Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Op-ed on the challenges of the Venezuela recall effort

Here it is on Fox News Latino and here's a WSJ piece on the mobilization effort for the recall

California: Oakdale Irrigation District Board Member calls recall effort a "campaign of lies"

Board Member Linda Santos is claiming that the recall is "designed to deceive" and backed by prominent farmers and ranchers. Petitioners would need about 390 signatures (25%) in 60 days

Wisconsin: Paris Town Clerk recall still waiting to move forward

The recall of Paris Town Clerk Beverly McCumber is still in the waiting game, as there is debate over the sufficiency of the petitions. The issue was a transfer of 2500 acres from Paris to Sommers for development along I-94.

Colorado: Two South Conejos Board of Education members tossed out

Board members Melton Ruybal (463-191) and Phillip Trujillo (429-224) were both ousted in an August 9 recall vote. The two members are not leaving easily -- they have postponed the meeting to prevent their replacements from being sworn in.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Idaho: Iona Mayor survives recall vote

Mayor Brad Andersen survived a recall vote with 62% (208-344) looking to keep him in office. The recall seemed to be about Andersen's discussion of adopting water meters.

California: A look back at former Palo Alto Councilman/Mayor and the recall he faced

Kirke Comstock survived a recall in 1967, though much of the council was ousted in the vote.

Massachusetts: Threats for a recall against Board of Selectman Chairman

Reports that there is a request for information for a recall of Chairman Jim McGahan -- petitioners would need at least 150 signatures to get the first stage going. McGahan won office in the 2014 recall of Steve Amico.

The Board is facing issues since the entire recreation commission resigned over an investigation in Camp Kiwanee.

Georgia: First stage of petitions handed in against Grovetown Councilman

Over 100 signatures have been handed in against Councilman Dennis Trudeau, a former mayor, over threats he made to the current mayor. Trudeau stepdaughter was the city clerk who resigned after a federal investigation on misappropriation of funds. If it is approved, petitioners would need about 1400 signatures (30% of voters) in 30 days.

In 1986, Grovetown recalled three council members (Bob Deckert, Jack Herkel and Bob Hunsicker) over the firing of the police chief.

Connecticut: Article calling for Constitutional Convention mentions adopting recall law


New Jersey: Jersey City Mayor abandons plan to eliminate recall

Mayor Steven Fulop was pushing for a referendum to change the municipal election from May to November, allegedly so that he can run for reelection if he fails to capture the Democratic nomination in June. One of the referendums that would enact this change would also have removed recalls. Fulop's potential opponents in the gubernatorial race (Senate President Stephen Sweeney and former Ambassador Phil Murphy) are trying to defeat the move. Fulop has abandoned the referendum that would take out the recall.

Michigan: New Petitions filed in Croswell-Lexington School Board recall

Here and here's the earlier coverage

California: Santa Clara Judge starting campaign to keep seat in possible recall

There are a number of rules around Judge Aaron Persky's recall, including that he must start every court session disclosing the names of attorneys hwo contributed to his campaign and taping it to a courtroom podium. He's named his campaign "Retain Judge Persky -- No Recall." He's raised $3600 from 12 attorneys -- as opposed to the $100,000 raised by his opponents.

The article also notes that there were three attempted recalls of judges this summer in California (Theodore Zayner, Peter Kirwan and Peter Socrates Manoukian), though none went anywhere.

Montana: Libby Mayor recall restarted

Signature collection is allowed to restart in the Mayor Doug Roll recall. A district court judge ruled that Roll would have to post a $25,000 bond to keep a preliminary injunction in place.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Wisconsin: Fence Supervisors and Town Clerk facing Tuesday recall vote

Supervisors Rick Lemke and Fred Hedmark and Town Clerk Mary DeVerney are facing the voters on Tuesday over allegations that they refuse to work with the Chairman and have approved inaccurate meeting minutes. Lemke and Hedmark are being challenged by two people named Tibbs. The petitions were circulated by candidate Levi Tibbs' mother Lila Tibbs.

California: Judge Persky recuses self from all criminal cases, moves back to Civil Court

Judge Aaron Persky, who is facing recall threats though signature-gathering can't start until next April, has requested to be moved back to just hearing civil cases. Persky has said that he is looking to remove distractions from the court.

Michigan: Houghton Lake Community School Board recall fails

The recall effort against Board President Kelly Christian, Treasurer Mark Souder and member Kevin Nagel failed with no signatures handed in. The petition started after revelations that the board spent $5000 to investigate the Superintendent, who resigned his position.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ohio: Editorial claims "democracy works" after Upper Arlington recall


Nevada: North Las Vegas Judge facing recall agrees to settlement; reelection bar

While we're still waiting for the Nevada Supreme Court to rule on whether a judge can face a recall, there is a big update on the North Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge Catherine Ramsey case. Ramsey has agreed to settlement of seven professional misconduct charges and she has now been banned from seeking reelection next year, suspended without pay for the last three months of her term, write apologies and take an exam to determine fitness for duty. The Chief Judge of the two person court was reprimanded for not reporting Ramsey.

Kansas: Op-ed calls for removing Supreme Court Judges

This is another example of mistaking a retention election for a recall.

Oregon: Signatures submitted in Klamath Irrigation District recalls

The recall effort against board members Brent Cheyne, Grant Knoll and Ken Smith, is proceeding, as signatures have been submitted over "questionable decision-making and poor performance." Petitioners handed in 62 signatures for Cheyne and more than 50 for Smith. They seem to need about 30 for both. They handed in 20 for Knoll -- they need 14 valids.

Massachuestts: Shirley Selectmen facing petitions two months after law adopted

Two months after the recall law was adopted at a town meeting, a recall attempt has been started against Selectmen Kendra Dumont and Robert Prescott. The issue is a claim that they illegally gave a COLA raise to the Town Administrator. Voters had rejected the raises at town meetings.

Venezuela: Mass firing purge in government over recall fight


Montana: Preliminary injunction continued in Libby Mayoral recall

The recall attempt against Mayor Doug Roll is still on hold, as a judge continued the preliminary injunction (the mayor actually has to post a $25000 bond in case the petitioner appeals and wins at the top court).

The issue is hiring a city attorney, though since Montana has a pretty strict judicial recall/malfeasance standard requirement, there is an excellent chance this goes nowhere.

Non recall op-ed on Trump and SuperPac fundraising

Here's my piece in CNBC

Wisconsin: Split decision in Sevastopol School Board recalls

School Board President Sue Todey survived her recall, beating Tim Bley 634-619, while VP Bill Behme lost 663-599 to Keith Volmann. The issue was the failure to reinstate a former elementary school principal. Two other board members faced recall attempts, but neither got on the ballot.

Ohio: Four Upper Arlington Councilmembers survive recall

Council President Deborah Johnson (5795-4166) and Councilmen John C. Adams, (6072-3881) David Eric DeCapua (5862-4096) and Francis "Kip" Greenhill (6206-3743) all survived the recall vote. The issue appeared to be an increase in the income tax and the use of an initiative money for a parks

California: Los Banos School Board recall too close to call

The recall effort against School Board Member John Mueller is still undecided, with the vote currently leaning in favor of removal, 166-160. Roy Martinez is the only replacement candidate. Officials still are waiting for further ballots that can arrive through Friday.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

California: Concord Mayoral recall effort on hold after failure to get on general election ballot

A recall effort against Mayor Laura Hoffmeister appears to have failed, as petitioners could not get the 8400 signatures needed for the November 8 ballot. They actually have until November 3 to hand in the signatures, but the leaders are claiming they don't want to have the recall as a special election (which would cost an estimated $250,000).

The issue is the choice of developers for the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

Kansas: More than 500 signatures handed in against Franklin County Commissioner

Petitioners handed in more than 500 signatures against Commissioner Steve Harris, who is facing a recall threat over his failure to attend meetings following his taking a VA job in Topeka. They need 460 to make the ballot.

Update: 531 signatures were verified and the election is set to be held on November 8,

Friday, August 19, 2016

Wisconsin: Governor Scott Walker laughs off electoral theft allegations

Walker is clearly rejecting Trump supporter Roger Stone's claims that there were strong indications that Walker and the RNC Chair stole five elections. Walker credited the claim to the long-term effects of legalized marijuana.

Sac and Fox Nation council members claim illegal recall

Chairman Edmore Green, Vice Chair James Jensen and Treasurer Nancy Keller were removed after a motion to call a recall -- Green is claiming there was no 15-day notice.

California: Oakdale Irrigation District Director faces recall effort

Director Linda Santos has been served with a recall notice over claims that she puts other interests before her district, specifically in a claim of a vote against a farm conservation program and a lawsuit by an out of district farmer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Oregon; Wheeler County Judge Kicked out in recall vote

Judge Patrick C. Perry has been tossed out in a recall 406-208. The Governor appoints a replacement, though the seat will now be added to the November ballot.

I've noted in other posts that there hasn't been a recall vote of a judge in the country since 1982 (and the last removal was in 1977), and it is not clear that this counts. Perry does preside over juvenile and probate hearings, but he also chairs the county commission. So this seems more like an executive/legislative position. (there was an earlier recall of a Harney County position in Oregon this year -- the official survived the vote --, but that was clearly an executive position).

Seven county officials called for his resignation over having an inappropriate relationship with employees.

Oregon: Grant County Commissioner survives recall vote

Commissioner Boyd Britton, who was facing a recall allegedly over his not demanding an investigation into a wildfire, though others claim its was because of his opposition to the take over the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Takeover by supporters of the Bundy family.

Britton survived with 65% (3115 votes were cast, 63% turnout).

California: Judge Persky recusal from child pornography sentencing case


Washington: Petitions filed against Spokane Mayor

Mayor David Condon is facing petitions after the recent firing of the Police Chief. Washington is a judicial recall/malfeasance state, so this still has to pass judicial muster before it can even get started.

Wisconsin: More details on the Wisconsin voter fraud case


California: Recall effort launched against Union local president

SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker an VPs Theresa Taylor, Tamekia Robinson and Margarita Maldonao, are facing recall threats over a $143,000 stipend that was split among the four of them. The lead petitioner ran against Walker in 2015.

Petitioner needed 11168 signatures (20% of voting members). If they get enough signatures, the vote will be held in 60 days -- and then a replacement vote in 120 days.

California: Moreno Valley ex-councilwoman looking for recall rematch

Councilwoman Victoria Baca, who was kicked out two years ago by Dolores LaDonna Jempson, is looking for revenge in the upcoming election, as she is one of five candidates looking to oust Jempson.

Louisiana: St. Martinville Mayoral recall effort fails

The attempt to recall Mayor Thomas Nelson after his cancellation of the Mardi Gras parade. Petitioners needed 1462 signatures, though none were handed in.

Colorado: Editorial calls for recall of Aurora School Board member


California: Los Banos Trustee denies supporting recall of second trustee

Trustee John Mueller is facing an August 23 vote, and despite some claims before, Trustee Tommy Jones now claims he is not supporting the effort. Mueller has announced that he doesn't believe that statement.

Non Recall Op-ed in USA Today on parties failure to plan for disaster

The hook here was a discussion on a possible Trump abandonment of the nomination. Not too likely, but it is a good place to look at how poorly the two parties have planned for disaster.

Oregon: Complaint filed against Grant County recall effort over failure to rile paperwork


Wisconsin: Trump Adviser Roger Stone claims Scott Walker won recall by fraud

This is a very controversial (i.e. completely made-up) piece on the prevalence of voter fraud and the likelihood that trump will be cheated out of the presidency. Stone specifically claims that there is "strong indications" that Walker (and the RNC Chair Reince Priebus's machine) stole five elections, including the 2012 recall. This is a new one to me -- I have not seen anyone seriously claim that Walker stole the election, so that is interesting. Needless to say, Stone is coming under heavy fire for this one.

Colorado: Judge in Boulder Rape case threatened with recall, though may not be allowed under state law

This one is similar to the Judge Aaron Persky case -- with a lenient sentence resulting in complaints against Judge Patrick Butler. An online petition has gotten 20,000 signatures looking for Butler's ouster. However, the prevailing legal opinion is that judges in Colorado are not subject to recall (they are appointed by the governor and subject to retention elections). Colorado law subjects all elected officials to recalls, and I wonder whether the retention election may push judges into the "elective" category. Probably it would be thrown out by a judge, but it is always a possible avenue.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Georgia: Grovetown Councilman facing recal threat

Councilman Dennis Trudeau is facing recall threats after his daughter-in-law (the City Clerk) agreed to resign over mismanaged funds -- she is under federal investigation. Petitioners need 100 signatures to start, than 30% of registered voters. Georgia has a pretty strict judicial recall/malfeasance standard rule, so they need a serious charge against Trudeau. The mayor is calling for him to resign.

Ohio: Upper Arlington recall could lead to reappointment

Not likely, but they could be reappointed to the same seats that they are kicked out of.

Michigan: Times-Herald editorial attacks Michigan factual and clear recall requirement

Here's a good take on the problems with the change in Michigan's recall law (from back in 2012). The editorial notes that the factual and clear requirement is causing it's own problems:

The problem with that requirement is that the reasons must be factual and clear but they don’t have to be relevant. Citizens ought to be able to recall their elected officials for doing a poor job. Instead, petitioners pull reasons out of the air to satisfy county election boards.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

North Carolina: Tobaccoville Mayoral recall law signed

Tobaccoville's recall amendment has been signed into law after passing the House and Senate. The bill came out of the resignation and then rescision of the resignation of Mayor Billy McHone. The issue was a proposed ordinance to restrict firing firearms within 1000 feet of an occupied building and ban exploding targets.

Petitioners need 343 signatures (20% of registered voters) to get a recall on the ballot.

Oregon: Three Klamath Irrigation District Board Members facing petitions

Chairman Brent Cheyne, Vice Chair Grant Knoll and member Ken Smith are facing petitions over esclating legals fees, the departure of long time employees and questions of open meeting laws. Petitioners need in the neighborhood of 40 signatures in 100 days.

Noonsack Tribal Council member returned to office in recal

General Council member Carmen Tageant  survived (or returned to office -- it's not clear) in a special election on July 14.

Arizona: Superior Mayor pleads not guilty to theft charge

Mayor Jayme Valenzuela pleaded not guilty to a theft charge over his debit card withdrawals at a casino. The mayor is facing an August 30 recall.

Venezelua: Elections Board looks to push the recall to 2017

This expected move will allow Maduro's VP to serve as the replacement.

Virginia: Portsmouth Mayor recall tossed out by judge

Judge James Hawks upheld the decision to tossed out thousands of signatures in the recall effort against Portsmouth Mayor Kenny Wright (who is facing reelection on November 8). Petitioners handed in 8530 signatures, they needed 7786 were needed. Only 6012 were deemed valid. Some weren't qualified, some were duplicated and others lacked paperwork.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Venezelua: US urges recall be held this year


Oklahoma: Healdton council member facing recall threats over changing minutes

Healdton Vice Mayor Treva Gage and councilor-at-large Linda Hill were both facing recall threats. Gage is now also accused of trying to replace the mayor on the Southern Oklahoma Rural Council with another Councillor. She then is accused of trying to actually change the minutes to deny that it happened. Petitioner needs 110 signatures in 30 days.

Montana: Libby Mayor recall halted by restraining order

The recall of Mayor Doug Roll is on hold over the question of whether the charges meet the judicial recall/malfeasance standard requirements under Montana law. The charges include that Roll appointed a former city attorney without the council's consent and refused to put items on the council's agenda.

Idaho: Iona Mayor recall on August 30 facing issues

Mayor Brad Andersen is facing the voters over whether to meter water use in the city (right now it is a $30 flat fee). Petitioners handed in 288 signatures, got 228, and the election is on August 30. Petitioners need 268 voters for a recall to count.

Texas: Bastrop petition seeks to lower recall signature requirement

Petitioners have filed 298 signatures (they need 214) to lower the signature requirement for recalls from 25% of registered voters to 10 %. The petitioners had previously tried to recall Bastrop Mayor Ken Kesselus.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Colorado: Castle Rock mayor survives recall

Mayor Paul Donahue easily survived his recall 1245-469 in an all- mail-in ballot vote. Donahue is termed out at the end of the year anyway. The issue is too fast growth.

Two other members faced petitions; Councilman Mark Heath's failed to garner the signatures/ Renee Valentine will face the voters in November.

California: Five West Creek and West Hills Community Association members face August 18 vote

The five board members of the HOA are facing a recall after 5% of petitioners signed. The issue is spending (they bought $54,000 in Umbrellas and launched a Facebook page (though that would seem to be for free). Petitioners are also claiming that there is minimal notice of meetings.  Petitioners need 25% of the voters to turnout.

California: San Francisco Mayor raising money off recall effort

No one seems to give the effort against Mayor Ed Lee the slightest chance, but Lee is apparently trying to raise a good deal of money over the threat of the recall.

Texas: Laredo City Councilman facing petitions from candidate who he beat in a special

This is an effort against Councilman Vidal Rodriguez, who has been under threat since he won the race after obtaining the juvenile criminal records of an opponent.

Venezuela: Election Board okays second phase of recall effort

It looks like the Election Board has verified the 1% signature requirement needed to allow the recall against President Nicolas Maduro to move forward. However, the council is now asking for a voter identity fraud investigation and has yet to set a date for the 20 percent of signatures needed.

The refusal to set a date is critical, as if the recall goes into 2017, Maduro would be succeeded by his VP. More on all of that here.