Friday, May 29, 2015

Missouri: Editorial opposes Webster Grove Councilman recall attempt

Councilman Greg Mueller is facing threat for the defeat of a proposed tax increase (which was knocked out by 58% of the voters). An article criticizes the prime backer of the recall for claiming that Mueller was responsible for the measure's failure.

UK: Scottish Secretary facing recall threats over leak

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael is facing a recall threat for authorizing a leak of a memo claiming that the Scottish National Party Leader preferred David Cameron's election and then denying it. Carmichael is facing calls to resign or face a recall.

California: Attempt to recall Contra Costa Supervisor dropped

The Sheriff Associations' attempt to recall Supervisor Karen Mitchoff has been dropped.

Canada: MLA Dalton recall ends in failure, with petitioners blaming Liberal party harassment

Organizers of the MLA Marc Dalton recall are blaming the Liberal party for harassing petitioners, though I assume the Liberal party members would claim that they were exercising free speech to inform possible signers of the other side.

Arizona: Central Arizona College Governing Board facing petitions

Petitions have been filed against Central Arizona College Governing Board members Gladys Christensen, Rita Nader, Rick Gibson and Jack Yarrington after they voted to approve a $105 million budget, including a 45% increase in property taxes (nearly 85 cents).

Petitioners need 2200 signatures against Christensen, 1326 against Nader, 2859 against Gibson and 3678 against Yarrington.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Missouri: 2200 signatures collected in Ferguson Mayor recall

Petitioners are claiming that they have enough signatures to get a recall against Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III on the ballot, collecting about 2200. They need 1828, which gives them about a 17% cushion (I believe they have more time to boost that total). Signature rejection rates differ, usually from state. In some states, a 10-15% cushion seems to be sufficient. In others, we've seen 40% failures. I have never seen stats for Missouri, so this could be anywhere on the map.

None of the articles that I've seen mention the question of whether a court might toss out a recall if Knowles challenges it. See here for much more details on this angle. There is strong reason to think that the recall may not be upheld by a court.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Maine: Fight with Somerset County Registrar leads to discussion of recall

Somerset County Registrar of Deeds Diane Godin, who was reelected in November, is in a big fight with the county government, and refuses to authorize her name on official documents (she's been replaced by the Deputy Registrar, who ran against her in the election). Godin is accused of being rude, intimidating employees and not showing up to work. The Commissioners reduced her hours (cutting her salary to a fraction) and there is some debate over whether the county can use a surcharge account without her authorization. There does seem to be some discussion of a recall effort.

Idaho: Settlement reach in criminal charges against Bonner County Clerk

Bonner County Clerk Ann Dutson-Sater, who faced felony perjury charges as part of the failed Lake Pend Oreille school district member Steve Youngdahl recall (over Youngdahl's push to arm teachers), has settled for what is a downgrade to misdemeanor charges. Dutson-Sater allowed an organizer to state that he witnessed all recall petition signatures when he only saw a majority of them. Dutson-Sater (the only Democrat in Bonner County) lost election in November.

Duston-Sater was sentenced to a year probation and a 100 hours of community service.

Minnesota: Editorial in favor of the Willmar recall process

Don't see this everyday, though since Minnesota is a malfeasance standard state, there is little chance of the recall getting to the ballot.

Ohio: Petitions taken out against Cleveland Mayor

Petitions have finally been taken out against Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Petitioners need more than 12,000 signatures in 30 days, plus they get 20 more days if they fail the first attempt.

Washington: Petitions taken out against Port of Vancouver commissioner

Two Port of Vancouver commissioners Jerry Oliver and Brian Wolfe are facing potential recalls over a claim that they violated the open meeting law in a discussion over a nation's largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal. This is following a series of articles claiming that the board improperly used close door meetings. Petitioners need 35% of turnout.

Washington has a Judicial recall or "malfeasance standard" where petitioners have to get approval from a Superior Court Judge

Missouri:Webster Groves City Council facing petitions

Webster Groves City Councilman Greg Mueller is being threatened with a recall over his opposition to two school district propositions. Petitioners need 423 signatures by August 25. The election would cost between $12-15K.

New Mexico: Judge tosses out Las Cruces recall effort

Looks like the recall against Las Cruces City Councilors Gill Sorg, Olga Pedroza and Nathan Small, may be coming to an end. Judge Mary Rosner upheld the city clerk's decision to throw out petitions in the face of fraud allegations (757 people requested that their names be removed from the petitions),

The issue was a minimum wage law -- small business owners opposed to the law were seen as the primary backers of the recall effort.

Op-ed in the Orange County Register on Recall of Judges

Here's the op-ed I wrote on the recall of judges in California and nationwide, jumping off from the attempt against Judge M. Marc Kelly.

Here's a couple of key paragraph on the historical data:

The recall of judges in California is so rare that it is not clear when voters last used the device. The most comprehensive book on the early use of the recall, which was written in 1930, notes that four municipal judges and three justices of the peace were recalled and removed. And there has been virtually no mention of a recall of a judge in the state since.
The lack of recalls against judges is not just a California issue. Perhaps the last time the U.S. saw recalls against judges were in Wisconsin, and the subject matter should prove of interest to Kelly’s opponents. In both cases, lower court judges had made incredibly inappropriate comments from the bench against sexual assault victims. In 1977, Judge Archie Simonson was tossed out by voters after both handing down extremely lenient sentencing for a rapist and making negative comments about women and rape victims from the bench. This was followed in 1982 when Judge William Reinecke survived a recall vote after making wildly offensive comments about a 5-year-old sexual assault victim.
Why have recalls against judges not taken off? This hesitation dates back to the modern-day origins of the device. The original adopters had many issues with allowing the recall to be used against judges. The major concern, which is echoed today, is that making judges subject to the quick anger of voters may result in misguided rulings and gun-shy judges.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

California: Football coaching staff changes lead to recall against Kingsburg Board of Ed members

All five of the Kingsburg Joint Union High School District Board, Rick Jackson, Brent Lunde, Johnie Thomsen, Steve Nagle and Mike Serpa. The prime mover seems to be a recent decision to reorganize the football coaching staff.

Wisconsin: Franklin Alderman facing petitions

Not clear why -- but Janet Adams is facing petitions. Here's an op-ed opposing it.

Michigan: Benton Charter Township officials facing petitions

Benton Charter Township Treasurer Debbie Boothby and Township Clerk Carolyn Phillips are both facing petitions for "making decisions behind the taxpayer's back," including appointing a township supervisor. Petitioners need 781 signatures. The article is not clear if the language was approved.

Ohio: East Cleveland recall failed again

Another effort (the fourth) against East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton has failed. Petitioners need to handed in 559 valids. They handed in 801 signatures, but only 426 were verified. The claim is that he has mismanaged the city and opposition to his position of annexing the city to Cleveland.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Florida: Bradenton Beach Mayor kicked out

After much drama and lawsuits, Bradenton Beach Mayor William Searon lost to Vice Mayor Jack Clarke (he just resigned to run). Shearon was recalled 182-174, and then lost the replacement race 185-172.

Arizona: South Tucson Mayor ousted

Mayor Paul Diaz lost to Robert Larribas by 59 votes out of 342 cast. Diaz was accused of supporting a proposal to open a residential drug facility across from an elementary school.

California: Errors made in Contra Costa petitions require revisions

Petitions against Contra Costa Supervisor Karen Mitchoff have to be correct, as one the signers is not registered in Mitchoff's district and italics were incorrectly used. Petitioners will have to refile to restart the clock. They need 11,477 in 160 days.

Arizona: More criticism of Superintendent of Education

A longer look at the Dianne Douglas recall proposal.

Arizona: Golden Valley Fire District Board of Directors member loses recall race

Golden Valley Fire District Director Rhoda Brooks was kicked out 414-795 (65.22% against). Earlene Mahar beat her. Turnout was under 21%. Brooks has had a contentious relations with other members of the board and the fire chief.

California: Yuba County Supervisor sends in concise response to recall

This is from Andy Vasquez, and he provides a very quick and concise statement:

"Don't be fooled! If you sign this petition, you're supporting large marijuana growers."

Canada: Protesters call for recall/resignation of NDP MLA

A 10th Grader is organizing an protest of 26-year old NDP MLA Deborah Drever, over what he claims is "maturity" and "forethought" issues. Drever appeared on an album cover of metal band Gatekrasho in a offensive picture and some other offensive photos (smoking pot, flipping off the Canadian flag) on Facebook.

Monday, May 18, 2015

California: Twin Rivers School Board Member survives vote

Twin Rivers School Board member Sonja Cameron survived a recall vote on May 12, 1039-845. Cameron only started her position on December 8, 2014 (she was appointed by the board). A community association and the Democratic Party claimed that Cameron was appointed illegally. There was a funny issue about some of the signatures, which were dated 2014, when it was 2015.

Oregon: Legislature moving to adopt impeachment provision

Oregon is the only state to lack an impeachment law, but thanks to the recent gubernatorial scandal, the legislature is looking to change that.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Florida: Bradenton Beach Mayor recall up for vote on Tuesday

The recall of Mayor William Shearon is finally coming to a vote, with the Vice Mayor running against him.
Read more here:

Canada: MLA Richard Lee recall effort at half-way point, no discussion of totals

The campaign against MLA Richard Lee has hit the half-way point, but so far there are no totals being bragged about. Generally, that's a very bad sign, as it is with the MLA Marc Dalton recall from earlier in the week. Petitioners need 16,494 signatures.

Paper on Ballot Initiative Signature requirements

This paper by Kerri Milita at Illinois State University argues that increasing signature requirements for Ballot Initiatives is a decreases the complexity of the initiative and makes it more likely to get passed. H/T to the Election Law Blog.

Friday, May 15, 2015

California: Orange County Judge fires back at recall threat

I should have much more on the recall threats against Orange County Judge M. Marc Kelly next week-- I've written an op-ed, and hopefully it'll be placed soon.

Non-Recall Op-ed in Forbes on non-politician presidential candidates

This is sparked by Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson's attempts. Obviously , it mentions "We Want Willkie."

Maine: Denmark Selectmen recall moves forward

Town Manager Daniel Merhalski claimed that there are enough signatures to put the recall against Denmark Board of Selectmen Chairman Richard Mason Jr. and Beverly Caparco on the ballot. Petitioners needed 186 signatures, they got 213 or 214. The issue was the Board's refusal to fire the same Town Manager. Usually, the recalls are because they fired the guy, so interesting turnaround.

Canada: Recall of MLA Dalton falling short

Once again, a Canadian recall is coming up as short as the country's Stanley Cup hopes, with reports showing that petitioners are nowhere near getting enough of the 15,612 signatures needed to get the recall of MLA Marc Dalton on the ballot. Petitioners have 120 volunteers and figured they need 400 people. They are now talking about getting 10,327 signatures as something of a moral victory (that is the number of votes Dalton rang up in 2013.

Philippines: Comelec Chair calls for changes in recall law

The Comelec (the election commission) Chair Andres Bautista is now calling on changes to the recall law. Bautista claims that that officials with a three year term should not be facing recalls, as it is to short a term.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Montana: Butte School Board Trustee recall rejected

A recall attempt against Butte School Trustees Ann Boston, Scott Ferguson and Patti Hepola has been rejected twice. Montana requires cause (a judicial recall/malfeasance standard state). The petition lists 17 school district policies and nearly a dozen state federal laws that were broken, but it doesn't go into enough detail. Petitioners claim they will be taking another try at the recall.

California: Manteca School Board Trustee facing recall threats over alleged electoral fraud

Manteca School Board Trustee Ashley Drain is facing recall threats brought by district teachers over her alleged use of a false address to run for office. A separate trustee, Alex Bronson, resigned over the same issue this week. This actually came from an examination into food stamp fraud. Drain had allegedly posted negative remarks about teachers on Facebook.

Massachusetts: Former Fall River Mayor won't be indicted


New Jersey: Petitioners claim hundreds of signatures in Mahwah mayoral recall effort


Wisconsin/Indiana: Former Wisconsin State Senator who resigned during recall running for Congress

Former Wisconsin state Senator Pam Galloway, who resigned during the recall battle in 2012 but was replaced by a fellow Republican, is now running for an open Congressional seat in Indiana. She had served only 14 months before resigning, which she claimed was due to her father-in-law's open heart surgery and brother's disability (Galloway is a doctor).

The Congressional seat is held by Marlin Stutzman, who is running for the open US Senate seat.

Virginia: Portsmouth Mayor facing recall threats

Portsmouth Mayor Kenny Wright is facing a recall, with $13,600 already donated to the effort. Seems like the city has had many issues, including firing a city manager and city attorney, and that Wright is blamed for picking needless fights. Others are claiming racial divisiveness, and Wright supporters say that the petitioners are Tea Party members opposed to Wright for political reasons.

Wright took over from former Portsmouth Mayor James Holley, who was ousted in 2010 in a recall vote (Holley was actually ousted in an earlier recall, making him the first two-time recall loser. He has since been joined in that illustrious club by Fullerton Councilman Don Bankhead).

New Mexico: Las Cruces recall ruling coming down next week


Alabama: Elberta council targeted in recall effort

Elberta Councilmen Jim Hamby, Michael Hudson and John Conti are all facing petitions after the three missed a meeting in order to protest...something (it is not clear).
One of the petitioners is the owner of the Roadkill Cage, Mike Williams, who is also the son of Mayor Marvin Williams. It is also not clear that a recall is allowed under Alabama law (it allows for recalls in cities that have a commission form of government.  What this means is that likely signature gathering that has taken place is presumably symbolic.

Michigan: Bangor Township Supervisor recall rejected, supervisor retires

An attempt to recall Supervisor Terry Watson was rejected by the Election Commission, but Watson then retired -- he said that he didn't want it to look like the recall forced him out.

The recall was submitted by a former assistant fire chief, who claims that Watson instructed the code enforcer to keep detailed records on individuals.

Massachusetts: Hawley voters approve recall law

However, it was sent back to committee, so now word on what the final result will be.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ohio: Akron Mayor, who survived 2009 recall, resigns

Don Plusquellic, who survived a recall in 2009, resigned this week.

California: Contra Costa Supervisor recall "Only thing a rational reason"


Washington: Judge throws out petition against State Auditor

The recall against State Auditor Troy Kelly was rejected by Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson, claiming that the claims in the petition (abuse of power, violating the state constitution by living in Tacoma, not Olympia) were insufficient. Kelly, who plead not guilty to federal charges, is still facing call for his resignation.

Phillipines: Puerto Princesa Mayor survives recall

Mayor Lucilo Bayron survived the recall vote on Friday, defeating former Mayor Edward Hagedorn 44,299 (53%) to 39,002 (47%).

Maine: Dixfield voting on recall law in June

Dixfield will be voting on a recall law on June 9. The law would require signatures of 15% of turnout from the last gubernatorial election (which would be 174). The story mentions "voters who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election" so it is possible that the signers actually had to have voted.

California: Yuba Marijuana Ordinance going to a judge


Ohio: Demonstration calling for Cleveland Mayor recall


Friday, May 8, 2015

Michigan: New Buffalo survives recall

Mayor Pete Weber, who faced a recall over the removal of the town manager, survived the vote 249-121-68-16.

Washington: Court hearing held on State Auditor recall

Here -- let's see what they say.

Minnesota: Willmar City Council member targeted with petitions

Willmar City Council member Ron Christianson is facing recall threats -- he is in his sixth term, though there doesn't seem to be a reason listed for the recall yet  (Update -- looks like it was City Manager firing).. Minnesota's malfeasance standard law has made it next to impossible for a recall to get on the ballot in the state. After getting judicial approval, petitioners would need 737 signatures (25% of registereds) in 90 days.

Taiwan: Appendectomy Project invivted to Cannes

The Appendectomy Project has been invited to the Cannes Film Festival.
With the help of the V Project online publicity campaign, the organizers recruited 3,000 volunteers to collect 60,000 signatures within eight hours to pass the threshold during the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29 last year, leading to the nation’s first recall vote since 1994 and generating more than 5,000 news reports, he said.
Such an achievement amazed the festival’s organizers, who invited the team to participate in the competition, Lin said.

Massachusetts: Dracut signatures tossed out

The 301 signatures in the recall of Selectman Cathy Richardson were tossed out because of a technicality (the petition was not prefaced by an affidavit stating that signatories affirmed, under penalty of perjury, that they wanted to recall Richardson). This was just the first stage, as petitioners need 2035 signatures to get on the ballot. This was over charges of animal cruelty.

North Dakota: Grant County commissioners facing petitions

Grant county commissioners Keith Payne and Don Roth are facing petitions, seems to be over tax increases and issues of transparency.  PEtitioners would need 356 signatures by August 24 (25% of registereds).

Montana: Grant Recall on charter for vote

Grant Charter Commission  has now put a recall law on the ballot in the latest iteration of the charter.

Michigan: Tawas City Mayor pro Tem loses recall race

Tawas City Mayor Pro Tem David Dickman lost to Theresa Hurst 266-128. The recall started by a former mayor over an ordinance which forced Hurst to get rid of chickens on her property.

California: First stage of Yuba County fails to meet signature requirement

A recall against Yuba Supervisor Andy Vasquez failed to meet the requirement to have 20 signatures on the original paperwork. Petitioners would actually need 1069 signatures in 60 days.

The issue is Vasquez's support for a more restrictive marijuana cultivation ordinance.

Michigan: Bertrand Township clerk ousted

Betrand Township Clerk Jane Lano lost to Don Vite (411-169), with 27% turnout. Lano notarized a civil rights complaint against the township and did not alert the board.

New Jersey: Cape May recall gains opponents

The effort to recall Cape May Mayor Ed Mahaney is now facing pushback from local businessmen who have taken out adds against it.

Massachusetts: Two Winchendon selectman kicked out

Selectmen Elizabeth Hunt and Fedor Berndy were kicked out in the "Stand up for Toy Town" recall after the discovery of a $3.8 million deficit and the renewal of the Town Manager's contract. Hunt lost to Amy Salter 914-560. And Berndt lost to Cyganiewicz 969-470.

1518 people voted in the recall -- and the city required 20% turnout for the recall to qualify (1273).

Florida: Judge rejects temporary injection in Bradenton Beach Mayoral recall

The petition in the upcoming recall tried once again to get Vice Mayor Jack Clarke kicked off the ballot over handing in his resignation too late. The judge rejected the attempt.

Michigan: Two Gladstone Commissioners lose in recall

Commissioners Hugo Mattonen (367) and Joe Maki (339), were ousted over raising millage rates, losing to Joe Thomson (655) and Steve Viau (600). A third city commissioner, Dave Nemecheck, faced a recall but had no opponent.

New Mexico: Las Cruces City Councilor member allowed to join lawsuit on signature counting


Spirit Lake Tribe Chair wins election

Myra Pearson, who won office in a recall in September, won her reelection race.

Colorado: Gay Rights amendment led to Boulder recall in 1973

Interesting look back here.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

California: Orange County Superior Court Judge served with recall papers

Orange County Superior Court Judge M.Marc Kelly was served with papers for reducing a mandatory sentence for a child abuser from 25 years to 10. Three county Supervisors signed the original petition. Petitioners will need 90,829 signatures in 160 days. Here's some earlier coverage.

California: Contra Costa Supervisor facing petitions from unions over raise

Supervisor Karen Mitchoff is facing petitions, at least partially over a failed attempt by the supervisors to give themselves a 33% raise. Looks like her former union backers are leading the charge, who are unhappy with their benefits and pay and on Mitchoff's retaliatory threat over the union's opposition to the proposed pay hike.  Petitioners would need 11,500 signatures (10% of registereds) in 160 days. The recall would cost between $500,000 and $600,000.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Nevada: Recall effort against Speaker fails

The attempt to recall Assembly Speaker John Hambrick (R) failed, with petitioners apparently only getting 270 signatures out of the 4,116. The effort was launched by conservative anti-tax advocates over Hambrick's statements in favor of working with Governor Brian Sandoval (R).

The petitioners claim that they gave up very early, but that they wanted Hambrick to keep spending money.