Friday, August 30, 2013

California: Three recalls qualify for the San Bernardino ballot

The recalls against San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman and council members Wendy McCammack and John Valdivia have qualified, though the one against Councilman Chas Kelley failed. The recall will be held on November 5. Adding some additional color, both McCammack and Kelley are also running for mayor.

Petitioners missed Kelley's recall by a bit -- they needed 1,326 more signatures, but they have 30 more days to try and collect them if they choose.

He said it would be too late to qualify a recall against Kelley for the November ballot and organizers don’t want to have the city pay for a special election. However, he said if they will investigate whether it could be on a January ballot when runoff elections for some of the city races could take place.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Colorado: District Court Judge tosses out some residency rules, upholds most other recall voting rules

A Denver District Court Judge upheld most of the Secretary of State's voting rules for the recall, but tossed out a special rule over establishing residency:
"The secretary cannot expand, contract or interpret those without a compelling state interest," McGahey said, saying earlier whoever drafted the rules clearly had never had children in college.
The rule dealt with establishing residency and would have made it difficult for college students and members of the military who temporarily live away from home.
The Court allowed the special voter cards mailed by Pueblo County Clerk to work as a valid form of ID.

Georgia: Switch to district-based voting has impact on Fayette recalls

New district seats on the Fayette County Commission and Board of Education is leading the NAACP to ask a federal judge for the county to provide specific special election dates.  The Judge has previously ordered district voting (as opposed to the at-large voting that existed before). This change would affect any recall in the county.

California: San Diego Replacement race will cost about $6 million

The charter is not helpful here, as the recall must be set for November 19, not the (presumably cheaper) Election Day a couple weeks before.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Massachusetts: Lawrence Mayor, focus of 4 recalls, now facing AG suit

Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua, who was the focus of four failed recall attempts, is now facing a suit for the state Attorney General for for allegedly accepting thousands of dollars in potentially illegal cash and corporate contributions.

The complaint alleges Lantigua accepted 16 cashier’s checks or money orders worth more than $50, a potential violation of state law, during his first run for mayor between 2008 and 2010.
Coakley’s office claims Lantigua or his committee accepted more than $14,000 in potentially illegal cash contributions in 2009, but “failed to keep accurate accounts of the 22 individual deposits.”

Massachusetts: Former Chelmsford Planning Board Member, who successfully sued to force town to hold a recall, fined for conflict of interest rules violations

Former Planning Board member Richard McClure, who sued Chelmsford over the interpretation of the recall law, has been fined $5,000 for violating the state's conflict-of-interest laws for his pro bono representation in two lawsuits against the town, including the recall lawsuit.

McClure said Monday he felt "vindicated" in that case because a judge ruled the town must hold the recall election, which took place in 2011. 
In the second case, McClure led a property-dispute lawsuit in 2010, just before he became a Planning Board member. Town counsel also warned him in that case that he was violating state laws, the Ethics Commission said. 
In the recall-election lawsuit, a judge disqualified McClure from representing any other party other than himself. He appealed but was unsuccessful, the state said. In the property-dispute lawsuit, McClure withdrew as an attorney after the court allowed a motion to disqualify him.

California: San Diego City Council votes to change "must vote on recall question for vote to count on replacement"

San Diego City Council dumped the clearly unconstitutional provision requiring voter to vote yes or no on the recall question before voting on the replacement.
Councilman Mark Kersey also notes some other issues in the recall:
Also unconstitutional, according to Kersey, is a requirement that signature gatherers be registered voters. He also said one part of the code requires recall backers to submit petitions within 60 days and another part says the deadline is 99 days.

Colorado: Campaign Finance issues continue to crop up

Here's Tessa Cheek at the Colorado Independent taking a look at the numbers, especially noting the use of issue advertising and dark money on the pro-recall side.
Also, here's the New Republic looking at issue, with a deep look at the different supporting players.

Wisconsin: Still protesting

Here's a video of the still-ongoing protests in Madison.

Florida: Tamarac Commissioner recall set for October 15

The recall against Commissioner Patte Atkins-Grad, who was acquitted in a corruption trial last year, has been set for Oct. 15. The article notes that this is Broward's first recall in 50 years.

Colorado: Funding reports for Recall shows $350K donation from Bloomberg, $150K from NRA

We are starting to see the first reports of the money being raised in the Colorado recall campaigns. So far, New York City Mayor and noted gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg has donated $350,000 to anti-recall forces. The group Taxpayers for Responsible Democracy claims that 17,000 contributors have donated to support Morse and Giron. Eli Broad has given $250,000 to the anti-recall group.
On the other side of the ledger, the NRA has apparently given $108,000 in support of the recall (the story is not clear if this was spent on issue ads). Hopefully, we'll have a fuller picture tomorrow on this.
To put this in to some context, total reported contributions for both winner and loser in the general election in Morse's last race in 2010 was about $281K and total reported  contributions in Giron's race was about $135K. I have no idea if there were any outside groups, but that does show how much more money is coming in this time. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Colorado: State Supreme Court rules that requirement to vote on Yes or No provision in recall is unconstitutional

As discussed last week, Colorado's recall law has run into a First and Fourteenth Amendment issue. In response to a prophylactic request by the Governor, the State Supreme Court has issued a 5-2 ruling holding that the provision is unconstitutional. I would imagine that this ruling will be similar to the California decision in 2003 and, since it was handed down early enough to change the language on the ballots, may not have much of a practical effect (especially since there seems to be only one replacement candidate on the ballot in each race). Add: I didn't mention that there could be an impact on the absentee ballot vote.

Here's a link to the decision (h/t Derek Muller's Excess of Democracy blog).

Oklahoma: Piedmont City Council acts against two energy companies that led to recall of Councilman

The Piedmont City Council  against two companies trying to build wind farms. On August 13, Councilman Vernon Woods was ousted due to his meeting with the wind farms companies.

Colorado: Discussion of split vote in Colorado

The Daily Kos notes that Giron is thought to be safe, though Morse is viewed as slightly behind. He also explains some of the tactical change in focusing the campaign on abortion issues.

Colorado: Libertarian Candidate fails to make the ballot

Jan Brooks, the Libertarian candidate for the Morse seat, didn't make the ballot. She handed in 834 signatures, needed 575, and got only 408. The move to allow Libertarian's on the ballot is what killed the mail-in ballots.

Colorado: Campaign Finance complaint filed against Morse opponent points to the hybrid nature of recalls

Interesting take here -- Bernie Herpin is running in the replacement race. He has a door hanger promoting the recall of Morse. But:
Ann Schmitt says in the complaint that candidate committee's are supposed to refrain from spending money or advocating in issue campaigns.
The recall portion of the ballot is an issue campaign - with committees advocating for voters to vote 'yes' or 'no' to kick Morse out of office.
This separation for recall between issue campaigns and electoral campaigns brings to mind this article by Professor Beth Garrett on how recalls are hybrid elections.

Arizona: One of the Sunnyside School Board recall targets was former intern who helped rescue Rep. Gabby Gifford

A little bit of a surprising aside on the Sunnyside school board recall that came up last week. The two School Board Members, Louie Gonzales and Bobby Garcia, are facing recall petitions for backing superintendent Manuel Isquierdo, who has a number of ethical black marks on his recent resume.

Those two board members are now pushing for the recall of two other board members who are in the anti-Isquierdo camp, Daniel Hernandez Jr. and Buck Crouch. Petitioners need about 1300 valids by December 14.

Hernandez helped save Rep. Gabrielle Giffords when she was shot in Tucson (he was one of her intern). He is also gay. Those two facts are being used in the campaign against him:

Here's the two flyers:
The first targets him for being openly gay, imploring, "Put a REAL Man on the Sunnyside Board... Daniel Hernandez is LGBT... We need someone who will support Sports and cares about our kids. We don’t need someone who hates our values." 
The second flyer attacks Hernandez’s work on behalf of gun violence prevention in the wake of the Giffords shooting, claiming, "Daniel Hernandez cares about only one things [sic] taking your guns away."
The article with the flyers does seem to be misleading, as it leads with the statement that Hernandez is "fighting to save his job for being openly gay and working toward gun violence prevention." The recall doesn't seem to be about those issues at all -- they are more of a tactical as Hernandez makes clear in his quote:

"These efforts are really blatant efforts from Louie and Bobby to make sure that their recall doesn’t go through," said Hernandez. 
Hernandez told News 4 Tucson that critics had been gathering signatures to get rid of Sunnyside Unified School District governing members Louie Gonzales and Bobby Garcia, who were behind the effort to out him and board member Buck Crouch.

But Hernandez said that he and Crouch were not the ones who submitted the petition to recall Garcia and Gonzalez. Of the five school board members, only Eva Dong is not facing recall.

Michigan: Petitions rejected for the second time against West Branch-Rose City School Board Member

The recall petitions against West Branch-Rose City board member Mike Eagan have to be refiled, as the board claims that the language is not clear or factually accurate. This is the second time languagehas been shot down in this recall. The official reasons listed were:
“1. Michael Eagan has violated two West Branch-Rose City school board bylaws by compromising the board and it’s (sic) district’s staff and putting himself in a position of bias and favoritism,” the language states. “2. Michael Eagan is married to West Branch-Rose City teacher Amy Huber-Eagan, which presents a clear and defined conflict of interest as stated in Michigan State Senate Bill 1051 and our local school bylaws.”
However, the wife of the petitioner said that Eagan was involved in closed sessions on whether to discipline a group of teachers who wrote letters of leniency for convicted sex offender Neal Erickson, when one of the teachers was his wife, was a conflict of interest.

Texas: Sexual Orientation/Gender identity discrimination fight propels recall attempt against San Antonio Councilman

Petitioners trying to recall Councilman Diego Bernal appear to be motivated by his push to add protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to the city law. The petitioners claim that these protections come at the expense of religious freedom. The article claims that the recall is a reaction by supporters to attacks on another councilwoman, who made secretly recorded anti-gay comments.

Petitioners need over 6,000 valid signatures to get on the ballot.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Colorado: Abortion and the Colorado Recalls

An argument against the idea that you can have a single-issue focused recall.

Colorado: Democrat fails to make replacement ballot in Giron recall

A "pro-gun" Democrat failed to make the replacement ballot in the Giron recall attempt, leaving just a Republican candidate to run in the replacement portion.

Colorado: State Supreme Court asked to take case on replacement vote questions

Here's the latest from the Denver Post. I wrote about this extensively last week, so you can check on my thoughts and explanations right here.

California: San Bernardino Superior Court Judge demand clerk count signatures

Overturning a strange ruling by the San Bernardino Clerk that prevent signature counting in some of the recall campaigns being mounted in the city, a Superior Court judge has ruled that the signatures collected against City Attorney Jim Penman and Council members Chas Kelley, Wendy McCammack and John Valdivia must be counted.

The City Clerk Gigi Hana (herself the subject of a recall) said that the petitions should be thrown out because they didn't publish the officeholder's response to the recall in a local newspaper within seven days of the petition being filed. Hanna gave conflicted advice to the petitioners.
The judge also tossed out an anti-recall petition (which would strike already signed names off the petition), due to its "extremely misleading" and deceptive" nature.

Oklahoma: GOP denounces Democratic amendment for recalls

The State Republican Party has a press release denouncing an amendment to allow recalls (presumably statewide). The release actually links to a dead link, so it's not clear that the proposed law is (though they claim that it involves 15% of turnout. I wonder how old this release is, but just popped up for me. Here's the news story on it from 2012 and here's the key part of the release:
A Democrat effort to institute recall elections in Oklahoma would waste taxpayer dollars and disrespect voters, State Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell said today.
“When the voters speak, you should listen. Democratic losses at the ballot box are not a sign that we need an endless series of ‘do-overs’ in Oklahoma; it’s a sign that the Democratic Party’s message is not resonating with citizens,” Pinnell said. “Allowing a small group to demand recall elections disrespects the will of Oklahoma voters while wasting limited taxpayer dollars.”

California: Los Banos School Trustee recall attempt doesn't hand in signatures

The attempt to recall Los Banos Unified School District Trustee Dennis Areias failed, as no signatures were turned in.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wisconsin: Democrats looking into running against Walker

One of the potential candidates is Kathleen Vinehout, who came in third in the recall primary last year.

Colorado: Giron cites other issues/Koch Brothers for recall campaign

NBC News has a detailed look at the Colorado recall. And the Huffington Post looks at Giron's claims about some of the other issues motivating the recall:
Giron said the recall involves more than retaliation for her support of stricter gun laws. She drew the ire of conservatives by supporting a bill that would require electric cooperatives to double renewable energy standards and by backing legislation that granted in-state college tuition to students who are undocumented immigrants. Groups and individuals opposed to those measures have joined the gun lobby to oust Giron and Morse from office. "

As I look at the money that's being spent on this recall, both in mine and President John Morse, where you have Koch brothers spending money in here … I think it's a lot about Democrats vs. Republicans, and has grown very partisan," Giron said.

California: Problems for possible replacement candidate/former opponent in San Diego Mayor race

Carl DeMaio, who lost to Filner last year and has been mentioned as a possible replacement candidate (though it sounds like he is running for Congress), also has issues with sex scandals.

Scotland: Scandal plagued MSP helps push for recall law


California: Moreno Valley Councilman resignation leads to questions on replacement

The resignation of Moreno Valley City Councilman&Marcelo Co, who was up for a recall and under indictment is now causing problems for the council. The council has to decide whether to appoint a replacement or wait for the election. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wisconsin: Petitions taken out against two Mayville Council members over police consolidation

Two Mayville Council members, Kathleen Sertich and David Pasbrig, will be facing recall petitions over the consolidation of the city's police department with the Dodge County Sheriff's office. Petitioners would need 66 signatures for Pasbrig and 109 for Sertich (though those two amounts probably could be challenged in court under the theory that they should use numbers from the Walker recall).

Louisiana: Port Allen Mayor facing recall petitions

Petitioners are gathering signatures against Port Allen Mayor Deedy Slaughter, as six city employees quit since Slaughter took over in January. Petitioners need 1,273 signatures (33 1/3 of registereds) in 180 days.

Virginia: Henrico County School Board threatened with recall over Superintendent ouster vote

A decision by the Henrico County School Board to refuse a contract extension of the Superintendent has led to one resident to discuss a recall campaign.

Friday, August 23, 2013

California: San Diego Mayor Bob Filner resigns

Filner is resigning on August 30. Resignations in the face of a recall are nothing new. I mentioned yesterday that 26 officials resigned last year.

This year, depending on how you count, Filner would be the 11th official to resign while facing a recall. Some of the 11 are suspect -- we have one who the constituents were waiting to take a petition (he had not yet served the required 90 days); one was a Republican Party Chairwoman (in Oregon), one was a Tribal Vice Chairman.

Additionally, one that I didn't count was in Linndale, Ohio, (seems to be the speed-trap capital of the Mid-West) where voters filed for recall petition even though there is no recall law. The Mayor resigned anyway.

Texas: Cibolo recall looks to be scheduled for November 5

The recall against four Cibolo council members looks like it will be schedule for the November 5 ballot. This is another of the Walmart recalls.

Maine: Petitions taken out against Five Bath City Councilors

Five Bath City Councilors, Chairman Bernard Wyman and Councilors Andrew Winglass, Meadow Rue Merrill, Sean Paulhus, Carolyn Lockwood., are facing recall petitions over the sale of city property (a former hospital) at a closed-door meeting. The hospital was sold for almost $800,000, though it had an assessed value of $6.5 million. However, the recall proponents are no complaining about the sale, just the due diligence and the way it went down.

Petitioners need signatures totaling 50% (plus one) of the number of votes the councilor received in the last election. No word on the time frame to collect.

California: Filner signs resignation letter

Here -- still waiting on final word.

Colorado: Polls say majority of state voters oppose recalls of state legislators and use of recall in general

A Quinnipiac University Poll out today shows that state voters oppose the use of political recalls and specifically, the recalls of State Senate President John Morse (54-35%) and State Senator Angela Giron (52-36%), at least if the issue is gun control. Note a couple of important points:

1) This is a state-wide poll, so it probably doesn't tell us that much about the specific districts.

2) There is a huge partisan divide. 62% of Republicans are in favor of tossing out Morse (60% for Giron). 88% of Democrats oppose it. Also a pretty stark gender divide.

3) Polls again show people against the political recall (not for malfeasance in office), by 60-31%. Again, we are seeing a stark partisan divide, with Republicans almost evenly divided 47-42% in favor of the recall) while Democrats completely opposed (10-85% against). Independents are 34-57% against. Again, we also see a gender divide.

We saw a similar result in an Election Day poll in Wisconsin. The question is would these results have been completely reversed if it were a Republican facing a recall? People don't seem to be opposed to the recall, just to the recall as used against their officials.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

California: San Diego Mayor Bob Filner reported to resign

Latest news reports are saying that Bob Filner will resign as Mayor on Friday as part of his deal on the Sex Harassment charges.

This can't be a surprise -- last year, 26 officials resigned when they faced recall petitions (or an actual recall vote).

Texas: Lubbock Councilman recall fails for the second time

The second recall attempt of Councilman Floyd Price failed. Petitioner needed 509 signatures, they turned in 640, but they less than 600 were found valid. Petitioners also did not meet the requirement that 10% of the signers had voted for Price in the last election. Since Price ran unopposed in 2012, they were looking to the 2008 election.

Florida: Signatures verified in Tamarac Commissioner recall

The recall of Tamarac Commissioner Patte Atkins Grad seems to be moving forward, as the Board of Supervisors verified 2,296 signatures (petitioners submitted 2514, then needed 1875).

Arizona: Benson recall dropped after numerous problems

The recall attempt against Benson City Councilman Ron Brooks has been dropped after allegations of circulator fraud. The whole event is worth a gander.

The petitions against Brooks had been certified after petitioners handed in 229 valid signatures (they needed 224). Brooks managed to knock out the signatures because a number of the petition gatherers did not live in Benson. However, the City Clerk was told by the Secretary of State that was fine. Also, the manager of the recall was a city employee, causing more problems. Additionally:

In the lawsuit, Brooks is alleging that organizers had not formed a political committee, which is part of the recall process under state law, when they failed to present notarized signatures of the committee chair and treasurer in the Statements of Organization. “City officials admitted there is state law that does require such notarized signatures and also admitted that the required notarizations were missing from the recall documents that had been submitted,” said Brooks.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

California: Filner reaches deal; no word on whether resignation in the offing

The deal will not be unveiled until Friday, so let's see what happens.

California: Petitions language approved in Salinas Councilman recall

The ongoing Salinas recall battle have moved a step closer, as petitions were approved against Councilman Jose Castaneda. Petitions have been out since May on Mayor Joe Gunter, an adversary of Castenda. Petitioners need 1449 signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

Arizona: Superior Town Council member up for recall on Tuesday

Superior Town Council member Soyla “Kiki” Peralta is facing a recall vote next Tuesday, based on a vote against an agreement between the city and Resolution Copper. Peralta ruled that anyone who spoke up at the meeting would be removed.

Colorado: Another legal challenge? Colorado law mandates a vote on the recall question for a successor vote to count

The Citizen Center's Marilyn Marks has pointed out that the Colorado Recall requires that voters must cast a ballot on the yes-or-no recall question if they want to vote for a successor candidate. Just to be clear: Colorado, like California, has what I call a two-step/same-day recall vote -- voters cast one ballot which has two parts: step one is the question of "Should this official be recalled?" and step two is "Who should be named as a replacement?" Colorado's Constitution very clearly states that if you don't vote on the recall question, any second vote is tossed out and doesn't count.

This is a ripe avenue for litigation, as California had the same provision in 2003. A US District Court tossed it out as unconstitutional (the case was not appealed). San Diego is facing the same question (which may very well be tossed out there as well). This one could be another minefield for the Secretary of State and the local Clerks.

Note that the California judicial ruling (Partnoy v. Shelley) was decided on the District Court level in a different circuit, so it's not clear how much of a precedential value this ruling will have. Also, just to fill this blank in, the 2003 ruling was handed down by a Clinton-appointed Judge, so it is certainly possible that a Republican-appointed Judge would have a different holding.

As far as I can tell with a quick search, no other state has the two-step/same-day recall law for the state officials, so California is the only state law that would give a direct comparison. The other states are divided between a two-step/separate-day procedure (the replacement vote occurs on a later date); one-step/same-day (basically, the candidate faces off directly against challengers) and one-step/appointment (there is no election for the replacement; the vacant seat is replaced by an appointment).

Note that this isn't the first issue that has cropped up that would put Colorado directly at odds with how another state handled a tough recall question. Because these two recall are taking place against officials who last ran in a pre-redistricting seats, there was a question of which district to use for the recall (the pre-redistricting population of voters who actually elected the officials or the voters of the new district). Colorado seems to have held that it would be just the voters of the new district. Wisconsin had the same issue and came to the opposite conclusion (though Wisconsin's legislature did pass a law that mandated that finding, so not exactly the same).

New Jersey: Montague School Board Recall Running into Difficulty over Decision to Avoid Special Election

The recall attempt against Montague Board of Education President Beverly Borrego is facing trouble over the petitioners goal to avoid a special election by getting the signatures in for the November 8 deadline. Petitioners have apparently gotten more than 500 signatures.

Arizona: Two more Sunnyside School Board members facing petitions

Sunnyside Unified School District board members Buck Crouch and Daniel Hernandez Jr. are facing a recall over their opposition to the Superintendent. Last month, petitions were taken out against board members Louie Gonzales andBobby Garcia for their support of the Superintendent. 
Crouch and Hernandez have been among Isquierdo’s biggest critics, citing what they describe as unethical behavior, including: filing for bankruptcy before he was scheduled to lose his Oro Valley home to foreclosure; owing more than $150,000 in back taxes; and having his driver’s license suspended because of unpaid fines and failure to appear in court. 
Isquierdo also has faced criticism for making improper charges on his district credit card and for the district’s use of athletes to pass out literature in support of a bond election in past years.
Each board member need 1,345 signatures. The first petitions are due on November 14, the second, December 14.

Non-Recall Op-ed: NY and the Curse of the Outer Borough Candidate

Here's my op-ed in the Daily News noting how difficult it is for us natural born hayseeds to get to Gracie Mansion.

California: Discussion on Validity of San Diego's City Attorney Memoranda

Here's a look at the possible unconstitutional nature of the City Attorney's memo from Will Baude at the Volokh Conspiracy. I think his point is very valid -- regardless of whether the City Attorney has the power to rule or not, there will be a lawsuit.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

New Jersey: Ventor Mayor facing recall threats

Ventnor Mayor Michael Bagnell recall threats moving forward, with group needing 2000 signatures.

Earlier this month, DeLuca and those involved in the recall effort — including Ventnor Concerned Citizens members Linda Kaplan, Phyllis Antosca, Sonia Loadenthal — sent a letter and survey to Ventnor residents asking their opinions on whether to recall the mayor. The letter included several allegations against Bagnell, who was elected to the Board of Commissioners in May 2012 along with running mate Frank Sarno and was chosen mayor over former mayor Theresa Kelly, a city commissioner.

The letter labeled Bagnell’s selection of his “campaign manager” Tom Quirk as Ventnor management specialist “cronyism;” alleged that Amy Weintrob's selection as solicitor was a “political IOU” to her father, former Commissioner Steve Weintrob; and criticized Bagnell's selection of his “friend for 40 years” Charles Sabatini as engineer. It also cited what the group claimed was improper planning before and during Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.
Bagnell has disputed many of the allegations in the letter.

California: San Diego recall campaign starts up


Friday, August 16, 2013

Georgia: Forest Park Mayor and three council members facing petitions

Recall petitions have been taken out against Mayor David Lockhart and council members Maudie McCord, Latresa Akins and Tommy Smith for allegedly forcing the City Manager and replace him with a friend of Lockhart.

The petition also claims that a Councilwoman received a $35,000 settlement for violations of the ADA, which the petition claims was a pay-off. Georgia is a malfeasance state, so cause is required. The cause appears to be violations of ethic ordinances in the appointment of an Election Supervisor.

At the same time, the council is looking to replace the five members of the ethics board, so a whole lot of trouble.

No word on how many signatures are needed.

Oregon: Sherwood City Council recall fails to turn in signatures.

The petition to recall City Councilor Matt Langer has failed, with no signatures handed in. Petitioners claim they got over 900 signatures, but they needed 1,011.

The issue was Langer's support for a shopping center anchored by Walmart, on property owned by Langer's family. Langer recused himself from votes on the issue

California: San Diego petitioning starts Sunday


California: City Attorney looks into alternative mayoral ouster methods

The City Attorney is trying to have the mayor kicked out for unauthorized spending on hotel rooms.

Texas: Signatures handed in for second Lubbock Councilman

Petitions were handed in against Councilman Floyd Price, with 660 signatures (needed 509 in 30 days, and 10% must have voted for Price in 2012). This is the second attempt. The first was declared invalid because affidavits weren't filed with the petitions.

San Diego's recall law is a disaster, one of the worst globally, and should be tossed out in favor of the state law

I previously wrote this op-ed for the San Diego Union Tribune on the difficulty of the city's recall law, and I talked to this reporter for her story, but I wanted to provide a more expansive look at the problems in the San Diego recall law as a whole. I'd love to hear if people think I'm wrong or have other examples. But after looking at the law, and after a wave of embarrassing stories, I believe that the San Diego recall law is a disaster, and it many ways it ranks among the worst recall laws in the country, if not the globe.

San Diego's is not the strictest or most difficult recall law in the country, and others have undeniably worse provisions, but its possesses multiple unforced errors which seem to exist solely to stop recall efforts. What makes this particularly hard to swallow is that unlike other jurisdictions, San Diego should have a perfectly fine recall law. I'm a big believer in Hanlon's Razor so I will take the position that this is just bad legislating, but you could see why people (such as one of the comment on the Union Tribune article) claim that this botched law could be an intentional effort to subvert the use of the recall. It is certainly not unheard of -- a look north at Berkeley (a city less than a 10th the size of San Diego) shows that it may have changed its laws specifically to subvert the use of recalls.

Let's look at some of the disastrous provisions in the law:

1) First problem is that the city cuts the signature gathering time-frame to only 39 or 69 days, (which I'll get to soon). I'm unaware of any jurisdiction in the country that has a 39 day time limit. There are jurisdictions with 30 days, but the 39 is very odd. It appears that the provision was botched in drafting. The law gives 60 days for the initial signature gathering stage, but then holds carves out the first 21 days for notices and responses, during which time petitioners cannot gather signatures. A notice is not unusual, but what is unusual is for it to cut so deeply into the mandated 60 days for signature. So, all of a sudden, there is only 39 days to gather for the initial stage. Compare that to other cities in California -- Los Angeles, which allows for 120 days; San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland and all of the top 10 cities in California use the state law provision, which allows for 160 days. (I noted Berkeley earlier. They have 75 days). This radically cuts down on the possibility of a successful recall effort.

2) The law seems to provide an additional 30 days (on top of the 39 days) to file supplemental petitions if there are not enough signatures handed in. There are provision like this in a few other jurisdictions, but note the L.A.'s law, which mandates that the supplement be filed with the 120 day time frame. Other seems to allow just curing of the already submitted petitions. Was this another mistake in drafting? This provision doesn't seem bad, but will it kill the recall momentum? Could it result in mistakes in gathering signatures in the verification stage (between the signatures are handed in and when the clerk declares that the petitioners failed to meet the limit)?

3) San Diego sets a high signature total bar (though it is the same as L.A.). San Diego requires 15% of registered voters. If they followed straight California law, it would be 10%. San Jose requires 12% and San Francisco and all the other top ten California cities require 10% (for citywide office). That said, 15% is not unconscionably high. There is no exact science to it, and 15% is within the range of normal (just high for California). But when tied with the other problems, it certainly looks bad (The aforementioned Berkeley needs 25%).

Just as a comparison, Miami-Dade County, a jurisdiction of 3.5 million people that had a mayoral recall in 2011, required only 4%.

4) Maybe the oddest provisions is the caused by the use of the term "recall petition filed." The use of this term causes two problems. Here's the language
According to the City Attorney, filed means that the recall election was approved. It does not refer to petitions that failed to get enough signatures. But the language is poorly written. A similar state law doesn't mention petitions filed. It just refers to "an officer who is not recalled." In Wisconsin, they write: "after one such petition and recall election..." Oregon says "after one such petition and special election..."

There are a plenty of places that prevent an official from facing multiple recalls in their term or mandate a cooling off period of six months after a recall (according to the early history of the recall, this provision started in Berkeley). But that is an actual elections, not petitions. If the City Attorney's interpretation is not accepted by courts, this law would incentivize the targeted official to have supporters take out the petitions. During the first discussion on the recall, there was allegations that this is exactly what a Filner supporter had done.

The second issue is whether the law allows only one petition to be filed and, if it allows multiple petitions, whether the first recall petition filed starts the 39 or 69 day clock on the recall for all recalls. Once that original petition is filed, all other petitioners have to start collect, whether they are ready or not. According to this reading, if that original petition failed by day 39 or 69, then (under the most expansive reading) the targeted official can't face a new recall petition for 6 months. The San Diego County Attorney has claimed that this reading of this law is incorrect (holding that filed would mean submitted with enough signatures to get on the ballot), and I would imagine that their position would be upheld in court. But  as we will discuss below, that doesn't prevent this issue from being problematic for petitioners.

You may recall that in Wisconsin, a Scott Walker supporter filed the first petition. But that didn't start the countdown -- it just allowed Walker to raising unlimited funds. In other places, multiple petitions are out there (this happened in Oakland). But one petition's time limit doesn't block the other from working.

5) There is also a provision that states that voters cannot cast a ballot for a replacement candidate if they did not vote in the recall portion of the race in the first place. This provision is almost certainly unconstitutional (based on a similar ruling in the Gray Davis recall). However, it still will take efforts (both time and money from the recall supporters) to get it tossed out.

These different problems all represent roadblocks for San Diego voters. Some, like the 39/69 day time frame or the 15% signature requirement create extremely difficult practical hurdles, but no legal issues. Others, like the multiple petition problem may be easily overturned in a court challenges, but that itself is a very big problem. Being forced to seek lawsuits delays the recall and forces petitioners to spend money the litigation. This may seem like a small point, especially when you see millions thrown around in Wisconsin or during the Gray Davis recall. It probably will not be a problem against Filner -- somebody will put up the money. But most recalls are undertaken by citizens who don't have the time, money or the legal skills to challenge the law. This gives the elected official a very powerful tactical weapon -- he or she just files suits (with their legal expenses sometimes paid by the taxpayer) under the different questionable provisions. Frequently enough, the petitioners give up. Under these circumstances, The recall law becomes a shield for elected officials, rather than a sword for voters.

All this being said, why do I put San Diego at the bottom of the recall pile? After all, if you look at the recall laws in other jurisdictions, you will see a variety of difficult provisions. Some have a malfeasance (or judicial recall) standard, where most issue-based recalls are not allowed. Some have a tight timeframe -- as little as 30 days to gather the signatures. Some require a difficult two-step signature process. Still others have a very high signature bar for recalls (Louisiana requires 1/3 of registered voters to sign a petition -- an almost impossible number for a gubernatorial recall). Others mandate that a majority of the voters cast their ballot for the recall to count. And, perhaps most punitively, there are jurisdictions that require the petitioners to pay the cost of the recall.

But in all of those jurisdictions, the limitations were built into the law adopting the recall in the first place. San Diego is different.While San Diego originally adopted the recall in 1905, they can't get rid of it. If they tried to, California law would governed. Earlier versions of the law followed California law (see the linked 1931 charter). But at some point, legislators chose to write a terrible law that strictly proscribes the recall. Voters in San Diego probably assumed that the recall is as easy to use as the ones in LA or SF. Now that they can use the recall, they found out they were wrong.

The worst part, and the part that may make San Diego unique, is that if it didn't have a specific law, the city would be governed by the state's law on local recalls. California's law, which provides gradation based on jurisdictional size when calculating how may signatures are needed, is the law I suggest to other officials when their state is looking for a recall law. If San Diego had that law, petitioners would have to get 10% of signatures in 160 days. They would also not have to worry about the continual minefields that keep popping up to prevent a recall from taking place.

What the city should do is not try to patch up an ungodly mess of a law (though some of the ideas are perfectly reasonable). We've seen in other states that voters should be very wary of politicians trying to make changes to the recall law under the guise of reform. Instead, the city council should junk the whole thing and adopt a provision like the one used in Oakland that accepts the state law for recalls.

Michigan: Former Troy Mayor running for city council

Ex-Troy Mayor Janice Daniels, who lost her seat in a recall last November, is now running for City Council.

California: Petitioners handed in signatures for Lake County Sheriff recall

 Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero is a step closer to facing a recall, with petitioners handing in 7,762 signatures. They need 7,026. 
The election already has two replacement candidates, former Clearlake Police Chief Bob Chalk and Brian Martin, a former Sheriff's lieutenant, now a chief probation officer.

Colorado: Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal of mail-in ballot case

Vote was 3-3, so the mail-in ballot race is dead.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Colorado: Divergent views on recall litigation results

Here. Democrats appear to be very upset about the lack of mail-in ballots, while Republicans are "forging ahead with stiff upper lips."

Oregon: Weston Mayor faces second recall vote in less than three years

Weston Mayor Duane Thul is facing a mail-in ballot recall vote due on September 10. Petitioners complain about a lack of accountability and communication.

Thul faced a recall vote in 2011, winning with 72% of the vote. He then won reelection with 62% of the vote  in 2012.

Colorado: A look at Aspen activist and head of the Citizen Center Marilyn Marks

Marks has led a number of the challenges to Colorado's election law this year, including the Libertarian Party lawsuit that just upended the mail-in ballot recall. I spoke with Marks a few weeks ago about the recall and she has certainly made a real impact in the state.

Maryland: Editorial against Rock Hall recall law, calling for different removal procedure

I have no idea what the different removal procedure may be. The article does have some material on other recalls in Maryland.
Takoma Park requires a petition for recall to be filed, though the reason for requesting the vote need not be listed. If the recall is aimed at the mayor, 1,500 qualified city voters or at least 20 percent of qualified voters of the city must sign the petition. For a council member, it is 100 qualified ward voters or 20 percent of the ward voters. 
In Salisbury, a recall election effort comes with comprehensive guidelines, including the required filing of finance reports for any monetary contributions to the “initiator’s” efforts. A petition also must state the reason for the recall.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

California: Reuters on the San Diego recall

Here -- it includes my comments about some of the problems in the San Diego law (though the recall in Wisconsin had only a 60 day time frame for signatures).

Colorado: National Review notices that recalls cause legal problems

Nothing new here, just interesting that there is any surprise that recalls cause legal problems. This recall is a perfect example of what we see repeatedly in the law -- the recall laws are not considered when making changes to the general election law. The result is litigation and chaos.

Colorado: Pro-recall forces putting out claim of massive ballot fraud possibilities in Morse/Giron recall

Here's the story in Slate and Media Matters. Media Matters notes that this came down before the judicial decision that most likely threw out the all mail-in ballot election.

Nebraska: Recalls of two Central City School Board members get on the ballot

Central City School Board President Dale Palser and Board Secretary Steve Belitz are facing an upcoming recall vote after the 500+ signatures were certified. Board member Kent Malm is also targeted in the recall. The issue was the firing of the football coach.

Missouri: Lee's Summit City Council considering charter amendment to raise recall signature bar, add malfeasance standard

Lee’s Summit City Council is proposing a charter amendment to make a recall tougher to get on the ballot. Right now, petitioners need 30 percent of turnout (which is frequently below 225) and the recall is not limited to malfeasance. The amendment is in the rules committee.
There was a recent attempt against Councilmember Rob Binney, but petitioners failed to get the 164 signatures.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oklahoma: Piedmont City Council kicked out in recall

Piedmont city councilman Vernon Woods was kicked in a recall vote on Tuesday. Challenger Bobby Williamson got 55%, Woods got 35.7% and a third candidate got 9.7%. Woods won election last year with almost 70% of the vote.

The issue was Woods' meeting with a wind farm developer.

California: Moreno Valley Councilman resigns after indictment, though not for public corruption investigation

Moreno Valley Councilman Marcelo Co, who was facing recall petitions along with the mayor and three other city councilmembers, resigned after being charged with eight felony counts.
Co is alleged to have fraudulently collecting $15,000 in home support services for his mother while she lived overseas. These charges have nothing to do with the FBI and police investigation into the councilman regarding local developers and a real estate broker.

Colorado: Judge strikes down mail-in ballots for Colorado recall

The ruling was for a Libertarian candidate who claimed that the 10 day requirement to get enough signatures to get on the ballot was in contravention of a law on the recall in the Constitution that gave candidates 15 days. This really could change planning for the recall and makes turnout once again a key player in the politics of the campaign.

California: San Diego Mayor files response to recall; Chief of Staff Changes locks

Bob Filner filed a response to the recall effort, though it did not address the basis of the recall: 

"Now is not the time to go backwards — back to the time middle-class jobs and neighborhood infrastructure were sacrificed to downtown special interests," the statement said. "We need to continue to move forward."

Monday, August 12, 2013

North Carolina: More on the Morganton Mayor recall

The recall effort against Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen has about 400 signatures according to the lead petitioner. They need 2,228 (25% of registered voters). He apparently has a full year to gather the signatures (which may be the longest time limit I've seen).

The Board of Elections asked that the signatures be turned in regularly (whenever he has 200), though the petitioners has (perhaps wisely) rejected this idea.

California: Updates on San Diego Mayoral recall

Filner has until tonight to provide a response to the recall effort. Petitioners are hoping to raise $500,000 for the recall. This article also looks at some of the likely replacement candidates.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Colorado: Mailers target Republican opponents over Abortion stance in state Senate recalls


Louisiana: St. Tammany Parish Coroner recall effort flailing

The attempt to recall St. Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Galvan appears to be in trouble.

Oregon: Republican Party Chair steps down ahead of recall vote

Oregon's embattled State Republican Party Chairwoman Suzanne Gallagher quit on Friday in the face of a recall that was suppose to take place today.

Arizona: Petitions taken out against Congresswoman Sinema

Petitions have been filed against Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema over her vote on NSA phone data collection. As I've mentioned before, absent a shocking court ruling, federal officials are not subject to recalls. Arizona does have a provision that allows its federal officials to sign a pledge stating that they are subject to the state law on recalls. Sinema did not sign the pledge.

Oklahoma: Piedmont official facing recall vote on Tuesday

Piedmont Councilman Vernon Woods is facing a recall this Tuesday due to his meeting wind enregy companies over plans to erect giant turbines after the city council rejected the idea.  Woods is facing two challengers in the vote.

Woods, who won re-election last year after grabbing nearly 70 percent of the vote, said he is the third Piedmont council member to be recalled in the last two or so years.

Here's the details on the two previous recalls:
Two other recall efforts were made in Piedmont over the past two years. A recall against former councilman Hoss Cooley was thrown out by a county judge in 2011 and another recall effort against former councilman Wade Johnson removed him from office in 2012.

Michigan: Petitions approved for recall of three New Haven officials over landfill issue

Petition language was approved against New Haven village President Jammie Kincaid and Trustees Jennifer Podgurski and Jaremy Davis. There is also an attempt to recall village Clerk Deborah Mack, though the language was rejected.

Te issue is a yes vote allowing Kincaid to work on a new town landfill.

Friday, August 9, 2013

California: Filner ends therapy a week early

That was quick -- Bob Filner claims to have completed his two weel therapy a week early.

California:: Senator Boxer calls on Filner to "step down immediately"


Colorado: Claims that new election law opens recall to anyone in the state; Media Matters disputes

As with other stories like this, I highly doubt that there will be any impact on the recall, but here is the discussion. A number of conservative-focused media, including the editorial page of Pueblo Chieftan, has reported claims that a Colorado law will allow any voter to claim that they will move to the two recall district in the next month and then be able to vote on Election Day. The liberal website Media Matters finds the claim specious, stating that only individuals who already moved into the district can vote immediately (and then they can attest that they intend to stay).

Colorado: Editorial on ballot secrecy

This is an editorial from the Denver Post, noting the upcoming Supreme Court case on ballot secrecy that came out of the botched Center recall. Here's the key point, and it is incredible:
This apparent effort at intimidation might be dismissed, except that Martinez-Bocock's sister had been an election watcher and insiders like her actually were in a position to discover how most residents voted. That's because election officials failed to remove an identifying stub from absentee ballots before counting them, as required by law — meaning they were traceable to individuals. 

Colorado: Judge upholds recall vote for September 10, will hear arguments on Monday from Libertarian Party complaints

Here and here on the Libertarian Party challenge to the ballot rules.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

California: San Bernardino court hearing scheduled

Next appearance on August 22.

Nebraska: Four Maywood school board members and one village board member facing recall petitions

Four Maywood, Nebraska school board members, Lyle Koester, Donita Werkmeister, Sheri Hartley and David Dodson and village board trustee Colleen Stone are facing petitions over the construction work that was done to a school superintendent's residence. Petitioner has 30 days to get 98 signatures)

Not sure of the motivation for the village board trustee Colleen Stone, though petitioner needs 41 signatures.

Colorado: Morse calls recall "more of a nightmare for democracy"


Texas: Keene mayor recall fails

The attempt to recall Keene Mayor John Ackermann failed, with petitioners not handing in signatures (they needed 425 (15% of registereds). The article is unclear on why the recall attempt was started, but Keene has seen a few recall attempts in recent years:
On Aug. 4, 2009, a petitioners committee formed in an effort to recall Councilmen Robert Bischoff and James Coleman.Coleman resigned Aug. 13 and the effort to recall Bischoff never materialized. 
On Jan. 25, 2010, the effort of about 29 residents to recall then Mayor Roy Robinson and councilmen Eddie Kirkpatrick and Robert Bischoff was rebuffed because the group failed to meet requirements of the City Charter.
Note also the law that bans a recalled official from holding elected office for five years after the recall.

Colorado: Denver Post cites Filner as a "good use" recall


Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Council kicks out president

Robert Chicks was kicked out by unanimous vote of the Tribal Council, which occurred two weeks after a tribal court overturned an April recall election.

Florida: Tamarac Commissioner facing recall vote throws water at protester

This is Patte Atkins-Grad, who was found not guilty in a trial, but hasn't resigned.

California: 23 file for San Bernardino seats

Lot of candidates have gotten in to the race for the San Bernardino seats (of course, there's a lot of openings).

Oregon: Klamath Commissioner recall fails to hand in signatures

The recall attempt against Klamath Commissioner Dennis Linthicum failed, as petitioners didn't hand in signatures. They needed 3,474.
There is still petitions out against Commissioners Tom Mallams and Jim Bellet.

Texas: Cibolo council recall waiting for action

This is another one of the Walmart recalls. So far, the Cibolo city council hasn't scheduled the recall, though petitioners apparently have enough signatures.

Colorado: Libertarian Party suing to get on the replacement ballot

They are claiming that Secretary of State Gessler violated Colorado's Constitution by putting in a 10 day deadline for nominating petitions for the replacement race. Colorado law has it as 15 days.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

California: San Diego recall cost is estimated at $3.7 million

This would be for a special election.

California: Did Filner target San Diego sex assault victims?

CNN looks into it

Colorado: The Gun Lobby Revisits its Favorite Year

Here's an article I wrote for the Atlantic today on the Colorado recall.

California: Arcadia School Board members facing recall over coach's firing

Arcadia School Board members are facing recall petitions after the cross country program's head coach was fired for rule violations. Petitioners need over 5,625 signatures to recall President Cung Nguyen, Vice-President Lori Phillipi and boardmember Kay Kinsler.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Colorado: Details on the Morse recall

Note this point: 
If you don’t answer the first question — “Shall John Morse be recalled from the office of State Senate, District 11?” — you don’t get to vote for successor candidate Bernie Herpin or a write-in candidate.
The issue of whether you can ignore the recall question, but still get a vote in the replacement race is also being discussed in San Diego. During the Gray Davis recall, California tossed out that provision as unconstitutional.

California: San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce Chair denounces recall efforts


California: Lake County Sheriff recall won't be on the ballot on Election Day

Petitioners failed to meet the deadline to get signatures in to recall Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero on Election Day, though they expect to meet the amount (7,026) by August 15. Petitioners claim they already have over 8,000.
Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown, one of the leaders of the recall effort, is facing recall threats by Rivero supporters, though that hasn't got to the signature gathering stage.

Wisconsin: Racine City Council petitions miss by four signatures

Petitions against Racine Alderman Jim Kaplan appears to have failed, with 72 of the signatures knock out by the city clerk. The petitioners handed in 311 signatures and needed 243. They missed by four.

30 of the signatures were tossed because the circulator lied about his address (he lived in a different district, moving right before the recall).

Wisconsin: Scott Walker continues to make bank post-recall

Walker has continued to rake it in from outside money, raising $6.9 million in funds since the recall, 2/3rds from outside the state.

California: Moreno Valley council recall approved for signature gathering

Petitions are now approved for collecting against Moreno Valley Councilwoman Victoria Baca. Reviews are still ongoing for the Mayor and three other city councilmembers. Petitioners need 2,878 signatures in 120 days.

Colorado: Language released for Senate recalls


Monday, August 5, 2013

California: Mayor enters rehab and excellent piece on the recall

Bob Filner is facing more revelations as he goes into rehab. Also, check this great article by John Wilkens. It provides one of the best looks I've seen at the recall (it does quotes and cites the blog, so add that in if you want skepticism, but it is a great look).

California: San Bernardino recall petitioners have spent $154,870, according to latest filings

San Bernardino recall proponents have spent $154,870. There's a debate if the donors prove that the recall is back by out of city money or not.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Colorado: Pueblo Chieftain business leadership comes under fire for signing Giron recall petitions

Doesn't look like any editors or reporters have anything to do with the story. The General Manager (I don't know what that position is) sent a letter to Giron saying that:
“I am the General Manager and responsible for the entire newspaper, including the newsroom,” he explained. “I want you to know I oppose all the bills currently being considered.”

New Jersey: More details on the Montague recall

The recall effort against Board of Education President Beverly Borrego has been filed, with the issue focused on a send-receive agreement with High Point Regional High School. Petitioners need more than 600 signatures (25% of registereds). Petitioners have 160 days, but if they want to get it on the November ballot (and save an estimated $15,000), they would need to do it in one month. Also, this is worth noting:
Only two school board members in New Jersey -- one of them being the former Hardyston school board president, in 2008 -- have been successfully recalled since a 1993 state constitutional amendment granted voters the power to initiate the recall process. Moreover, even if a board member is "recalled," it is theoretically possible for that person, as one of any number of nominees on the ballot, to be chosen again as her or her own successor.

Friday, August 2, 2013

California: Three petitioners join forces in the Filner recall

This includes the LGBT Weekly publisher who was alleged to have filed a recall petition to help out Filner by jump starting the clock.

Colorado: Governor Hickenlooper cites lessons of the Wisconsin recalls

Seems like the lesson that Hickenlooper is citing is that you can take a hard vote survive a recall.

California: Moreno Valley recall petitions fail for the second time

This is simply to get the petitions. Petitioners made some errors on the forms.

California: San Diego City Attorney tries to clarify recall law

The City Attorney released a letter claiming, among other things, that one recall petition wouldn't stop others from being used. I'll have more on the City Attorney's opinion next week. Here's a copy of the letter.

California: San Bernardino petitions hands in signatures against council members and city attorney

Petitions have been handed in against Enough signatures to force a recall election of three City Council members and City Attorney James F. Penman. In total, petitions have been handed in against eight officials (the petition against Councilman Rikke Van Johnson failed to get enough). I believe there is also a petition outstanding against the city clerk.

Read the whole piece in the San Bernardino Sun, which adds a lot more detail to the discussion. 

Colombia: Bogota Mayor facing recall vote

Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro, a former leftist rebel, is facing a recall election in late September or early October, over accusations of incompetence in managing traffic and criticism of a populist program of subsidized water.

Petitioners collected more than 355,000 valid signatures. Colombia has a minimum vote requirement, so they would need 1.2 million people to cast ballots for the recall to work.

Michigan: Petition against Six Ann Arbor School Board members rejected on factual grounds

Six Ann Arbor Board of Education members were subject to petitions (the seventh isn't eligible) which were rejected for clarity reasons by the local election commission. This will be another test of the new recall provision in Michigan.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

California: Op-ed in the San Diego Union Tribune on the 100,000 signature mountain

I wrote this op-ed for the San Diego Union Tribune which mainly discusses how difficult it will be for voters to get to 100,000 signatures, and also discusses some of the problems with the recall.

I believe that recalls requiring six figure signatures have only been achieved four times in US history (all on the state level), though there have been recalls were more than 100,000 were handed in, though not needed. In a couple of other instances, (Michigan in 2011 and Arizona this year) well over 100,000 were reported to have been gathered, but not turned in due to not coming close to the required amount.

I also look at the strange laws in San Diego regarding the recall. I will have a more in-depth post on San Diego's disaster of a recall law early next week (have to hunt down some more info on it).