Saturday, July 30, 2016

California: A look back at the SF Mayor Dianne Feinstein recall from 1983


Non-Recall Op-ed on fixing the nomination process


Friday, July 29, 2016

Texas: Signatures handed in against Rio Bravo Mayor

260 signatures were handed in against Mayor Francisco Pena over ignoring the home rule charter, residency questions, and misconduct.

California: Calaveras County Supervisor recall forced on ballot

The County Clerk Recorder ordered the recall of Supervisor Steve Kearney on the November 8 ballot after the board of supervisors refused to certify the election. Good thing this was California, as other states might have led to months or years of litigation fights.

California: Calveras County Op-ed in favor of recalls

This is a rarity -- but an op-ed defending recalls.

Washington: Spokane Mayor facing recall over withheld information

Mayor David Condon is facing petitions after a report came down claiming that Condon withheld information in an investigation over the Police Chief's resignation. Petitioners would need 12,925 signatures and the approval of the State Supreme Court to get on the ballot (though they also can get on if the City Council votes after an ethics commission provides them a valid complaint. That also goes to the Supreme Court.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

California: Signatures handed in against two Paradise Irrigation District Board Members

Petitioners handed in signatures against two Member Larry Duncan (4231) and Sep Carola (4151). Petitioners need 3203 (20%). The issue is questions over spending and water rates raises.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Michigan: A look back at the 1930 recall of Detroit's Mayor and his replacement by a future Supreme Court Justice

A look at the July 22, 1930 recall of Mayor Caharles Bowles, the only one in Detroit history. He was accused of corruption. He lost by over 30,956 votes and then lost the replacement race to future Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy.

Colorado: Custer County Commissioner facing petitions

Commissioner Bob Kattnig is facing petitions over claims of incomptence, misogyny and disdain for authority. Petitioners need 396 signatures in 60 days.

Peru: Three mayors, including Lima and San Isidro, acing recall petitions

Lima Mayor Luis Castaneda and San Isidro district Mayor Manuel Velarde are both facing petitions over parking and other issues. Petitioners need 18,770 signatures against Velarde.

Oregon: Two Gardiner Sanitary Board Members ousted

Susanna Noordhoff (33-29) and Richard Nored (34-28) were both kick out in recall votes -- turnout was 52.85 percent. The issue was a former board member claiming that the board was conducting business over email, ignoring district ordinances and overcharging him for emails. The replacements will be appointed.

California: Yorba Linda Water District board members

Board members Robert Kiley and Gary Melton are facing recall threats over a rate increase. Petitioners need 9520 signatures.

Texas: Over $1 million unaccounted for in Crystal City


Oregon: Signatures verified in Wheeler County Judge recall

Judge Patrick C. Perry is going to face an August 15 vote, as petitioners handed in 169 valids. (Perry does hear juvenille and probate cases, but also serves as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners). Seven county officials have called on perry to resign over an inappropriate relationship with a county employee, excessive litigation and ordering raises by garnishing his own salary, but not actually following through on the reduction.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Venezuela: Opposition claims enough signatures to move recall to next stage

The opposition has claimed that the National Election Council has confirmed 407,000 signatures, which is double the amount needed to move to the next stage against President Nicolas Maduro. The opposition now needs about 4 million signatures to get this forward, though there is no word on whether the Maduro-backed Council will allow this to move forward.

California: Golden Rain Foundation directors not to face a new recall after decision of Orange County Judge

The July 5 decision overturning the recall of directors Kathryn Freshley and Mary Stone appears to be the end of the fight.

New Mexico: Silver School Board VP resigns

School Board VP Tony Egan resigned, which ends the recall effort against him by two former school board members, though no word on the effort against President Arnold Torres and Secretary Chris Arvidson.

California: Los Banos School Board recall set for August 23

John Mueller is facing an August 23 recall, with a former city council candidate Ray Martinez running in the replacement race. The issue were a kitchen sink of complaints of poor communication, test scores and nepotism.

Nebraska: Madison Mayor survives recall vote

Mayor Alvin Brandl survived the Tuesday recall vote 209-264.  The issue was questions over his appointments to the city boards.

Virginia: Registrar has August 8 deadline for signature check of Portsmouth Mayor

A court has set a hearing on August 9 to determine sufficiency in the recall of Mayor Kenny Wright. Petitioners handed in almost 8200 signatures. They need 7786 valids.

In the 2010 recall of James Holley III, the petitioners gathered 8494 and had 1411 tossed out, so this is cutting it close.

Wisconsin: Sevastopol School Board recall set for August 23

The recall against President Sue Todey and VP Bill Behme is set for August 23. The precipitating issue was the failure to offer a contract to an elementary school principal. There were attempts against two other board members.

Massachusetts: Barre Council stymied for lack of quorum after recall

Here. Selectman Richard Jankauskas was kicked out in May and Leif Ericson resigned before his recall got to the ballot. This was over the termination of the police and fire chiefs. The council hasn't been able to operate since the May recall.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Wisconsin: Recalled State Senator seeks Congressional seat

State Senator Gary George, who was kicked out in 2003 and then convicted, is challenging Congresswoman Gwen Moore for the Democratic nomination. George ran against Moore in 2014, and got blown out 71-29%.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Arizona: Peoria council member recall tossed out over whether gather paid or volunteer

Councilmember Vicki Hunt's recall has been struck down over the fact that the petition did not state whether the signature gatherer is paid or volunteer.

Massachusetts: Lawrence Councilors propose tightening recall law

After a number of recall attempts in Lawrence, two City Councilors are looking to increase the initial petition requirement to 250 from 100 signatures (that is just to start the process. The proposal would also raise the signatures needed to get on the ballot from 15% to 30% of total registered voters. They also note that Boston needs 50%. I wasn't aware that Boston had a recall law.

New Mexico: Hearing on Silver School Board recall set for Monday


Ohio: Upper Arlington Recall certified Election in August

The attempt to stop the recall against Kip Greenhill over the fact that Kip is his nickname was rejected, as most people know him as Kip. The recall has to be scheduled within the next 30-40 days.

Arizona:Ousted Cave Creek councilman running to reclaim seat

Reg Monachino is looking to reclaim his seat that he lost in last year's recall.

Washington, DC: City Council member faces recall notice

Councilman and Chairman Pro Tem Kenyan McDuffie (D) faces a recall effort over claims that he is unresponsive to voters, though there are also mentions about McDuffie supporting a homeless shelter's location and his support for development of a Reservoir site.

Petitioner needs 10% of registered voters signatures in 180 days.

California: Golden Rain Foundation recall overturned by Superior Court

The recall of two Golden Rain Foundation Board members was tossed out because it was called for in a closed meeting. The issue was the termination of contract with the retirement community's managing agent.

California: Criticism of Ed Lee recall notes 66% disapproval of recall effort


California: Calaveras Supervisors try to delay recall

The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors refused to approve a vote on certifying the signatures for Supervisor Steve Kearney recall. In some states, this exact move has been used to drag out or even kill a recall. California's law doesn't allow it, and the county Elections Board will certify. They will have to place an advertisement in a newspaper to get this going, so it will be a further cost for the recall.

Wisconsin: Comments from both sides on Paris recall


Texas: Laredo approves charter amendment related to recall

The big one changes the signature requirement from 10% of voter turnout to 10% of registered voters.

Texas: Laredo approves charter amendment related to recall

The big one changes the signature requirement from 10% of voter turnout to 10% of registered voters.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Oregon: Signatures verified in Lakeside Rural Fire Protection District Director

171 signatures were accepted in the recall of Director Ralph Dotson. Petitioners needed 144 and 29 others were rejected. A firefighter is the lead petitioner. The recall is expected to be held on August 16.

The Board has had a ton of trouble, including refusing to swear in Dotson.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Virginia: 8200 signatures dropped off against Portsmouth Mayor


New Mexico: Silver School District Recall effort in front of court

The recall effort against Silver School Board President Arnold Torres, VP Tony Egan and Secretary Chris Arvidson, led by former board members Tom Law and Gerald Billings, is now going to the Judicial District Court for a hearing on whether there is sufficient cause to allow a recall (New Mexico is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state).

There is another debate, one that we've seen before. The petitioners is claiming that they have to collect signatures from 33 1/3 of turnout in the last election (in 110 days). But the clerk and Secretary of State are claiming that they need the signatures from people who actually voted in the election -- a vastly more difficult number. However, the actual number of signatures are 45 for Torres, 22 for Egan and 18 for Arvidson.

Petitioners are also possibly going to run into some scheduling issues, as local elections are banned within 50 days of a state election.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

California: Interview on effort against LA Councilmember

There's a graph on getting signatures in this article on the recall effort against Councilmember Paul Krekorian.

California: Editorial states that Yuba School Board needs an actual election, not a recall


Virginia: Signatures handed in against Portsmouth Mayor

Over 8100 signatures were handed in for the recall of Mayor Kenny Wright. The recall would take place right around the time of Wright's reelection run. The leader of the effort, Robert Marcus, also led the recall against James Holley III in 2010 (Holley was also removed in 1987).

California: First attempt against Oakland Mayor fails

The attempt to recall Mayor Libby Schaaf failed to have the initial signatures needed to take out the petition -- they needed 24 more signatures. The group leading the effort is the "Anti-Police Terror Project." Petitioners would need over 20,000 signatures (10% of registereds) to get on the ballot. They are also calling for the Oakland police to be defunded.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Taiwan: Amendments will make recalls easier to get on the ballot

The amendment will lower the amount of supporters from 2 to 1 percent of total voters and total signatures from 13 to 10 percent. The time period to collect the signatures will be doubled and the turnout requirement (the absentee veto) will go down from 1/2 the total voters and half of the ballots in favor to a 1/4 of the total number of voters and a first past the post majority. There is also a ban on campaigning for the recall -- that is being tossed out as well.

The law is still coming under criticism by both the Total Recall group and the Appendectomy Project, which notes that the signature requirements and turnout threshold may still be too high a barrier.

Massachusetts: Petitions taken out against Ashland Board of Health members

Board of Health Member Judy Margulies is facing a recall campaign by a former school board member over complaints of a hostile environment. The issue seems to be Marguiles' complaints over the use of her e-signatures on Health Department permits. The discussion over the issue led to two police officers being station at the meeting.

Here's an op-ed of Margulies' response.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Lousiana: Iberia Parish Sheriff recall proceeds

A great article in the Advocate by Lanie Ann Cook on the recall effort against Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal, which gives a detailed history on the recall in Louisiana. The article, which quotes me, notes that there have been 115 recall votes in Louisiana since the 1960s, and 72 officials have lost their seats. The only one in Iberia Parish took place in 1969 when a "Mrs. Roy LaBauve was kicked out as a Ward 9 juror.

Against Ackal, petitioners will need 16000 signatures.

Ackal is facing petitions over excessive force, in-custody deaths and the indictment of the sheriff, 2 employees and the conviction of nine deputies.

Ackal has also been accused of calling the federal prosecutor a "son-of-a-bitch Jew bastard" and threatening to shoot him "right between [his goddamned Jewish eyes" during a secret recording. The prosecutor is apparently was a DOJ special litigation counsel.

Public Choice article on Ballot order's impact on direct democracy results

This article by John Matsusaka examines the evidence that ballot placement matters in propositions (evidence suggest it doesn't matter, but having a lot of propositions on the ballot does make approvals less likely).

Many political practitioners believe that voters are more likely to approve propositions listed at the top than the bottom of the ballot, potentially distorting democratic decision making, and this belief influences election laws across the United States. Numerous studies have investigated ballot order effects in candidate elections, but there is little evidence for direct democracy elections, and identification of causal effects is challenging. This paper offers two strategies for identifying the effect of ballot order in proposition elections, using data from California during 1958–2014 and Texas during 1986–2015. The evidence suggests that propositions are not advantaged by being listed at the top compared to the bottom of the ballot. Approval rates are lower with more propositions on the ballot.

Wisconsin: Petitions filed against entire Paris Town Board

Signatures have been turned in against Board Chairman Virgil Gentz (293) Supervisor Ken Monson (297)and Ron Kammerzelt (296). Petitioners need 202 signatures to get on the ballot (25% of turnout for Governor). The issue is an intergovernmental agreement that would transfer 2500 acres from Paris to Somers, and have Paris pay $1.25 million to Somers as well as fund revolving loan funds.

California: Final results in for Yermo Community Service Board Recall

A new issue is cropping up, as only one person is in charge until new board members are sworn in at the next board meeting.

Alaska: Governor's veto leads to recall threats

Governor Bill Walker (I) is facing recall threats from a Republican and lawsuit threats from a Democrat over his veto of budget bill. The result of the veto is that it would limit the Permanent Fund Dividend checks to $1000. Joe Miller, who won the Republican Senate primary in 2010 only to lose to Lisa Murkowski in the general is calling for a recall.

A recall in Alaska is very difficult. It is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state and this action would almost certainly not meet the requirements. Even if it did, petitioners would need 10% of turnout, which would be 28,585.

The Election Division reports that the only petition filed against a governor was against a member of the Alaska Independent Party, Governor Walter Hickel in 1992. That was rejected by the courts.

Colorado: South Conejos Board of Education members facing August 9 recall

Board members Melton Ruybal and Phillip Trujillo will be facing a special election on August 0. Petitioners handed in 330 signatures and needed 228.

Ohio: More on the Upper Arlington recall

More on the Upper Arlington recall fight over the use of a nickname for one of the councilmembers -- Francis "Kip" Greenhill. Upper Arlington will apparently have to pay the $63,127 cost of the recalls alone.

Washington: Clark County Councilor files petitions against three other members

Clark County councilors Julie Olson (R), Jeanne Stewart (R) and Chair Marc Boldt (No Party Preference) are facing petitions filed by Councilor Tom Mielke (R) over allegations of Open Meeting Act violations that resulted in hiring an investigator to looking into another councilor (David Madore (R)); allowing the county manager to dissolve the Environmental Services Department and award a contract for legal advertising to the Columbian.

The county is paying for the legal defenses, though the vote was 3-2, with the three members facing a recall voting in favor.

Since Washington is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, the petitions would have to be approved as meeting the for cause standard to get on the ballot. Petitioner would need 29901 for Stewart, 20639 for Boldt and 6097 for Olson (she was elected in a district).

Oregon: Oregon City Mayor facing petitions

Mayor Dan Holladay is facing petitions apparently because of a claim that the mayoral seat should be up for election this year. The term is up in 2018, but the petitioner (Mark Matheson, the vice chairman of the Barclay Hills Neighborhood Association), claims that Holladay's failed attempt to run for the Clackamas County Chair in May meant the seat would be vacant. Holladay claims that if he had won the office he could still remain as mayor, as it is a volunteer position.

Petitioner would need 1828 signatures (15% of governor's turnout) in 90 days.

Holladay had once pushed a recall on his own against a Clackamas commissioner, though it didn't go anywhere.

California: What's needed to get a San Francisco mayoral recall on the ballot

There's a second attempt against Mayor Ed Lee (the first was killed because it was launched during his new term grace period). The article notes that petitioners would need 47,227 signatures in 160 days and that if a recall would succeed, the president of the Board of Supervisors will be interim mayor until the board appoints a new mayor. That official would be in office until the next citywide election.

Petitioners claim to have raised $2000 for the effort so far.

Oregon: Grant County Commissioner Recall gets enough signatures

The petition against Grant County Commissioner Boyd Britton over wildlife fires and possibly his stance against the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Takeover earlier this year by supporters of Ammon Bundy is getting to the ballot. Petitioners handed in 560 signatures, they got 505 valid and needed 490. The recall is set for August 16.

Arizona: Superior Mayor indicted on felony theft; loses job as jail commander of Sheriff's office

The recall effort against Superior Mayor Jayme Valenzuela is set for August 30, and now there's some more ammunition, as he has been indicted for felony theft over misuing public funds. He has also been fired from his job as Pinal County Sheriff's jail commander.

The charges are over unauthorized town-issued bank card withdrawals, including at a casino. The town clerk was fired after revealing this info, which led to the resignation of the Town Manager and Financial Director.

The town also has an issue of a copper mine being built, which Valenzuela opposed.

California: Yuba School Board District recall misses November ballot

The recall effort against School Board President Lonetta Riley and members Steven Scriven, Paul Broughton and Fred Northern will not be on the ballot in November. The issue is the teachers' new contract. Petitioners need 6526 signatures in 125 days.

The cost is estimated to be $65,000-$80,000.

Texas: Bastrop Mayor facing petitions over alleged conflict of interest appointments; Petitioners are also trying to make recalls easier

Mayor Ken Kesselus is facing petitions over alleged ethics claims and a failure to fight for water rights led by a Austin-area activist's PAC.

The claims are focused on an appointee (a former City Council member) who recommended selling groundwater to Austin at a EDC meeting, though he didn't mention his role as a consultant for a company that does that. There are also two potential conflict of interest appointments of his employer or his wife to city agencies -- the city economic development corporation and the city construction and standards commission. There's also a complaint about an executive session being called on the city manager's resignation and arguing with city employees. There were three stories in papers and three different focuses of the recall, so this one may get complicated.

Petitioners need signatures of 25% registered voters to get on the ballot (somewhere on the other of 1241).

In addition to the recall, the petitioners are also trying to drop the signature requirement for a recall from 25% to 10%.

Montana: Meagher County Attorney facing petitions

County Attorney Kimberly Deschene is facing petitions for her prosecution of a man who beat the lead petitioner's husband in a confrontation with an angler on their ranch (the angler got 6 months on a misdemeanor charge). Montana requires a showing of cause, as it is a judicial recall/malfeasance standard state. There are also allegations that Deschene (a bar owner as well) deals very leniently with DUIs.

Petitioner needs 206 signatures in 90 days.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Texas: Windcrest Mayor Pro Tem on the recall ballot in November

Kimberly Wright will be facing a recall in November. Petitioners submitted almost 500 signatures, they got 438 and needed 391. Wright is in her first term (elected in an upset in November). She's a prominent libertarian who crossed out the US on her ballot application and IRS forms and wrote "Citizen of Texas." The precipitating issue is an ordinance banning chickens in backyards.

My CNBC op-ed on VP selection


Sunday, July 3, 2016

California: Calaveras County Supervisor recall on the ballot in November

The recall against Supervisor Steve Kearney has gotten to the ballot. Petitioners handed in 1832 signatures, they needed 1245 (the clerk stopped counting after 1255 valids). The recall is over the support for an asphalt plant.

Louisiana: Iberia Parish Sheriff facing recall effort

Petitioners have begun a recall effort against Sheriff Louis Ackal over federal civil rights charges over the alleged mistreatment of prisoners. Petitioners would need about 16,000 signatures in 180 days.

California: LA Times editorial against Judge Persky recall


That leaves the voters. But if we argue, as we do, that voters should not oust a judge because of a single ruling, what should they do? There is already too little information for voters to make informed decisions on judicial elections, so it would be asking a lot to expect them to identify the judges who repeatedly make bad decisions and target them for removal.
Critics of judicial elections call for California to adopt a federal-type system of lifetime appointments, but it’s hard for us to see state lawmakers as similar in stature or ability to the U.S. Senate, which confirms federal judicial appointees. In the tug-of-war between judges’ independence and accountability, though, it’s also increasingly difficult to muster the arguments for continuing to elect them.

California: Signatures gathered in Paradise Irrigation District recall effort

Proponents claim to have over 3700 signatures in the attempt to recall Paradise Irrigation District Directors Larry Duncan and Sep Carola, though they missed the June 17 date needed to get the recall on the November ballots. Petitioners need 3203 signatures and were waiting to get more before handing it in.

The district is estimating the difference in cost between an election held on Election Day and a Special Election as up to 10 times the price ($3,000 to $6,000 cost for an election day one per candidate; $30,000-$50,000 for a special election, though that would include both candidates).

The issue is public input to a water rate increase.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Michigan: AMI story on Michigan Governor recall efforts

Here's an AMI story on the difficulty in getting a recall against the Michigan Governor on the ballot. I am quoted in the piece.

Idaho: Canyon County Commissioner facing petition; editorial opposes recall

Petitions against Canyon County Commissioner Steve Rule have been started. Petitioners need 16,300 signatures, plus they would need to his reelection total from 2014 -- so they need 30,738 people to vote to remove him.

The issue was Rule's vote on a jail expansion.

The Idaho Press-Tribune, which has been highly critical of Rule, criticizes the recall effort, stating the usual comment that "recalls should only be used when public officials violate the law or commit serious ethical breaches or acts of gross negligence..."

Colorado: Salida mayor and council facing recall threats

Salida Mayor Jim Dickson and some members of the city council are facing recall threats by a recently removed Salida Natural Resource Center Development Corporation Board member Ray Kitson.

Kansas: Franklin County Commissioner facing recall threats over absences

Commissioner Steve Harris (R) is facing a recall over his repeated absences from meetings since he took a new job in April. They would need about 40% of turnout -- about 460 signatures.

North Carolina: Tobaccoville Recall bill headed to the governor

The bill passed the Senate and the House.

Texas: Signatures collected against Windcrest Mayor Pro Tem

Almost 500 signatures have been collected to recall Mayor Pro Tem Kim Wright (elected last year). A former council man led the effort over Wright's position favoring property rights. Petitioners need 391 signatures.

California: Signatures handed in against Calaveras County Supervisor

Signatures were handed in against Supervisor Steve Kearney. Petitioners need 1245 to get on the ballot over his vote to allow an asphalt plant.

Oregon: Signatures handed in against Grant County Commissioner

Petitioners have handed in 560 signatures against Grant County Commissioner Boyd Britton. They need 490 valids. They claim that the issue is a failure to investigate a wildfire last year that destroyed homes, though the Malheur Wildlife Refuge takeover appears to be a big motivating factor.

Ohio: Upper Arlington Councilman looks to strike recall off ballot due to use of his nickname

This one is interesting -- the petitions filed against council Kip Greenhill are being challenged by Greenhill because his real name is Francis. The petitions are still being reviewed.

Texas: Interview with El Paso Pastor on $450,000 judgment against him over failed mayoral recall


Virginia: Opinion column disputing idea of recall next to a general election in Portsmouth

This piece is really on point for any discussion of grace periods -- essentially Mayor Kenny Wright could face a recall, lose and then regain the office due to the general election in November.