Wednesday, July 31, 2013

California: Christian Science Monitor checks it on San Diego mayor story

I'm cited in this piece, so might as well link to it. It provides an overview of the situation.

Colorado: Secretary of State rejects Pueblo County's attempt to get state to pay for recall

Secretary of State Scott Gessler has rejected a request to get the state to pay for the expense of the recall. Pueblo estimates these costs to $180,000. 

While reimbursement and recall expense is a regular discussion, this one seems to be based on a state statute regarding the term "political subdivision." This is actually one of those rulings that you can see hurting their political positions. Pueblo County voters might be a little more annoyed by the fact that they are paying for the recall (helping the Democratic state Senator Giron). However, that may be too much conjecture on my part.

Maryland: Rock Hall drafts recall law

Rock Hall Town Council unanimously (well, 3-0), approved a charter amendment to allow the city to have a recall. The goal is recall the current Mayor Robert Willis, who is otherwise in office till 2015. No word on what the law looks like, but it could be 25% of registered voters.

Here's some of the problems:
The vote follows a long train of clashes between Willis and the Council that began on April 28 — when he unsuccessfully challenged the integrity of Town Manager Ron Fithian and Councilman Olin “Butch” Price. In the weeks that followed, Willis failed in an attempt to fire MacLeod as the town attorney, and lost management authority of the Clerks Office when he tried to pressure Treasurer Stephanie Loller to hand over her passwords to the town’s online banking system – against legal advice. Willis also lost supervisory powers of the transportation and police departments.
Price said that Willis’ many commu

Oregon: State Republican Party Chair facing recall vote on August 10

Oregon Republican Party Chairwoman Suzanne Gallagher, elected in February, is facing a recall vote on August 10th. The insurgents need 19 of the state's county Republican committees to call for the recall and apparently got it. The issues appear to be questions on the party's finances and hiring decisions.

The is the first party recall I've seen (though it is possible that it occurs under different names).

New Jersey: Montague school board members facing recall threats

The issue is a send-receive agreement with another school. Unfortunately, the big story on this is locked off, so I haven't seen it.

Louisiana: St. Tammany Parish Coroner recall update

The recall effort against St. Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Glavin has gotten only about 35% of signatures at the 40% point (they have 180 days to get 52,000 signatures). Since they probably need a lot more than 52,000, that may make the recall a heavy lift.

Alaska: Whittier, strangest town in Alaska, ousts it's mayor

Whittier mayor Lester Lunceford has been bounced out following the counting of all absentee ballot. No word yet on the totals.

Texas: Enough signatures handed in for four Cibolo City Council recalls

Petitioners targeting four Cibolo City Council members, Ron Pedde, Karen Hale, Larry Carlton and Steve Liparoto, have got enough signatures to get on the ballot (150 for each, or 30% of registereds), The recall is over the council members support for a Walmart.
The City Council took no action on setting up a recall for November 5. Petitioners may have to go to court to get it on the ballot.

California: Claim that Filner backer filed petition to try and kill recall effort

More catastrophes in the San Diego recall law, as a Filner backer allegedly filed a recall petition to start the clock on the recall. Looking at the San Diego law, it seems that he has a decent claim. You may remember that a Scott Walker supporter filed a petition a week before anyone else, but that was simply to start the clock running for fundraising. I don't know if other jurisdictions have a provision that allows one petition to preempt others.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

California: Two Banning School Board members facing petitions over new superintendent

Two Banning Unified trustees, President Ray Curtis, and Alejandro “Alex” Cassadas, are facing petitions over the hiring of a new superintendent.

California: San Bernardino petitioners sue City Clerk over rejected signature ruling

Petitioners have filed suit against San Bernardino City Clerk Gigi Hanna to force the count of signatures against James F. Penman. Hanna had rejected the signatures, claiming they were gathered too early.

California: Filner sues city over reimbursement request

San Diego mayor is suing the city seeking reimbursement over his legal fees, and the city is suing him back. I can't say all that much about a general lawsuit, but there have been numerous attempts to get the state to pay for an elected official's expenses in a recall (there was a lot of discussion during the Gray Davis recall). Some states have it mandated that the state pays -- California had this, and Senator Michael Machado looked into it after surviving a recall in 1995. He abandoned the effort. It is not clear what would be paid for in any case. Similarly, the El Paso mayor just tried to get the city council to pay his $500K legal bill, which they rejected, and the Arizona legislature looked to pass a law to reimburse former Senate President Russell Pearce. That did not go anywhere either.

It'll be interesting to see if Filner actually tries to push this one.

Colorado: Denver Post looks at the Giron recall


Arizona: Pecos North Homeowners Association kicks out three members

Three members of the Pecos North Homeowners Association, Sharron Peek, June Peele and Joann Pompa, were removed in a July 17 election. One other member, Peg Strachan, who started the recall against the other members, had petitions taken out against her, but they weren't turned in. The issue was complaints about a management company. The new board has hired a new management company.

This isn't Pecos North's first time at the recall rodeo. They kicked out three board members after the recall law was passed in 2005 (and those new members fired the newly re-hired management company).

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Jersey: Anonymous mailing targets Ventor mayor

Mayor Mike Bagnell is the subject of an anonymous mailing campaign over actions during Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath. Bagnell questions the assertions in the mailing.

Petitioners would need 1640 signatures (25% of registereds) in 160 days.

Colorado: NYT story on the recall

Nothing new in here, but decent summary of the basic points.

Colorado: Explanation on the Giron recall numbers

I've discussed this in the past, but the signature failure rate in the Senator Giron recall petitions were shockingly low -- 6%, compared with the Morse signature rate of 37.5%. This article in the Denver Post explains how the petitioners were able to check the signatures with such accuracy.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Colorado: 100 years of recalls

Professor Thomas Cronin, who wrote Direct Democracy, pens this op-ed that gives some of the backstory on Colorado's use of the recall.

Michigan: AP analyzes new Michigan recall law

I'm cited in this piece, which notes the drop off in recalls (though it's not clear if this is a one-time thing or not).

Friday, July 26, 2013

Colorado: Recall leaders deny outside influence in recall

Good look at the recall by Megan Scharder at the Colorado Springs Gazette. The issue of whether a recall is actually a local effort or instead a front comes up regularly in recalls. Even with money, there is frequently no clear-cut answer or there is a "both" response. (witness Miami-Dade, where the recall got on the ballot due to one funder, but the mayor was kicked out with over 88% of the vote against). I would say this is one of those situations, though the donor secrecy may prevent us from knowing how much is outside coordination. The 1994 David Roberti recall certainly suggests that the NRA is at least familiar with using recalls.

From the piece:
The other side paints the Basic Freedom Defense Fund as a front organization for gun activist groups like Magpul Industries, the National Rifle Association or the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, but the three founding members and their attorney dispute that characterization.
Of course:
The reason that's a pill hard to swallow for some is the well-financed and coordinated campaign that sprung up in Senate District 11 and Senate District 3 seemingly overnight. 
The Basic Freedom Defense Fund launched separate issue committees registered with the secretary of state for each of the four recall efforts. El Paso Freedom Defense Committee reported $84,118 in contributions in four months of campaign finance reports. 
And almost all of that money came from sources that have shielded their donors through a non-profit or were reported in increments small enough that no donor had to be disclosed. Recall opponents say the secrecy is suspicious.

California: San Diego Union Tribune calls for changes to recall law


California: Three gray areas in the SD recall law

Good discussion here, especially about the multiple petition rule. I'm sure that law would be struck down as well (otherwise an official can delay a recall by filing himself). Also, this article explains where the 39 days comes from, which is clearly a mistake in drafting (not uncommon).

California: Councilman proposes changes to San Diego recall law

The changes would remove the (almost certainly unconstitutional) provision that only allows people who voted to remove to vote for a replacement. This provision was struck down for the state level recalls in 2003.

Poland: Economist notes that Warsaw recall could be a watershed


On July 22nd campaigners for a referendum to recall Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the mayor of Warsaw and deputy leader of the PO, submitted 232,000 signatures, almost double the number required, to the electoral commission for verification. (In the past tens of thousands of signatures in such recall initiatives have been invalid.) Warsaw’s mayor has a symbolic importance similar to London’s mayor, says Aleks Szczerbiak of the University of Sussex, so it would be a watershed if this PO grandee were thrown out by referendum

UK: Criticism of the Conservative's Sham Recall bill


Wisconsin: Madison TV Stations rake in over $30 million from 2012 recalls

The four Madison TV stations brought in $28 million in 2012, during what would be a slow time for advertising. Two-thirds of the money came from issue advocacy groups.

Tribal court overturns recall vote against Stockbridge-Munsee President

A tribal court has rejected the recall vote kicking out Stockbridge-Munsee President Robert Chicks, cancelling the replacement vote that was to be held tomorrow. The court also called for a recall vote at the end of August. It is unclear if Chicks should get returned to office. Chicks lost his seat 224-128.

Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council invalidates recall attempt

Not sure what happens next, but the Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council has invalidated a recall against the council. The council claims there wasn't enough signatures and that a recall is not allowed under their constitution.

Michigan: West Branch-Rose City School Board Member facing petitions over sitting with family of child molester

West Branch-Rose City school board member Mike Eagan for sitting with the family of a convicted child molester (a former teacher) at his trial.
This recall will also need a fact check, which they mention will be interesting. Petitioners need 2,058 signatures in 60 days.

California: San Diego mayor's hole gets a bit deeper

Looks like Bob Filner is going the "go to therapy" route to avoid resigning. We'll see if he can last long enough for a serious recall effort to be undertaken, as more women are coming forward with damning accusations against him. 

Alaska: Whittier Mayor leads in recall, but still waiting on absentees

The result of the recall of Whittier Mayor Lester Lunceford is still up in the air. Lunceford is ahead 55-50, but there are 23 absentee ballots and 6 questioned ballots still to be counted.

Lunceford is facing a recall over the firing and hiring of a new city manager. Lunceford argued that the petitioners were simply embittered former council members.

California: Salinas city council recall not to make the November ballot

The attempt to recall Salinas City Councilman Jose Castañeda has not yet reached the signature gathering stage, and probably won't make the November ballot.

New Mexico: Petitioners apparently come up short in Las Vegas mayoral recall

147 signatures were re-validated in the attempted recall of Mayor Alfonso Ortiz, but petitioners are still short. They needed 937, they got 880.

The revalidation occurred when voters updated their registration card.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Colorado: Democrat running as a replacement candidate in Giron recall

A local social worker, Sonia Negrete-Winn, is gathering signatures to run as a replacement candidate in the Giron recall. Negrete-Winn needs 1,000 valids by Monday to get on the ballot.

Texas: El Paso turns down request to pay ex-mayor's legal bills

The current mayor of El Paso, Oscar Leeser, has said that the city will not pay former Mayor John Cook's $550,000 legal bill over the failed recall attempt against him. Seems like a lawsuit

Colorado: Recall causes confusion for Board of Elections

Here -- the recall will be all mail-in ballot, so we have to see how that effect turnout.
According to the Pueblo Chieftain ( ), special elections differ from general elections. Mail ballots will be sent out, but unlike voting in neighborhood precincts, only three locations will be set up in Pueblo County where people can vote in person: Pueblo West Library, the Colorado State Fair Southwest Motors Events Center and election headquarters on Main Street.
Read more here:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

California: New allegations against San Diego mayor


Wisconsin: Racine Alderman challenges signatures

The recall attempt against Alderman Jim Kaplan is now focused on a challenge of 53 signatures, including one of the petition filers. The filer is being challenged due to a felony guilty plea, though it looks like the plea was for his son of the same name. The filer also gathered 30 signatures. Petitioners handed in 268 signatures and they need 243.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Colorado: Grand Junction City Council member resigns over assault charges

Grand Junction City Council member Rick Brainard, who was charged with domestic violence charges, has resigned his seat. Local voters were organizing a recall campaign against him -- not clear if they managed to take out petitions (the starting gun was 90 days after he was elected, and he was elected in April.

Louisiana: Moreno Valley Mayor recall campaign witnesses complaints over political signs

The recall against Moreno Valley Mayor Tom Owings is now seeing billboard signs calling on people to not sign the petitions. The proponents of the recall argue that the signs violate city codes banning political signs than don't involve and election and are posted more than 90 days before an election.

California: Lake County recall not likely for November ballot

The recall of Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero is not likely to be on the ballot in November, as petitioners have not handed in the signatures. Petitioners need 7,026. 

Poland: The Economist on the Warsaw Mayor recall


Texas: Complaint against Lubbock Councilman facing recall dismissed by council

councilman Victor Hernandez got some good news in his attempt to survive a recall in November -- the City council has dimissed a complaint by former City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld that Hernandez violated the city charter by interfering with the administration of the city, and created a hostile work environment. The vote to dismiss was 5-2, with both Mayor Glen Robertson and Mayor Pro Tem Karen Gibson opposed.

Florida: 2800 signatures submitted in Tamarac Commissioner recall

Petitioners handed in about 2,800 signatures in the recall against Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad, who was acquited of bribery charges. They need 1800 valids. 

Texas: San Juan looks to raise signature requirements

San Juan is considering raising the signature limit from 10% of voters, following a failed 2011 recall attempt against all four city commissioners. The recall was the most controversial of a group of city charter amendments that may be voted on in November.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Louisiana: Recall threatened against Arnaudville Police Chief

Arnaudville Police Chief Richard Mizzi is hearing recall threats, while at the same time facing the possibility of temporarily dissolving the department. Petitioners would need 291 valid signatures.

Floirda: Petitioners set to hand in signatures in Tamarac Commissioner recall

Looks like we might be coming to the conclusion of this long running recall.

Texas: Petitions taken out against Buckley School Board member

Petitions have been taken out to recall Buckley Community Schools board of education Vice President Jamie Cade. has been targeted for removal from office. Cade is accused of having personal issues with Superintendent, principal and former athletic director, as well as reading possibly confidential emails at a boad meeting and missing meetings. Cade voted against renewing the three officials' contracts.

Poland: 232,000 signatures handed in for recall of Warsaw mayor

Petitioners have handed in 232,000 signatures in the recall of the Mayor of Warsaw, centre-right Civic Platform's Gronkiewicz-Waltz. Petitioners need 134,000 valids (10% of voters). The recall is a two-step process, an up or down vote on the mayor, and 60% of turnout from the last presidential election in 2010 must vote for the recall to succeed (389,430). If the mayor is ousted, a new election is held at a later date.

The 60% vote is critical. We've seen it before in the Romanian Presidential recall last year, the opposition's best strategy is usually to refuse to vote.

Colorado: Columnist see low turnout as a feature for recalls

Here -- one of these days I will have a full examination of the voter turnout issue.

Colorado: National Review's "Everything you need to know about the Colorado recall"

Here. I'll hold off on my full recap of the recall until closer to the date. Seems like they are trying to add some complaints against Giron, but nothing special there.

California: Video shows deception by recall petitioners in San Bernardino

Petitioner in the video is claiming that he works for the city.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Some history -- Detroit Mayor recall in 1930 and the "first big-city mayor" to be recalled

This is the second time I've seen the phrase "first big-city mayor" to be recalled this week. Detroit Mayor Charles Bowles was kick out in 1930, after 8 months in office (121,000-90,000). The other time was in a story about the L.A. Mayor recall of 1938. I would say both are wrong. L.A. Mayor A.C. Harper resigned days before a recall vote in 1909, and then Hiram Gill of Seattle lost a recall vote in 1912.

This story is an interesting one, though:
The irate soon-to-be-former mayor — whose backers had spent Election Day driving around in cars with “vote no” signs and offering free rides to voters — told the city clerk, “You know that this whole thing is a gigantic conspiracy and fraud, and you are party to it.”
The day before the recall, the Free Press ran a front-page editorial urging readers to unseat Bowles. After the recall, the paper called it “the most remarkable political happening in the history of the city, possibly the most remarkable one in the history of any great American municipality. Today the event commands attention from the entire nation. ... (The newspaper) has no feelings of exultation.”
Bowles, who’d been backed by the Ku Klux Klan, was a Yale, St. Clair County, native who graduated from what is today Ferris State University and the University of Michigan’s law school.

Texas: Ex-El Paso Mayor files $700K claim for failed recall

Back to El Paso here -- Former Mayor John Cook, who faced petitions in 2011 over his support for health benefits for city workers' gay and unmarried partners, is trying to get reimbursed for litigation expenses. The recall had enough signatures, but they were thrown out by a judge (a decision upheld by the state Supreme Court).

Under the law, Cook can seek reimbursement (these provisions invariably lead to difficult -- we saw it in California in 1995 and Arizona in 2011). Cook is now running for Texas Land Commissioner.

Nebraska: Petitions taken out against two Central City school board members over football coach firing

Two Central City school board members, President Dale Palser and Steve Belitz, are facing petitions over the firing of the high school's football coach. The coach's father was mentioned as being one on the recall committee.Last month, there was a discussion of recalling a third board member, but no word on that here.

Petitioners need 449 signatures (35% of turnout) by August 16th.

Flordia: Petitions taken out against Miami Garden mayor

Miami Garden Mayor Oliver Gilbert is facing recall petitions, with complaints about the city's crime rate, budget handling and debt. Gilbert is also accused of a violation of the state's campaign law in 2011. He made a $500 donation, which he self-reported and paid a $1,500 fine.

Gibert has been in office as mayor since August, 2012. Before that, he was a councilman since 2008 (he may have been elected as councilman, not clear from the story).

Friday, July 19, 2013

Colorado: Five memers of Green Mountain Falls Board of Trustees facing petitions

Five members of the Green Mountain Falls' board of trustee are facing recall threats, seemingly over marijuana policy and proposal to eliminate the town marshall. Mayor Pro Temp Jane Newberry, Margaret Peterson, Ralph LoCasio, Howard Price and Mac Pitrone are all being targeted.

California: Rally to recall San Diego mayor, legal issues of the recall

Since this is the early stages of this recall attempt (and probably there is more of a focus on resignation-type of ouster), I wouldn't read to much into the lack of big support.

Here's an article noting the legal challenges facing the San Diego recall, some of which came up during the Gray Davis recall. I'm going to go out on a very small limb and say this will not be a barrier to a recall.

Ohio: Linndale Mayor resigns after recall petitions taken out

Linndale mayor Ann Toczek resigned in the face of recall petition though the town doesn't have a charter. Petitioners handed in 20 signatures earlier this month, but the Board of Elections ruled it invalid.

There's no clear reason for the fight, but Linndale is a small town of 179 known mainly for handing out speeding tickets on a 422 yard stretch of 1-71. The town issued 4,000 tickets in 2011 before the legislature closed the court down. Toczek was in charge of the Mayor's Court. Toczek has been mayor since 1999, and her husband was mayor for 6 years

California: Democrats deadlock on removal of San Diego Mayor

Here's the San Diego Union Tribune's look at a 24-24 vote of the San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee on whether to ask for Filner's removal. Filner's supporters are now ramping up efforts to fight for his survival.

New York: Eliot Spitzer and the Incumbent Protection Ballot Access Rules

My article in Newsday here

Alaska: "Strangest Town in Alaska's" Mayor facing recall

Whittier mayor Lester Lunceford is facing a recall election on July 23rd. Petitioners needed 31 signatures to get the recall on the ballot, and the issue appears to be the firing of a city manager. Since Alaska requires cause, the official issue is violation of the open meeting act.

The recall was started by three former Whittier city councilors. The other current city councilors who voted for removal of the city manager are up for reelection. There's also a number of issues with ethical violations fights.

Oh, and here's where you can see the "Strangest Town in Alaska" mention.

Colorado: Recalls set for September 10

Looks like we have a date, though we still have some more appeals.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Colorado: District Court Judge rejects Morse/Giron attempt to stop recall

A Denver District Judge has rejected the attempt by Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron to squash the recall. The judge also denied the Secretary of State's attempt to force the Governor to set a recall date. Looks like this will be appealed up to the State Supreme Court.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Texas: Cibolo City Council hit with a new "Wal-Mart" recalls

Four Cibolo City Council members are facing petitions, though since the charter requires a showing of incompetence, misconduct or malfeasance, it is not likely to move forward. The rest of the council (the mayor and three others) are already up for a vote in November. Petitioners are going after Ron Pedde, Karen Hale, Larry Carlton and Steve Liparoto.

This is another Wal-Mart recall, as petitioners are opposing the planned site of a Wal-Mart store.

Petitioners need either 30% of the turnout or 150 voters, whichever is greater.

Colorado: Recall hearings in the Morse and Giron recall underway


Colorado: Governor claims recall timeclock hasn't started

Rejecting the argument of the Secretary of State, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper claims that he is not allowed to set a recall date until all legal appeals are exhausted. So, this could take a while.

California: Two Fontana School Board members ousted in recall

Leticia Garcia and Sophia Green lost their seats, with about 70% voting for the bounce. Shannon O’Brien and Ayanna Blackmon-Balogun won the replacement races. Turnout was about 7%.

California: More revelations on San Diego mayor and what it would take to get a recall on the ballot

Some new details on the sexual harassment claim against Mayor Bob Filner. This story on News8 quotes Mesa College Political Science professor Carl Luna as thinking a recall is highly probable. Despite the gory details of the harassment claims, there is good reason for caution.

Petitioners would need over 100,000 signatures (15% of registered voters -- based on the last report, that number should be 100,808) in what is apparently 39 days (edit -- I thought it was 60, what is clearly poor drafting prevents signature gathering in the first 21 days after the recall is first published. I've never seen this mistake made, but it clearly has been here.).

100,000 valid signatures is a very high hurdle. In the US, I can think of four recalls that got on the ballot with a six-figure signature requirement -- Arizona Governor Evan Meacham in 1988 (he was impeached and convicted the day the recall was certified), Gray Davis in 2003, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch in 2012.

There have been others worth talking about. The recent attempt against Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio needed 335,000 signatures. The proponents claimed they got 200,000, but didn't hand them in for inspection (as it wouldn't have mattered). The Miami-Dade mayoral recall of 2011 needed 52,000 signatures, and the Dianne Feinstein recall in 1983 as mayor of San Francisco needed less than 20K). The mayoral recalls in LA in the first half of the 20th century got closer to the requirement, but still don't top it.In 1938, 120,000 were handed in for the L.A. Mayor Frank Shaw recall, though the total needed was much less (I'm not sure the exact figure, though it may have been in the 60k range). The man who defeated Shaw, Fletcher Bowron also faced a recall in 1950, but the petitioners needed to get a little over 89,000 signatures.

This is not to say that petitioners can't get the signatures -- after all, California now has a well developed signature gathering industry. If someone starts putting some serious cash behind the recall, it is likely to start moving forward at an advance rate. Additionally, the disgust with Filner appears to be bi-partisan (though that may change if a recall would mean a Republican would likely be the replacement). However, history shows that 100,000 signatures in one city for a recall is a large challenge.

Arizona: Superior Town Council recall to be held on August 27

Superior Town Council member Soyla Kiki Peralta is facing a recall vote on August 27. Peralta is a opponent of a proposed $6 billion Resolution Copper Mine near Superior.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Texas: Petitions handed in for recall of Lubbock Councilman

Looks like early coverage was wrong on this one -- petitioner handed in 631 signatures in the recall of Lubbock Councilman Floyd Price. Petitioner needs 508 valids, and 10 percent have to affirm that they voted for Price in 2012. The petitioner, Gordon Harris III, said that he will run if there is a replacement race. The petitions claimed that Price hadn't done enough as councilman.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Michigan: Onaway mayor and two commissioners facing recall vote in November

The recall of Onaway mayor Gary Wregglesworth and commissioners Jessie Horrocks and Charles Abshagen will be on the ballot on November 5th. However, replacement candidates only have until Monday to file petitions. Of particular note is that both of the commissioners would be on the ballot anyway, as their term ends in December.

This would be the first recall under the new Michigan law (hence the November date). The race will be a straight election, with the official and any challengers facing off directly.
There is also petitions facing a hearing for the two other commissioners, Bernie Schmeltzer and Ron Horrocks. The recall is based on the decision to not rehire the Onaway police chief (and lone police officer), as the city entered into an agreement with the county for policing.

Texas: Second Lubbock Councilman recall fails

The attempt to recall Councilman Floyd Price has failed, as signatures were not handed in. Petitioners needed 509 signatures and 10% had to have voted for Price in his 2008 runoff election.

There will still be a recall against a City Councilman Victor Hernandez had a successful recall petition brought against him in June, another city councilman found himself in the exact same situation this month.

Arizona: Pecos North Homeowners Association to hold recall for 4 of 5 board members

The vote is scheduled for July 17, and they are looking to kick out Peg Strachan, Joann Pompa, Sharon Peek and June Peele.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Arizona: Recall attempt against House Minority Leader fails

The recall attempt against Arizona House Minority Leader Chad Campbell failed, with no signatures handed in. Petitioners needed 11,567 signatures.

Petitions are still out against Republican Rep. John Kavanagh. Petitioners need to hand in 16,820 signatures by July 23. The Kavanagh recall was started because of a bill he pushed (and abandoned) which would have prevented local governments from passing ordinances that would allow businesses to face lawsuits and penalties for forbidding a transgender person from using a restroom.

California: Facebook page tries to gauge support for San Diego mayor recall

This page has been up for a while. Petitioners would need 100,000 signatures too get on thee ballot, so that remains a very big lift.The creator of the page apparently used the recall in 1991 against Councilwoman Linda Bernhardt, and that recall was backed by Filner (then a councilman).

California: Stockton mayor facing recall threats

Mayor Anthony Silva is facing recall threats six months after his election, due to what columnist Michael Fitzgerald (in a good, detailed look) calls the "unhinged way Silva is performing." Stockton is currently in bankruptcy proceedings. 

Petitioners would need 18,000 signatures in 160 days.. Note that the last mayoral recall in Stockton was in 1967 (Jimmy Rishwain). 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Colorado: El Paso County Clerk filed motion to get an election date in Morse recall


California: 18,000 signatures handed in for San Bernardino City Attorney recall, rejected by City Clerk

More trouble in San Bernardino, as petitioners handed in 18,000 signatures looking to kick out City Attorney James F. Penman. The signatures were rejected by City Clerk Gigi Hanna. The reasons were:

In a letter she handed to Beard after a short conference with her staff, Hanna said the charter only allows petitions to be circulated after the simultaneous publication of a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition, reasons for that petition and the targeted official's response, if the official requests. 
Hanna is alleged to have previously given contrary advice allowing the signature gathering to go forward.
This is now going to court. California has a comparatively well developed set of recall, so it may be easy to resolve. But if the recent decision by the Colorado Secretary of State, as well as actual Supreme Court decisions in Arizona and Michigan are any indication, courts do not look kindly on holding up recalls for technical reasons.

California: Fontana School Board recall funded by housing developer

The recall campaign against two Fontana Unified School District Board Members has been backed by a housing developer, Reggie King, who gave $59,675 of the $62,374..

Texas: Petitions taken out against Keene Mayor

Petitions have been taken out against Keene Mayor John Ackermann over his fight with the City Administrator and the economic development director. There's also charges of using ordinances from the pre charter days. 

Petitioners need about 400 total signatures (they have 20 on the original petitions). They have 30 days. IF the mayor is ousted, the mayor pro tem serves until November 2014 elections. 

Ketchikan Indian Community’s Tribal Council dispute recall effort

Petitioners have handed 243 signatures to recall members of the Ketchikan Indian Community’s Tribal Council, though the Tribal Council president Irene Dundas is claiming that there are legal issues with the complaint.

The issue is Dundas was appointed the temporary KIC administrator, where she fired the Human Resources Director. The recall is aimed at the members who voted to appoint Dundas administrator.

Nevada: Two White Pine County Commissioners facing recall petitions

Two White Pine County Commissioners, John Lampros and Mike Lemich, are facing recall petitions. The issue appears to be the economic situation in the County and specifically claims of actions against the operator the local airport and members of the Airport Board. According to the list of particulars, Lemich has also faced investigations, including one pending for assault. Petitioners need 25% of turnout in 90 days.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wisconsin: Racine Alderman recall qualifies for the ballot

The recall of Alderman Jim Kaplan is moving forward, with the City Clerk certifying the 243 signatures needed for the recall. The issue was Kaplan's opposition to a liquor license for a proposed club.

Note this bizarre behavior by the City Clerk:
City Clerk Janice Johnson-Martin on Wednesday confirmed that signatures collected by a group of people looking to remove the alderman from his Fourth District seat had been certified by her office, with at least the minimum required 243 valid signatures.
Asked by The Journal Times how many signatures there were in total, Johnson-Martin refused to provide an answer.
“I am busy. I am not going to take time to do that. They have the 243 and that is all I am required to confirm,” she said.

Oregon: Petitions taken out against two Klamath County Commissioners

Petition were taken out against three Klamath County Commissioners, Tom Mallams, Jim Bellet and Dennis Linthicum (the last taken out in May), due to their selection of Cascade Comprehensive Care as CCO for Klamath County. The health organizations have been a source of contention in the state and it seems that Cascade was the only applicant for the CCO contract. Petitioners need about 3500 signatures in 90 days.
The last successful commissioner recall in Klamath County took place in 1996, when commissioners David Henzel and Clif McMillan were voted out of office.

Texas: Petitions due in recall of second Lubbock Councilman

Petitions are scheduled to be handed for the recall of Councilman Floyd Price. Petitioners need 508 signatures by July 15, the recall reason is about "effective leadership" and a lack of opportunities. The leader of the recall, Gordon Harris, said he will probably run if the recall gets on the ballot.

California: Three supporters call on San Diego mayor to resign

Mayor Bob Filner, who was facing recall threats (though no petitions have been taken out to my knowledge), is now facing calls to resign from three of his supporters due to charges of sexual harassment. The reports on the recall did not mention the sexual harassment claims, so this seems to be new. Filner appears to have also broken up with his fiancee, who he was introducing as the First Lady of San Diego.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Washington: Pacific Mayor Cy Sun kicked out with 65% against

Final results are in for Pacific mayor Cy Sun, with 65 % voting to kick him out (949-502). Very strong turnout as the city has only 2900 registered voters. Some further financial issues:

The mayor said he’s spent more than $100,000 of his own money for legal representation to fight the recall and for other court proceedings. Court records show the city was ordered to cover about $39,000 of his representation for legal battles not associated with the recall.
His opponents said they spent close to $37,000 on the recall effort. The special election could cost Pacific as much as $15,000, according to King County Elections.

Read more here:

Colorado: GOP picks candidate, more coverage in Colorado

Here, former Colorado Springs City Council Member Bernie Herpin is facing off against Morse, so looks like the erotic novelist is out. Also, some more here

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Texas: Petitions out against Rio Grande City Mayor, Commissioners

Petitions have been taken out against Rio Grande City Mayor Ruben O. Villarreal and Commissioner Hernan R. Garza III, Commissioner Rey Ramirez and Commissioner Arcadio J. Salinas III. Petitioners need 713 signatures (10% of turnout). Villarreal won reelection in may with over 70% of the vote. The issue is city spending, including a new park and payments to a boys and girls club.

Virginia: Isle of Wright School board member petition misses by 5-10 signatures, confusion reigns

The petitions against Isle of Wight County School Board member Herb De Groft have been found to miss the 206 signatures needed by 5-10 signatures. However, the city has no idea what to do next. The law is completely unclear -- can the petitioners go out and get the signatures, do they have to start from the beginning or is this the end. We'll see, though certainly not the first time we've seen this type of failure with recall laws.

Colorado: Denver Post editorial praising decision to allow recall to go forward


Monday, July 8, 2013

Florida: Judge green lights recall effort against Tamarac Commissioner

A Broward Circuit Judge has rejected an injunction to stop the recall efforts against Tamarac Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad, who was found not guilty after an indictment for bribery charges. Grad argued over several technicalities, such as the signature of an oath by signature gatherers.  Petitioners need 1800 signatures by July 22. 

Wisconsin: Bus Union official under investigation for padding hours in recall effort

Two top union officials were ousted by their parent union for allegedly having union members put in significantly higher reported hours worked on the recall. The parent union was reimbursing the local

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Colorado: Two Lochbuie town trustees facing October recall vote

Two Lochbuie town trustees, Mayor Pro Tem Leon Sanders and town trustee Candy Veldhuizen, will face recall elections over the doubling of base water rates. Petitioners needed 62 signatures, they got more than 100. Election is scheduled to take place in October (the city's elections are usual in April. The other board members aren;t facing recalls.
The town has previously held recall votes in 2006, when Mayor Clyde Mayfield and trustees Pamela McCaslin, Kenneth Anderson and Tammy Burr were voted out.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Egypt: Mention of the recall

This is from Mohammed ElBaradei:
“We did not have a recall process. People ask for the recall process with their feet in Tahrir Square,” he said. “In my judgment, we could not have waited even one more week.”

Washington: Pacific mayor recall leads to agreement with local city


Poland: Recall of Elbag Mayor successful

A little late on this one, but worth pointing out:
The positions came up for grabs in mid-April when voters recalled the former mayor, Grzegorz Nowaczyk and local politicians from Civic Platform (PO) – the centre-right party led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk which controlled the local authority - in a referendum called for by the 'Free Elblag'

California: Petitioners fail to turn in signatures in Pasadena Councilman recall

The petition against Pasadena Councilman Steve Madison over his support for allowing an NFL team in the Rose Bowl has failed. Petitioners needed 2,866 signatures. They failed to turn in the petitions. Madison had previosuly voted in 2006 against an NFL proposal.

California: Five candidates running in Fontana School Board

Five candidates has announced to run in Fontana Unified School District recall on July 16.

California: Lake County Sheriff recall takes off due to heat wave

Petitioners against Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero had to take off due to a heat wave. The group has till August 15 to get the 7,026 signatures (they claim to have over 7000 currently). However, if they want to have it on the November ballot, they need it in by August 6.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

California: Op-ed on the San Bernardino recall

Here's my op-ed on the San Bernardino recall, which I note may be a record for most officials facing a recall at one time (10).

The key point is not that record though, it is the discussion of conflict of interest charges in recalls, something we see all the time (just look at the Arizona post below). Specifically this:

Recall proponents have been very concerned with the fact that City Clerk Gigi Hanna, who is one of the officials facing a recall petition, is also responsible for validating the signatures. She has already made controversial decisions over when signatures can be gathered. While Hanna may be perfectly up to the job -- and she has claimed that she legally cannot recuse herself -- experiences in other jurisdictions throughout the country show that the proponents have very real cause for concern. There have been numerous instances of local officials working to subvert recall efforts against themselves and their colleagues, most prominently by refusing to schedule election dates for recalls. This type of subversion has occurred multiple times in the last two years alone, from Massachusetts to Alaska to Texas to Colorado, in some cases completely stopping the recall from occurring. California state law is better than most: It actually prevents officials from refusing to schedule a recall -- it mandates that a recall be scheduled if local officials refuse to act. 
However, while California law protects the voters, an official's actions can still cause great, sometimes insurmountable, difficulties for voters. In the past, delays in recalls and fights over signature verification decisions resulted in expensive lawsuits, which the petitioners had to finance out of their own pockets while elected officials were able to defend the sometimes questionable decisions using government funds.

North Dakota: Recall of five Griggs County Commissioners set for October 8

The recall of five Griggs County commissioners has been set for Oct. 8. The issue was a vote to build a $3.5 million courthouse and emergency center, despite voters rejecting the idea three times.

Arizona: Petitioners claim that Continental Ranch Community Association Board refuses to schedule recall

Petitioners have handed in 667 signatures to recall the Continental Ranch Community Association board, president John Lambert, Peggy Bracken, Marilyn Stimpson, Connie DeLarge, Robert Volbrecht and Karie Westphalbut, the petitioners are claiming that the board is ignoring the rules. The board has to gold a recall by June 7.

Colorado: Morse recall possible candidate author of erotic novels

Kinda of a funny tale her, but of course it has resulted in some opposition to her candidacy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Colorado: Secretary of State allows Morse recall to go forward

Big decision in Colorado, as the Secretary of State has ruled that the recall of Senate President John Morse should go forward. The Deputy Secretary of State said that the "petition format must be liberally construed in favor of allowing the recall exercise." This type of ruling is familiar -- the Arizona Supreme Court had a similar ruling against State Senate President Russell Pearce in 2011 (Pearce is the one legislative leader to have been knocked out by recall).

The Deputy Secretary of State rejected calls for recusal. Secretary of State Scott Gessler had spoken before pro-recall groups.

The Governor has to schedule a recall in 60 days from receiving the certification. That said, this is the first step, as Morse is bound to head right to court. In other states (Arizona, Michigan in 2011) Appellate Court Judges were willing to stop a recall right before the election (in both cases the Supreme Court overruled and let the recall go forward).

Colorado: Request for Secretary of State recusal by Senator Giron

Here -- still waiting for a ruling this afternoon on Morse's petition.

New Mexico: Las Vegas mayoral recall fails, as city clerk knocks down more than half the signatures

The attempted recall of Las Vegas (N.M.) Mayor Alfonso Ortiz Jr. seems to have failed, with the city clerk knocking out more than half the signatures. Petitioners are saying they have 10 days to cure the mistakes.

California: Notice filed against five Moreno Valley Council members

The recall effort against all five Moreno Valley City Council moved forward, as notices of intent to gather petitions have been sent. Mayor Tom Owings, Council members Marcelo Co, Jesse Molina, Richard Stewart  and Victoria Baca are all scheduled to be served. The council members are facing a federal corruption probe.

Petitioners need to get between 2,878 and 3,543 signatures in 120 days.

Louisiana: Petitions taken out in West Feliciana Parish police jurors for repealing charter

Petitions have been taken out against two West Feliciana Parish police jurors for their votes on repealing the charter. Jurors Lea Williams and John Kean are facing petitions and need 376 and 362 signatures respectively.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Virginia: Petitions handed in against Isle of Wright school board member

Petitions were handed in against Isle of Wright school board member, Herb De Groft for sending racist emails.. Petitions handed in 238 signatures and need 205. De Groft has already decided not to seek reelection. De Groft's hearing will be on Monday and supervisor Byron Bailey's will be on Friday. Virginia doesn't have a recall election, they have a judge decide the removal.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Michigan: Language approved in recall of two Algonac School board members

The rest of the board may face petitions in January (once they become eligible). The issue was a vote to privatize bus service.

Colorado: Claims of intimidation by Morse recall proponents

Seems like there's going to be a lot of these allegations by both sides going forward.

North Dakota: Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe Chairman ousted in recall vote

Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe Chairman Roger Yankton Sr. was kicked out in a recall, 284-145. He was replaced by Leander (Russ) McDonald, who Yankton defeated in 2011.

Wisconsin: More on the four year governor term


Arizona: Attempts to recall US Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain over immigration reform

Apparently, there are two petitions to remove McCain. This is over Flake and McCain's support for the immigration reform bill (a similar effort is going on in Florida against Marco Rubio). As I've mentioned before, it is very unlikely that Supreme Court would allow a recall against a US Senator, though it is possible that the petitioners are pushing it to get a resignation.