Monday, December 30, 2013

The Year in Recalls -- 107 (update 108) Recalls in 2013; 478 attempts -- 73 officials ousted or resigned

Here's my article in The Week discussing the Year in Recalls. The article is focused on the motives for the recalls and how the recall is becoming a normal part of the American political life. On the blog, I would like to take a deeper look at the numbers.

This is my third year compiling detailed recall data (the second using recall attempts), and we saw a steep drop off in recalls. In 2011, we had 151. In 2012, we had 168, with 509 attempts. In 2013, we have (updated) 108 recalls with 478 attempts. Of those 108 recalls, 73 were ousted; 51 officials lost a race, and another 22 resigned -- a 68% removal rate. 35 survived the vote. As in the past, these number probably understate the amount of recalls that took place.

We'll get to reasons for the drop-off in a minute. First, some stats:
  • Once again, we've had recalls (or resignations in the face of recalls) in 20 states. 
  • California was the state with the most recalls, followed by Maine. This is a change from the last two years, where Michigan led the country. We'll discuss that change below.
  • Colorado had the only state-level recalls; Two officials lost their seat, and one resigned.
  • The reasons for recalls were all over the map. The most prominent were gun control issues, in Colorado's Senate, in Exeter, Maine, an upcoming one in Idaho and discussions in California, Nevada and Arizona. However, there were plenty of other reasons for recalls for firings, zoning issues, corruption, city bankruptcies (notably, San Bernardino) and, of course, the San Diego mayor.
  • Judicial Rejection played a big role in stopping recalls from happening -- 19 recalls were rejected by Judges; Administrative officers also killed 7 of them; and clarity hearing in Michigan have been holding up recalls throughout the state.
  • At least three jurisdictions added the recall (Rock Hall, Maryland; Ronda, North Carolina, Rising Sun, Maryland) At least two others may have (it is very unclear). One jurisdiction, West Gardiner, Maine, rejected a recall law.
  • First time I've ever seen one against a Coroner.
  • I did not include the numerous recalls in Native American Tribes; I saw at least 13 of those. The procedures seem a little different, though I may provide a separate breakdown in the coming days.
  • I also did not include recalls in Homeowners Associations and Property Owners Groups. Lot of those as well.
  • Recalls were also a big hit internationally, with the mayors of Warsaw, Poland and Lima, Peru both surviving recall votes. 
So the big question, is why the drop-off?

1) The lock-up period -- In a number of places, recalls cannot be started until an elected official holds office for a certain length of time -- some have it two, three or six months, others prevent a recall for a full year. 2012 was a presidential election year, which probably sees the largest number of offices up for election. Therefore, more officials are protected under the lock-up period. This may explain why there is a much greater drop off in actual recalls than in attempted recalls. It's hard to prove this one, especially since 2011 should have had a lock-up period as well, but this is certainly one cause.

2)  Post-Presidential Election Year -- it may be that after a fevered political campaign year, political participation drops off. We would need another four years of data to check this one, but this can't be ruled out.

3) Michigan changed its law -- This one is definitely a factor, Last year, Michigan changed its recall law. One of the big changes was mandating that officials can't face a recall until they serve one year in office (or six months if the term is 2 years). Another is requiring that recall petitions meet a factual test. Michigan's recalls dropped from 31 in 2011 to 25 in 2012 to 13 this year (and at least three of those got on the ballot under the old law). 

4) Operator error -- I'm fairly certain that I missed recalls. I've compared it to other available sources (the good people at Ballotpedia have done an excellent job of compiling data), but there is no question that recalls are not being counted. However, I like to think that I've at least maintained my existing level of incompetency, and any errors this year would probably be roughly the same as last year.

5) Paywalls -- More and more newspapers and websites are covered behind paywalls. Local sites that report on recalls seem to be failing at an increased rate. I think the closing off of the web may make it harder to see recalls and reports of recalls. I can't say that it is the real factor though.

That said, recalls seem to be embedded in American politics, and seems to be playing a larger role on the state, which is itself impacting national politics. We saw it in Wisconsin in 2011-12 and we saw it in Colorado in 2013. We'll wait and see if any major recalls come up, but be assured that there will be plenty to look for -- in fact,  there are recalls already scheduled for January 2.

Vermont: St. Johnsbury holding hearings on proposed recall law

St. Johnsbury will be holding hearings on whether to adopt a recall law. There was an attempt to get a vote on it earlier this year, but the effort missed the deadline.

Idaho: Recall against Lake Pend Orielle School Board Chair over proposal to arm school staff makes the ballot

The recall of Lake Pend Oreille School District board chairman Steve Youngdahl has gotten the go ahead, with the handing in 125 signatures (99 were found valid). I previously thought that they needed 105, but I guess that was incorrect. The election is suppose to be scheduled for March 11.

Youngdahl proposed a plan to put guns in secure locations inside schools (with a fingerprint locking system), and training teachers, administrators and staff in using the gun. Petitioners cited Youngdahl's use of untrustworthy sources. Youngdahl used an article that has come under fire as being fundamentally flawed from the that claimed mass shootings stopped by armed civilians had less deaths than those stopped by police. I believe this is the article he cited.

Michigan: Alamo Township petitions accepted by Election Commission

Five of six petitions were accepted in the recall campaigns against Alamo Township Supervisor Lou Conti and trustee Dawn Potter-Williams. The commission had previously rejected six on clarity grounds. This was just the language, now petitioners have to collect the signatures.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

California: Hemet City Council members facing petitions

Hemet City Council members Robert Youssef, Larry Smith and Shellie Milne are facing petitions over their vote to negotiate with Cal Fire to provide services for the area (which would end the city's fire department). The officials claim it would save millions of dollars and give the city paramedic services. Petitioners need 6600 signatures in 120 day. Not the first time we've seen Cal Fire issues result in a recall.

New Mexico: Bernalillo County treasurer facing petitions, if approved by judge

Petitions have been filed against Bernalillo County Treasurer Manny Ortiz (D) over allegations of mismanaging county investments. Ortiz has already faced a no-confidence vote from the County Commission.

Petitioners needed approval from a judge and then need 45000 signatures.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Michigan: Trademark issues on City Logo leads to recall attempts in Cedar Springs

Petitions have been filed against Cedar Springs City Council members Patricia Troost and Ashley Bremmer over the city's vote to stop using its logo (due to a trademark fight with a Red Flannel Festival). This is the second and third recalls attempted over the logo issue. Here's the language of the petition which now must get over the difficult clarity/factual hearing hurdle:

1) Violated public trust by not following policy, procedure and protocol for the open meetings act—Act 267 of 1976, effective March 31, 1977;

2) Violated public trust by stating the process procedure to be followed for considering possible new city logo and then disregarded the process without notice.

Arizona: A look at the Cave Creek recalls in the Arizona Republic

Here's a more expansive look at the Cave Creek recall fight. One group, backed by editorials in the Sonoran News, is fighting to remove Council members Mike Durkin, Reg Monachino, Charles Spitzer and Vice Mayor Adam Trenk.

Another group is trying to remove Council members Ernie Bunch and Thomas McGuire. The issues include claims of financial mismanagement and a firing of a town manager.

Alaska: Hospital CEO appointed for Wrangell Medical Center (which saw an 8 person recall in 2012)

This is the denouncement of a serious recall battle.

Colombia: Bogota mayor facing upcoming recall vote in February

That is, if mayor Gustavo Petro isn't ousted by the Inspector General. Huge mess there.

Cambodia: Question on whether recall against Prime Minister is possible


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Arkansas: Texarkana Board of Directors recall abandoned

The attempted recall of Texarkana Board of Directors members Mike Jones, Londell Williams and Laney Harris has been abandoned. There was already an attempt to recall Sue Johnson, which was also dropped. The recall was over the vote to rehire City Manager Harold Boldt (who quit in March, was rehired in September).

Michigan: Genesee Board tosses out sixth petition this month

The Genesee County Board of Elections has rejected another recall petition -- the sixth rejection this month. This one, the second filing against Gaines Supervisor Chuck Melki, was rejected by a 2-1 vote on a failure to meet the clear and factual standards.

The issue was Melki's motion to add "police millage" to a vote on November 5. Melki argued that the language was misleading, as he only made a motion, but did not add it by himself (that took a vote of the board).

The Board also rejected petitions against Township Clerk Michael Dowler and Treasurer Diane Hyrman (both had two petitions filed). Note that Genesee is where Judge Joseph Farah tossed out an approval of recall language against County Commissioner Pegge Adams.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Colorado: Peak to Peak recall rules

The Peak to Peak Charter School's recall election's against Board President Thomas Willetto and member Greg Richards starts on January 3 and ends January 15. is set to start Jan. 3 and end Jan. 15.

For the recall to be successful, 30 percent of the school's families and staff members must vote, with 66 percent voting "yes." Every family and staff member receives one ballot for each recall candidate.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Oregon: Rainer Council recall leads to talk of change

The removal of Rainer Councilwoman Judith Taylor last week is leading to one city councilman claiming that recalls are too easy and pushing for a malfeasance standard recall.

This part is a nice counterpoint:
Rainier Senior Center Board President Bill Dias, who filed the recall petition against Taylor, agrees that officials shouldn’t be removed over policy decisions or honest disagreements. Nevertheless, Taylor’s behavior went too far, he said Friday. 
“Just because they are in office they should no be able to get away with whatever they want. They should not be allowed to bully people at will. It’s not their job.
 In addition, Dias said, “the voters put them in there and they should be able to throw them out. If you don’t want a person acting in that fashion, you shouldn’t have to wait for another two or three years” until a regular election comes up.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Michigan: Buena Vista Township Clerk recall language approved

The language calling for the recall of Buena Vista Township Clerk Gloria Platko has been approved as factual.

The petition states:

Buena Vista Township Clerk, Gloria Platko, called Township Supervisor, Dwayne Parker, an 'Arrogant N-word' in January 2013. For this reason, in pursuant of Michigan Election Law Act 116-1954-XXXVI, we the residents of Buena Vista Charter Township call for the recall of the Buena Vista Township Clerk Gloria Platko.

Massachusetts: Recalls threatened against Hinsdale Select Chair

Recalls are being threatened against Hinsdale Select Chair Bonnie Connor and possibly Selectman Bill Goddard over a decision to put the police chief on leave for failing to complete state-mandated training. Petitioners handed in 300 signatures calling on the Chair to resign.
The leader of the effort appears to be the former Select Chair David Kokindo, who stepped down in 2012 and lost a race last year. 

Maryland: Petitions taken out against Rock Hall Mayor

The town's new recall provision just went into effect in November.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Colorado: More on Giron's proposed Secretary of State run

More coverage on recalled State Senator Angela Giron's proposed run for secretary of state. Democrats are trying to ward this off, as many have gotten behind a different candidate. A Giron run would highlight the gun control issue and also (particularly relevant to the job), her claims of voter suppression as the reason for her loss.

Michigan: Signatures handed in against New Buffalo Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem

Petitions have been handed in against New Buffalo Mayor Migs Murray and Mayor Pro tem Ray Lawson. Petitioners handed in over 200 signatures (they needed 144). This was over the scheduling of a vote to fill a council vacancy (the two are alleged to have scheduled the vote so that a defeated council could participate).

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Idaho: Petitioners set to hand in signatures for Lake Pend Oreille School Board recall over arming teachers

The attempt to recall Lake Pend Oreille School Board Member Steve Youngdahl over his proposal to arm staff members is continuing, with petitioners set to hand in at least 120 signatures (they need 105). Petitioners are particularly annoyed by Youngdahl's data collection methods.

Oregon: Rainer Councilwoman kicked out in recall

Rainier Councilwoman Judith Taylor was ousted yesterday, 183-179. The issue was over a allegations that she yelled at members of the Rainier Senior Center. The Secretary of State office is investigating the Senior Center Board President, who started the recall, as Taylor is claiming that the complaint letter was false.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Mexico: Clovis City Commissioner facing petitions

City Commissioner Bobby Sandoval is facing petition for the "heavy handed" method of dealing with the publica and issues of economic development. Petitioner would need 88 valids (20% of turnout) in 60 days.  Clovis last had a recall petition in 1999, and hasn't had a successful recall since at least 1982.

Nebraska: Investigation of the Central City School Board defense against recall petitions

Some blowback about the Central City School Board recall. Petitioners targeted three school board members over the firing of a football coach. One of the recalls, against Kent Malm, made the ballot (set for January 14). Petitioners appeared to hand in enough signatures for the recall of two other members, Dale Palser and Steve Belitz, both the effort was thrown out because the petitions did not state on each page whether the petitioners were paid or volunteer.

Now, there is an investigation over whether the school board used public funds to defeat the recall attempt.

Wisconsin: Three officials survive Glenwood Frac Sand Mining recall

Unofficial results are showing that all three officials in survived the Glenwood Frac Sand recall. Mayor John Larson won 183-140; City Council member Nancy Hover won 163-160, and David Graese survived 162-160.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Michigan: Signatures handed in against two New Haven trustees; two others already facing recalls in May

According to their Facebook page, petitions were handed in for the recall New Haven Village President Jammie Kincaid (404 signatures) and Trustee Daniel Stier (376). This was over the signing of a deal to locate a landfill on property own by the city. Two other New Haven trustees are already facing recall elections in May.

California: Modoc Supervisor recall appears headed to the ballot

The recall of Modoc County Supervisor Jim Wills appears to be heading to the ballot, as petitioners handed in 269 valids (they handed in 353). They needed 259. The reason is "gross misuse" of the political office, though I've seen no further details.

The recall is estimated to cost between $5-10K and needs to be scheduled in March or April.

Maine: Poland Select Board all facing recall petitions

The five members of the Poland Board of Selectpersons are all facing recall petitions over the placing of the Town Manager on Administrative Leave.

In early 2013, 3 Poland Select persons were kicked out in recall votes. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Michigan: Three Jerome officials facing petitions

Petitions were taken out against three Jerome Township officials, Supervisor Stuart Bloomfield, Treasurer Laura Grubaugh and Trustee Ron Lowry (all apparently Republicans). The issue is 1% administrative property tax fee.

Arizona: Sunnyside School Board recall dropped

The recall against Sunnyside Unified School District board members Buck Crouch and Daniel Hernandez Jr. has failed, with the petitioners saying they won't turn in any signatures.

The recall was pushed by supporters of Board President Louie Gonzales and board member Bobby Garcia, who themselves are facing a recall in the spring. That recall will cost $102,793

Rhode Island: Four Exeter Council members survive recalls by "wide margins"

All four Exeter city council members survived the recall over gun control issues that took place today, apparently by a "wide margins."

Friday, December 13, 2013

Colorado: Was the Giron recall loss not for gun control reasons? WashPost claims that focus group showed personal unpopularity to blame

One of the biggest mysteries of the Colorado recall fight was how Angela Giron, who was in the safer seat with a 15% Democratic Party advantage, got blown out of the water in the recall race. John Morse was in a much more hostile district, yet he just barely lost. Giron lost by almost 12 points

According to a focus group, Giron herself was unpopular (47% disapproval rating), with Democrats believing that she "went Denver" and was taking orders from party bosses. She also lost some women voters by claiming to vote for bills because "she was a strong Latina."

Giron is apparently also looking to run for Secretary of State.

Rhode Island: Wall Street Journal on the Exeter Recalls

Here is the story -- I'm quoted in the piece.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wisconsin: Bloomer Mayor who lost a recall in 2007 and came back, is not running for reelection

Mayor Randy Summerfield, who lost a recall in 2007 and then came back into office in 2010, has decided against running for reelection.

Oregon: West Linn Mayor, two council members facing recall petitions

Petitions have been taken out against West Linn Mayor John Kovash and councilors Mike Jones and Jenni Tan. Petitioners need 1,844 signatures. The issue are a 2010 campaign finance violation and:
The residents also accuse the officials of putting regional interests ahead of those of West Linn residents, risking the community's physical safety and financial security by ignoring the recommendations of commissions and advisory boards, and failing to assert their authority over City Manager Chris Jordan and the city attorney's office. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Colorado: Replacement chosen for Hudak seat

Arvada City Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger has been chosen to replace Evie Hudak. Zenzinger defeated former state Rep. Sara Gagliardi in a vacancy committee vote, 39-27.

Arizona: Recall threats against Cave Creek Vice Mayor, three council members

The recall attempt against Vice Mayor Adam Trenk will also include councilmen Mike Durkin, Reg Monachino and Charles Spitzer. Petitioners claim the group misrepresented the financial status of the town. Petitioners need 210 signatures per.

Oregon: Split decision in Lowell City Council recalls

A split result in the recall of two Lowell City Councilors: Pam Bryant was removed 145-119 (55% against) and Gary Reese survived by seven votes, 135-128 (51%). Turnout was 49%.

The recall effort was led by GLO-PAC, the issue seemed to be spending (Bryant and Reese were opposed to spending).

California: Moreno Valley Mayor reappointed despite facing recall petitions

Moreno Valley Mayor Tom Owings was reappointed by the city council and Councilwoman Victoria Baca was chosen as mayor pro tem. Both are facing possible recalls, with the signatures on the Owings recall petitions being tallied. 
Owings’ tenure as mayor has been a controversial one that found him in the spotlight as he and other council members became the focus of a corruption investigation in which at least four of their homes were raided by FBI and DA’s investigators in April.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Michigan: New petitions filed against Alamo Township supervisor and trustee

Petitioners have decided to resubmit six different petitions to recall Alamo Township Supervisor Lou Conti and trustee Dawn Potter-Williams. The earlier petitions were rejected for clarity issues by the Election Commission. Each of the petition is focused on a separate issue.

Michigan: Judge stops Genesee County recall on factual ground; potentially devastating blow to state recall campaigns

A Circuit Court Judge has issued a potentially devastating ruling for recalls in Michigan -- quashing the recall of county commissioner Pegge Adams (which is over a bizarre animal control shelter complaint) for failures under Michigan's new "factual" requirement.

Here's why this is important -- so far, there have been numerous recall rejections under the "factual" requirement. But all the rejections have taken place on the administrative level (i.e. the local county election commissions). This is the first time that I've seen a judge overturn (or even rule on) an administrative board's position on the recall since the new law passed. If judges take a strict interpretation of the factual requirement (factual seems to be very much in the eye of the beholder on recall petitions), we may seem petitions tossed out much more regularly. In will clearly delay recalls, as officials will now have a good reason to go up the legal ladder looking for a ruling that will result in their recall being tossed out.

However, the bigger change could be in expenses. As we've seen repeatedly in the past, the personal cost of running a recall can kill it. Petitioners, especially if it is just a local group, may not be able to afford the time and expense of appealing legal ruling. The result is the recall is abandoned. Even if they can pay for appeals, the process results in a waste of resources and may help dampen the possibility of a strong recall campaign.

We've been waiting for this type of ruling to come down since the new law was passed, so it is hardly a surprise. But we'll have to see what happens next.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Maryland: Rock Hall mayor facing recall petitons

The city recently adopted a recall law, and now Mayor Bobby Willis is the subject of petitions. He pushed to remove the Town Manager, among numerous other issues cited in this op-ed.

Oregon: Secretary of State investigating Rainer City Council recall petition for false claims

Rainier City Councilwoman Judith Taylor is facing a recall petition over allegations that she harassed members of the city’s senior center. However, the Secretary of State is now investigating the complaint to see if the harassment allegation is false (and a violation of Oregon election laws). Taylor claims that the accusations came after she questioned the financial stability of the center (which, based on the article, seems quite shaky).

The recall is supposedly being held on Tuesday, so it's not clear what will happen. 

Rhode Island: Coverage of the upcoming Exeter gun control recall

We've discussed this recall in the past, but the Exeter gun control recall is getting a lot of attention. Exeter is a town of about 6,245 people. Normally, the most notable thing about this recall would be that it is the first one in Rhode Island that I've seen in three years of tracking. But the timing of the recall, which is close after the Colorado recalls, make it national news. I'll have more on this later in the week, but here's the Providence Journal, the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor on the subject.

California: Mayor Bob Filner pleads guilty, gets suspended sentence


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Michigan: Genessee County Official appeals factual claim in recall petition

This may be the first factual claim dispute to go up to the courts -- could be an interesting test of the new Michigan law.

Alaska: Attorney General holds that State Rep can't be recalled for party switch

Alaska's Attorney General has found that petitioners cannot recall State Representative Lindsey Holmes for switching parties. Alaska is a "judicial recall" or malfeasance standard state, and it requires a specified cause for the recall. Petitioners had gathered enough signatures to get on the ballot. This ruling will now be appealed up.

Montana: Bridger Canyon Fire District Trustees try to quash recall

A lawsuit has been filed by the five Bridger Canyon Rural Fire District trustees, Colleen Carnine, Mike Conn, Margaret Foster, Dennis Guentzel and Dave McKee, to quash a possible upcoming recall election.

Petitioners handed in 108 valid signatures for each trustee. The trustees claim the petition did not state specific acts that would allow a recall.

Friday, December 6, 2013

New Jersey: Petition against Wayne Councilman dropped

An attempt to recall Councilman Franco Mazzei over a plan to rezone commercial properties for mixed use has been dropped. Petitioners would have needed 1800 signatures (25% of registereds). 

California: Signatures handed in for Moreno Valley recall

Petitioners have handed in 5,960 signatures calling for the recall of Mayor Tom Owings in what sounds like a raucous scene. They needed 3,544. Interesting side note, 640 signatures have been submitted asking for the signatures to be stricken from the recall petitions.

Michigan: Petition for Cottrelville Township trustee recall rejected on factual grounds

A recall attempt against Cottrellville Township trustee Michael Zoran was rejected in factual grounds. Here's the language:

The language stated the following reasons for the recall: “(Zoran) has been censured three times for blatantly disregarding township policies during meetings; is self-serving and does not act in the best interest in the township as a whole; is rude and immature when dealing with residents and his fellow board members; spreads lies about his fellow board members and residents utilizing the Internet, Comcast and newspapers; is incompetent in the role of township trustee.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Polls shows Millenials ready to recall Obama, Congress

Not that it matters, but that's the poll.

Michigan: Petitions on Buena Vista Township Clerk recall turned down over factual questions

The recall petition against Buena Vista Township County Clerk Gloria Platko, over her use of racial epithets about a township supervisor in a recorded telephone conversation, was turned down over factual questions. Petitioners haven't decided if they will edit the petition.

UK: Backbenchers overwhelming back "Genuine" (Political) Recall bill

Backbenchers in the House of Commons voted 127-17 in favor of Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith  ‘Genuine’ Recall bill (the recall would be a political recall -- allowed for any reason). Goldsmith notes that the signature requirement would be about 15,000 in the average constituency.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Maryland: Mount Airy Councilman set to introduce recall law

Mount Airy Councilman Scott Strong is looking to introduce a recall law, with a 51% signature requirement of registered voters.

Wisconsin: Dark Money and the Recalls

Here's a look at one part of the story.

Virginia: James City County Board of Supervisors Chairman facing recall threats

James City County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jim Kennedy is facing recall threats over the recent firing of  the County Administrator. The firing was voted on in a party line vote, with all three Republicans casting votes to ax the City Administrators.

There are also some other allegations against Kennedy, including clashing with police outside of his restaurant, where he allegedly suggested that the cops shoot teenagers involved.

Because this is under Virginia's odd recall trial law, petitioners would need 217 signatures (10% of turnout), and then it would be up to a court to decide whether the official should be removed.

Venezuela: Mentions of recall of President Nicolas Maduro


Louisiana: Racial split in voting in Port Allen recall

The recent recall of Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter saw a strong racial split, with an estimated 95% of whites voting to remove her, and 71% blacks voting to retain. The city has a 60% black population. However, a local polling expert, John Couvillion, notes that the lack of a deeper (and perhaps expected) racial split is what doomed Slaughter:

Couvillon said two factors possibly contributed to Slaughter’s recall: the fact that two black women led the recall effort and his belief that the novelty of having black elected officials has worn off among voters.

California: Russian River Fire District Board members will face vote

Russian River Fire Protection District board members Kevin O'Shea (a former fire chief) and Linda Payne will be facing over the recent firing of the fire chief (who has since been reinstated). 

Petitioners needed 813 signatures. They got 870 and 853. Both members have been on the board since 2000.

This isn't the first recall in the Board's history -- in 1991 the entire board was recalled.

Monday, December 2, 2013

California: Coachella Valley school board recall attempt fails to hand in signatures

The attempt to recall five members of the Coachella Valley Unified School Board failed, as petitioners didn't get the 4,109 signatures needed for each candidate. They claimed to have collected nearly 4,000. The board members targeted were Maria Machuca, Joe Murillo, Anna Lisa Vargas, board Vice President Manuel Jarvis-Martinez and board President Lowell Kamper. Two other board members, Meagan Caress and Juanita Duarte, were not part of the recall attempt.

Washington: Quinault Nation President and two others survive recall vote, VP loses seat

Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp survived a recall 211-138 as did the treasurer Larry Ralston (232-119) and Secretary Latosha Underwood (267-79).

Vice President Andrew Mail lost his seat 196-152.

Nebraska: Maywood Board Trustee survives recall

Maywood Board Trustee Colleen Stone survived a November 19th recall vote, 60-52.

Four Maywood school board members, Lyle Koester, Donita Werkmeister, Sheri Hartley and David Dodsonm faced recall threats, but petitions weren't handed in.

Michigan: Cement City Recall killed by Judge

The recall attempt against Cement City Village President Jim Ellis over citations(and failures to cite) for licensing/zoning issues regarding a kennel, was killed by a judge, The petition was originally denied for unclear language. The judge ruled that the new petition has to be thrown out due to Michigan's law that a recall can't be filed in the first and last year of a term (if the term is longer than 2 years). Ellis's term ends in November.

New Jersey: Vineland Mayor recall would cost about $85K

The proposed recall of Mayor Ruben Bermudez is moving forward. The clerk notes that a special election would cost about $85,000.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Colorado: Additional coverage of the resignation

Here's my comments in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Arizona: Rejection of Yucca Valley signatures leads to lawsuit

An attempt to recall Yucca Valley Town Councilmen George Huntington and Robert Lombardo is leading to a possible lawsuit against the town. The town claimed that the signatures handed in didn't meet the target. On further review, they allowed some additional signatures but not enough to have the recall move forward.

The petition to recall Huntington yielded 2,294 valid signatures and the petition to recall Lombardo had 2,310 valid signatures. Each petition needed 2,461 valid signatures to trigger an election.
Of the 2,722 signatures verified on the petition against Huntington, 428 were deemed invalid by the Registrar of Voters. The county found 410 invalid signatures out of 2,720 against Lombardo.

Florida: Doral Mayor subject to recall threats

Doral Mayor Luigi Boria is facing recall threats, though the reasons aren't clear from the story. Boria has already set up a PAC to solicit donations to fight the recall.

Doral has had some scandals in recent years, and the bizarre end to this recall attempt from April has to rank up there. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Colorado: State Senator Hudak Resigns before petitions handed in

Big news out of Colorado, as State Senator Evie Hudak resigned today before petitions were handed in rather than face a possible recall campaign. Hudak is the third state Senator to resign, making this only the second time in history that one state will lose three state Senators to recalls in one year (California in 1995 was the first -- in Wisconsin, the recall losses were staggered in 2011 and 2012). As discussed below, Hudak's resignation allows the Democrats to fill the seat and keep their 18-17 Senate majority.

A couple of key points here:

1) Resignations in the face of recalls are nothing new (just scroll to the post right below for one example). In 2012, 26 officials resigned rather than face a recall. There have been at least two state Senators who resigned in the face of recalls, Michigan's David Serotkin in 1983 and Wisconsin's Pam Galloway in 2012. However...

2) Colorado's law is very different than other states. It requires that the resigning official be replaced by a member of the same party. From a recall point of view, there are other state's that allow appointment rather than election for the replacement official, but Colorado may be the only one that mandates that the official serve in the same party. Since the replacement is up for reelection in 2014, and since the law prevents the recall from being held until the official is in office for one year, the replacement likely cannot face a recall until the 2014 elections. (Edit: David Nir at the Daily Kos points out that the seat is up in 2016. Sorry for the error). (Edit to the edit -- the seat is up in 2014 due to the replacement law -- I will have a longer post on this point soon).

3) Hudak's resignation shows the power of the gun rights forces on a few different fronts. The fact that she is resigning before signatures were handed in points out that she must have felt that there was an excellent chance that the petitioners met the standard (she would have had 5 days to resign after the signatures were handed in and still short-circuit the recall).

4) Hudak clearly thought that the voters would not have objected to flipping the Senate from Democratic control to Republican. If past recalls are any indication, she is right. We've seen it done in 1983, 1995 and 2012.

5) The sheer amount of signatures collected shows real strength. Petitioners needed about 18900 signatures. This is more than twice the amount needed for the Senate President Morse recall, and 5,000 more than required for the Angela Giron recall. Only one of the Wisconsin state Senate recalls required more than the 18000 (and Wisconsin's recall law is much looser).

6) In the past, Colorado recall petitions had the signatures struck down at a high rate. The Giron recall was a striking exception, due to the use of new technology. Are we seeing the same thing in place with Hudak -- and might this new technology make it easier and more cost-effective for initiatives and recalls to make the ballot?

7) As I mentioned before, these recalls were symbolic from the gun control forces point of view (that should not be thought of in the sense of meaningless -- many recalls are symbolic and it does not detract from their importance). Even if the recall has succeeded and the Republicans gained control of the Senate, there was little chance that the legislation would be enacted changing the gun laws. In that sense, a resignation may be even more powerful than a recall vote, especially since a Hudak victory would have at this point changed the narrative for the gun rights groups. Gun rights supporters can now claim to have effectively scared a Senator out of a seat after beating two others based solely on the gun control issue.

8) It should be noted that having a resignation occur the day before Thanksgiving is designed specifically to minimize coverage of the move. The signatures were due on December 3, and then there would have been further delays in checking them and possible lawsuits. It is possible that Republicans could have claimed that the replacement vote should not be short-circuited (it has never been tested before), but the law does read clearly on this front. Hudak had weeks to decide to resign. The day before Thanksgiving is chosen for a reason.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Arizona: Parker Councilwoman resigns after petitions handed in

Parker Town Councilwoman Christine Boatwright, who was facing recall petitions, resigned after 103 signatures were handed in (petitioners need 59 valids). She was elected in 05, and won two reelection races. Boatwright confronted two other council members (at least one of whom was assisting with the recall) over their comments on the Police Chief (who is on leave and under investigation.

Colorado: Hudak anti-recall campaign raises $120K, pro-recall campaign raises $64K

New campaign finance reports show that the group backing Colorado Senator Evie Hudak (Democracy Defense Fund) has taken in about $120,000 in the last month. The money has come from unions and the NEA Fund for Children and Education.

The pro-recall group, Recall Hudak Too, raised $64,600.

Michigan: Benton Harbor commissioner now a recall target

Commissioner Trenton Bowens is facing a recall over a vote to add a city income tax. The Clarity hearing is set for December.

Think Progress article opposing recalls

Here's a Think Progress by Josh Israel highlighting the negatives of recalls (I'm quoted in the piece). Rick Hasen notes the unusual ideological match-up.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Colorado: More on the attempted Green Mountain recalls

Here's a deeper look at the problems that are leading to recall efforts against five officials in Green Mountain.

India: More discussion of adding recall law

Some more discussion about adding recalls in India, this time by former Lok Ayuktha Santosh Hegde.

Ohio: Great look at the state's Recall laws

Just a really good piece here in the Dayton Daily News. There is some events reminiscent of recent recalls in Onaway and San Bernardino (where an official loses a recall and wins reelection or another office on the same ballot):

Moraine and Centerville have each seen mayors go through public recall elections since 2000. Moraine’s case became a near-soap opera, as Bob Rosencrans was recalled in 2007 and replaced as mayor by Sonny Johnson. A separate 2008 recall aimed at knocking Rosencrans out of his council seat was nixed because of problems with the validity of signatures on those petitions. Then in 2008, Johnson himself was recalled, with Rosencrans being re-elected mayor in 2009. 
In Centerville, residents unhappy that the city council allowed an auto repair shop to expand in their neighborhood gathered almost 1,000 valid signatures to trigger a recall election against Mayor Sally Beals in 2003. 
“The year they had the (recall) election was the same year she was going to be on ballot anyway in November,” Cave said. “I thought that was a waste of taxpayers’ time and money. She won the recall rather handily, but she got voted out at the general election. The whole thing was bizarre.”

New Jersey: Vineland Mayor facing petitions

Mayor Ruben Bermudez is now facing petitions, with criticism of his recent decision to fire the City Solicitor, and replace him a local attorney who quit after a few days. Council members claim Bermudez doesn'tfully communicate with them. Bermudez claims he is being targeted by a "Good Old Boy network."

Petitioners need 9,444 in 160 days.

Texas: Expanded use of the recall in the state

This is jumping off from the Lubbock recalls. Here's a stat from the Texas Municipal League:
Yet, between 2003 and 2008 only 12 cities reported recall elections, according to a league survey. And of 28 officials targeted, only 12 were removed. 
That number has already been surpassed in the last year alone.

Friday, November 22, 2013

California: Commerce City Council recalls, interpretation battle with City Attorney leads to firing of Interim City Clerk

The recall battle against four Commerce City council members has led to the firing of the Interim City Clerk 
The issue was a disagreement between the clerk and  Commerce City Attorney Eddie Olivo over the publication of the recall notice against three council members. The same issue seems to have resulted in the firing of the previous City Clerk. 

The particulars sound very bad for the City Attorney. The petitioners took out ads in Eastern Group Publications, but the City Attorney ruled that the newspaper didn't meet the legal requirement of a "newspaper of general circulation." However, a separate group of petitioners did the same thing against a councilwoman who is an opponent of the three city council members, and....
In direct contrast to Olivo’s statement, the city “accepted” the legal notices of recall for Denise Robles that were filed with the same EGP paper.

Colorado: Peak to Peak School board to hold recall of two members

A charter school parent group claims to have submitted enough signatures to get a recall of  board president Thomas Willetto and board member Greg Richards on the ballot. The issue is the firing of the long-time principal.  Petitioners will need 66% of the vote and turnout must top 30%.

Louisiana: Sorrento Mayor facing petitions

Sorrento Mayor Mike Lambert is facing petitions over the issue of a canceled police department insurance. Petitioners need 348 signatures (1/3 of registereds) in 180 days to get on the ballot.

Alaska: State set to decide on whether Rep. Lindsey Holmes recall can go forward

The attempt to recall Alaska Rep. Lindsey Holmes (who flipped parties from Democrat to Republican after winning her fourth term) is now being reviewed by the state to see if it meets the malfeasance standard. Petitioners handed in more than 1000 signatures -- they need 808. If certified, they then have to get 2,020 signatures to get on the ballot (25% of turnout).

The article notes past attempts to recall Alaska officials (there has never been a state-level recall in Alaska). Former Senate President Ben Stevens in 2005, Rep. Kyle Johansen, who walked out of the Republican caucus (and gave up his Majority Leader position) during a dispute. Stevens didn't run for reelection and Johansen got slaughtered in his reelection bid.

Apparently, petitions were approved for a recall of Senator Scott Ogan (a Republican) in 2004, who resigned before anything happened. Ogan was accused of using his legislative position to assist a company that employed him as a consultant.

In US History, only one state legislative recall has occurred in a "judicial recall" or malfeasance standard state -- that recall was in 1981, Washington State Senator Peter Von Reichbauer. Von Reichbauer (who won the vote) also went from a D to an R, which flipped control of the chamber. I researched the recall and while there was an administrative dispute on whether the recall should be allowed, there didn't appear to be a lawsuit.

Canada: Op-eds in favor of adopting the recall

Here and Here

Arizona: Five Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District members resign

Five members of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District resigned, with four of them facing recall  petitions. The five members were Ray Pugel, Gary Lovetro, Ron Calderon, Richard Dickinson and Michael Claxton, and all but Claxton were facing recalls. The two remaining members of the board can't act without a quorum, though one of them, Sam Schwalm may also be facing petitions (Schwalm is associated with the pro-recall forces).
Because the board no longer has enough members to make appointments, it is unclear if they have to hold a special election or whether the county can run the district until the next election.
The issue was an increase in water rates, board spending decisions, an outage last year and turbidity in the water.
The petitioners are pushing to continue to get signatures as a show of force.r new elections.”

Arizona: Guest editorial looks at Cave Creek recall


Wisconsin: Scott Walker op-ed and discussion of a possible presidential race

I've been talking about this for a while, but more evidence that Walker is looking at 2016.

Michigan: Onaway City Commissioner won't ask for recount in one vote loss

Onaway City Commissioner Jessie Horrocks, who lost the recall by one vote, but was elected in the same race to a new two year term starting in January, will not be looking for a recount. Horrocks first requested one, but noted that she would only be out for two council meetings.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wisconsin: Petition filed to temporarily stop recall investigation

A filing by unnamed petitioners is asking the Wisconsin Court of Appeals to temporarily halt the investigation into campaign finance and spending issues in the 2012 recalls. The investigation is in at least five counties and is looking at the behavior of conservative groups opposed to the recall.
The filings, called petitions for supervisory writs, are requests that higher courts review how the investigation is being conducted.
Strang (The attorney for the petitioners) is seeking to stay the investigation and also has filed motions suggesting the matter be sent to the state Supreme Court. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Colorado: El Paso County Clerk staffer investigated for alleged voter fraud

El Paso County Clerk former staffer Alissa Vander Veen is being investigated for voter fraud in the state Senate recall.

Vander Veen was chief deputy and communications manager with the Clerk’s office for years, before taking a job in the spring with Challenger Homes, a Colorado Springs-based home building company. A longtime Colorado Springs political insider, she apparently moved out of El Paso to Pueblo in November of last year, but voted in the Colorado Springs special election.

Arizona: Signatures handed in for Sunnyside School Board recalls

Petitions were handed in calling for the recall of Sunnyside Unified School District board President Louie Gonzales (about 2200 signatures, 1962 were found eligible) and board member Bobby Garcia (2100, 1899 found eligible). Petitioners need 1,345 verified to get on the ballot. The issue is support for a Superintendent who has faced ethical/financial issues.

In turn, Gonzales and Garcia have targeted the other two board members for recalls, though no word on if that is going anywhere.

California: Petitions handed in against Salinas City Councilman

Petitions were handed in against Salinas City Councilman Jose Castañeda, who has refused to resign his seat on the Alisal Union School Board. The City Council members have sued to force him off the school board, and a judge held against him and slapped down a $5000 fine on top of the ruling.

Petitioners handed in 1,737 signatures. They need 1,449.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wisconsin: Sole Democratic victor in 2012 recalls running for LT Governor

State Senator John Lehman, who beat Van Wanggaard in the only Democratic victory in the 2012 recalls, announced that he will be running for Lieutenant Governor in 2014. Lehman, who lost to Wanggaard in 2010, may have good reason to jump into the race. 1. His name recognition is probably at its highest (due to the recall) and more importantly 2. His district was basically blown up in the redistricting/gerrymandering. It is now very Republican.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Louisiana: Port Allen Mayor kicked out in recall vote

Port Allen Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter was kicked out of office, 1,452-1,102 (57% against)  in the Parish's first recall ever. 

 Slaughter was accused of wasting $2500 for a trip to attend the inaugration, hiring her brother-in-law as (non-salaried) chief of staff, getting into a fight with and trying to fire the CFO, being sued by three council members, creating a mass exodus of employees, an a veto of the council's budget that may result in the Fire Department shutting down. Not a bad list for someone who was elected last November.   On the other side, Slaughter's supporters claimed a strong racial animus was behind the recall. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Parks and Recreations Star loses recall

Not a real world recall, but they still star of the show lost her recall election. BTW, Indiana is one of the few states that does not allow for recalls on the local level.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Texas: Petitions handed in for recall of Alice City Council member

Alice City Council member Frank Hinojosa is facing petitions for calling for the possible firing of the City Manager. Petitioners need only 10 signatures, and handed in 15.

Maryland: Annapolis City Councilman facing petitions over plan to change the political system

Alderman Ross Arnett, who just won reelection last week, is facing recall threats over his proposal to change the form of government. Arnett's plan would strip the mayor of some power, turning him into more of a city council member. This was after a Republican Mike Pantelides defeated the incumbent Democrat, Josh Cohen for the seat (though Arnett mentions this was an idea he had proposed in the past). 

Petitioners would need 30% of registered voters. A replacement would be filled by either of special election or by appointment (depending on how much time is left).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wisconsin: Assembly adopts constitutional amendment to move to a malfeasance standard

Wisconsin's Assembly voted to adopt a constitutional amendment changing the recall laws to a malfeasance standard for state and local officials. It is unclear if the Senate would pass the bill. Even if it goes through, it has to be passed by a second legislative session before it can go up for a constitutional vote.

Oregon: Two Lowell Councilors recall set for December 10

City councilors Pam Bryant and Gary Reese look to be facing a recall on December 10 (they both have a year left on their term). The issue seems to be their decision not to hold public interviews with 13 candidates who applied for a vacant position on the council.

New Mexico: Two Tucumcari Commissioners will be up for recall on January 2

Tucumcari Commissioners Dora Salinas-McTigue and Jimmy Sandoval will be the first recall votes of 2014, with an election scheduled for January 2. This was over the firing of the City Manager. The manager was since reinstated, though the two commissioners voted against him both times. Petitioner needed 65 signatures.

Nebraska: Petitions taken out against Bushnell Trustee

Bushnell Trustees Tim Nolting is facing petitions over allegations of "bullying" a board member to vote and over an lawsuit. Can't find out any other info due to the site's paywall.

New Mexico: Investment decisions lead to recall threats against Bernalillo Treasurer

Bernalillo County Treasurer Manny Ortiz is dealing with both a no confidence vote and now a recall Ortiz is facing criticism for putting $70 million in bonds, that the city can't easily access. They've already lost $800,000 for early removal penalties. Petitioners need 45,596 signatures -- and they have to all be from people who voted in November 2012 election.

Arizona: Discussion of recall against Cave Creek Vice Mayor

Vice Mayor Adam Trenk is the subject of this article.

California: Petitions submitted for recall of three Dinuba officials


Massachusetts: Lawrence Mayor loses race, demands recount

Lawrence mayor William Lantigua has been the source of numerous recall petitions. He lost his reelection run by a hair and is asking for a recount.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Louisiana: Big turnout in Port Allen mayoral recall

The vote is for Saturda to remove Mayor Deedy Slaughter but 41% of voters (1,655) have already cast ballots. This tops the 2012 presidential election early voter turnout (1,434). 

Colorado: Hudak outraises recall supporters, and starts aggressive anti-recall campaign

Senator Evie Hudak appears to be heavily outraising supporters of her recall, at least in the early going. Hudak has raised $50,428 since Oct. 23 to ($30,000 coming from Environmental Majority). The pro-recall forces have $23,296. What's is particularly interesting is the discussion of an "aggressive street campaign" and robocalls to discourage signers.

The robocall is accused of sounding like a police alert (if you click on the link, you'll hear why). The script of the robocall is something else:
"This is a community alert for Arvada and Westminster from the Democracy Defense fund," a female announcer declares at the beginning of the recorded message. "Paid signature-gatherers who have not gone through a criminal background check could be in Westminster and Arvada this week asking for signatures in a recall petition."

Michigan: ex-Troy Mayor loses City Council race

Janice Daniels, who was ousted as Troy Mayor in a recall last year, came in fourth in a race for three council seats.

Wisconsin: Walker appears not to back recall reform bill

Here -- though I'm not clear if Walker is actually opposed (or even neutral) on the bill.

Colorado: Daily Show covers the John Morse/Angela Giron recalls

Here -- I'm a big fan of the show, but this is not a good piece (both from a reporting and from a humor standpoint -- and I would imagine that the show would normally nail such a story).. Were the interviews done in Denver, as this report claims? In which case, there is a very strong reason those people didn't vote in the recall -- they couldn't.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Michigan: Firing of City Manager leads to recall threats in South Lyon

South Lyon Mayor Tedd Wallace and Council members Joe Ryzyi, Erin Kopkowski and Bev Dixson are being threatened with recalls over their firing of the City Manager in October. So far, it is just a Facebook page, but the recall is being "explored." Three council members who voted against the firing won reelection in November.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

California: Recall threat against California assembly members called out as "publicity stunt"

One of the backers is Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who is talking about a run for Governor. This article criticises Donnelly, and notes that the recall threat (over the assembly members support for gun control legislation) "early on targeted only lawmakers with Spanish surnames." 

Wisconsin: Glenwood Mayor and two City Council members uo for recall vote on December 17

The recall against Glenwood City mayor Mayor John Larson and city council members Nancy Hover and Dave Graese is set for December 17th, with a general election date on January 14 (if there are more than two candidates). The issue is a potential sand-fracking operation.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Michigan: Two Onaway Commissioners facing recalls in May

After having three recalls take place on Tuesday, there will be two more recall votes against Onaway Commissioners over the elimination of its one man police department. Commissioners Ron Horrocks and Bernie Schmeltzer will be facing a recall on May 6th, 2014.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

California: San Bernardino City Attorney, Councilwoman lose, One Councilman survives

Another crazy result in the bankrupt city of San Bernardino. 26 year veteran City Attorney Jim Penman lost his position with about 60% against (6601-4447), as did Councilwoman Wendy McCammack (1256-944">Councilman John Valdivia survived a recall (364-609).

However, McCammack was also running for Mayor. In that race, she came in first, and will advance to a runoff. Second time that happened in one night! She did only get 24.6% in the mayor's race.

Michigan: Split vote in Onaway, with recalled city official winning a full term

Fascinating result in the Onaway recall.  Mayor Gary Wregglesworth (144-107) and City Commissioner Chuck Abshagen (134-115) survived their recall race. City Commissioner Jessie Horrocks lost bin a squeaker to Roger Marsh (114-112). However, Horrocks and Abshagen were also on the ballot for a new term starting in January. Both of them won (Abshagen 131, Horrocks, 105).  So, despite being recalled, Horrocks will restart in office in January. 

Idaho: Teton School District Trustee easily triumphs in recall

Teton School District trustee Nancy Arnold won her recall by an overwhelming margin 84-266. The issue appeared to be her refusal to support a four day school week.

Colorado: Lochbuie Trustee survives recall, second trustee resigns

Lochbuie Board of Trustee member Candace Veldhuizen survived 48-52 (363 votes for removal, 391 against). A second Trustee, Leon Sanders, resigned days before the recall vote.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Texas: Lubbock Councilman survives recall vote

Councilman Victor Hernandez survived his recall vote yesterday, with 58% (911-647) of the voters casting ballots to keep him in office.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Texas: Split result in Cibolo recalls

Councilwoman Karen Hale lost 115-85, ll; Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Liparoto went down to defeat, 137-135 vote.  Councilman Ron Pedde seems to have survived by one vote (76-75), and Councilman Larry Carlton had an even better answer, by a 192-168 vote


Michigan: Split decision in Hesperia School Board recalls

A split result in the Hesperia recall over the firing of a wrestling coach. Matthew Joppich survived the recall vote with 567 votes.

However, Micheal Anderson came in third with 540 votes. He loses his seat.

California: Moreno Valley Councilman pleads guilty to $2.36 million bribe

Marcelo Co, who was facing recall petitions before he resigned, pleaded guilty to bribery charges.

Wisconsin: Walker replaces head of the GAB

Scott Walker has withdrawn the nomination Judge David Deininger, who has served as head of the GAB. Deininger is a former Republican Assemblyman. Walker is planning to replace him with Harold Froehlich, an 81-year-old former Republican congressman who worked as an Outagamie County circuit judge for 30 years. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald was asking for a return to a more partisan board of elections after the recall votes.

15 officials facing recall votes on Tuesday

Looks like a relatively quiet Election Day for Recalls -- by my count, 15 officials are facing a recall votes on Tuesday (I'm still looking if there are others out there), plus at least one jurisdiction is holding a vote on a ballot provision to adopt the recall. Last year on Election Day, there were 22 recalls. In 2011, there were 26.  

The reasons for the recall span the spectrum. By far the most notable ones are in the bankrupt city of San Bernardino, where 3 officials are going before the voters -- there were attempts against 10 officials in all. Other notable recalls are in Hesperia (firing of a high school coach) and Cibolo (Walmart).



Teton School District

2 Onaway City Council members
2 Hesperia School Board members

Lubbock City Councilman
4 Cibolo City Council members

Ballot Provision:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nebraska: Central City School Board recall makes the ballot

The recall of Central City School Board Kent Malm over the vote to fire a football coach is a go. Petitioners needed 489, they handed in 586. Two other board members faced petitions, but due to a failure to specifically state on the petitions whether the gatherers were volunteer or paid, the signatures were tossed out.

Michigan: Onaway recall on Tuesday, with officials running in recall and general election

An interesting vote on Tuesday for Onaway City commissioners Chuck Abshagen and Jessie Horrocks.The two are running in both the recall and the general election. If they lose the recall, but win the general election race, they will be bounced immediately, and come back into office on in January. The issue was a vote to eliminate the Onaway police department.

California: San Bernardino recall head spent reported $146,210 on recall campaign

One of the leaders of the San Bernardino recall, Scott Beard, has put at least $146,210 in the 2013 election. The report is only up to October 19, so presumably, he will be spending thousands more before Tuesday's election.

The article is worth it just for the quote about Artie Samish.

Signs vandalized in Colorado River Indian Tribe Recall

The anti-recall campaign signs are being vandalized ahead of the November 6th election.

New Jersey: Two Bogota Council members facing petitions

Two Bogota council members,  Mayor Patrick McHale and Council President Antero “Tito” Jackson, are facing recall petitions brought by two fellow members, Jorge Nunez and Evaristo Burdiez, Jr. All four are Democrats. Petitioners are claiming that the issue was a vote to approve high end apartments on a vacant land, with a claim of a too big tax break. The story notes that the fight is part of a long running battle between old guard and newer Hispanic residents. Petitioners will need 1,100 signatures (25% of registereds).

The two petitioners are also backing Republican challengers to two other council members facing election on Tuesday.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Michigan: Good look at the Hesperia school board recall

This one is over the firing of wrestling coach Doug Baird. Two school board members who voted to not renew Baird's contract as wrestling coach, Micheal Anderson and Matt Joppich, are facing the voters next Tuesday.

Baird was apparently a very successful coach (401-42, state title in 08, 4 runner-ups). However, he receive two reprimands, one over alleged marijuana use by wrestlers on an overnight trip, the other alleging a failure to investigate an inappropriate touching claim.

Petitioners got 600 signatures, they needed 315. A third board member, Jeff Thome, challenged the recall wording, and the delay was enough to kill the recall for the November ballot.

This is the second recall that I know of over a coach's firing this year. There's another attempt in Nebraska.

Michigan: Investigation into recall attempt against Benton Harbor mayor leads to no action

An investigation into the failed recall attempt against Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower is ending with no action. Petitioners had handed in signatures in  October, 2012, but 251 were thrown out. There were allegations of fraud, but they only seem to say some of the signers were not in the city limit and others were duplicates.

Canada: Proposed recall law for Ontario Parliament

Randy Hillier, a "maverick" member of opposition Progressive Conservative party in the Ontario parliament (which is the province, not the national government of Canada), is proposing adding a recall. The recall would require signatures of25% of voters in 60 days (similar to Wisconsin's law). The story notes that about 50,000 votes are cast in each riding, so they would need about 12,500 signatures on average. The law also would not allow recalls in the first and last year of a scheduled term.

Idaho: Mellen Water District faces petitions

Mellen Subdivision Water District board members chairwoman Angelena Morrison, Tiffany Belt, Norma Meyers, Davis French and Sarah Miller, are facing recall petitions brought by four previous members of the board. A tax hike is part of the issue of the recall, though that is only a small part of the story.

The four former board members, Bart Eben, Ron Hazuka, Janet Donahue and Art Vagt, were previously investigated for not holding actual elections.

There is also this very odd claim:
Meanwhile, the recall petitions argue that a conflict of interest exists between Morrison and Kane, stating that both are friends. However, a copy of the recall petition obtained by the Mountain Home News shows that Hazuka, a former board member, and Donahue, who served as the former board secretary and treasurer, live at the same address within the district.

Venezuela: President Maduro challenges opposition to recall him

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro challenged the opposition to recall him. You may remember that his predecessor Hugo Chavez faced a recal in 2004, which Chavez won with 59.1% in his favor.

Here's some useful details on Venezuela's presidential recall law:

Article 72 of the constitution states that, “All magistrates and other offices filled by popular vote are subject to revocation. Once half of the term of office to which an official has been elected has elapsed, a number of voters constituting at least 20% of the voters registered in the pertinent circumscription may extend a petition for the calling of a referendum to revoke such official's mandate.”
Should a majority vote to recall the person, with at least as many voting in favour of the recall as originally voted in favour of the person, and with at least 25% of registered voters participating in the recall election, the person will be removed their position. Only one such petition for recall may be filed per term.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Arizona: Clifton School Board recalls set for March 11

Two Clifton Schools Board of Education members, Board President Adam Chacon and member Reynaldo Tavison, will be up for recalls on March 11 over their vote in favor of property tax increases. Petitioners needed 151 signatures, they handed in 292 and 274 valids.

Massachusetts: Recalls discussed in Harwich over road reconstruction project

Harwich is facing questions about initiating recalls, thanks to complaints about a plan to reconstruct Route 124 that would "ruin the rural character of the road." Petitioners would need about 2,000 signatures (20% of turnout).

Wisconsin: Walker with a slight lead in early 2014 polls


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rhode Island: Exeter gun control recall set for December 14, with bizarre replacement rules

The recall of four Exeter Council members, Council President Arlene B. Hicks, Vice President William Monahan, Robert Johnson and Calvin A. Ellis, is set to take place on December 14 (a Saturday). The issue was the council members support for a bill (that didn't pass) asking the state Attorney General to take over gun permit approval.  
The four are all Democrats. The one council member not facing a recall is independent Raymond A. Morrissey Jr.
This is Exeter's first recall, and the first one I've seen in Rhode Island. The recall law is very odd. There is no replacement race. The replacement is the loser in last November's election (the highest vote-getter if there are multiple candidates). One of the four ran unopposed, so the new council members were then select his replacement.

Michigan: Genesee County Commissioner to appeal clarity/factualness of recall petition

The former Democratic Party Chair is going to represent Pegge Adams in her appeal -- could be the first case that allows judicial clarification on the new factualness requirement.

Wisconsin: Democrats dispute Walker's book


Sunday, October 27, 2013

California: Five State Legislators targeted in recalls

Five Democrats are facing threats of a recall over gun control issues, with the targets including Assembly Speaker John Perez, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirck-Silva, Sen. Ben Hueso of San Diego, Sen. Norma Torres of Pomona, and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego. The last three were elected in special elections.

Of particular note is this fact:

[Jennifer] Kerns is a Republican political strategist who helped with the Colorado effort. She also is the spokeswoman for the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks, who was the only lawmaker to attend the news conference

North Dakota: Spirit Lake Tribal Secretary survives recall vote

Spirit Lake Tribal Secretary Nancy Greene-Robertson survived a recall, 260-156. This was the third tribal recall vote in recent months -- Former Chairman Roger Yankton was recalled in July and Mardell Lewis survived a recall last month.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Idaho: Petitioners have 75% of signatures need in Lake Pend Oreille school board recall

Petitioners have reportedly gathered 75% of the signatures needed to get the recall of Lake Pend Oreille School Board chair Steve Youngdahl on the ballot. The issue is Youngdahl's push to arm teachers.

Nebraska: Petitions handed in for Central City School Board

Petitions are being counted for the recall against Central City School Board Kent Malm over the firing of football coach Darrin Garfield. Petitioners need 489 signatures, they handed in 586.

A previous effort to recall two other board members, Dale Palser and Steve Belitz, failed even though petitioners appeared to get enough signatures. The petitions did not state on each page whether the petitioners were paid or volunteer. Due to their being for election next year, Palser and Belitz aren't eligible for a recall any longer.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wisconsin: Special Prosecutor looking into campaign violations in recall

There are investigations in five separate counties, This appears to be both for the 2011 and 2012 recalls, and it sounds like it is focusing on the Republicans side, but it is all very uncertain. Very hard to read to much into this until more details come out.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Arizona: Golden Valley Fire District members facing petitions

Four members of Golden Valley Fire District are facing petitions over claims that they overspent the budget and attacked staff members.Board members Steve Robinson, Chairman Mark Vanik, Curt Hardy and Rhonda Brooks are facing recall threats -- three of them need 483 signatures, and Hardy seems to require 161. The fifth board seat is vacant.

Colorado: Supreme Court affirms unconstitutionality of yes/no voting requirement

Not that this mattered, but the Supreme Court affirmed its previous decision holding that a vote could skip the recall portion of the vote, and instead just cast a ballot on the replacement.

New Jersey: Wayne Councilman facing petitions

Councilman Franco Mazzei is facing recall petitions due to his perceived opposition to a redevelopment plan. Petitioners need 2,000 signatures.

California: San Bernandino's historic election

Here's some more detail on the San Bernardino recalls and election. Councilman Chas Kelley, who was the focus of a recall campaign that didn't get the signatures, pleaded guilty to felony perjury and resigned his seat.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Idaho: Proposal to arm teachers from School District Trustee in Sandpoint leads to recall petitions

Lake Pend Oreille School District trustee Steve Youndahl is facing petitions over his proposal to arm teachers. Petitioners need 105 signatures in 70 days. One of the issues is the evidence that Youndahl presented for an article.

Wisconsin: Scott Walker coming out with a new book


Friday, October 18, 2013

Texas: Lubbock City Councilman running for reelection while facing a recall

Victor Hernandez is heading in front of the voters on November 5, but he is also planning on running for reelection. Note this article as well, that the former City Manager, whose ouster precipitated the Hernandez recall, donated to the recall Hernandez efforts.

Maryland: Rock Hall council approves charter amendment for recall

I spoke to the attorneys involved in drafting this law and gave my thoughts. They did a good job in navigating some of the tricky problems that occur with recalls.

California: Four Commerce Council members facing petitions

Commerce Mayor Pro Tem Lilia Leon and Council members Denise Robles, Ivan Altamirano and Tina Baca Del Rio, are all facing recall petitions, though Robles seems to be from a separate group.

The official complaints are about campaign finance disclosure forms.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Texas: El Paso City Council considering former mayor's legal issues in recall

It's not clear exactly what they are debating, though the mayor has asked the city to pay the $550,000 in  legal bills he racked up to avoid a recall.

Michigan: Genesee County Commissioner facing petitions over animal shelter

Genesee County Commissioner Pegge Adams is being targeted for a recall due to complaints with an animal shelter. The petitioners are complaining that Adams, the chairperson of the Animal Control Subcommittee, didn't properly investigate the agency.

Adams is a first-term Democrats.

Colorado: Governor Hickenlooper suggests outside groups stay out of recall


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rhode Island: Recall of four Exeter town councilors moves to verification stage.

This is another gun control recall (and a very rare one in Rhode Island). Petitions were gathered against four (of five) Exeter town councilors due to their support for a law (that failed in the Assembly) giving the state AG the job of issuing concealed weapons permits. Petitioners needed 496 signatures. They got 600. We'll see if enough are valid.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Poland: Warsaw Mayor appears to survive recall

It looks likeWarsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz survived the recall vote held on  Sunday. The recall needed 29% turnout -- it got 27.2%

Louisiana: St. Tammany Parish Coroner resigns during recall effort

St. Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Galvan has resigned after being indicted on federal charges of theft. Petitioners had been working to get the 54,000 signatures before the resignation (they had to hand in on November 14).

Oregon: Editorial calls for malfeasance standard for recalls


New Jersey: Two Newfield Council members facing petitions

Councilman Everett Marshall III and council president Michael Carrow are facing petitions over a long standing battle between the council and the volunteer fire chief. Petitioners need 290 signatures in about five months. Marshall is an ex-fire chief himself. Note that this would be the second recall in the County's history.
The one and only recall election was in 1984 when Deptford’s Mayor Joseph Kivlen was challenged. The recall vote went on, but did not pass. Kivlen remained seated in his post.