Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Canada: Alberta Wildrose Party members facing quasi-recall petitions

A giant party-jumping effort nine y members of the Wildrose Party to the Progressive Conservatives has led to call for recalls. Alberta doesn't have a recall law (only British Columbia has the law), but the Wildrose Party was a big prominent of adding just such a provision. Recall supporters are hoping to gather enough signatures to push for officials to feel obliged to resign and face a rerun.

Former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith is the big target, and the Alberta's Deputy Mayor Allan Hunter is pushing for a quasi-recall of MLA Rob Anderson, Hunter is trying to get 6,000 signatures in 3 months (20%). The Wildrose Party were big supporters of the recall, a position Anderson says he still holds.

Of particular interest is this fact:

Alberta briefly had recall provisions in 1936, but the Social Credit regime repealed the legislation a year after passing it when then Premier William Aberhart was threatened with the prospect of losing his seat.

Zimbabwe: Analysis of Zimbabwe's recall

Hawaii: State Representative party flip leads to renewed calls for recall law

Republican State Representative Aaron Johanson, the House Minority Leader, switched to the Democrats (the Democrats have a 44-7 edge).  Mike Palcic, who works for the state's only Republican State Senator, is the leader of Citizens for Recall. Hawaii only has a recall for local offices, not state level.

Of note:

In 1985, the Democratic Party of Hawaii successfully launched recall elections against three members of the Honolulu City Council who switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP, to align themselves with the late Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi, who was then a Republican. The three councilmen - Toraki Matsumoto, Rudy Pacarro and George Akahane - were defeated in the recall elections by Democrats Donna Mercado Kim, Arnold Morgado and Randy Iwase.

California: NYT makes common error on Rose Bird "recall"

This article on Governor Jerry Brown's state Supreme Court appointments makes the common error that Rose Bird, Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin were removed in a recall vote in 1986. They were not -- it was a mandatory retention election.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Arizona: Glendale council recall fails over paid/volunteer designation

Once again, the failure to check a form stating whether petitioners were volunteers or paid gatherers seemed to have stopped the recall of Councilmember Gary Sherwood, petitioners needed 5,970 signatures. Sherwood claims that over 1,000 signatures were out of the district.

Colorado: Silverton Town Trustee facing February recall

Town Trustee Karla Safranski is up for a recall vote on February 10, though no one has stepped up to challenge her. Petitioners handed in 170 signatures against her. The issue is a push to fire the Public Works Director. 

Florida: Bradenton Beach Mayor facing petitions

Bradenton Beach Mayor William Shearon is facing petitions, led by a former city commissioner. There is already a resultion to have Shearon forfeit his office, led by the Vice Mayor. They need 100 signatures.

Since Miami-Dade had its famous recall in 2011, this fact is clearly not correct:
Removal of an elected official from office in Florida, via recall election, is rare. The removal of Anna Maria Commissioner Harry Stoltzfus in 2010 was the first-ever successful recall election in Manatee County and the first in the state since the 1970s, according to Bennett’s office.

Oklahoma: Choctaw Electric Cooperative Board facing a nine person recall

The entire nine member Choctaw Electric Cooperative board is facing a recall after an former general manger was accuse of embezzlement. They needed 1281 signatures (10%), they handed in more than 2600, and all but 342 were validated. In 1982, the entire nine-member board was recalled and removed.

The current board members are apparently able to run in a replacement race.

California: Salinas School Board trustee recall fails by 30 signatures; more than 700 invalidated

The recall of Salinas City Union Elementary School District trustee Janet Barnes failed by 30 signatures. Petitioners handed in over 3000 and needed 2291, but more than 700 were tossed out. There's some discussing on rechecking those invalidated ones. The issue was a removal of a principal. 

Colorado: KOTO Radio holding recall of three board members

KOTO Radio’s governing board, the San Miguel Education Fund, has sent ballot for the removal of board members Ray Farnsworth, Robert Allen and Joe McClure. The issue appears to be the departure of a longtime employee.

Nevada: GOP Executive Board threatens recalls for recalcitrant Assembly members

Nevada Republicans are having serious trouble since recapturing the Assembly for the first time since 1985. They have a big majority (25-17), but that is not stopping the concern that moderate caucus members will break off and join force with Democrats.The result is an executive board resolution threatening recalls for disobedient members. Nevada has a very difficult recall law, so that would be a hard push, but a state party is actually the most likely to get a recall on the ballot.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Colorado: Signatures verified for two Center School Board members

Center School Board members Phillip Varoz (438 verified/232 needed) and James Sanchez (423/163) are facing upcoming recalls after they requested the Superintendent resign.

Signatures are still being reviewed for two other board members, Barela (281) and Cendejas (109).

Nebraska: Minatare mayor up for recall on January 13

Minatare Mayor Alfred Pieper will face a January 13 recall after petitioners handed in 35% of total register voters signatures. The council would approve a replacement if Pieper is removed.

Idaho: Signatures verified against Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney

Jefferson County Prosecutor Robin Dunn is facing an upcoming recall. Petitioners handed in 3,582 signatures, of which 3246 were verified. They needed 2824. Dunn is accused of using county resources to bolster his private practice.

Michigan: Ann Arbor councilman facing three new petitions

Homeless advocates are still targeting Ann Arbor Councilman Stephen Kunselman. They have now handed in six petitions, three of which have been rejected on clarrity/factual grounds. They need 1859 signatures.

Arizona: Signatures handed in against casino approval-flipping Glenwood city councilman

Over 6,00 signatures have been handed in against City Councilman Gary Sherwood -- they need 2,752. Sherwood flipped on his support for a $400 million casino resort by the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Sherwood claims that his opponents are backed by other casinos, though that is disputed by the recall proponents.

Arizona: Golden Valley Fire District Board Director up for recall on May 19

The recall of Golden Valley Fire District Board Director Rhonda Brooks has been set for May 19. The recall was led by fellow director Steve Robinson. The article notes that they got exactly the right number. We'll have to see, but that means (as is frequently the case in Arizona) there were a lot of failed signatures -- they handed in 750 and needed only 483.

The board also addressed Brooks' refusal to turn over personal emails to friends that allegedly contain privileged executive session information. Allegations were made when information from executive sessions appeared in Facebook groups. 
The board has asked her for the emails on numerous occasions and is currently exploring legal action.

Michigan: New Buffalo Mayor slated for May 5th recall

Mayor Peter Weber will be facing the voters on May 5th over the firing of the city manager. Last year, two council members were kicked out in May.

Taiwan: Appendectomy Project targets three legislators

Petitions have been turned in by one of my new favorite names for a political movement "The Appendectomy Project." The Project handed in enough signatures for a recall of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Tsai, though they are now being reviewed by the Central Election Commission. Petitioners need 13% to be handed in. They are also going after KMT legislators Wu Yu-sheng (37,469 signatures) and Lin Hong-chih (27.677).

The name Appendectomy Project was chosen because the term for pan-blue camp legislators in Mandarin Chinese, lan wei (藍委), is pronounced the same as the word for “appendix” (闌尾).
The project said it targeted the three KMT lawmakers because they adhered to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) instructions rather than the public’s wishes

North Dakota: Oberon councilman facing recall over requests that voters "vote for him"

This one is amazing -- Oberon City Councilman Paul Stensland is facing a January 27th recall over claims that he violated state law by asking voters to vote for him (North Dakota does not require a showing of cause, so this may not have been in the official filing). Unfortunately, there is only one story about this, so I can't do to much verifying. But certainly one to monitor.

Petitioners only needed 17 signatures (the town has about 100 people).

Colorado: Colorado Springs Councilwoman facing petitions

Colorado Springs Councilwoman Helen Collins is facing petitions over claims that she doesn't engage in conversation with members of her district and her opposition to a stormwater proposal. The lead petitioner lost to Collins in the 2013 race. Petitioners need 1,485 signatures by January 8 to get a recall on the April 7th ballot.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Michigan: Benton Harbor mayoral recall fraudster sentences to 2 1/2 -10 years

Edward Pinkney, who was convicted of fraud in the failed Benton Harbor Mayoral recall was sentenced to 2 1/2 - 10 years for illegally changing names on a petition.

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayor ousted in recall

Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan lost his recall race, with about 69% of voters casting ballots to kick Flanagan out. The city had a two-step recall, and Flanagan was allowed to run in the replacement race. However, he came in second of the eight candidates. Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter got about 37%, and Flanagan got 27%.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Arizona: South Tuscon Mayoral recall set for May 19

South Tucson City Council Mayor Paul Diaz is facing a recall on May 19. The recall was put off after a councilman objected to a date of August 25. The councilman, Ildefonso Green, is facing a recall petition and the claim was that if his recall gets on the ballot, they would schedule both recalls on the same date.

Friday, December 12, 2014

California: Three Indian Valley Community Service members resign

Indian Valley Community Services District board members Mike Yost, Blake Shelters and Jane Braxton Little all resigned their seats, with Yost and Little facing recall votes. One additional member, Brad Smith, is facing a recall on March 24.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians leaders ousted

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians chairman Fred Kiogima and vice chair Deb De Leon, lost a recall vote on November 17 over their leadership styles. The vote was 379-325 to kick out Kiogima and 384-315 against De Leon, with a 41.5% turnout. Regina Gasco-Bentley is the interim replacement.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Arizona: Columnist claims low-info voters pushing Superintendent recall


Michigan: Ann Arbor City Council member facing recall over homeless evictions

Ann Arbor City Council Member Stephen Kunselman is facing recall threats over his call to evict a homeless encampment. Petitioners need 1,859 signatures within 60 days.

New Zealand: Secret Rooms lead to calls for adding recall laws

Auckland Council spent $30,000 on "secret rooms" including a dressing room hidden behind a bookcase in the Auckland mayor's new office. 

Michigan: New petitions filed against Howell School Board

Petitions are being filed against Howell Public Schools Board of Education members  Deborah McCormick, Michael Moloney, Stacy Pasini and Mike Yenshaw over their vote to fire the Superintendent. The original petition was rejected on clarity grounds.

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayor's spending detailed

Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan has raised $165,000, and spent all but $16,800. $32,000 of that money has been raised since the recall was announced in August.

He paid $32,500 to his recall attorney, Preston Halperin and $2,500 to hire a handwriting expert,

Louisiana: Gonzales Councilman ousted

Gonzales Councilman Timothy Vessel was ousted with 75% against. This followed Councilman Gary Lacombe's resignation in the face of a recall. The recall was over their voting in a bloc and seeming opposition to the mayor. He was accused of a number of small violations (riding a bike with campaign signs on it too close to polling stations; plugging in an extension cord to a vacant trailer).

Missouri: Signatures handed in against Columbia Councilwoman recall over Marijuana vote flip

Petitions have been turned in to recall Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick. Petitioners handed in 451 signatures, they need 249. If they fail, they get 14 more days to collect. The issue was Chadwick's opposition to decriminalization of marijuana after previously supporting it.

Georgia: Warwick Council recall over open meeting law violation tossed out

An attempt to recall Warwick City Councilman Donald Watson over a violation of open meeting law was rejected by a judge as not meeting the cause requirement. Of note:
The court found that meeting constituted a technical violation of the act, but that Watson did not intend to willfully and intentionally violate the act, thus, Watson's conduct in attending the meeting did not constitute misconduct in office and wasn't grounds for a recall.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Wisconsin: Stevens Point School Board members facing petitions

Stevens Point School Board members Lisa Totten and Kim Shirek are facing recall threats over claims that they insulted other board members, lambasted district employees and delayed votes. They are both in their second term. Petitioners would need 6,549 signatures.

Massachusetts: Seekonk hopes Town Administrator loses Fall River mayor recall race

Interesting tale here, as the Administrator will have to resign if he wins.

Oregon: Mayor facing petitions

Gearhart Mayor Dianne Widdop is facing recall petitions, with petitioners needing 102 valid signatures. 
The claim is that Widdop went beyond her authority as mayor by requesting that a business owner remove a candidate’s sign from a window; inappropriately used the word, ‘we’ that suggested she spoke for the entire City Council; secretly recording a conversation between her, Sigler and City Administrator Chad Sweet and distributing the recording; and “publicly denouncing a candidate’s ability to serve in public office, citing his ‘alleged’ temper.”

Colorado: Mancos School Board member recall rejected due to County Clerk error

The recall against Mancos School Board member Beverly Humiston-Scott was rejected, after an attorney realized that a miscalculation by the County Clerk gave petitioners the wrong number of signatures needed. Petitioners were told they needed 212 signatures (40% of total votes for her). However, they actually needed 352 signatures (40% of the total for the seat).

Petitioners had gathered 267 signatures, 220 were found valid. They now have 15 days to get the rest.

Massachusetts: Sagus Board of Registars member resigned rather than approve recall

Sagus Board of Registrars member Gary Butt resigned rather than be involved in the recall signature certification of four town selectmen. Butt claims that the recall is being run contrary to town law (he feels there should be a two step process -- a recall vote and then an election of successors).

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Massachusetts: Ashby Selectman recall underway

Ashby Selectman Steve Ingerson is facing petitions led by Selectman Michael McCallum allegedly over Ingerson's questions of another Selectman's commitment to the town. Ingerson claims he has not received answer to requests for documents, notably W-2s of all the town employees. Ingerson has refused to sign the payroll warrants for employees.

Petitioners need 430 signatures (20% of registereds).

New Mexico: Petition dropped against one Las Cruces councilman

The recall campaign against Las Cruces City Councilor Nathan Small, though two against  Olga Pedroza and Gill Sorg are continuing. The petitioners (a conservative group called New Mexicans for a Better Tomorrow) have raised $30,000 for the effort, though the mayor has done robo calls asking residents not to sign.

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayor race hold Karaoke contest among candidates

Okay, this one is new to me.

Taiwan: Recall petitions fail against two legislators


Michigan: Howell School Board Trustees petitions rejected

The Election Commission rejected petitions against four Howell School Board Trustees, Michael Moloney, Deborah McCormick, Stacy Pasini and Mike Yenshaw over their firing of the school superintendent. The petitions avoided the issue of the firing, and were rejected for vagueness.

Louisiana: Key issues that lead to the Gonzales recall


Massachusetts: Sagus recall petitions verified, February 3rd date to be set

Here and some earlier coverage here

Idaho: Signatures handed in against Jefferson County Prosecutor

Petitioners handed in 3,582 signatures in the recall of long-time (over  30 years) Jefferson County Prosecutor Robin Dunn, they need 2,824. The issue was Dunn's alleged use of county workers to do private work for his office. 

Michigan: Comstock Township Supervisor recall fails

Petitioners failed to turn in the 1,260 needed signatures against Comstock Township Supervisor Ann Nieuwenhuis. They claim to have collected almost 1,000. 

The issue was forcing a business owner to take out a sign permit.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Missouri: Can St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney face a recall?

Following the Ferguson Grand Jury decision last week, here's an article on the possibility of recalling St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch. The political science professor quoted in the article seems to feel that recalls infrequently work and are used for kicking people out for corruption. I'd hope that the thousands of posts on this blog serve as a definitive refutation of the second part of that statement (and, if he means that once on the ballot they fail, the first part as well). That said, the recall would be a big challenge to get on the ballot. Petitioners would need 104,000 valid signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

Arizona: Article on the chances of recalling new Superintendent of Public Instruction

No one asked me, but I'll be happy to take bets of anyone who thinks that this is going to get to the ballot. They need more than 367,000 signatures. This would be the fourth most signatures ever compiled for a recall.

Philippines: Supreme Court orders Puerto Princesa Mayor recall

The Philippines Supreme Court has ordered a recall of Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron after Comelec resolutions stopped all recall proceedings due to a stated lack of funds. Petitioners handed in 40,409 signatures (needed 19,335).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Massachusetts: Saugus recall scheduled for February 3

Four members of the Saugus Board of Selectmen are facing a recall scheduled for February 3 over their vote to fire the town manager. Petitioners needed 4,441 signatures. They handed in more than 5,400 per  Chairman Ellen Faiella (4,929) Vice Chairman Maureen Dever(4,859), Paul Allan (4949) and Stephen Castinetti (4,909) are all on the ballot. A fifth selectmen, who voted to retain the town manager, did not face a recall effort.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Massachusetts: Fall River recall results in sloppy campaigns


South Carolina: Petition drive starts to put in recall in South Carolina


California: Yorba Linda recall shows dangers of drop in voter turnout

Here's an op-ed column from Jim Drummond on the subject.

Louisiana: Coushatta Councilman recall fails

Rejected signatures doomed the recall attempt against Coushatta Town Councilman Mallory Parsons Sr. Petitioners needed 497 signatures (33% of registereds). They got 581, but 89 were deemed invalid and 60 were not registered. They were left with 432.

Massachusetts: Erving adopts recall law

Erving adopted a recall law in a city vote, 44 to 37, though it still needs state legislative and gubernatorial approval before it goes into effect. Of particular interest is that the Selectmen Board Chairman William Bembury proposed an amendment to require a list of reasons for the recall to take place. This amendment failed 44-33.

Petitioners would need 20% of registered voters signature in 20 days (about 200 signatures). There is also a six month waiting period at the start of the term. This is a one-day, two-step process, with an up-or-down vote on the recall and a vote for the successor in case of removal. The incumbent can run in the successor race -- and is actually automatically included on the ballot, unless he or she asked to be removed.

Ohio: Seven Hills City Council President facing threats

Seven Hills City Council President Mike Barth is facing recall threats over his support to rezone part of a neighborhood as an elderly care district. Petitioners need about 2,000 signatures.

Michigan: Language rejected in Saginaw Board of Ed member recall

Petition language was rejected in an attempt to recall Saginaw Public School District Board of Education member Rudy Patterson. The issue was "consistently voted against administration recommendations on nearly every substantive financial issue to come before the Board" and he "he has failed to offer alternatives to the recommendations he has voted against." In February, there was an attempt to recall three other board members. That was also rejected.

Michigan: Petitions approved against entire Raisin Township Board

Petition language was approved against all six members of the Raisin Township BoardSupervisor Jay Cavanaugh's recall was started in October, but now petitions have been approved against c>lerk Betty Holdridge, treasurer Kami Johnson and trustees Larry Crittenden, Tom Hawkins, Deb Brousseau and Dale Mitchell. Petitioners will need 590 signatures each.

According to the petition wording, the six officials “voted for purchase of a fire truck costing in excess of $400,000 without advertising for and obtaining competitive sealed bids” and “the board eliminated the opportunity for citizens to comment at the conclusion of board meetings.”

Oregon: Northern Wasco County Parks and Recreation District board facing threats over director firing

Northern Wasco County Parks & Recreation District board members Catherine Whalen, Nikki Lesich and Travis Dray are facing recall threats for firing the district director (no reason was given for the termination). Petitioners need somewhere between 850-900 signatures (15% of turnout for governor in the district). Because there wouldn't be a quorom, the Wasco County Commission would have to appoint one new member, who would join with the existing members to appoint two other new members. 

Arizona: South Tucson Mayor facing recall

South Tucson Mayor Paul Diaz is facing an upcoming recall, after petitioners handed in enough signatures to move forward. No word on scheduling yet. The issue seems to be support for a new court system that funnels people into substance abuse treatment.

 Petitioners handed in 320 signatures, 222 of them were valid. They needed 183. 55 of the 98 rejected were signed by non-registered voters (don't usually see that detail of why the signatures were rejected). 

 Diaz moved up to mayor in 2013, and was elected in 2011. 

Montana: Toole County Commission signatures must be counted

A state court rules that signatures handed in against Toole County Commissioner Allen Underdal must be counted.

The issue is whether Underdal violated the law by retaining legal counsel ofor Maris Medical Center's CE) (and paying $57K for the work).

Montana is a malfeasance standard state on the merits, which means there must be a showing of cause before a judge (this didn't count). Petitioners need 15% of registered voters or 390 by December 20

Friday, November 21, 2014

California: Perris City Councilman facing petitions after drug possession

Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez is facing petitions after his arrest for drug possession. The arrest came after he called police to a hotel room because his city-issued iPad was stolen. He is also being accused of misusing his travel allowance.  Petitioners need 4,661 signatures by February 25. 

North Dakota: Mapleton Mayor wins recall race

Mapleton Mayor Eric Hillman overwhelming won a recall vote 146-48 against former Councilwoman Carlita Dieta (who lost in June). The recall was led by City Councilman Ryan Johnson, who claimed that Johnson was unprofessional and...

 The mayor was part of a “good ol’ boys” club and gets drunk and starts “talking politics.”

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Canada: Wildrose Party again pushing for recalls in Alberta

Massachusetts: Westminster Board of Health withdraws tobacco proposal

Following recall threats last week, the Westminster  Board of Health withdrew their tobacco sales ban proposal. No word on whether the recall has been pulled. Petitioners will need 800 signatures in 20 days.

Texas: West University Place City Council hit with recall threats

West University Place City Council has been facing recall threats over their plan to seel or swap a maintenance facilities to West University Baptist Church (whose has a deacon serving as a council member who recused himself from the proceedings).

Michigan: Clay Township Clerk failed to file paperwork, leading to IRS liens, recall

Clay Township has now been hit by huge IRS liens due to township Clerk Lisa White's failure to file paperwork. Needless to say, there is a recall against White in the works. She hasn't shown up since Election Day. Petitioner (a township Supervisor) needs 914 signatures in 60 days.

Michigan: Judge okays petition against Flint Township Supervisor

Flint Township Supervisor Karyn Miller is facing petitions, after a Circuit Court judge rejected a claim that the language was insulting. Not clear why it is insulting though. Here's the dispute:

The recall petition against Miller, filed by resident Lavonna Harris, said, "On June 16, 2014, at a regular Flint Township board meeting, Supervisor, Karyn Miller, voted to approve ballot language for the Nov. 4, 2014, election, for a 10-year, 3.85 millage proposal for public safety."
County Treasurer Deb Cherry referred to the petition language as "insulting" after approving it, saying it was a ridiculous reason for a recall.
In Miller's appeal, attorney Mark Newman said the phrase public safety could be misconstrued to mean only police work and there is no "public safety department" for the township.

Wisconsin: Clintonville Alderman loses Election Day recall

Clintonville Alderman Greg Rose lost his Election Day recall, 108-93 against Lois Bressette, who Rose beat for the seat in April 2013 (84-77 at that time). Turnout was 43%. This represented the first recall in Clintonville's history.

The issue was complaints about hostility to business and replacing the municipal attorney. Of note is that the Council refused to accept the recall on September 30 (by a 4-2 vote), but the GAB overruled them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Missouri: University City Council member targeted by recall threats

University City Council Member Stephen Kraft is the target of anonymous flyers claiming a recall campaign.  Not clear what it is about, but the Mayor asked residents not to sign, claiming that it is his April election opponents who is pushing the recall.

Michigan: Pulaski Township Supervisor survives recall rerun

Pulaski Township Supervisor Robert Jones survived his recall election 406-305, beating David White who lost to Jones in 2012 and had filed four petitions to remove Jones (though the petitions were rejected by the election commission). The recall was over Jones' vote to fire the fire chief.

Ohio: New Miami Mayor resigns after recall threats

New Miami Mayor Patti Hanes resigned on November 7 in the face of recall threats over the firing of the police chief (after he allegedly choked a suspect), raises, and upgrades to cars and the removal of red light cameras (by judicial order). She has been in office 7 years.

Louisiana: Claim that Gonzales recall racial motivated


California: Trinity County Supervisors facing petitions

Trinity County supervisors John Fenley and Karl Fisher are facing petitions. Petitioners need 322 and 356 signatures by January 5.

Jamaica: Editorial calls for adoption of the recall


Michigan: Three Elk Rapids Township officials survive recall over township ambulance service outsourcing

Another group of recalls discovered here: Three Elk Rapids Township Supervisor Bill White, Treasurer Michael Szymanski, and trustee Dorance Amo, all survived Election Day recalls over a contract that outsourced the Township's ambulance service.  

Tennessee: Crossville adopts recall with supermajority requirement, petitioner pays for election provision

Crossville overwhelmingly approved a recall law 1728-386 (at the same time as adopting term limits). The recall has some tough provisions, most notably it requires a supermajority of 66% of the vote for the official to be removed. The petitioners need at least 33% of what registered voters to sign, and does not seem to have a lower limit for city council members (though perhaps it is an at large election city).  An even tougher provision requires the petitioners to post a cash bond equivalent to the cost of the election. If the election is held, petitioner pays.

Nebraska: Verdigre Fire Board members ousted on Election Day

Two members of the Verdigre Rural Fire Board were kicked out in an Election Day recall. Duane Liska lost 163-94 and Walton was recalled 155-104.

Massachusetts: Lancaster Town Clerk sends emails calling for selectmen recall

There are allegations that Lancaster Town Clerk Sue Thompson went over the ethical line in sending an email to residents calling for the successful recall Selectmen Susan Smiley and Jean Syria.The question seems to be over how Thompson got the list, which she appears to admit was acquired from work. She apologized -- no word on whether there will be follow up.

North Dakota: Mapleton Mayor up for recall on November 20

Mapleton Mayor Eric Hillman is facing a November 20 recall over accusations of unprofessional conduct. Hillman is in his first term, but has been on boards and the city council. He is facing former City Council member Carlita Diet.o lost in June.

California: ex-Fontana School Board Member who lost recall in 2013, loses county school board race

Leticia Garcia lost her school board seat in 2013. No comeback this year, it seems in her race for the San Bernardino County School Board.

Michigan: Howell School Board members facing petitions over school superintendent firing

Howell school board members Deborah McCormick, Michael Moloney, Stacey Pasini and Mike Yenshaw are all facing petitions over the firing of the school superintendent. He was fired over a $309 mileage request (there was also questions of a car allowance, a laptop and some consulting opportunities).  The other three members of the board are not eligible for a recall vote, as they are in their last year.

In 2010, there was also an attempt to recall Howell School Board members over a firing of the superintendent. That one failed to make the ballot.

Massachusetts: Fall River recall won't have run off, eight candidates in race

No primary, no run-off. Looks like this long running saga will come to a proper conclusion on December 16.

Wisconsin: Calumet Chairman recall axed by GAB over technical issue

The recall against Calumet Town Chairman Michael Endries was stopped by the GAB do to a technical issue of having a form with a column for the printed name of each signer, as required by a new law effective in March. Petitioners handed in over 200 names (they need 162), but they will have to start over. The issue was a claim that Endries was not getting board approval for his actions.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Non-Recall Op-ed: My article on the filibuster for McClatchy

Here it is

Poland: Warsaw Mayor, survivor of last year's recall, comes in first in reelection race, off to runoff

Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, who survived a tough recall battle last year, came in first in her reelection race on Sunday. Gronkiewicz took 48.8%, over 20% more than her rival, but needed 50% to avoid a runoff. The runoff is in two weeks.

Massachusetts: Westminster Board of Health facing recall threats over tobacco ban proposal

Westminister Board of Health members are facing recall threats over a tobacco sales ban proposal, though only two of the members are eligible for recall (the other member's term is up in less than six months. Petitioners would need 800 signatures in 20 days to remove Ed Simoncini and Peter Munro.

More here at the NYT.

New Mexico: Three Las Cruces City Councilors facing recalls

Three city councilors, Nathan Small, Gill Sorg, and Olga Pedroza are facing petitions over alleged illegal political campaigning using public resources, though it may be about a minimum wage raise fight. 10% of registered voters signatures are needed in 60 days.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Michigan: Raisin Township and Lenawee County officials facing recalls

Raisin Township Supervisor Jay Cavanaugh, Lenawee County Executive township clerk Betty Holdridge, treasurer Kami Johnson and trustees Larry Crittenden, Tom Hawkins, Deb Brousseau and Dale Mitchell over the purchasing of a fire truck without competitive bids and eliminating the citizens comment period at the end of board meetings.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Michigan: Plymouth Supervisor facing recall files recalls against three trustees to highlight recall law

Petitions have been approved against Plymouth Township Trustees Michael Kelly and Bob Doroshewitz, though the one against Trustee Chuck Curmi was rejected on clarity grounds. Six of the seven board members are now facing petitions. The petitions were filed by Supervisor Richard Reaume (who oddly is mentioned as not going to collect signatures). Reaume is claiming that he is doing this to highlight the looseness of Michigan's recall law.

 Petitioner need 3,200 signatures.  Perhaps not coincidentally, Reaume also faces a recall effort, along with Clerk Nancy Conzelman, Treasurer Ron Edwards and Trustee Kay Arnold,

California: West Contra Costa school trustees facing recall threats

West Contra Costa school district trustees are facing recall threats over their vote to approval $485,000 in legal fees after the SEC launched and investigation into the district's $1.6 billion bond program.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Massachusetts: Petitions handed in against four Sagus Selectmen

Signatures were handed in for the recall of four Saugus Selectmen, Chairman Ellen Faiella, Maureen Dever, Stephen Castinetti and Paul Allan. Petitioners handed in over 5400 per person. They need 4,452 per (25% of registered voters). The issue was the board's 4-1 vote to remove the Town Manager. 

Arizona: Superintendent of Public Instruction facing immediate recall threats before taking office

After her recent close (17,000 vote) victory, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Diane Douglas (R) is already facing calls on a Facebook page for her recall. The issue is obviously not about her actual governing (as she's not in office yet). Petitioners cannot start gathering signatures until she's been in office six months. The "sour grapes" recalls are not uncommon (Omaha's mayor in 2011 is one example).

They would need approximately 363,462 signatures, which of course is more than has been gathered for a recall for any position, except the California Governor, Wisconsin Governor and LG. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Jersey: Rumblings of recall against Jersey City councilman

Jersey City Heights Councilman Michael Yun is apparently facing a proposed recall, led by members of former Mayor Jerramiah Healy administration. The article claims that Yun in not actually a city residents. Though the reasons for the effort of a recall are not clear -- the claim is that they want to short-circuit a Yun race for mayor or return Healy to office.

California: Blown deadline causes restart for Antioch mayoral recall

The recall attempt against Antioch Mayor Wade Harper will have to be restarted, as the petitioner failed to publish a notification of intent in a general circulation newspaper within 10 days of the mayor's response. The petitioners had to publish by November 3. It was published on November 4 (though submitted on October 30).

Monday, November 10, 2014

Michigan: Both Blackman Trustees ousted

Blackman Township Trustees Betty Brockie (R) and Mark Singer (R) were easily defeated in Tuesday's recall over the trustees' vote to grant the board pay raises. Brockie lost to Louis Globensky (D), 2558-1864, and Singer lost to Michael Ambs (D) 2488-1940. 

Colorado: Recall impact is felt as Republicans gain control of Senate

Interesting results out of Colorado. The two Senators who were triumphant in the 2013 Colorado gun recalls, Bernie Herpin and George Rivera, both lost their seats. Not a surprise, as both seats were considered Democratic (Their original success shows the "movers' advantage" of the recall).

However, there was a third seat that the recall had a major impact on -- that of Senator Evie Hudak. Hudak resigned before the recall campaign got certified, and was able to be replaced by a Democrat. Hudak was not scheduled to fact a vote until 2016. The Democrats replaced Hudak with Rachel Zenzinger. Zenzinger lost the seat Tuesday and the Republicans took control of the chamber 18-17.

Since this was a major Republican election, and Governor Hickenlooper still one, it is hard to read too much into this. However, from a purely standpoint, this once again shows the power that recalls can have even if there is no election.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Michigan: Benton Harbor recall backer convicted of forgery for signature changes

The Benton Harbor mayoral recall fraud trial has ended, with the prime recall backer, Reverend Edward Pinkney, found guilty of five counts of forgery after deliberating for nine hours. Pinkney was found not guilty on six false certification of recall petitions charge.

Pickney, who has been previously convicted of election fraud, was accused of changing the dates on the recall petitions against Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower. Michigan law has a very unusual provision. Petitioners have to get the recall petition approved. In most states, once approval is handed down, a clock starts on how long petitioners have to get signatures. Michigan has two clocks. From the date of approval, the petitions are valid for 180 days. But, once the signature gathering actually starts (presumably the date of the earliest signature), a different clock is in effect. Then, the petitioners must get all the signatures collected in 90 days. Pinkney was accused of changing the dates of the signatures to meet that 90 day requirement.

This is just the part dealing with Pinkney. The petitions (which were ultimately rejected) led to a noteworthy  Michigan Court of Appeals ruling.

Friday, November 7, 2014

California: Berkeley recall law passes overwhelmingly

Proposition O, which I wrote about here, passed with almost 90% of the vote.

Michigan: Cedar Springs commissioner out over Red Flannel Logo

The odd Cedar Springs recall, which broke out over a vote to change the city's Red Flannel logo and motto after the city got into a fight with the Red Flannel Festival, ended with the defeat of both officials. Commissioner Patricia Troost lost to Rose Powell 346-270. Commissioner Ashley Bremmer lost to Molly Nixon 310-295. 

Michigan: Split decision in Gaines Township

Gaines Township Supervisor Chuck Melki (D) lost by 229 votes to Paul Fortino, though Township Supervisor Michael Dowler and Clerk Deb Hyrman survived. Fortino lost his seat to Melki in 2012. This was a very odd recall, as Melki was against Dowler and Hyrman (all Democrats). Check out this coverage for the full details.

Michigan: Cottrelville Township Trustee loses

Cottrellville Township trustee Michael Zoran was kicked out on Tuesday, losing to Matt Kovalcik, 786-349.

Texas: Voters empty the streets of Laredo, tossing out Councilman indicted for cocaine possession

The least surprising recall of the year, Councilman Jorge Vera lost with 81% of the against after being indicted for cocaine possession. Vera can run in the replacement race.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Idaho: Mica-Kidd Island Fire District Commissioner ousted

Despite a decision from a DA and county prosecutor that he didn't violate open meeting laws,  Mica-Kidd Island Fire District Commissioner Chris Shelton was kicked out 262-222.

Michigan: Split decision in Bear Lake

Bear Lake Township Supervisor Sue Boss (R) lost her recall 172-159 to Shirley Havens. However, her colleague Susan Allen (R) survived the recall, thanks to a split in the vote 138-121-81.

Arkansas: Club for Growth Chairman calls for Judicial Recall law in state

Here's a proposal to add a judicial recall law in Arkansas, sponsored by the Chairman of Club for Growth Jackson "Steven" Stephens. Stephens' discusses adding a recall law in general for the state, as well as a particular one for judges. The issue that started his discussion is a recent Arkansas Supreme Court ruling stopping the Club for Growth from putting forward and initiative to stop a state's minimum wage hike as well as a decision and striking down the Voter ID law.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Michigan: Split in Jerome Township recall

Jerome Township Supervisor Stuart Bloomfield (R) lost his seat to Mike Wood (D) (56.2-36.8%). The Treasurer Laura Grubraugh (R) survived, beating Shelley Larmie (54-45%) as did Trustee Ronald Lowry (R) v. Kevin Niles (42-37%)

Michigan: Ontwa Recall sees four ousted, one survive

While it may have been a great night for Republicans in the rest of the country, the GOP took a big hit in the Ontwa Township recall election. The recall, over support for a wastewater treatment plant, saw four incumbents ousted, and one survive. There's talk that the wastewater plant could be repealed next week.
Supervisor John Brielmaier lost by 300 votes to John Bossler; Clerk Paula Ralph lost by seven votes to Teri McNaughton; Trustee Nathan Brosseau lost to Leon Gilliam; Trustee Norman Krupp lost to Mike Mrozcek. Treasurer Meryl Christensen survived.

Michigan: Five member Tuscarora council survives recall

All five Tuscarora Township Board survived their recall over a sewer vote. Township Supervisor Mike Ridley won 800-616; Clerk Susan Fisher 815-599; Treasurer Bobbi Balazovic 825-591; Trustee Craig Waldron 760-653; and Trustee Jane McGinnis 629-430-264.

Michigan: Belding Councilman ousted

First term councilman Joe Feuerstein lost his seat to Dennis Cooper, 587-385 (54-35%) with another 10 percent going to a third party. The issue seems to be a zoning dispute/complaints of disrespect. Cooper also previously said he will try a recall against Councilman Jerry Lallo and Mayor Ron Gunderson.

Massachusetts:Both Lancaster Selectmen kicked out

Lancaster Selectmen Jean M. Syria (1,822-694) and Susan E. Smiley (1687-800) were ousted in overwhelming fashion. The issue was their votes to not renew the contract for the town administrator.

The election was odd in that it had a recall vote and then a replacement vote with both Syria and Smiley on the ballot. Former Selectmen Chair Jennifer B. Leone, beat Syria (who's seat is up in six months) 1,928-563. Board of Appeals member Eugene C. Christoph beat Smiley's 1743-765 (that seat is up in 18 months).

31 Recalls on the Election Day ballot and more

Big Election Day for recall watchers. While there are no marquee recall match-ups (unless you want to count the Laredo councilman who was nailed in a cocaine bust), thanks to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's reelection race, as well as the races of other recall winners and losers, we have a lot to consider.

First, let's get down to the basic numbers: There are at least 31 recalls on the ballot today, and I'm sure I'll find some others in the coming days. This tops the 15 from last year's Election Day and the 22 from 2012. What is particularly interesting is that we are once again seeing the impact of Michigan's recall reform law, which pushed all recalls to either Election or Primary Day. Last year, we saw a huge drop off in Michigan recalls. Today, 26 of the 31 recalls are in Michigan.

The non-Michigan recalls are:
Two in Lancaster, Massachusetts;
One in  Moreno Valley, California;
One on the Streets of Laredo, Texas,
One in Mica Kidd Fire District, Idaho.

The Michigan Recalls include:
Five in Tuscarora
Five in Ontwa Township
Four in Jerome Township
Three in Gaines Township
Two in Blackman Township
Two in Alamo Township
Two in Bear Lake
One in Belding,
One in Pulaski Township
One in Cotterville

I haven't seen that many ballot proposition, though there is a reform plan in Berkeley, California, as the city is looking to revamp its recall law. I believe there are others, which I hope to track down.

People are closely following the Scott Walker reelection campaign. There are a few other races involving recent recall participants that are worthy of following:

  • John Lehman, who was the sole Democratic winner of a Senate recall race in 2012 (resulting in a flip of the Senate), is the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor. His Senate seat got gerrymandered out of existence. 
  • Van Wanggaard, who lost the recall seat to Lehman, is running to win it back. He is has the Republican nomination and is heavily favored to succeed.
  • George Rivera, who effectively ousted Colorado state Senator Angela Giron in a recall race last year centered around gun control, is up for reelection in what is seen as a tough race.
  • Bernie Herpin, who replaced Colorado Senate President John Morse in the same recall, is also up, though haven't heard anything about whether he is really facing a challenge.
  • Following the two recalls, state Senator Evie Hudak resigned in order to keep the seat (and the state Senate majority) Democrat. Her replacement, Rachel Zenzinger, is facing reelection. Will get to see if the Democrats are punished for the unusual resignation move.

Arizona: Signatures handed in for Golden Valley Fire District recall

Petitions were handed in against Golden Valley Fire District Director Rhonda Brooks. Petitioners needed 483, they handed in about 750. This is the second attempt against Brooks.  Petitioner claims the issue is a violation of open-meeting law.

Monday, November 3, 2014

California: Yorba Linda mayor, council member survive recall vote

Yorba Linda's first ever recall resulted in Mayor Craig Young and City Councilman Tom Lindsey easily surviving. Both were ahead bu 1900 votes out of 11,374.
The issue was higher density housing.

Lindsey will be facing the voters again tomorrow.

Colorado: Pueblo City Council member facing trash hauler-backed recall in January

The recall against City Council member Ami Nawrocki over a trash policy is going forward, with petitioners getting 1,848 signatures. Two other council members resigned rather than face a recall. The recall is expected for January 27.

Arizona: Tucson mayor, councilman facing dueling petitions

Tucson is facing petitions from two different groups -- one is targeting Mayor Paul Diaz, the other Councilman Ildefonso Green. The two officials oppose each other on how a residential drug treatment facility opened across the street from a school.

The two were former friends who campaigned on transparency. The fight resulted in a council meeting without a quorom, which cost the city $80,000 in taxes.

Idaho: Prosecutor states that Mica Kidd Island Fire district didn't violate law, but recall still to take place

A ruling by the County Prosecutor has stated that the Mica Kidd Island Fire District commissioners didn't violate Idaho's open meeting laws by making a decision in an executive session. However, President Chris Shelton is still facing a recall vote today.

Texas: Hearne Councilwoman recall petition blocked by City Council

The recall against Hearne Councilwoman Maxine Vaughn has gotten more contentious along very familiar grounds. Hearne and her allies in the city council have blocked (by a 3-3 vote) an agenda item which would have allowed the petition process to go forward. The petitioners have filed twice, and has been repeatedly rescheduled for a lack of council quorum.

Hearne has a a malfeasance standard recall, though the petitioners are claiming malfeasance and incompetence. The City Attorney claims that the grounds stated in the petition don't meet the standards, though petitioners claim the attorney is worried he will be fired if Vaughn is removed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Michigan: Belding City council member facing November 4 recall

Belding City Council member Joe Feuerstein is facing two candidates in his upcoming recall, Dennis Cooper and John LaClear.

California: San Diego City Council revamps recall law

San Diego City Council approved numerous changes to the recall law that will revamp their troubled provisions:

• The amount of time to collect signatures was doubled from 60 to 120 days.

 • A supplemental period in which recall proponents could gather more signatures, if they didn't have enough when the petitions were filed, was removed.

 • The time given to the city to schedule an election, if the recall qualifies, was increased to 180 days. 

• A recall drive registered with the City Clerk's Office will require five proponents who live in, or vote in, San Diego.

 • Recall efforts will not be allowed against an elected official whose term is scheduled to end within six months.

New Jersey: Proposed legislation would subject LG to recall law


California: Salinas School Board recall hands in signatures

Petitioners have handed in 2,621 signatures to recall Salinas school board member Janet Barnes, 329 more than needed. Petitioners used a professional signature gatherers ($3-$5 each signature). The issue was the reassignment of a principal. The election is scheduled to cost between $129,668 and $185,240.

Michigan: Tuscarora Township chief deputy clerk appointed to run recall

The county clerk is facing a recall, hence the appointment.

California: My Op-ed on Proposition O

Here's an op-ed for the Berkeleyside website on Proposition O, which changes the recall law.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Nebraska: Petitioner drops recall attempt against Fremont mayor, council members

The recall petitions against Mayor Scott Getzschman and City Council members Larry Johnson and Michael Kuhns have been droped, though the petitioner said he will retry in better weather. 

The issue was the three officials' support for a failed special election which would repeal the housing portion of the city's illegal immigrant ordinance (the vote against was 3,896-2,644).

California: Recall attempt against San Marino Councilman in "poopgate" fails

The recall of City Councilman Dennis Kneier failed, with petitioners not handing in signatures. Kneier was the former mayor who threw dog poop on his neighbor's lawn. Petitioners needed 2,143 signatures to get this one the ballot.

Massachusetts:Trial to stop Fall River mayoral recall starts


California: Rialto School board recall fails

The recall attempt against two Rialto Unified school board membersJoe Ayala and Joseph Martinez, failed with petitioners unable to get enough signatures. The issue was the support of a former superintendent. Petitioners needed 9,450 signatures, and claimed to have got within a few thousands.\ The recall was started before the bizarre Holocaust denying essay.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Colorado: Recall winner well behind in funds a week before the election

George Rivera, who won the seat that Angela Giron lost, is well behind in funds a week before the election. Let's see what happens.

Michigan: Chicken Coop in Tawas leads to two recall petitions

City Council Member Dave Dickman is facing petitions pushed by former Mayor Kane Kelly, who is claiming that Dickman was one of the council members who forced him to resign. Kelly is also pushing for the recall of Councilwoman Janel Walmsley starting in January. The issue that started the battle is an attempt to arrest residents who kept a small amount of chickens on their property. The council pushed Kelly to resign after Kelly got involved in the case. Kelly tried to rescind the resignation, but that was rejected.

Kelly will need to resubmit the petition, as there were grammatical errors and a lack of clarity.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Texas: Laredo councilman facing recall over drug possession cancels appearance


Massachusetts: Four Sagus Selectmen facing petitions over town manager suspension

Saugus Selectmen Chairman Ellen Faiella, Vice Chairman Maureen Dever and selectmen Stephen Castinetti and Paul Alla are also facing petitions following the suspension of the town manager. Petitioners need 4,420 signatures (25% of registereds). However, people can sign for all the candidates, so it is not a district-based issue.

Michigan: Winners of 2014 New Haven recall facing the voters in November

Interesting piece looking at the possible fallout from the 2014 recall.

Alaska: Wrangell physician, who was suspended by recalled hospital board and then reinstated, charged with child porn possession

Wrangell physician and Chief of Staff of the Wrangell Medical Center was charged with possession of child pornography. What makes this interesting is that the previous Wrangell Board oted to strip the doctor of his medical privileges. But the eight of nine members of the board were kicked out in 2012. The physician was reinstated by the new board and hospital head, and later made Chief of Staff.

California: Big Money in the Moreno Valley council recall race

Moreno Valley Councilwoman Victoria Baca is receiving big money from a developer of a proposed 41.6 millon square foot mega warehouse. Highland Fairview has given $150,000 to fight the Baca recall (and another $207,000 for other local candidates). The company had previously tossed in nearly $300,000 against the recall of Baca and Mayor Tom Owings, who was kicked out in a June recall. The $357,000 given for this election is more than three times the total raised by all 18 council candidates and Baca.

Missouri: Columbia Councilwoman facing petitions after switched position kills marijuana decriminalization bill

Columbia Councilwoman Ginny Chadwick is facing petitions over her vote against a marijuana decriminalization bill (the bill would have allowed people to grow two plants). The bill went down, 4-3. Chadwick had stated that she would support the bill during a candidate forum in March, before she was elected.

Oddly, Chadwick had amended the bill moments before the failed vote to limit the decriminalization to people 21 and older (which passed 4-3). 

Petitioners would need 249 signatures (30% of turnout).

Michigan: Statement by Benton Harbor recall petitioner charged with electoral fraud


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Michigan: Pulaski Township rematch on the ballot in November

Pulaski Township Supervisor Robert Jones is facing off against the candidate he beat in 2012, David White. White had to file four petitions to get the recall language approved. The issue was the firing of the fire chief. Jones, a Democrats, beat White, a Republican, 476-402. They'll rematch this November.

Massachusetts: 12th candidate enters Fall River Mayoral race

This is one very popular race

Sunday, October 19, 2014

California: Salinas School Board recall raising funds

Money is flowing into the campaign to recall Salinas School Board member Janet Barnes, with $7980 raised. Barnes' counter-recall has raised $1,539. One of the donors was the school principal who was reassigned by the board. Among the complaints are that Barnes was appointed, and ignored a conflict of interest by reassigning principals that she served under as a teacher.

Petitioner needs 2,291 signatures by October 28. The recall campaign is supposedly paying between $3 (and now $5) per signature.

Colorado: Students pushing Jeffco school board recall over AP US History changes

Jeffco students are looking to organize recalls against the three member school board majority,  Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk,  over changes to AP US History (the changes state that the instructional material presents positive aspects of US history).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayor refuses to sign recall election order

Serious, and expected, shenanigans in Falls River. Mayor Will Flanagan's refused to sign an order allowing his recall to move forward on December 16, claiming it is a violation of his ethical obligation (and of the "canons of ethics of public employee"). The Corporation Counsel said that the recall will be moving forward regardless.

Colorado: Two Pueblo City Council members resign; one still facing recall threats from trash haulers

Facing recall threats, Pueblo City Council President Sandy Daff resigned, following her ally Councilman Chris Kaufman. Councilwoman Ami Nawrocki is still facing a recall (signatures due on October 24). The issue was that three were creating city policy in private, with a major focus on trash collections. Trash haulers were the leaders of the recall effort.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Maryland: Mount Airy Town council shoots down expansion of recall

Mount Airy Town Council voted down an expansion of the recall law (currently it requires seven grounds), though the  town council is also debating an ordinace that will remove it from an oversight role in recall.

However, a change to the ordinance that would eliminate the Town Council’s major role in the recall election will be determined at next month’s meeting Nov. 3.

Non-Recall Op-ed on the NYC Mayor and his wife's Chief of Staff

This ran in the Week

South Carolina: Editorial opposes recall law


Friday, October 3, 2014

Louisiana: Mansfield Mayor facing petitions

Mansfield Mayor Curtis McCoy is being hit with petitions in an effort led by a business owner who apparently does not live in the city. Petitioner claims to have 250 signatures, though they will need 3,016 (33.3% of registereds) in 180 days.

There is a laundry list of issues, including McCoy's purchase of properties that were up for sale due to unpaid taxes. McCoy claims the issue is a 2009 City vote forcing Atkins to remove a mobile home and a shutdown her other business earlier this year.

Colorado: Center School Board members facing petitions

More recalls in Center, as School Board members Phillip Varoz and James Sanchez are now facing petitions over their push to remove the Superintendent.

Florida: Recall attempt against Miami-Dade mayor ends

The effort to recall Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez put on hold, though petitioners are claiming that recent budgetary moves were a concession to them.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Louisana: Second Gonzales Councilman facing December 6 recall

Councilman Timothy Vessel is now joining Gary Lacombe in facing a December 6th recall vote. Petitioners handed in 2188 signatures. Here's some earlier discussion of these recalls.

Georgia: Calls to recall Chatam County Commissioner over boycott calls

Chatham County Commissioner Yusuf Shabazz is facing calls for censure after he pushed for boycotts of convenience stores where someone was shot to death by Savannah police after being arrested on outstanding warrants. In the link article, a columnist calls for Shabazz to face a recall. However, Georgia is much more difficult than this article suggests -- as malfeasance state, petitioners would have to show wrongdoing, and a call for boycott is not likely to meet that standard. It is doubtful that the courts will allow this one to go forward. Here's the steps that the columnist notes:

The next step is up to a judge. The Georgia Recall Act lists five grounds for removing a public official (malfeasance, violating the oath of office, misconduct, failure to perform duties as prescribed by law or misappropriating funds or property). The judge would decide whether one of those standards is met and if the recall could go forward.
If so, the chairman would have to convince at least 30 percent of the registered voters in the 5th District to sign a recall petition. In 2012, this district had 13,360 registered voters. Thirty percent means 4,006 signatures. Once that requirement is met, a special election would be scheduled.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

California: San Diego looks to reform recall law

Following last year's debacle with the San Diego Mayoral recall threats, the City Council to make some basic changes in the law. It will increase the amount of time for signature gathering to 99 days (with no bizarre supplemental period) and call for a recall between 90-180 days (versus the current 60-90 days).

Massachusetts: Two Winchendon Selectmen facing recall threats

Two Winchendon Selectmen, Keith Barrows and Robert O'Keefe, are facing recall threats over their support for the Town Manager, who survived a vote to fire him (the vote was 3-2 to fire, but they needed 4 votes). A former Selectmen Larry Sordoni is leading the charge, claiming the Manager has mismanaged town finances.

Petitioners would need 314 signatures (5% of the registered voters); and then would need 940 signatures (15%) to get on the ballot. They would then need at least 1254 votes total (for and against) to make the vote legal. Since the re-election is in May and there is a 6 months grace period at the end of a term when no recall can be held, petitioners have only two months to get on the ballot.

Both O'Keefe and Barrows were elected in a recall vote.

Idaho: Mica Kidd Island Fire District recall proceeds, despite no illegal executive session

Mica Kidd Island Fire District  Commissioner Chris Shelton is facing a recall in November, thought the reason behind it -- an illegal executive session -- was found not to have been illegal by the DA's office (there was sufficient notice).

South Carolina: New political party proposes recall law

This is the American Party.

California: Sunnyvale Councilman recall doesn't get to the ballot

The recall effort against Sunnyvale Councilman Pat Meyering failed, despite the support of four former mayors. Petitioners only got 4,530 of 8,284 signature. Meyering faces complaints about a belligerent attitude.

Michigan: New Buffalo mayor facing petitions over support for removal of City Manager

Petitions have been filed against New Buffalo Mayor Pete Weber over his support for the removal of the City Manager. Petitions are being reviewed for clarity/factualness.

Nevada: Washoe County School Board targeted for recalls

 Washoe County School District Board members are facing recall threats over a $500,000 buyout of a School Superintendent Pedro Martinez The board is accused of holding illegal meetings. The board claims they started the procedure to get rid of Martinez, after incorrectly hearing that he was not a CPA.

The recall would not start until after the November general election. Trustees Barbara Clark, Barbara McLaury, Lisa Ruggerio, John Mayer, Howard Rosenberg and Logan Carlson all are being threatened (the last board member is not running for reelection).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayoral recall moving forward

The recall against Mayor Will Flanagan is now moving forward, with certification of 3,947 signatures. chugs along,

Michigan: Cottrellville Township trustee up for recall in November

Cottrellville Township Trustee Michael Zoran is up for a recall on November 4. His opponent, Matt Kovalcik, is running as a non-partisan candidate because Zoran is automatically put on the ballot as a Republican.

This second statement seems incorrect:

Ethan Flick, political science instructor at St. Clair County Community College, agreed the ballot will be confusing for voters.
"There will be a lot of voters that will circle Zoran thinking that they are circling him to remove him when, in fact, they are voting for him to stay," Flick said. 
Flick said the rationale behind the recall reform legislation was to stop election officials from being removed for baseless reasons. He said the changes in the law pushes toward recalling officials only for "legitimate wrongdoing." 
It took two attempts to get the recall of Zoran on the ballot because the first language filed did not meet new guidelines set by the recall legislation.
The factualness/clarity requirement that was enshrined in Michigan law did not establish a malfeasance standard. Michigan still operates under a political recall law, where officials can be recalled for their political actions.

I also question the first statement -- the vote would be pretty basic. Vote for one guy or the other. Don't think voters will have too many problems adapting to that.

Ohio: Ohio University Student Senate President facing recall

Ohio University Student Senate President Megan Marzec is facing a recall for having students arrested during a student senate meeting. Marzec poured a fake bucket of blood over her head in a video denouncing Israel.

Petitioners need 300 signatures.

Michigan: New law strips Gaines Township officials of election powers during recall

I've discussed in the past how election officials can throw up roadblocks to recalls -- occasionally killing them outright. Michigan's relatively new recall law attempts to change that, and we are now seeing this new law come into effect -- until their November recalls, Gaines Township Clerk Mike Dowler, Supervisor Chuck Melki and Treasurer Diane Hyrman are losing their election duties (Here's a look at what these three recall are about).

Eric Dresden has been doing a great job covering these three recalls -- worth checking out his coverage of this latest development. Eric notes:

Michigan Election Law 167.965 states when there is a recall of an officer with election duties, an impartial public officer must be put into the position.
In a letter Melki sent to Dowler dated Aug. 12, Melki said it was his opinion that Dowler should step away from the election process and that the election commission should step away as well.
I could see this being used as a tactic to remove an official from running an election, but that is probably a risk worth taking.

Just for more fun with the recall, the city is investigating one of the petitioners against Melki for campaign finance violations -- due to her work as a poll worker.

Nebraska: Fremont Mayor, Council members hit with petitions

Fremont Mayor Scott Getzschman (in his first full term) and Councilman Larry Johnson are both facing recall efforts, with petitioner promising to also take out petitions against Council members Kevin Eairleywine, Mike Kuhns and Jennifer Bixby. The other four councilmember seats are up for election in November.
The lead petitioner is LaVern Kucera, who lost a race for primary races for Mayor in 2012 (got 5.6% of the vote in a five person race) and for the city council in 2014 (29.8% in a three person race). He claims that he has a group called the Indispensables, and the issue is a council vote to hold a special election (which lost) asking voters to repeal the housing portion of an illegal immigrant ordinance. 
Petitioner need 35% of turnout in 30 days -- 3526 for the mayor, 783 signatures for the councilman.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Idaho: Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney facing petitions

Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Robin Dunn is facing petitions over allegations that he is putting personal interests over his work, primarily over the fact that his law firm charged the county $18,000 for representation in a federal case (Dunn paid the money back) and for representing a city councilman who was charged with theft from an elderly client. Petitioners need 2800 signatures in 75 days.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Idaho: Lacelede Water District Director drops appeal of recall

Laclede Water District director Harvey Hallenbeck, who was trounced in an august 26 recall 114-10, has dropped his attempted appeal over the claim that the petitioners did not get enough signatures. The issue was the number of signatures needed for the ballot, Bonner County Clerk claimed that petitioners only needed signatures from 20% of the electorate, as there was no election being held within the last six years. Hallenbeck claimed that the key year was 2010, which would have required 50% signatures in the district,

Friday, September 19, 2014

Louisiana: Gonzales councilman signatures handed in

Petitioners handed in over  2700 signatures to recall Gonzales councilman Gary Lacombe. Petitioners need 2,145. There is also an attempt to recall councilman Timothy Vessel. Petitioners claim to be focused on votes decreasing police funding, in opposition to Mayor Barney Arceneaux’s proposed budgets. 

California: Modesto Councilwoman petitions due on Monday

The recall attempt against Councilwoman Jenny Kenoyer  must hand in 3385 valid signatures by Monday to get on the ballot. The issue seems to be an anti-urbanization -- Kenoyer voted on a plan to include a farming enclave in Modesto's general plan.

Read more here: http://www.modbee.com/2014/09/18/3545975/modesto-news-mayor-to-talk-about.html?sp=/99/1623/#storylink=cpy

Illinois: Republican Gubentorial candidate unveils recall law plan

Bruce Rauner, the Republican Gubernatorial candidate in Illinois, has put out an ethics proposal that includes a recall for state legislators. The article notes that most legislators are on a 2 year term, so the impact is not as large. Rauner's plan expands on Illinois' "barely there" recall that simply hit the governor and still required the consent of some legislators.  Rauner's plan doesn't explain how he would change the recall (would it be a political recall or a malfeasance standard one, etc.), so nothing really to report yet.

Michigan: Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal in Benton Harbor recall -- impact on signature gathering laws in the state?

The Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal in the Benton Harbor recall case, effectively killing the recall. This leads to some obvious questions about the possible impact of the Court of Appeals ruling in this case.

For some recap here, the recall attempt was started against Mayor James Hightower. Petitioner Edward Pinkney appeared to hand in enough signatures to get on the ballot, but Pinkney was found to have allowed people to sign twice and changed the dates on some of the signatures (Michigan law is unique it gives petitioners a 180 day window to use a petition once the petition is approved, but they only 90 days to actually collect the signatures in the time period. So once the first signature is collect, the 90 day clock is running). Pinkney (who has previously been convicted of election law violations) is now facing criminal charges for the forgeries.

Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler (who is now facing petitions) threw out 21 signatures of people who had the dates changes and of people who double signed. Tyler did not limit her ruling to one signature -- she threw out both signatures from people who double-signed.

Her ruling was overturned by a state court judge, who rejected the idea that when a voter signs twice, both signatures must be thrown out. The amount signatures reinstated was enough to get the recall back on the ballot. However, this decision was overturned on appeal (no written ruling) and apparently upheld by the Supreme Court of the state.

It is not clear if this ruling has any impact on signature gathering beyond this case. It seems to require a much harder standard of care for signature gatherers. I don't think other states have that law. The question is whether someone will try and apply it more broadly in Michigan.

California: Letters dealing with the upcoming Yorba Linda recalls


Michigan: Recall law leads to confusing ballot

Arizona: Russell Pearce, recalled State Senate President, resigns GOP position


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Colorado: Durango Natural Food Co-op Board must schedule upcoming recall vote

Durango Natural Foods Co-op Board, including Board President Geoff Wolf, is facing an upcoming recall vote over their discussion to merger with another, much larger, food co-op. Petitioners needed 10% of active members signatures (sounds like it would be in the neighborhood of 130 signatures). They got 14.3%.

Michigan: Three more petitions filed against Berrien County Clerk over Benton Harbor ruling

Berrien County Clerk Sharon Tyler is now facing three more petitions over her decision to reject the Benton Harbor Mayor recall signatures, a decision that was upheld by an appellate court (after effectively being overturned by a district court). One of the petitioners, Edward Pinkney, has already filed three recall petitions before, but all were rejected on clarity/factualness grounds.

 Pinkney is facing criminal charges for his actions in the mayor recall. He is accused of changing the dates on the signatures (election forgery) and allowing people to sign more than once (a misdemeanor). Pinkney has already been convicted of other election law violation in 2005.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nevada: Five Ely Council members hit with petitions

Petitions have been filed against Ely City Council members Sam Hansen, Marty Westland, Randy Lee, Dale Derbidge and Bruce Setterstrom. Mayor Melody Van Camp will be targeted once her term hits six months. Petitioners need 25% of turnout (which ranges from 198-215). The issue seems to be how members of the council got into the Nevada Northern Railway's offices for an audit (a County Commissioner got in through a second story window). The council claims the Railway owes a significant amount to the city.

California: Maywood Mayor/Councilwoman recall petitions to get back on the ballot

After election officials threw out the recall attempt against Maywood Mayor Oscar Magaña and City Councilwoman Veronica Guardado, petitioners are now looking to the courts to get the recall restarted. The recall effort is led by Ramon Medina, who has lost four runs for the city council and a former council member, who lost in November. The issues appear to be leasing the community center to the YMCA and allowing a motel to be built.

Petitioners claim they handed in 5,300 signatures, though the city clerk claimed that petitioners used improper forms and using non-resident petitioners. The City Councilwoman noted that the recall would cost approximately $100,000.

Friday, September 12, 2014

New Mexico: Bernalillo County Treasurer recall fails

Bernalillo County Treasurer Manny Ortiz recall over his failed investment strategy that cost over $16 million. Petitioners needed 82,400 signatures, they claimed to have gotten less than 5,000.

California: Salinas Recall fever


Utah: Grand County Council Chairman recall fails to turn in signatures

The recall attempt against Grand County Council chairman Lynn Jackson appears to have failed, with no signatures turned in. Petitioners needed 580. There is a debate on the deadline, with one of the top recall supporters claiming that it is September 20. The problem is more about scheduled the recall for the upcoming election, not how long is needed for recalls. The overall issue of the recall seems to be Jackson's support for environmental positions. 

My Article in the Week on the politics of residency


UK: New Recall Bill published

Sounds like it is the same weak tea as before, so no surprise.

Massachusetts: Questions surrounding the Fall River recall

Great piece by Mike Moran on the questions that are arising out of an unclear recall law.

Texas: Brewster County's tax law subject to recall petition

An apparent mistake in Brewster County’s new tax rate has led to what they are calling a recall of the law:

The state provides for a recall election upon receipt of a petition by 10 percent of registered voters in the county if a tax rate increases revenues by more than eight percent. It is based on revenue increases, not the rate itself.
In Brewster County, if 10 percent of the 6,946 registered voters sign the petition, it will trigger a county election. Braun said her goal is 800 signatures. Then, if voters approve the rollback, the county would have to lower the tax rate.

New Mexico: Impossible recall law leads to no confidence ordinance

Alamogordo City Commissioners passed a law allowing for no confidence against city officials, something that seems to have erupted over eight hostile work environment claims filed against the mayor.  

 This is a particularly useful point:

Hernandez said the process of a recall election is almost impossible to get accomplished due to the amount of signatures that had to be submitted and the amount of action required to be taken. He pointed out the difficulty of recall elections made it hard to hold a commissioner accountable.