job, but no other details were forthcoming. According to Staub:
“If I was not being recalled, I would not have resigned,” he said. “I had enough.”

Friday, August 17, 2012

Alaska: Holy Cross City Council facing fines

The Holy Cross City Council, which avoided a recall election, is now facing state fines for fialing to make mandatory financial disclosures. It had previously paid $37,000 in civil penalties 

Romania: Constitutional Court to decide recall case

Romania's Constitutional Court is set to rule on whether the Presdiential recall had enough votes to succeed. Previous coverage noted that turnout was under 46% (they needed 50%), though there seems to be some dispute about the accuracy of the lists.

Colorado: Elbert County Commissioner recall fails

An effort to recall Elbert County Commissioner Kurt Schlegel (Republican) has failed -- petitioners needed 25% of registereds and did not hand it in.

Massachusetts: Salisbury recall questions leads to concern from Selectmen

A local real estate agent questions about recall procedure has sent the Salisbury Selectmen into a tizzy, with the traditional claims that the recall should be reserved for malfeasance.
The issue driving the complaints are the town’s rental unit inspection ordinance and sewer fees.
To even start the recall procedure, petitioners need 150 registereds' signatures, with at least 50 from each of the town’s three precincts.
Petitioners than have two weeks to get 10% of registered voters signatures (though that equals at most 191). To have the election count, petitioners need to get turnout for the election above 25 percent of the total number of voters.

Missouri: Ellsville attempt to gut recall law voted down

The Ellsville City Council unanimously (6-0) quashed an attempt to gut the recall law and turn it into the malfeasance standard. The council member who supported the ordinance was absent.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

California: Two Orange Cove Council members facing recall threats

Two Orange Cove Council members, Glenda Hill and Frank Martinez, are facing recall petitions, led by former Mayor Victor Lopez, who himself is running for the city council. The current mayor, Gabriel Jimenez, who defeated Lopez in 2010, also supports the recall.

The issue is questions of spending, though one question is the council's decision to cut off funding to Target Eight Advisory Council, a nonprofit that operated the local day-care center. Lopez is the Target Eight executive director.

Colorado: Claims of election violations plague two Ellicott School District recalls

Two Ellicott School District 22 Board members facing a recall have claimed that petitioners broke election laws in gathering the signatures.

It is claimed that one petitioner did not witness all the signatures that she certified, some were signed by non-Ellicott residents and some signatures were gathered before the date to start. Petitioners needed 369 signatures and turned in 383 and 386,

Missouri: Ellisville's proposed change to recall law put off till Thursday

The proposal to change (or really gut) Ellisville's recall law has been put off to a special meeting on Thursday. The mayor claims that there wasn't enough time to review the proposal.

California: Recalled Fullerton councilman seeking seat -- third time's the charm?

Don Bankhead, one of the three Fullerton councilman who was recalled and removed on June 5th, is running for a council seat again.

Bankhead's career has been very interesting. In 1994, Bankhead lost a recall vote (that time for favoring a  2 percent utility tax a year earlier). He then came back a month later and won back his seat. So Bankhead is one of the rare officials to lose two recalls elections (the only other person I ever heard of with two recall losses was a Portsmouth, Virginia mayor).

Alaska: Six recalled Wrangell hospital board members facing lawsuits

Six of the eight Wrangell hospital board members who were recalled and removed earlier this year, are facing a suit on their approval of a million-dollar severance package for the Wrangell Medical Center’s CEO. The board's vote took place at a meeting after the recall -- the municpality claims in their lawsuit that the severance package violated the contract and amounted to a personal gift.

Massachusetts: Dighton petitioners trying to adopt new recall law

Petitioners have been collecting signatures to push the town of Dighton to adopt a recall. Petitioners are trying to place the plan on a Special Town Meeting, which will petition the state Legislature to approve the recall procedures.

According to the proposed law, petitioners would need 10% of registered voters in 30 days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oregon: Four Lookingglass fire district board members facing recalls

Four Lookingglass fire district board members,Dennis Sifford, Stuart Kramer, Phyllis Smith and Dave Meador, are all facing recalls -- to be scheduled within 30 days of August 20.

Issue has to do with budgeting.

California: Lake Elsinore mayor recall attempt dropped

Petitioners have dropped an attempt to recall Lake Elsinore Mayor Pro Tem Daryl Hickman -- they need 3,369 signatures.

Missouri: Ellisville City Council proposes changing recall to malfeasance standard

The Ellisville City Council is debating amending the charter to require a recall for specified cause -- or the judicial recall or malfeasance standard. Multiple members of the City Council are currently facing recall threats.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Michigan: Benton Harbor mayor now facing petitions

Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower is facing petitions over claims that Hightower held private meetings with state officials and former Whirlpool executives and for cutting off elected officials from city business while working with the emergency manager. Petitioners need 393 valids to get on the ballot.

City Commissioner Dennis Knowles is the prime backer of the recall, and he himself is facing a recall threat. The recall against Knowles and City Commissioner Trenton Bowens was kicked back for unclear language.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Massachusetts: Bridgewater Clerk recommends October 27 for council recall

The Bridgewater Town Clerk is recommending Oct. 27 as the date of the Councilors Mike Demos and Peter Riordan recall.

Colorado: Trinidad Mayor resigns after petitions certified

Trinidad Mayor John Rino resigned in the face of a recall vote. Petitioners had previously handed in 383 signatures, and the county clerk had already certified the signatures. This result follows the successful recall and removal of Councilman Alfredo Pando.

Rino’s letter says the last seven months (his tenure as mayor) have been a great strain on him and his family. He cited the recent criticism he has faced as “character assassination,” against him by the local media, which has had “a profound effect on me, my son and my sisters.”

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Michigan: Petitions approved against six in Westland

Petitions targeting  five Westland City Council members and the city clerk were approved, though the one against Mayor William Wild was sent back for clarity issues.

The City Clerk Eileen DeHart Schoof and council members James Godbout, Adam Hammons, Meriam Kadi, Michael Kehrer and Dewey Reeves are facing the petitions. The reason:

At issue is a vote to approve a 40-year amendment to the city's Tax Increment Finance Authority plan with possible projects including construction of a new city hall. Cg behind the library aren't correct — council hasn't approved the project or specified a location.
Petitioners need about 5,637 signature for each.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

North Carolina: Belville considers adopting recall law

Beville Commissioners are drafting new rules, which will include providing for recalls of commissioners. The rules will be voted on on August 27, though it still has to be approved by the state legislature (As North Carolina does not have a recall provision). No word on how the recalls are structured.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Colorado: Hearing on alleged violations in Ellicott School district recall

A hearing is being held in the recall of two Ellicott School District 22 board members, as the board members claim that the petitioners violated election laws and gave false and misleading information. 
Note that one of the leaders of the recall is Gary Dahn, a former board candidate who recently gave up an attempt to recall all five board members is also protesting. The board president claims 
“I feel this recall is a last-ditch attempt by those voted out of office last election to regain control,” Hudson said. “It has turned into a very nasty personal vendetta. It’s not about kids or education. They have to answer to that.”

Colorado: Petitions handed in for Trinidad Mayor recall

Petitions have been handed in calling for the recall of Trinidad Mayor John Rino. Petitioners handed in 383 signatures on its petitions. They need 214 valids.

Council member Bernadette Baca Gonzalez has agreed to run as a candidate against Rino. This follows on the successful recall of Councilman Alfredo Pando.

Wisconsin: Elmwood Park Village President Recall set for September, October

The recall of Elmwood Park Village President Audrey Viau has been set for a primary on September 18 and a general on October 16.
The issue is the building of a local Walmart. Two candidates are seeking the seat: current Trustee Dave Cattoi and former Trustee Tom Mills.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Washington: Snohomish County Executive recall tossed out for failure to swear charges under oath

An attempt to recall Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon was tossed out because the filers failed to allege under oath that Reardon had engaged in misconduct. Washington State has a malfeasance standard.

The recall accused Reardon of breaking state campaign laws by using his executive assistant and other public resources for political fundraising and lobbying. Reardon was investigated for the misuse of funds, but the prosecutor found insufficient evidence, though the charges were limited to whether he used money to carry out an affair with a county employee.

California: Recalled Shasta Lake Councilwoman facing felony charges

Ex-Shasta Lake Councilwoman Dolores Lucero, who was recalled earlier this year, is facing felony charges of forging and falsifying evidence, perjury and offering a false document.

Lucero is running again for the Shasta Lake City Council election in November.

Michigan: Pierson Village recall survivor still looks to resign

One of the Pierson Village Council members who survived a recall on Tuesday is planning to resign. Rebecca Starr submitted her resignation in June, though the council has not accepted it because it doesn't have a quorum.
In addition to Starr, two of the village council’s other five trustees previously resigned. And one seat had been unoccupied. With Griffes now recalled, only Van Haren and Smigiel remain on the council.

Kansas: Plainville School Board member kicked out

Plainville School Board member Darlene Jones was ousted in a recall on Tuesday, with voers kicking her out 524 to 284. Jones was accused of "verbally assaulting and committing battery upon" a former principal. Voter turnout was 43 percent, higher than most primaries.

California: Fresno Unified School Board Trustee facing recall petitions

Recall petitions have been taken out against Fresno Unified School Board trustee Tony Vang. Claims include that he lives outside of the area he was elected in. Petitioners need 4,725 signatures (20% of registereds) in 120 days. Cost would be between $95,000 to $120,000.

Arkansas's recall fire: Redfield Mayor to face recall in November, fifth mayor to face a vote this November

Redfield Mayor Tony Lawhon, who took office in January 2011, will face a recall vote in November. Petitioners needed 138 signatures and apparently got it.

No reason for was given, though this is interesting:

One city department head with a lot riding on the recall results is Redfield street superintendent Harmon Carter.  Carter has been one of the people gathering signatures in support of the recall. Carter said he couldn't speak with us without risking losing his job.
This is part of a big blast of recalls in Arkansas. In November, the mayors of Alexander, Bauxite, Kingsland and Cotton Plant are facing recall elections (one against the Bryan Mayor failed). To put this into perspective, I had exactly one blog post on Arkansas before July (for a recall last year that did not get on the ballot).

Arkansas: Kingsland mayor to face recall in November

Kingsland Mayor Tim McClellan will face a recall in November. Don't have any other details at this time.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Massachusetts: Two Bridgewater recalls go forward

Two Bridgewater town councilors, Mike Demos and Peter Riordan, will now face a recall after judge ruled that the town recall act was valid.

Michigan: 1 ousted, 2 survive in Pierson Village Council recall

Pierson Village Council recall saw a split result, with Rebecca Starr surviving 8-11, and Verna Smigiel winning 9-10. Duane Griffes was ousted in an 11-8 bote.

Starr was the initiator of the recall against Village Council President Karl Van Haren, which he survived on May 8.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Massachusetts: Easthampton City Councilor recall falls 16 signatures short

The recall attempt against At-Large City Councilor Donald L. Cykowski failed by 16 signatures. Petitioners needed  2,235 registered voters. They handed in more than 2,500, but only 2,219 were certified.

The 73-year-old Pomeroy Street resident has been under fire since making a comment about Puerto Ricans at a City Council meeting in December, which was followed by a report in March that he sexually harassed a former library director.

Oregon: Clackamas County Commissioner facing petition drive led by defeated opponent

Clackamas County Commissioner Jim Bernard is facing recall petitions, filed by a former Oregon City commissioner who lost to Bernard in 2010. Petitioners will need 23,444 valid signatures by Nov 5 (recall wouldn't be held till December).

The paper notes that this is part of an ongoing fight by conservatives against the liberal-leaning county commission and its policies.

Here's the basis of the filing:
Former Oregon City commissioner Dan Holladay, who failed to advance past the May primary for a seat on the county board, accuses Bernard of a conflict of interest over the Portland-Milwaukie light rail extension, which will travel past Bernard’s downtown Milwaukie business. Holladay also accuses Bernard of using his position to benefit his wife, Danielle Cowan, the county’s tourism director. 
Holladay successfully led the May 2011 referendum that killed the county's $5 annual vehicle registration fee intended to help replace Multnomah County's Sellwood Bridge.

Arkansas: Wilmot Mayor to face recall in November

Wilmot Mayor Clinton Harris will be facing a recall in November, the first one in Ashley County.
There was no reason given for the recall (and the story doesn't have any). Petitioners handed in 109 signatures, needed 89 (25% of registereds), got 92.

Oregon: Two Baker City School Board member recalls fail by 3, 10 signatures

The recall against two Baker School Board members has failed by a very close margain. Petitioners needed 913 valid signatures. For one board member, 910 were found valid, the other 900. Petitioners handed in 1066 signatures.

Sounds like there might be some possible complaints:

Green said there were several reasons why certain of the signatures gathered by the petitioners were disqualified. Petitions were signed by people who were not registered to vote and some signatures on the petitions did not match signature cards on file with the County Clerk’s office.
Some signers were inactive voters. In some cases they had not voted in two federal elections or they had moved and their ballots were returned as undeliverable and no attempt had been made to update their voter registration. Both actions render the person ineligible to sign a petition, Green said.
Simply changing addresses at the post office does not update voter registration. That requires separate action, Green said.
Some petitions also were rejected because the circulator had crossed out the date and written over it, Green said.  State law requires that the petition be dated on or after the date of the last signature, and that date cannot be altered.

Colorado: Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Chairman recall faces setback

The recall against Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Chairman Gary Hayes received a new hurdle, as the tribal council rescinded a resolution calling for the recall. The Election Board has also claimed that there aren't enough valid signatures.

Wisconsin: Sumner Supervisor facing recall vote next week

Sumner Supervisor James Crotteau is facing a recall vote next week, with two candidates running against him. Petitioners needed 73 signatures and handed in 97 valids.

The reason for the recall were a vote against a mining moratorium and his participation in a groundbreaking for a mine.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Michigan: Three Pierson village trustees face recall vote on Tuesday

Three Pierson village trustees Duane Griffes, Verna Smigiel and Rebecca Starr, are facing a recall vote tomorrow. This is after the village president survive a recall in May.

The Daily News in Greenville reports that the village council has been unable to hold meetings due to the lack of a quorum, stemming from multiple resignations. Starr, for example, tried to resign in June after voters opted to keep Van Haren in office, but the council hasn't accepted her resignation because there haven't been enough members to conduct official business, the newspaper reports.

California: TRO issued in KPFA recall

An Alameda County Judge issued a temporary restraining order in the Berkeley-based radio station KPFA’s recall election.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Michigan: Seven Westland officials facing recall petitions

Seven Westland elected officials, Mayor William Wild, Clerk Eileen DeHart Schoof, council President James Godbout and council members Adam Hammons, Meriam Kadi, Michael Kehrer and Dewey Reeves, are facing recall petitions. The language still has to be approved.

Two members of the council aren't included in the recall.

The recall is based on a not-yet-adopted proposal to build a new city hall. One of the petitioners lives in a subdivision which abuts the proposed new city hall. The petition against the mayor also cites an appointment of f two married couples to a citizens council.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

California: Atwater School board trustee resigned in face of recall vote, but quits too late to stop the vote

Atwater School Board trustee Sheila Whitley has resigned in the face of a recall vote on October 16, but the resignation is too late to stop the recall.

The issue was Whitley's vote to fire a superintendent.

Hennes, with two other trustees dissenting.
h interviews for a new assistant superintendent to replace David Duran, who is retiring.

Fregoso handled business activities for the district and Duran was in charge of human resources and administrative functions.

Read more here:

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Mexico: Two Ruidoso Municipal School District Board members contest recall

The two Ruidoso Municipal School District Board members facing a recall are challenging the grounds of the recall. Petitioners need to show malfeasance in New Mexico.

In allowing the collection of signatures on recall petitions in June, Ritter pointed to the contentions of violation of the New Mexico Open Meetings Act when disciplinary action was taken against the school district's superintendent. The order also pointed to a quorum of the board outside of an official meeting. In addition, Ritter determined that Marshall, the school board's president, incurred substantial legal fees without first obtaining specific direction from the board.

Arkansas: Cotton Plant mayor facing November recall

Cotton Plant Mayor Ronnie C. Conley will be facing a recall in November, as 108 valid signatures were handed (25% of registereds).Conloy has been office for six years, and the recall appears to be about a water rate raise, failure to repair a leak on the community center and problems with the water system.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Professor Beth Garrett article on Recalls and Campaign Finance

I haven't had a chance to read the whole piece yet, but it does look fascinating. Here's the synopsis:

In this article, I use recall elections as a way to consider the current state of campaign finance jurisprudence as it relates to all the mechanisms of direct democracy; recalls provide a different framework to assess campaign finance rules because they are explicitly hybrid elections, combining a ballot question about the recall of an official and, sometimes simultaneously, the election of a successor. Part I will lay out the structure of the recall process, particularly in California and Wisconsin, the two states in which statewide recalls of governors have shaken the political establishment and caught the attention of the nation. Part II will analyze the constitutional issues raised by campaign finance regimes that include contribution limitations affecting recall elections, particularly in light of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Part III will extend this analysis and argue that the conclusions reached about permissible regulatory structures in the context of recalls implicate the way states and municipalities regulate money in ballot measure campaigns generally.

Oregon: Petitions handed in against two Baker City School Board Members

Petitioners have handed in signatures in the recalls of two Baker City School Board Members, Lynne Burroughs and Mark Henderson. Petitioners need 913 valids, they handed in 1,066 and 1,059.

The recall was prompted by a vote to censure a fellow board member after he released confidential information.

Non recall op-ed: The People's Business is None of Our Business

A link to my op-ed on Government Secrecy --

Kansas: Plainville school board member facing recall vote

Plainville school board member Darlene Jones is facing a recall vote on Tuesday after 33 years in office.

Petitioners claim that Jones attacked a former principal in his office when she was school board president. Since Kansas is a judicial recall or malfeasance standard state, violators had to show some misconduct.

Arkansas: Alexander Mayor facing recall in November

Alexander mayor Paul Mitchell is facing a recall this November. Mitchell has been the source for controversy after his wife was sentenced for possession of methamphetamine,bank records for the city showed thousands of dollars missing. The Police Chief started an investigation and was fired.

California: Moreno Valley School Board member facing recall, charges of attempted murder and rape, is running for city council

Moreno Valley school board member Mike Rios, facing a recall attempt along with criminal charges of attempted murder, rape, pimping and pandering, has decided to run for the City Council. Petitioners need 10,000 signatures to get this on the ballot.

In February, Rios was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after he fired at a car passing by his home.  He was released on bail and returned to the board.  His colleagues and community members urged him to resign. 
Two months later, he was arrested on suspicion of raping two women, pimping and using his position as a school board member to recruit prostitutes, some of whom were minors.
If convicted, he could face a life sentence.  He was released on $250,000 bail. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Virginia: Culpeper Republican Committee Chairman facing potential recall

Culpeper Republican Committee Chairman Steve Nixon is facing a recall threat from more conservative members of the party. Nixon received a petition from 40 members (2/3rds of the committee) saying that he was subject to a recall.

Nixon is accused of allowing Democrats to vote at his election, which he won by 3 votes out of 523 cast. Nixon claims that any registered Culpeper voter was allowed to vote.