Wednesday, April 30, 2014

California: San Bernardino city council looks to pass new recall law

The law would wisely synch up with the state law -- the city faced lawsuits in the recalls last year.

Montana: Impact of a recall -- the Mission Irrigation District

Following its recall of two commissioners, Mission Irrigation District has taken quick action to change policies, including firing the law firm that advised the old board and stopping payment on checks.

Colorado: Essay on John Morse wins JFK Profile in Courage Award


Monday, April 28, 2014

Maine: Westbrook considers recall after issues against school board member

Westbrook is considering a recall ordinance, though of course there is some additional issues. The recall possibilities come from threats against a school board member:

whose son was one of several members of the football team suspended, made calls to administration to discuss his discipline, and had “the appearance of special treatment” because Principal Jon Ross asked Superintendent Marc Gousse to be nearby during his appeal hearing. The suspensions of all the athletes involved in a weekend party where alcohol was served were subsequently lifted.

California: Maywood recall fight leads to battle over petition law

Maywood City Council passed an ordinance laying out the rules for recall elections, which they claim petitioners are violating. The law was passed with the votes of Mayor Oscar Magaña and Councilwoman Veronica Guardado who are both facing petitions.

Lots of drama here, as the City Clerk approved the petitions, and the Councilwoman is claiming that he is facing a conflict (due to his support of a petitioner in last year's recall race).

Friday, April 25, 2014

Michigan: Two charged with fraud in Benton Harbor recall petitioning

Two people have been charged with electoral fraud in the Benton Harbor mayor recall (to be held on May 6). The two are accused of changing dates on petitions and allowing someone to sign more than once.

California: Commerce mayor facing campaign finance charges

Commerce Mayor Tina Baca Del Rio is facing campaign finance charges once again during her recall race. Baca Del Rio was removed from the city council in November 2008, won office in March 2009, and is now facing another recall. 

Colorado: Woodmen Hills recalls pushing forward

Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District treasurer Janice Pizzi and director Bryan Mendiola are facing recalls over the firing of six employees (and the cutting of hours for others) following the resignation of the parks and recreation director. Petitioners need 300 signatures by June 8.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Montana: Mission Irrigation Commissioners removed

Mission Irrigation Commissioners Jerry Johnson and M. Paul Wadsworth were removed in an April 15 vote, Johnson lost 5479-4807, and Wadsworth 5676-4584. The votes are by parcel (each acre is worth one vote).

Friday, April 18, 2014

Colorado: House passes recall changes

The vote was party-line, 37-28. It updates recall rules to conform to the recent election law changes. 

Michigan: Jerome Township clerk latest official to face petitions

Jerome Township  Clerk Connie Methner, the only Democrat on the board, is the latest official to face recall petitions, this time over not publishing board meeting minutes. Supervisor Stuart Bloomfield, Trustee Ron Lowry and Treasurer Laura Grubaugh are all facing recalls on November 4 over a 1 percent property tax administration fee. Only one trustee is not facing a recall or petitions.

New Mexico: Petitions started against Albuquerque mayor

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry is facing recall petitions over his support for the police after the shooting death of James Boyd, a mentally ill homeless man. Berry got almost 70 percent of the vote in November.
No word on how many signatures are needed, but its definitely in the tens of thousands (33 1/3 of turnout). New Mexico is also a judicial recall/malfeasance standard state, so there would have to be a judicially accepted showing of cause for the recall to continue.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Washington: Bridgeport recall set for June 3

Bridgeport Mayor Marilynn Lynn is facing a June 3 recall, with ballots being mailed by May 16. Petitioners got 114 signatures. They needed 85. Lynn hired an employee after the city council decided against it.

Wisconsin: Special Prosecutor in John Doe Investigations voted for Walker in 2012 recall

This declaration is to ward off claims that the recall is a political hit.

Arizona: Two Sunnyside Board members facing recalls held fundraiser in Superintendent's home


Michigan: Three Morenci City Council members facing petitions

Three Morenci City Council members, Brenda Spiess, Jeff Bell and Rebecca Berger, are facing recalls over “incompetent placement of police department leadership,” though the language has been rejected for clarity.

 The council members put a newer officer as interim head of the department over a much more experienced officer. The leader of the recall effort is a former council member who was elected in November by resigned in January.

Michigan: Petition language rejected against Warren Mayor and City Clerk

The attempt to recall Warren Mayor James Fouts and City Clerk Paul Wojno was rejected on clarity and factual grounds. Petitioner would need 9,603 valid signatures to get on the ballot if she gets new language approved.

Michigan: Benton Harbor mayor says no to debate

The recall will be held on May 6

California: Former Bell City Manager sentenced to 12 years

Denouncement from the recall of 2011

Wisconsin: Barrett forfeited $20,000 in campaign funds

He went over the $700,000 limit by $20,000.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Michigan: Three Demark Township officials dealt petitions over water project

Denmark Township Supervisor Donald W. Petro, Clerk Charles J. Heinlein, and Treasurer Dennis E. Weber are facing petitions over the abandonment of a water project.

New Jersey: Vineland mayoral recall needs 1800 more signature by May 19

Petitioners targeting Vineland Mayor Ruben Bermudez needs 1,800 more signatures by May 19 to get on the ballot. Petitioners need a total of 9,447,  though it is unclear how many of the current ones are valid. NJ is generally tough on signature verification, so it may be quite a bit more than 1,800.

Friday, April 11, 2014

North Carolina: Union County proposing School Board recall law

Union County opponents of a school board redistricting plan are trying to get state law changed to allow recalls of school board members.
State Rep. Craig Horn, R-Union is currently drafting a  law allowing recalls to go forward (though it wouldn't take place before December. 

Horn is modeling the legislation on a 2011 plan for Burke County’s school board. It says that if at least 15 percent of registered voters sign a recall petition, that would trigger a recall vote. Union County has about 140,000 registered voters, so a petition would need at least 21,000 signatures.

UK: More on the proposed recall law

Here and Here

Massachusetts: Hanson recall set for June 28

A month earlier (May 17) there is going to be a vote on the $58.4 million school project that preciptated the recall, so should be interested. 

Philippines: Cagayan de Oro City Mayor welcomes recall

Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno is facing a recall launched by the majority of the city’s 80 barangay chairmen.

Under the Local Government Code of 1991, the majority members of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) could initiate, one year after the elections, a recall proceeding by gathering the signature of a certain percentage of voters, depending on the population of the locality. 

Colorado: Two Woodmen Hills board members facing petitions; One previously survived a recall vote in 2009

Recall petitions have been approved against Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District members Janice Pizzi and Bryan Mendiola -- I'm not not clear yet on how many signatures are needed. Pizzi previously survived a recall in the position in 2009 (she won 405-412). Here's a story on the earlier recall.

Massachusetts: Lancaster's recall law now before state legislature

Lancaster's attempt to get a recall law on the ballot (which passed in a special town meeting 287-58) is now being examined by the state legislature's Joint Committee on Election Laws. The issue that appears to have prompted the interest in a recall is the failure to renew the Town Administrator. Board of Selectmen Chair Jean Syria and Vice Chair Susan Smiley appear to be the likely targets of any recall attempts.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Oregon: Port Orford mayoral recall appears to fail

The recall of Mayor Jim Auborn is extremely close -- 204 yes, and 215 no. Very high turnout is reported -- 419 or the 653 voters cast ballots.

California: Modoc Supervisor survives recall

Modoc County Supervisor Jim Wills survived a recall attempt 365-248, with 60% turnout. 
Read more here:

Louisiana: Port Allen replacement mayor chosen

The victor in the replacement race in Port Allen was Richard Lee, who won 58 percent. The recalled mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter received one-third. Turnout was close to 60%.

Idaho: Filer Mayor, City Council members facing petitions over officer who shot a dog

Filer Mayor Rick Dunn and all four City Council members, Don Barkley, Joe Lineberry, Bud Sheridan and Ruby Hite, are facing petitions over the decision to not fire police officer Tarek Hassani, who fatally shot a dog. The petitioners had enough signatures to start moving forward. 

Michigan: Holly Village Council members facing petitions

Petitions were filed against four Holly Village Council members, Ryan Bladzik, Chris Rankin, George Kullis and Debra Musgrave, though Kullis and Musgrave's terms ends in November. The issue is a contract between with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office for public safety dispatch services and, as a result, terminate the local dispatch of the village and dispose of all the dispatch equipment.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Michigan: Benton Harbor mayor address recall effort


Arizona: State Senator targeted for recall over opposition for medical marijuana law

State Senator Kimberly Yee (R), the chair of the Senate Education Committee, is facing recall threats over her opposition to a bill that would take some of the  taxes from medical marijuana users and dispensaries and distribute it to university-based research on the drug.

Petitioners need 18,297 signatures, thought it sounds like the recall would be contemporaneous with Yee's reelection run in November.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Oregon: Terrebone recall shows use in Deschutes County

This week's Terrebonne Water District Recall was the first in Deschutes County in 12 years. But, as this article notes, the county has a long history of recall attempts. The county has seen at least 12 recalls advance to the ballots since 1967:
In 1967, a Deschutes County group called Citizens for Honest Government tried to recall a county commissioner and judge. The group claimed the officials were restricting citizens’ property rights by creating ordinances restricting certain development on private land.
That recall failed, as did a recall effort against two county commissioners in 1979.
But from 1980 to 2002, the county saw nine recall attempts, five of them successful.
Across Oregon, private property issues have sparked hundreds of local recall pushes, said Jim Moore, a political science professor and government director for the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation at Pacific University in Forest Grove. 
Recalls were especially common in Southern Oregon counties during the 1980s, Moore said. An economic recession and new environmental regulations crippled industry in timber-dependent counties. Conflicts between loggers and environmentalists prompted waves of recalls in communities throughout Douglas, Josephine, Jackson and Klamath counties.

Michigan: Second Saginaw EDucation Board recall rejected by Election Board

A second attempt to recall Saginaw School District Board of Education members Delena Spates-Allen, Alexis Thomas and Glenda Richardson-Vaughn failed due to clarity. The claim is that the board failed to evaluate the district's superintendent

Wisconsin: WAlker signs bill against ballot tampering; law came to the head during 2012 recall

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill to prevent ballot tampering by placing sole authority to secure the ballots with the chief inspector and one other inspector (that have to be from two separate parties). The issue came up during the Senator Van Wanggaard recall.

Louisiana: Port Allen recall replacement race tomorrow

This article looks at some of the crazy behavior in this recall.

Wisconsin: Republicans consider recall for Assemblyman accused of sexual assault

There is now some discussion of using the recall to oust Wisconsin Assemblyman Bill Kramer (R), the former Majority Leader, who was charged with felony sexual assault for groping a woman at a 2011 fundraiser. Republicans are trying to push Kramer out, either by resignation or expulsion (though they seem to have given up on expulsion). If  he is convicted, he automatically loses the position). They are also discussing recalls, though since they adjourned for the year, the practical impact is quite limited.

The story notes that petitioners would have to get signatures equal to 25% of votes cast in the district in the 2010 gubernatorial election. As I've mentioned before, this fact is unclear and could be up for challenge -- they may have to get 25% of the total from the 2012 recall.

Canada: Toronto Councillor suggest petitioner-pays recall law

Scarborough councillor Chin Lee is pushing for recalls in Toronto, but wants petitioners to pay for any efforts. We've seen this type of provision before (notably in West Virginia). Lee's bill would make petitioners pay 75% of the cost -- for a councillor, $187,500. For a Mayor, $5.25 million. 

Massachusetts: Hanson Board members facing June recall

The recall against Hanson Chairman James Egan and vice chairman Stephen Amico will be set for June.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

California: One of the victors in the Coastside fire board recall already quitting postion


Colorado: Threats brought against West Custer County Hospital District Board

The five member West Custer County Hospital District board Joe Arbuckle, Brent Bruser, Chuck Ippolito, Ken Lankford and Bob Tobin, are facing recall threats over a number of issues including their plan to save local emergency services. An editorial opposing the recall notes that three members are up for reelection, but no one has decided to challenge them.

Arizona: Recall leaders file complaints with state bar over signatures in Cave Creek recall

This is over Cave Creek Vice Mayor signing the petition with the name James Gandolfini.

Washington: Recall attempt against Bridgeport mayor moves forward

An attempt to recall Bridgeport Mayor Marilynn Lynn is moving to the next stage, as petitioners have received approval to start collecting signatures (Washington State requires a showing of malfeasance). It is unclear what the malfeasance was, but it passed the test. Petitioners need 85 signatures to get on the ballot.

Michigan: Hesperia School Board member resigns

Hesperia School Board member Jeff Thome resigned in the face of his May 6 recall. This looks like a follow-up to last year's multiple recalls in Hesperia, following the firing of the football coach.

Michigan: Warren Mayor, City Clerk facing petitions

Warren Mayor James Fouts and City Clerk Paul Wojno, both in their second term, are facing petitions over claims of verbally abusing employees and not maintaining city records, some other charges, including backing laws that "were passed that only help the mayor's personal views."

The petitioner appears to have some specific issues with the government:
Spranger has been an outspoken opponent of government efforts permitting installation of so-called “smart meters” by electric utility companies. In Warren, she has attended council meetings wearing a hat, large sunglasses and a metallic-covered suit to visually demonstrate the protection she believes will be needed against electromagnetic radio-frequency radiation from the meters. She also feels the meters violate privacy rights because the devices monitor electricity usage in homes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oregon: Terrebonne Water District Board members kicked out

Terrebonne Domestic Water District Board members Kay Walters and Sharron Stuck were kicked out yesterday over bills that were three times as high. Walters lost 134-75, and Struck was struck down 124-84.

Two other board members, Jay Walters (Kay Walters' son) and David Dow resigned in February in the face of the recall.

Oregon: Port Orford Mayor facing April 8 recall

Port Orford Mayor Jim Auborn is facing an April 8 recall over his support for a National Marine Sanctuary, which the lead petitioner, a port commissioner, claims would hut the economy. Petitioner got 86 signatures, which was enough.

Oregon: Two Rocky Point Fire District Directors kicked out

Both Rocky Point Fire District directors were kicked out in the April 1 election -- Director Tony Bixler lost 80-59, and Rita Donato lost 72-67. Turnout was about 65% (139 of 213 people) The issues were a $500 raide for the fire chief, the hiring of a part-time assistant chief and the creation of a sleepover training program.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Colorado: My op-ed on the proposed change in law

This is my op-ed on the recall reform for the Colorado Independent

Idaho: Kuna school board trustee facing petitions over no vote on new levy

Kuna School Board trustee Michael Law is facing petitions over his vote against holding a vote  to approve a $3.19 million levy in May after their March levy failed. Petitioners need 29 signatures, and they claim they have 40.

California: Firefighters' union poll suggests success in Russian River Fire District recall


California: Rialto School Board members face petitions

Rialto School Board members Joseph Martinez and Joe Ayala received recall petitions over the approval of contracts, and claims that the reserve fund was depleted of $30 millions. Both were elected in 2008 and are on their second terms.

 The recall fight comes after the superintendent retired in the face of an investigation into his personal relationship with a district accountant who is accused of stealing $1.8 million in lunch money over 8 years.  

Ayala did not vote to place the superintendent on paid administrative leave. 

Louisiana: Absentee ballot fraud alleged in Port Allen Mayoral replacement race

Looks like there is some more trouble in Port Allen. In the race to replace Mayor Deedy Slaughter (who was recalled in November, though she is on the ballot for the replacement), the Sheriff's office is looking into allegations that signatures were fraudulently submitted in the early mail-in ballot portion -- sounds like this is a version of the good old fashion absentee ballot fraud that Professor Rick Hasen has repeatedly noted.

The precipitating issue that a large number of people faxed in their absentee requests. There is allegations that Slaughter's supporters are responsible for at least one of the fraudulent ballots.

The race has very high turnout -- the second highest in early voting in the city's history (the first was in the November recall). 36% of voters have already voted.

Wisconsin: Franklin mayoral candidate gets unwanted surprise in discovering that campaign treasurer signed recall petitions

Milwaukee County Supervisor and Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor, who is running for Franklin Mayor, just appears to have found out that his campaign treasurer signed the Scott Walker recall petitions. The problem here is that Franklin is a conservative area -- it went 65% for Walker in the recall.

Michigan: Signatures verified in Jerome Township recalls

Petitions have been handed in against Jerome Township Supervisor Stuart Bloomfield, Treasurer Laura Grubaugh and Trustee Ron Lowry over a 1 percent property tax administration fee.  Petitioners needed 424 valids, they handed in 542 (523 valid) for Bloomfield; 525 (503 valid) for Grubaugh) and 547 (521 valid) for Lowry.
Slight wrinkle in the law -- because it is a partisan position, the recall will not take place during primary day in August, but will be held until the November elections.

Massachusetts: Hanson recalls get on the ballot for June

Hanson Board of Selectmen Chairman James Egan and Vice Chairman Stephen Amico. Petitioners handed in 1054 and 1064, they needed 691. The recall should be a special in June.
The issue is that they misled residents over a $58 million combined elementary school (replacing the current two schools).

Oddly, Egan is up for reelection in May. If he wins, he can't be recalled. If he loses, the recall is apparently moot. He'll still be on the ballot in June.