Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wisconsin: Editorial calling for end of recall

This was written in the wake of the La Crosse City Council President recall.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

California: Fontana school board petitions handed in

Petitions have been handed in for the recall of Fontana Unified School Board members Leticia Garcia and Sophia Green. Petitioners handed in more than 11,000 signatures, significantly more than the 7,905 needed.

The two school board members have that Mayor Acquanetta Warren is behind the recall, with Garcia threatening a run for mayor.

Arizona: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio facing recall threats

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now facing a threatened recall race -- apparently by the same people who lead the successful recall of Senate Majority Leader Russell Pearce. 

The chances of this get on the ballot are very slim -- they would need 335,317 valid signatures in four months (25% of turnout). If it actually worked, it would represent the fourth most signatures ever collected for a recall (The other three are California Governor Gray Davis and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and LG Rebecca Kleefisch). Arizona voters did succeed in getting a recall against Governor Evan Meacham on the ballot in 1988, though that effort required less total valid signatures. Looks at the Pearce recall signatures -- many were invalid. Similarly, we saw a Phoenix City Council recall were the error rate was over 50%.

According to the article, the recall supporters are expecting $1 million cost (almost certainly on the low side), and are looking to pay petition gatherers $1.75 to $2 per signature. 

Colorado: Resignation letter from Teller County Clerk and Recorder

Here's the letter -- she resigned following a bi-partisan recall effort. Here is another story on it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wisconsin: La Crosse City Council President Easily wins recall race

La Crosse City Council President Audrey Kader easily beat back her recall challengers, winning a largest enough total in the primary to head off a general election. Kader got 196 votes (73%), while the other two candidates got 42 and 26 votes.

Wisconsin is the only state that has a primary, however, if one candidate gets an absolute majority of the vote in the primary, than there is no general election.

Louisiana: No petitions handed in for Gibsland Aldermen recall

No petitions were handed in for the recalls of Gibsland aldermen Marketris Jones and Timmy Cato. Petitioners would have needed 273 signatures (out of 682 voters). The two aldermen have opposed the mayor, especially on financing issues. Another Alderwoman, Katherine Mixon, resigned during the recall collection, though the report claims it was for health reasons.

Kentucky: Fairview School District may vote to "recall" utilities tax

This is more of an initiative  than a recall. The voters of Fairview school district are trying to recall a 3 percent tax on utilities to finance a refurbishment of the high school. Two similar attempts were shot down by voters in 2005 and 2007.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Texas: El Paso City Council tries to gut recall law

Following the failed recall attempts against the Mayor and City Council, El Paso has a city council is considering changes to the charter, and the recall law. Essentially, they are taking a two pronged approach to drive a stake through the heart of the recall.

The big one (though not mentioned in the article) is an attempt to turn the city into a malfeasance standard (or  judicial recall) jurisdiction:
In specifying the reasons for a recall and removal on the petition, the petition shall set forth distinctly and specifically grounds showing or tending to show some ground of incompetency or unfitness for or misconduct or malfeasance in the office
Second propose change will also potentially drastically limit recalls. They are proposing changing the signature requirements from 20% of turnout to a percentage of total registered voters (oddly, they do not specify the number).

Friday, January 25, 2013

Non-Recall Op-ed in The Week on Gaming the Electoral College


Wisconsin: La Crosse City Council President defends tenure


Florida: More on the embattled Tamarac City Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad


Texas: Firing of Rio Grande City Manager leading to recall talk

The City Council's decision to fire the city manager and temporarily replace him with the mayor, has led to talks of a recall. The City Manager was originally suspended due to a drunk driving charge. 

Colorado: Teller County Clerk resigns under threat of bi-partisan recall

Well, that was quick. Yesterday we saw news that there was a bi-partisan attempt to recall Teller County clerk and recorder “JJ” Jamison. Today, after the papers were filed, Jamison announced she is resigning.

West Virginia: Editorial opposing Salem recalls

Apparently, enough signatures have been handed for a recall of four members of the Salem city council. As other jurisdictions have learned, a massive recall of legislators can present quorum problems, especially in a jurisdiction calling for appoint of replacements.

Interestingly enough, there is also an election for these seats on June 4th.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Maine: York Selectman facing recall petitions

Selectman Ron Nowell is facing recall threats, joining Chairwoman Mary Andrews and Vice Chairman Scott Fiorentino in potentially facing a recall election.

Petitioners need 641 signatures (10 percent gubernatorial turnout).

Petitioners are calling for the firing of Town Manager Rob Yandow, who is being blamed for a stalled police station project.

There does seem to be a dispute between the different council members:

At a selectmen meeting Jan. 14, Andrews told Nowell he wasn't working with the board, but rather "dropping bombs" of information on them.

Mississippi: Choctaw Tribal Council votes to lower recall requirements

They are lowering the percentage of votes for a successful recall from 75 percent to 60 percent in the case of Tribal Council representatives and the Tribal Chief.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Texas: Killeen holds hearings on new charter, with revised recall provisions

Following the 2011 Killeen recalls, the city is debating a new charter. Among the provisions that will affect recalls is a new rule that only people living in a council members district can vote on the recall.

Arizona: Law to repay legislators for recalls introduced again

Here -- it failed last time.

Florida: Tamarac City Commissioner facing recall after acquittal

Tamarac city commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad, who was just acquitted of eight felony corruption counts, is facing recall threats. Petitioners need about 1,000 signatures in 30 days.

Grad was suspended for about two and half years for her vote in favor of a developers project. The developer gave Grad $6,300 in benefits for a BMW lease and a victory party.

Colorado: Embattled Teller County Clerk & Recorder facing bi-partisan recall effort

The Republican Party Central Committee has started a recall against Teller County's Clerk & Recorder J. J. Jamison. The recall is apparently a bi-partisan effort, as the chairman of the county Democratic Party is a member of the recall committee.

Jamison is a Republican, but the chairman of Republican Party is not dodging the issue:
“J.J. was elected through the party so I have a responsibility to the party and the county,” (Pete) LaBarre said. “It's purely business. But we all have a responsibility to ensure that elected officials are doing what they are supposed to be doing.”
Petitioners would need 25% of turnout.

Jamison has been heavily criticized by Secretary of State Scott Gessler, including in a written report by Gessler's office. See this article and note this as well:
After a series of mishaps during the primary, Jamison was removed from her duties as the election official. As a result, November's general election was handled by the Secretary's representatives as well as Jamison's deputies, Krystal Brown and Stephanie Fisher.

Monday, January 21, 2013

California: Candidates lining up in the Coastside Fire Protection District recall

Candidates are lining up to run for the Coastside Fire Protection District recall on April 9 -- Michael Alifano, Douglas Mackintosh and Gary Riddell are all facing recalls, though there is no challenger for Mackintosh.

So far, Karen Anderson has filed to run against Alifano while Lee McKusick and Harvey Rarback have filed to run against Riddell. Rarback lost a bid for a seat on the Half Moon Bay City Council in November.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Maine: Poland Selectmen ousted in recall running to regain seats

The two selectmen kicked out on January 3rd,  Larry Moreau and Jim Fernald, have gotten a letter from an atorney who helped draft the town charter stating that their firing the town manager (the precipitating event for the recall) was done correctly.
The two are both running in the special election on March 4 to fill the seats (along with at least two other candidates).

Friday, January 18, 2013

Oregon: Linn County Sheriff threatening not to enforce propose gun control laws facing recall threats

Sheriff Tim Mueller, who wrote the VP Biden stating that he will not enforce gun control laws that he feels violate the Second Amendment, cannot be fired by the Linn County Board of Commissioners, though there is talk of a recall. 
Petitioners would have 90 days to collect 6,231 signatures (15% of turnout in the last gubernatorial election). 
The articles notes that the last time a Linn County official was recalled was 1982, and that was due to lying in the voter pamphlet and misappropriating funds. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Alabama: Prichard Police Chief ouster leading to calls for mayor's recall

A decision to fire the Prichard police chief is leading to calls for the mayor's recall. Doesn't look like they have a recall law to use, though. 

North Dakota: Two Mayville City Council members survive recall vote

Two Mayville City Council members survived their recall votes. The recall was following the removal of the city public works director position. One Council member, Mike Carr got 236 votes and the other, Larry O’Brien, got 202 votes. They were challenged by five people, though closest of whom got 84 votes.

Minnesota: Faribault School Board member threatened, though likely not allowed

Faribault School Board Chair Jason Engbrecht is facing a threatened recall over a decision to prevent another board member off the district committees this year. 
My guess is that this would not be able to go forward regardless (Minnesota has a very strict malfeasance standard), but apparently the Constitution does not even provide for recalls of school board members. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Maine: Two Milford School Committee Members facing petitions

Two Milford School Committee Members, Chairman Gary Drinkwater and Michael Bond, are facing recall petitions following a contentious three year period for the board, which seems to include ousting a former superintendent. One of the petitioners was a former committee member, and another is married to a current committee member.
Petitioners need 20% of turnout (260 voters) in 30 days.

New Mexico: Two Raton School Board members facing recall threats from former principal, teacher

Two Raton school board members, President Sheila Castellini and secretary Michael Anne Holland, are facing recall threats which seemed to be based on alleged lack of professionalism on the board. Petitioners are a former principal and a former teacher. A judge will have to decide on the merits before it can advance to the petition gathering stage.

If it does go forward, petitioner would have 110 days to gather signatures of 1/3 of turnout (which appears to be 41).

Michigan: Mesick School Board member facing recall threat

Mesick Consolidated Schools board of education Jerry Coger is facing a recall threat from a former board member. The potential petitioner is claiming that Coger threatened to have two district staff members fired and of violating board policy in the awarding of a snow removal contract.

Texas: Killeen mayor after the recall


Monday, January 14, 2013

Louisiana: Vidalia Police Chief recall fails to turn in signatures

The attempt to recall Vidalia Police Chief Arthur Lewis failed, as petitioners didn't hand in the 1,174 signatures needed. According to the report, petitioners sent an email claiming they came 280 signatures short.

North Dakota: Two Mayville City Council members facing recall votes on Wednesday

Two City Council members, Mike Carr and Larry O’Brien, are facing recall votes on Wednesday, over their votes to eliminate the public works director position. They are facing 5 contenders for the seats.

The vote to remove the position was 4-2, and the other council members who voted in favor did not seek reelection.

Non-Recall Op-ed in The Week on Democrats nominating Republicans for Defense Secretary

Here it is.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Texas: San Marcos mayor and four council members facing recall threats

San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Council Members Thomason, Shane Scott, Kim Porterfield and Wayne Becak are facing recall threats for approving a zoning change allowing student housing on land that was voted by a ballot proposition to be a city parkland. Petitioners, led by a failed city council candidate, need 10% of registereds -- about 2,960).

Friday, January 11, 2013

Colorado: Center Mayor, Trustees face March 19 recall

The Center Town Board set a recall for March 19. Presumably it is the mayor and three Trustees facing the recall vote.

California: Pasedena Councilman facing recall threats

Pasadena Councilman Steve Madison is facing recall threats for his support for a bill to increase the number of large events that can be held at the Rose Bowl, a move that is thought will pave the way for the return of the NFL. 
Petitioners are nearby homeowners and neighborhood groups who worry about the additional problems.
This is part is very interesting:
Madison cast the deciding vote against a previous NFL proposal in 2006.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Idaho: Mullan mayor, councilman recall on the ballot on March 12

Mullan Mayor Mike Dunnigan and Councilman Dan White will be facing recall votes on March 12. Petitioner needed 77 signatures and got 82 and 78.

This seems to be one of the key precipitating events:

A confrontation between Bergstrom, Dunnigan and a female companion was posted on YouTube on Sept. 17 ( In the clip, which CNN posted on its website, Dunnigan threatens to “beat the living (expletive) out of” Bergstrom, who was apparently on his own property. Dunnigan yelled the words from the driver’s seat of a blue minivan. He was apparently upset about a sign posted on a utility pole across the street from Bergstrom’s home. Bergstrom said the sign said, “Please drive slow.” 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

UK: MP laments lack of action on recall bill

Tory MP Zac Goldsmith is again attacking the proposed recall bill, noting that the government has completely stopped talking about the law. His own bill is also not getting any traction:

Goldsmith has devised his own Private Member’s Bill, and had all-party support for a Early Day Motion — apart from the Lib-Dems. But although submitted in June, it will not be debated until March — if at all.

West Virginia: Four Salem City Council members may be facing recall

This one is very hard to track, which fits in with my experience on West Virginia recalls. Apparently, four Salem City Council members, Israel Williams, Laurie McKowen, Bobby Knight and Doug Fischer, are facing recalls (petitioners needed 20% of registereds). The four seem to have voted to kick out the now-former Mayor Don Stamm due to a claim that he didn't actually live in the city. The two members who didn't vote for Stamm's removal weren't targeted in the recall. There won't be a replacement vote -- the surviving council members appoint replacements.

According to one article:

Each petition accuses the four of “disruptions and actions that continue to subject the city to ridicule from the media and neighboring communities. They continue to waste valuable time squabbling and pursuing personal attacks rather than addressing the real challenges and concerns that face the city.”

The city apparently also has a law that the petitioners will have to pay for the costs of the recall. Now, we saw a "loser pays" law in Keyser, West Virginia (which seemed to have a very anti-democratic code), but this law seems a bit different. This may involve some digging, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wisconsin: Two Supreme Court challengers signed Walker petitions

The Wisconsin state Supreme Court is in the news again -- two challengers in the race against Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack signed the Walker petitions. The two are Marquete University law professor Ed Fallone and lemon law attorney Vince Megna.

California: Stone Corral Elementary School District recall on April 9

Stone Corral Elementary School District board members Reynold Esquivel and Rebecca Quintana are facing a recall election on April 9.

The issue was that the attempted firing of teacher/principal/superintendent Chris Kemper and administrative assistant Dolares Gonzalez, the cancelattion or rescheduling of some school board meetings and allegation that the two members refuse to speak to a few parents who weren't registered voters.

North Dakota: Williston School Board recall back to square one

The Williston School Board recall election process against school board members Monica Chamley and Katie Peterson, has to be restarted, as the petitioners failed to file an affidavit for each board member.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Maine: Poland voters oust three selectmen in first recalls of 2013

Three Poland Selectmen, Jim Fernald, Larry Moreau and Wendy Sanborn, were ousted yesterday, in the first recalls of the year. All three voted to fire the town manager on October 16.

Fernald lost 305 to 261, Moreau lost 350 to 216; and Sanborn lost by the greatest margin, 360 to 201.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

California: Yuba County Superior Court Judge recall fails to turn in signatures

The attempt to recall Yuba County Superior Court Judge Julia L. Scrogin failed, with no signatures being submitted. The issue was a ruling against one of the recall backers in a foreclosure case. 
The recall started off poorly, with two failures to submit the minimum number of signatures to get the recall of the ground. 

Missouri: Kansas City Mayor facing recall threat if light rail plan vote not held

Kansas City transit activist is threatening to recall Mayor Sly James, if the city doesn't schedule a vote in 60 days on his light rail plan. They would need about 18,000 signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

Wisconsin: Primary campaign in La Crosse Common Council president recall

La Crosse Common Council President Audrey Kader is now going to have a primary before the recall race. Oddly, I see no notice of a political party, though it seems like the top two challengers in the first race get to compete again in February.
Kader is facing a past challenger, Jerome Gundersen, Jr., who Kader beat in 2003. She is also facing a Viterbo student, Gage Maurer. Most of the signatures against Kader were from Viterbo students. Note this comment:
"UW-La Crosse has consistently had representation on city council," Maurer said in a statement. "Therefore, Viterbo should also have representation on city council.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Peru: Lima mayor facing recall vote on March 17; former mayor may have led efforts on recall

Lima mayor Susana Villaran is facing a March 17 recall vote half-way through her term, and there's some debate over why. According to this Global Post article, Marco Tulio Gutierrez was responsible for the 400,000 signature-gathering effort. But he has refused to state who put up the 2 million soles ($770,000) to pay the gatherers. As a nice touch, they also gave away candy.
According to the piece, former mayor Luis Castaneda (who finished fifth in the presidential election last year) is leading the effort. One of the goals is that holding office would give him immunity from prosecution over the alleged payment in 2006 of 36 million Soles ($13.9 million) to Comunicore, a waste-management company run by a friend.