Friday, February 28, 2014

Illinois: Plainfield Township Park District accused of using ballot propositions to avoid recall question

The district is only allowed three ballot questions per election -- and some are asking whether the district filled up all three to avoid recall questions.

Idaho: Recall against Gooding School Board Trustee scheduled for May 20 vote

Gooding school board trustee David Reeves is facing a recall on May 20. after petitioners handed in 33 signatures, and needed 16 (50% of turnout). Idaho law states that the signers could not also sign the pre-recall petition. Prosecutors are looking into the recall petition, though the story doesn't explain why.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Jersey: Trenton Mayor ousted from office by judge following conviction

Trenton Mayor Tony Mack was kicked out of office due to his  corruption conviction. Mack faced recall petitions in 2011, but the petitioners couldn't get the signatures.

Wisconsin: Kenosha Unified School Board member facing recall threats

Kenosha Unified School Board Member Kyle Flood is receiving recall threats (and calls for resignation) after he received a ticket for possessing marijuana pipes and was cited for vandalism for hosting a party in his University apartment.

Petitioners would need 9,129 signatures (25% of turnout).

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Jersey: Rumblings of recall effort against State Senate President over gun control law

State Senate President Steve Sweeney is now hearing noises (There's a Facebook page and Twitter hashtag) of a recall campaign for his push to lower the number of rounds a magazine can legally hold from 15 to 10.

Petitioners have to wait on this one -- Sweeney just started his term, and they can't get a recall until he serves a year. And that's not to mention all the other reasons that recalls are tough to get on the ballot in Jersey.

California: Recall threats in Centinela ValleySchool Board over Superintendent's large pay package

A huge pay package for Centinela Valley Union High School District Superintendent Jose Fernandez is leading to recall threats against all five board members.

Fernandez’s total compensation in 2013 was $663,000 for running a district of three high schools with about 6,500 students in the working-class suburbs of Hawthorne and Lawndale. Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, who oversees the nation’s second-largest school district, had a nearly $390,000 compensation package.

Oregon: Coburg Mayor, City Councilmen easily survive recall vote

Coburg Mayor Mayor Jae Pudewell and two Council members easily survived a recall vote. Pudewll won 236-124, City Councilor Jerry Behney, prevailed 241-119 and Councilor Brian Pech triumphed 234-126. Turnout was more than half the 689 registered voters.

The issue was complained over a $26.5 million wastewater management plant. Pudewell is the second mayor to survive a recall over this issue (Judy Volta beat a recall back in 2011).

The recall is estimated to cost $1,300-$1,500 dollars.

Colorado: Colorado Springs' Chart School Board President recall attempt thwarted by lack of quorum

An attempt to recall the STAR Academy (Space, Technology and Arts) school board president Al Loma failed because only half the members of the board showed up -- and no follow up meeting was rescheduled.  
Petitioners claim they have 138 valid signatures (30% of eligible parents) -- petitioners need 115 (25%). 
Lots of details on the problems, starting with the fact that Loma, two months prior to losing his seat on the local school board.
The STAR board has been riddled with conflict ever since. One bone of contention is the school's contract for janitorial services. Clients from an addiction recovery program that Loma runs clean both STAR Academy locations, but parents and some board members say the work isn't sufficient and want the contract put up for bid again.
Another issue is that Loma wants the board to amend its bylaws to have members appointed by the board, not elected by the school community.

Tennessee: Crossville approves charter amendment to vote on recall that petitioners would have to pay for

Crossville City Council has approved a charter amendment, to be voted on in November, putting in a recall for City Council members. The Tennessee General Assembly has to approve the law (as with other charter changes).

The recall is a tough one: Petitioners would need 33% (my guess would be that it is probably 33 1/3%) of registered voters simply to get on the ballot, and then the recall would have to win with 66% of the vote (again, guessing that it is 2/3rds, or 66 2/3%). The petitioners apparently have to pay for the recall:
The original proposal was for the petitioner to post a cash bond for the estimated cost of the recall ballot measure and, if the vote was successful, the petitioner would have their cash bond returned. Based on the vote by council, the petitioner will be charged for the ballot measure no matter which way the vote turns out.

The recall came from a proposal from Councilman Pete Souza's to have a “confidence vote” put on the May ballot.

California: Pleasant Hill City Clerk facing petitions over failure to produce City Council minutes

Pleasant Hill City Clerk Kim Lehmkuhl is facing petitions for her failure to produce City Council meeting minutes for an entire year. Petitioners need 3,800 signatures in 120 days.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wisconsin: Union membership plummets since Act 10 passed

Here -- down 60% for public sector employees, and the union's budget went from $6M to $2M.

Massachusetts: Hillsdale voters approve recall home rule provision

Hillsdale voters passed a motion to request a home-rule recall law (seemingly of a malfeasance standard variety) 202-95. Only 21% of voters showed up. The law now goes up to the state legislature. This article is opposed to the recall. It does cite a claim on how widely the recall has spread in Massachusetts:

Town Counsel Joel Bard of the Boston law firm Kopelman and Paige -- which represents one out of three cities and towns across the state -- has pointed out that 30 to 40 percent of Massachusetts communities have approved various recall procedures. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wisconsin: More on the Scott Walker investigation

HereHere's Christian Schneider writing for the National Review and here's Andy Kroll in Mother Jones' take

Arizona: Maricopa Councilman facing recall threat over DUI

Maricopa councilman Bridger Kimball is facing a recall threat launched by another councilman over a DUI in December 2012 of .285 (which he pled guilty). Councilman Leon Potter is the leader of the recall effort.

Colorado: Petition handed in for rehearing on Center recall


Arizona: Op-ed opposing Benson recall

Op-ed on Benson recall, focused on costs.

Massachusetts: Hinsdale voting on Wednesday on adopting recall

Hinsdale will be voting on adopting a recall in a special meeting on Wednesday. 
If the plan is given the go-ahead, 100 registered voters would be able to initiate recall measures at any given time for reasons of “lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties, corruption, malfeasance, or violation of oath.” From there, 20 percent of the town’s roughly 1,400 registered voters would have to sign a recall petition. If the elected official facing removal does not resign within five days of receiving written notice, a recall election would be held at least 64 days after but no more than 90 days after. 
More than 300 townspeople signed a citizen petition requesting the special meeting.  
The article would also bar any elected official who was removed via recall election or resigned after a recall petition was filed from serving in a town office for two years. Also, a recall petition could not be brought against a person within the first six months of being in office. If the recall article passes, it will need to be brought to the state Legislature and the governor to be signed into law
The recall idea started after the current Select Board placed former police chief Nancy Daniels on paid administrative leave (Daniels failed to complete Municipal Police Training Academy). The current Select Chair Bonnie Conner and Selectman Bill Goddard are facing recall threats. The key backer of the recall lost to Goddard in the last election.

New Mexico: Almost 90% of signatures tossed out in Clovis City Commissioner recall

The recall against Clovis City Commissioner Robert Sandoval failed, with the city clerk knocking off almost 90% of signatures. Petitioners handed in 89 signatures, and needed 88. Only nine survived the review stage (three were removed by the signers). Amazingly, and unsurprisingly, the lead petitioner's name was one of those tossed out. 

Arizona: Election Law bill slated for repeal

Interesting development in Arizona -- an election bill that was enacted in 2013 is now looking like it will be repealed. The law had created a strict compliance, rather than a substantial compliance, requirement for recalls -- this was in reaction to a Supreme Court decision against state Senate President Russell Pearce.

This legislation should not be confused with the law mandating elections only every other year -- that seems to still be on the books.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oregon: Tulelake Mayor recall set for June 3

The recall against Tulelake Mayor Randy Darrow has been set for June 3 -- petitioners handed in 101 signatures, they needed 74.  Darrow is accused of failing to provide for public meetings, failing to follow procedures for hiring and firing city employees and failing to protect residents from a conflict of interest in legal representation.

The petition charges Darrow with: Failure to follow the Brown Act, which provides for public meetings; failure to protect city residents from conflict of interest for legal representation; failure to follow city procedures for hiring and dismissal of city employees. All city council members are opposing the recall.

Idaho: Prospective petitions handed in against Gooding School Board Member

Prospective petitions have been handed in against Gooding School Board member David Reeves -- petitioners handed in  29 -- 23 valids. They needed 20. Petitioners now have 75 days to get 16 voters signatures (there were only 32 votes in that district last year).

Petitioners claim that Reeves is no willing to commit to attend school board meetings and has shown disregard and disrespect to other board members, staff and the public.

Arizona: Claims that the Oro Valley recall campaign came 38 signatures short

Petitioners claim they came 38 signatures short of the 2094 needed for a recall of Oro Valley Councilman Mike Zinkin. However, we should acknowledge that they probably needed a lot more than 2094 due to the usual errors and failures in the verification stage.

Arizona: Failed Maricopa County Sheriff recall campaign cost $453,000

The recall campaign against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio raised and spent $453,000. Petitioners claimed to have gotten 200,000 (they needed over 335,000, and did not hand any in).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

California: Recall against state legislators on gun control going nowhere

The recall campaigns against  state Senators Norma Torres, D-Chino, and Ben Hueso, D-Chula Vista; Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, and Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton; and Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles are not moving forward so far. The backers are still trying to keep the idea alive, though it doesn't look like its going anywhere.

Nebraska: Central City School Board names replacement for recalled member

Here -- the recall was over the removal of a football coach. The replacement coach has since been arrested for DUI.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Louisiana: Ousted Port Allen mayor looking to regain seat in special election

Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter, who was kicked out in a recall on November 16, is now looking to run for her old position on April 5 to fill the remainder of his term (which is 3 years).

Friday, February 14, 2014

California: Morro Bay mayor who faced recall effort now running for reelection

Morro Bay Mayor Jamie Irons, who faced a failed recall effort after removing the City Attorney and City Manager, is now running for reelection.

California: Signature collecting continues in Commerce

Signatures continue to be collected against Commerce City Council Members, Mayor Joe Aguilar, Vice Mayor Leila Leon and city councilmembers Tina Baca Del Rio and Ivan Altamirano.

New Mexico: Signatures filed against Clovis City Commissioner

88 signatures were filed against Clovis City Commissioner Robert Sandoval, with petitioners needing 86 to get on the ballot. The petition was filed by a candidate for a separate Commissioner seat in the same district. Sandoval blames figures in the "High Plains Patriots" for the recall. 

Michigan: "Recall fever takes hold in Gaines Township"

Great piece by Eric Dresden on the explosion of recalls in Gaines Township -- 12 in a community of 6,700 since November. Of course, one of the big issues is the change in Michigan law, specifically the factual requirement. This appears (I don't have data) to result in more attempts being rejected by Election Boards.

Treasurer Diane Hyrman and Clerk Michael Dowler are facing petitions, though the board rejected an attempt against Supervisor Chuck Melki.  Here's some details on the fight:

Melki, Treasurer Diane Hyrman and Clerk Michael Dowler all attribute the tide of recalls to the day Melki took office two years ago.
After unseating then-Supervisor Paul Fortino, Melki found the filing cabinets and desk drawers empty in his new township office.
After the threat of a police report, five recycling bins filled with papers showed up in Melki's office days later, with no explanation of what happened.
Dowler told board members that he took the papers.

The recalls against Melki (three rejections so far); Hyrman (five attempts, last one approved) are about votes to put a police millage on the ballot. The recalls on Dowler (four attempts, the last one approved) is over the disappearance of the files.

Massachusetts: Lancaster to vote on recall law

Lancaster is set to vote on petitioning the legislature to allow the town to adopt the recall at a special town meeting on March 10. Here's the recall process:

First, an initial recall affidavit must be signed by at least 50 registered voters with their names and addresses and filed with the town clerk. That initial affidavit shall have the name of the officer, the office sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for recall. The clerk then forwards the affidavit to the Board of Registrars for verification of signatures.
If the signatures are certified by the registrars, the town clerk will deliver to the first 10 signers of the affidavit a formal numbered printed recall petition sheet with the clerk's official seal affixed which will be addressed to the selectmen demanding the recall.
The clerk will fill out the top portion of the recall petition sheet with the name of the elected official to be recalled, the grounds for recall, and the names of the first 10 voters who signed the affidavit. The voters who asked for the recall election will have 30 days to file their recall petition sheets with signatures, names and street addresses of at least 10 percent, or approximately 465, registered voters in town.
The recall petition sheets will be certified by the registrars and, if enough signatures have been obtained, submitted to the Board of Selectmen. Written notice to the recalled official will be given and, if he/she does not resign within five calendar days, selectmen must order an election not less than 64 days or more than 90 days after receipt of the certified recall petition sheets. If there is any other town election scheduled to occur within 90 days, the recall election can be held in conjunction with that election.
Voters will be asked if they approve of the recalling of the named official and can also vote for a candidate to succeed the recalled official. If the majority of voters say no, the candidate votes will not be counted. The official being recalled can also be placed on the candidate's list without formal nomination.
Nominations for other candidates will require 30 signatures on nomination papers.
Any recalled official cannot be appointed to office for two years.

California: Moreno Valley Mayoral recall scheduled for June 3rd

Moreno Valley City Council has scheduled a recall against Mayor Tom Owings for June 3rd; and petitions have been approved against Councilwoman Victoria Baca (the second attempt against her).

Tennessee: Recall language approved against Chattanooga Councilman

Petitions have been approved for the recall of Chattanooga Councilman Chris Anderson, an openly gay legislator whose supporters claim that he is being targeted for being gay and voting for a domestic partnership ordinance, and his opponents claim has neglected the distressed areas of his district.

Arizona: Russell Pearce back in action, though not running

Former State Senate President Russell Pearce is back in the news, raising funds to influence Republican primaries.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Arizona: Oro Valley recall fails, as no petitions handed in

Petitions were not submitted against Oro Valley Councilman Mike Zinkin, so no recall will occur. Zirkin was accused of sexual harassment by two female employees.

UK: Report claims that Government drops recall proposal

The proposal has dragged on throughout the term, so not surprising.

California: Alisal Union School District member facing petitions

Alisal Union School District board member Meredith Ibarra (on her second term) is facing petitions over her support for the May 1 Alliance (a separatist movement in the city). Ibarra has been accused of being disruptive and having to have her microphone cut off during meetings. Petitioners need 455 signatures.

Michigan: Benton Harbor Mayor recall on May 6th

Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower will face a recall vote on May 6th, over his vote against placing a city income tax on the 2013 ballot.  The Clerks office says enough of those signatures are valid, so Hightower will now have to fight to keep his job in a special election on May 6th.

California: Republican takes San Diego mayor race

This is to replace Democrat Bob Filner. Republican Kevin Faulconer won 55-46%

Oklahoma: Kingfisher mayor ousted in recall vote

Kingfisher mayor Jack Stuteville was crushed in the three-way recall vote on Tuesday. Steve Richards won running away, with 67.1% of the vote. Stuteville came in second with 19.1% (512-146-105). The issue was the firing of the fire chief.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Michigan: Petitions again taking out against Gaines Township officials

Petitions were once again submitted against two Gaines Township officials, Supervisor Charles Melki and Treasurer Diane Hyrman, the eight petitions against the two since November. The issue was over the vote to disband the police department.

 Petitions were approved against Clerk Michael Dowler, after three failed attempts. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Oregon: Medford School Board members facing petitions

Petitions have been taken out against Medford School Board members Sally Killen, Jeff Thomas, Marlene Yesquen and Kim Wallan. The issue appears to be a fight over a teachers' contract (they are currently in a "strike situation.") PEtitioners need 4521 signatures in 90 days.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Michigan: Recall language approved against Alamo Township Trustee

Petitions have been approved by a Circuit Court Judge against Alamo Township Supervisor Lou Conti, however the delay has prevent a recall from getting on the ballot until November. Petitioners would have needed petitions in by January 31 to get the recall on the May primary ballot. They need 380 signatures.

Conti is accussed of voting to adjourn a meeting while citizens were online, authorizing payments to a lawyer without a vote on the rate and also "put his hand down the front of his pants and moved it in a lewd an inappropriate manner while speaking to a female citizen"

Oklahoma: Kingfisher Mayor facing recall on Tuesday

Kingfisher Mayor Jack Stuteville is facing a recall vote on Tuesday, with two opponents against him. The recall was started over the firing of the city's Fire Chief.

Friday, February 7, 2014

California: Petitions out against three Hemet Councilmembers

Three Hemet City Council members, Mayor Larry Smith and council members Shellie Milne and Robert Youssef, are facing recall petitions over their vote to start negotiating with Cal Fire and potentially end the city' fire department. Petitioners need 6.606 signatures (20% of turnout).

Lumbee Tribal Chairman facing recall petitions

A group called "Lumbee Revolution" is looking to launch a recall against Lumbee Trial Chairman Paul Brooks. Petitioners need 1000 signatures, and at least 1500 votes (30%). Only people who voted in the 2012 election can vote. Lumbee is located in North Carolina.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

California: Dunsmuir council recall qualifies for June 3rd ballot

Petitioners have submitted enough signatures to get a recall on the ballot against Dunsmuir Councilor Leslie Wilde. The recall will take place on June 3 (primary day). They handed in 339, verified 290, needed 281.

Wilde claimed that the recall was because the lead petitioner wanted to be appointed to city council seat that Wilde holds. Petitioners haven't spelled out detailed reasons for the recall:

Proponents say in their written reasons for recall that Wilde placed “her personal agenda and special interests above the good of the community.” They allege she defames citizens who disagree with her, and bars their participation in city committees.
“Demanding that other council members support her special interests and when they refuse her, she writes letters to censure them or threatens to join lawsuits against them.
Wilde wrote, “Claims made by proponents for the recall include bogus charges that I was appointed against the will of the voters, that I have special interests they do not bother to name, and that I demand fellow council members vote with me or else face censure.”

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

California: Recalled San Bernardino City Councilwoman loses mayoral run-off race

San Bernardino Councilwoman Wendy McCammack, who was recalled from the City Council in November but came in first in the mayoral race, lost the run-off to newcomer Carey Davis. It was 56-44%

Politico: Scott Walker Presidential bandwagon helped by Chris Christie debacle

I've been saying this for a long time, but the Scott Walker has to be put in the forefront of Republican contenders (provided he can win reelection in 2014). Here's Politico on that subject.

Wisconsin: Ousted for State Senator well ahead in fund-raising race to reclaim seat

Van Wanggaard, the one Republican state Senator who lost in the 2012 recalls, is having a strong fund-raising effort to reclaim the seat. He has raised $57,983, compared to $27,393 for a primary opponent. No Democrat has announced and John Lehman, who defeated Wanggaard in the recall, is running for Lieutenant Governor (the seat was massively gerrymandered, so not much hope for a Democrat).

Wisconsin: Milwaukee County D.A. facing threats of petitions

There is discussion from  both sides of the aisle regarding recalling Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm (here's another piece, examining as well the source of the article, the Wisconsin Reporter).

The conservative group is focused on the John Doe investigations looking at alleged campaign finance abuses in the Scott Walker recall defense campaign. On the other side of the political spectrum, black community leaders are expressing outrage over the failure to file charges following the December 2012 death of Corey Stingley (Stingley attempted to steal alcohol from a convenience store, was stopped and detained by three men, and was dead by the time the police arrived).

Petitioners would need close to 100,000 signatures, which is an extremely high hurdle, though the conservative group appears well versed in recalls and Wisconsin law is a bit easier than other states).

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Arizona: Benson City Council recall scheduled for May 20

The recall of City Councilman Jeff Cook has made the ballot, and is scheduled for May 20. Petitioners got 187 signatures, they needed 166. The issue appears to be his opposition to a local business owner, who is calling for drastic budget cuts.

Virginia: Judges recuse themselves in Loudoun Supervisor recall trial

The recall trial of Loudoun Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R) over anti-gay statements has taken a new twist, as all of the county judges are recusing themselves from the case (they haven't explained why). The state Supreme Court is going to appoint a judge. Delgaudio is alleged to have solicited donations using county staff for the Public Advocate of the United States, which the Southern Poverty Law Center classified as a hate group.

The Commonwealth attorney, a Republican who ran on the same ticket as Delgaudio, is also looking to recuse himself (though that motion has not been granted).

Recall trials are extremely rare -- I haven't seen one yet, and would be interested to know when the last one occurred (the law appears to have been adopted in 1975). Only Virginia has this peculiar law. 

Nebraska: Central City School Board looking to fill seat

This is from the recall of Kent Malm.

Alaska: Op-ed on the recall of State Rep. Lindsey Holmes

Wigi Tozzi, one of the leaders of the State Rep. Lindsey Holmes recall explain why they continue to push forward on the recall, despite the legislative session almost ending.

Tozzi notes that the recall process is "rigged against the voters." The application takes 150 days from the start of the term, needs 808 valid signatures and took 30 days to evaluate -- "just the application process took almost 11 months." Then, the petitioners are allowed to go out and collect their signatures (2,020 additional in this case). And that's only if the petition is approved (it was rejected in the case of Holmes). The op-ed doesn't explain how the petitioners will fight the legal battle.

Here's another couple of big points from this essay:

The Division of Elections denied our application, but in doing so, they did not address the real issues that we were raising -- that in changing her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican after the 2012 election, Ms. Holmes defrauded the voters and her contributors by misrepresenting her intent...
 Ms. Holmes demonstrated at least two different ways that the primary system can be gamed. A candidate could run in the Democratic primary to avoid a challenged Republican primary, and a candidate could run in the Democratic primary to avoid the requirement that a candidate be a member of the Republican Party for six months before the filing deadline for the election.

Colorado: Background checks hearing leads to "no electricity"

Here's a look at the hearing and its lack of action.

Rhode Island: Gun control supporters easily outspent recall proponents in Exeter recall

The opponents of the Exeter Town Council over gun control issues outspent the recall supporters more than 2-1 ($11,256-$4,274).

The four council members received significant support (relatively speaking) from leading Democratic Party officials.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Colorado: Senate Republicans propose law to repeal background checks for gun sales

Doesn't look like its going anywhere, but note that the sponsor is Senator George Rivera, who beat Angela Giron.

Wisconsin: End of the moderates in the state legislature

Worth a read on the end of any party diversity issues.

California: Lemoore mayor facing petitions

Lemoore Mayor Billy Siegel, who is facing a recall threat, is now receiving complaints over his use of city letterhead to respond to the recall. The issue is the hiring of a city manager, outsourcing the planning department and the pending sale of the Lemore Municipal Golf Course. 

Michigan: Cottrellville Trustee petitions approved

Petitions have been approved against Cottrellville Township Trustee Michael Zoran -- petitioners need 313 signatures.  Zoran has been censured several times by the Township over

Idaho: Laclede Water District petitions tossed out for technicality

For the second time in recent weeks, county officials erroneous advice has ruined recall effort. Petitioners were looking to recall Laclede Water District board members Randal McLain and Gerald Doyle. McClain resigned during the battle, but the Doyle recall kept going.

Petitioners needed 20 percent of eligible voters (perhaps the article means registered?). Petitioners appeared to meet the threshold. However, because they handed the petitions in at separate times instead of all at once, the petitions were deemed invalid.

A few weeks ago the recall attempt against Lake Pend Oreille School District Chairman Steve Youngsahl was tossed out for the exact same reason.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Texas: Petitions taken out over Graham Hospital District Tax

Petitioners are gathering signatures for a recall of the Graham Hospital District Tax -- it may be a recall of the entire district or the board as well (it's not clear). Petitioners need 1,220 signatures.
One of the organizers, Carl Buschman, says he and a group of like-minded citizens invite anyone interested to come hear the plans for an upcoming petition drive. Buschman says there are a little over 8,000 voters in the district and a petition must have at least 1,220 qualified signatures to force a recall election on the dissolution of the hospital district.