Friday, September 30, 2016

Michigan; New Buffalo Mayor facing November 8 recall

Mayor Lou O'Donnell is facing a recall over his vote to allow the city manager to sue the planning commission. The lead petitioner, Ray Kirkus, will be running against the mayor. Petitioner needed 159 signatures to get on the ballot.

Venezuela: Opposition promises to keep push recall effort


Texas: Court rejects attempt to stop Windcrest Council recall


Oregon: Third Klamath Irrigation District Board member on the ballot

The effort against director Grant Knoll succeeded. 16 signatures were handed in -- petitioners needed 15. Board Chairman Brent Cheyne and director Ken Smith are also facing recall votes.

New Jersey: Bayonne Mayor recall fails

No signatures were handed in for the recall of Mayor Jimmy Davis -- petitioners needed 8178 by September 26.

Massachuetts: Court tosses out attempt to restart Lawrence Mayor recall

The effort to revive the recall effort against Mayor Daniel Rivera was reject by a Superior Court Judge, as he held that the 665 signatures that were tossed out were invalid. Since the mayor can't be recalled next year (last year of his term), it seems the recall effort is dead.

Florida: Bradenton Council facing recall effort

The relocation of Glazier-Gates Park is leading to threats for a recall against Councilmembers Patrick Roff, Gene Brown and Bemis Smith (the mayor and two other councilmembers are up for reelection). Smith actually opposed the project. Manatee County Commissioner Charles Smith has given the recall a "boost."

Petitioners would need 1517 valid signatures (5% of registered voters) for the first stage -- which would have to be completed by the end of Ofctober. Then petitioners would need 4500 signatures in 60 days (15% of registereds). They also need to hit malfeasance standard, so it seems unlikely that it would meet that standard.

Massachusetts: Petitions handed in for Shirley Selectmen recall

Petitions were handed in against Selectmen Kendra Dumont and Robert Prescott -- several hundred were handed in and petitions have more time to collect. The issue is the granting of better health insurance instead of a raise for the Town Administrator after the town meeting voted down the raise.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

California: Salinas women pleads guilty to signature fraud

A Salinas women, Maria Del Toro, who was hired to help get a recall against Salinas School Board member Janet Barnes on the ballot in 2014 has plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing false signatures (she got 397 signatures and was paid $1900). The recall was not successful. Del Toro got three years probation, 40 days in county jail and had to repay the money.

Maine: Bar HArbor recall amendment rejected by council

The City Council unanimously rejected a proposed recall amendment proposed by a resident.

California: Union Tribune recommends vote for San Diego's Measure E

Measure E allows the City Council to initiate a recall if three-quarters of the council wants to put it on the ballot. They also will have officials removed if they are found to be incapacitated, liable for fraud or convicted of a felony.

Colorado: Castle Rock pushes forward ordinance for recall reimbusement


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Oklahoma: Healdton City Council recall expected to pass on Thursday

The council has rejected the first two attempts to get a recall against city council members Treva Gage and Linda Hill on the ballot, but the city attorney expects the council to pass it this week.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Colorado: Sedgwick County Sheriff facing petitions

Sheriff Thomas Hanna is facing petitions after his arrest for misconduct including felony offenses and sexual conduct on an inmate and soliciting prostitution. Petitioners need at least 300 signatures. The recall can not get on the ballot for the November election.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Venezuela: National Electoral Council continues to hold up recall effort

The National Electoral Council held that a recall against President Nicolas Maduro wouldn't be held until 2017, which would prevent a replacement candidate from being chosen (the Vice President would automatically take the position).  They are also requiring that the four million signatures be gathered over 3 days in October. 

Wisconsin: Green Bay Mayor facing recall threats from councilman following campaign finance violation plea


Louisiana: Jefferson Parish President recall effort not allowed to set up petitions closer than 600 feet from polling place

The effort to recall Parish President Mike Yenni faced a blow, as a judge (and the attorney general) refused to allow petitioners to go up to 100 feet from polling places to get signatures. The petitioners claim that the rules preventing signature gathering anywhere closer than  600 feet from the polls was ruled unconstitutional in 1995. The case will not be heard until next week.

Petitioners need 90,000 signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

Oklahoma: Another Healdton recall threatened

Healdton Councilman Manuel Dovilla, who opposed the recall election of two fellow councilmembers Linda Hill and Treva Gage, is now facing a potential recall himself over his no vote. Unlike in California, there does not appear to be a procedure that would require the election commission or city clerk to put the recall on the ballot. Dovilla's vote has held up the recall effort that is by law suppose to be on the ballot. Petitioners would need 110 signatures.

California: Paradise Irrigation District recall set for January 24

The recall against directors Larry Duncan and Sep Carola will be by mail-in ballot.

Georgia: Petition turned in against Grovetown Councilman

Petitions were resubmitted against Councilman Dennis Trudeau over the firing of the police chief and an investigation of his step-daughter, the former city clerk. The first petitions were rejected because they didn't have enough signatures. Petitioners would need 1369 signatures to get on the ballot.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Arkansas: Hughes Mayor sues to try and stop November recall vote

Hughes Mayor Grady Collum has filed suit to prevent a recall being put on the November ballot. Collum (elected in 2014)  is arguing that the petitions weren't filed in a timely manner.

The issue seems to be the hiring and firing of police, with a racial component thrown in.

Monday, September 19, 2016

California: Effort underway to recall Oakland Mayor

Petitions have been taken out against Mayor Libby Scaaf by the Anti Police-Terror Project, who are upset about the scandals involving the police department. Despite the group's name, they have used the kitchen sink approach in listing reasons for the recall.

Petitioners would need 33,000 signatures.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Colorado: Castle Rock Council recall withdrawn

Following Mayor Paul Donahue's surviving a recall with over 70% of the vote, petitioners have withdrawn the recall effort against Councilmember Renee Valentine, though they had the signatures. That is definitely an unusual occurrence at this late stage.

Colorado: Initial effort for Platte Canyon School Board recall falls short against three members due to withdrawn signatures

Petitions against School Board members Chet Lawrence, Katie Spodyak, Katy Davis, Susan Carpenter and John DeStefano failed after 177 were withdrawn. Petitioners needed 646 for each. Two of the members (Lawrence and DeStefano) have enough signature to at least review. The others went under the 646 amount. However, petitioners now have a 15 day period to collect the additional signatures.

The issue is poor ACT scores, poor management and water quality issues.

Venezuela: Opposition protests calling for speedier recall vote


Friday, September 16, 2016

Colorado:Drive against Custer County Commissioner fails

Petitions were not handed in against County Commissioner Bob Kattnig -- petitioners needed 490 valids. The issue was unpreparedness, misogynistic behavior and the fact that he only owns 20 acres of land and therefore is not a "rancher."

Florida: City Manager firing leads to talk of recall in Winter Haven

The firing of a city manager has led to a Facebook push by to recall Commissioner William Twyford (who won last year by 20 votes in a runoff). Twyford is seen as leading the ouster effort. The recall effort is being pushed by former City Commissioner Jamie Beckett.

Texas: Rio Bravo Mayor ordered to move forward by Judge

A district court judge has ordered a recall against Mayor Francisco Pena to be put on the November ballot after Pena had claimed that petitioners did not have the 170 valid signatures (petitioners handed in 260 total).

The recall is about Pena does not meet the city's residency requirements.

Non Recall op-ed on non-moderated debates

I wrote this for CNBC

Michigan: Resignation of school board members ends recall effort in Croswell-Lexington School Board

Following the resignation of three school board members, two of whom, VP Linda France and Laurie Ebner, were facing petitions; recall efforts have been cancelled against two of the remaining members, Treasurer Lyle Clarkson and trustee Katie Gordon. A clarity hearing was already scheduled.

The recall effort was over the resignation of principals and paying $800,000 to former administrators.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wisconsin: John Doe investigation documents leaked, show fundraising efforts, and early attempt to tarnish effort with voter fraud claims

The Guardian has a detailed look at the new documents leaked from the John Doe investigation into Scott Walker's recall effort. While it is an interesting read, anyone who have followed American politics for the last decade or hey, the last century shouldn't be that surprised in how the fundraising efforts went about

However, Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog notes one specific email, where "a Republican operative" suggests "messaging 'widespread reports of election fraud' so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number."

Longtime readers, if any, of this blog may remember that this early push on election fraud claims definitely happened in a very specific way:

Here is Scott Walker claiming that he needs over 53% of the vote because voter fraud is going to claim 1-2% of the vote.

Here's RNC Chair Reince Priebus backing up the same voter fraud claim.

Here's future state House Speaker Robin Vos claiming that the Republican's loss in a Wisconsin Senate recall race was partly due to fraud.

Kansas: Leavenworth County Commissioners found by AG to have violated open meeting law

The commissioners (Dennis Bixby, Bob Holland and Clyde Graeber) have to complete an hour of training. The violation was when they fired a Public Works Director and employee at April 14 and April 18 meetings.

The employee's husband is talking recall, so we'll see what happens.

California: Los Banos School Board member pushed to resign over indictment

Trustee Tommy Jones is facing a push by other board members for his ouster over an allegation of bribes in a $7 million construction project. A second school board member, in Merced Union, Greg Opinski, was also arrested. All these actions follow the recent removal of another trustee, John Mueller, in a recall, so we have to wonder if the recall may be used again soon.

Washington: Spokane Mayoral recall rejected by Judge

The recall effort against Mayor David Condon has failed, as Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson has held that the recall petition failed to meet the malfeasance standard that Washington law requires.. The recall was about the dismissal of the former police chief.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Colorado: Castle Rock looks to change reimbursement policy for recalls

The town council is looking to approve an ordinance allowing council members who survive recalls reimbursement for expenses. Castle Rock had a recall vote against Mayor Paul Donahue in July, which he survived. Councilmember Renee Valentine was set to face a recall vote in November, but petitioners provided a written requests to withdraw the petitions.

The council would have to approve the reimbursement. Note that the reimbursement policy has not worked well in other jurisdictions. A number of officials have declined to seek reimbursement in California because it looked bad politically.

California: Petition taken out against San Joaquin County Supervisor

Supervisor Chuck Winn is facing petitions over his support for former supervisor Steve Bestolarides's bid for county assessor (the petitions claim that Bestolarides contributed $150 to an election committee and a committee to elect Bestolarides mayor gave Winn's campaign $5,000), a failure to call for an investigation into missing ballots in the 2014 primary and a failure to negotiate in good faith with labor union leaders.

It looks like petitioners would need 9343 signatures (15% of registered voters).

Washington: Spokane Mayor seeks change of judge in recall hearing

Mayor David Condon has filed a motion to change judges in the hearing to see if a recall effort can go forward. The issue is the dismissal of Spokane's Police Chief.

Petitioners need 12335 signatures in 180 days.

Ohio: East Cleveland Mayor and City Council President facing December 6 recall; Third recall election in a year for Council President Wheeler

Petitioners handed in over 600 valid signatures against Mayor Gary Norton and City Council President Thomas Wheeler (they needed 560), though the recall won't make the November ballot. It will be held on December 6. The issue is likely the merger of discussion between East Cleveland and Cleveland (which was called a non-starter by the City Council President.

This is the third recall vote that Wheeler is facing -- he survived a recall in December 2015 (112-136), in June 2016 (127-139).

Norton is facing a reelection race in 10 months (he hasn't announced if he is running). This city may be voting on a charter amendment to make recalls tougher to get on the ballot.

The election should cost between $25,000-$30,000.

Montana: Libby Mayor resigns after recall attempt fails to get on the ballot

Libby Mayor Doug Roll resigned following a judge's dismissal of the attempt to recall him.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Virginia: Claim of Partisan fighting behind Prince William County School Board recall effort

Board Member Diane Raulston is claiming that a Democratic party operative (and former campaign manager for the Prince William County School Board Chairman Ryan Sawyers) is the leader of the website that calls for her recall.

Among other charges, the website claims that she pledged to fill a vacant seat with a Republican instead of a candidate endorsed by the Democratic leadership.

Colorado:Senator who defeated replacement for resigned Colorado State Senator facing tough election challenge

In 2013, Democratic State Senator Evie Hudak resigned before facing a recall vote. Under Colorado law, that meant a Democrat could replace her. That Democrat was Rachel Zenzinger, who then lost the 2014 election to Laura Woods, one of the leaders of the recall effort.  That one race tipped the Senate from Democrat to Republican.

Now, there's a rematch and both parties are pouring in money for the fight.

Wisconsin: Green Bay Mayor pleads guilty to campaign finance violations, threatened with recall

Mayor Jim Schmitt pled guilty over $10,000 worth of illegally or improperly recorded contributions re-election. An Aldermen is calling for a recall if Schmitt does not resign.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

California: Recall on the ballot against two Paradise Irrigation District Board Members

Petitioners have handed in enough signatures in the recall against Directors Sep Carola (3203 required, 3271 submitted) and Larry Duncan (3321 submitted). The issue is an increase in water rates.

Oklahoma: Healdton City Council refuses to discuss/schedule recall elections

Healdton City Council appears to be trying to kill a recall effort against Councilmembers Linda Hill and Treva Gage. Petitioners, led by former Mayor Rick Pender, handed in 110 signatures. The councilors are complaining over the format of the petitions.

Oregon: Klamath Irrigation District recall on the ballot

The October 12 recall against Chairman Brent Cheyne and  board member Ken Smith got on the ballot. The one against Vice Chair Grant Knoll failed to get enough signatures. The issues include votes on a C Flume and hiring an attorney as a consultant.

Michigan: New Buffalo Mayoral recall on November 8 ballot

The recall of Mayor Lou O'Donnell is on the November 8 ballot, as petitioners handed in more than the 159 signatures. The Mayor Pro Tem John Peterson, who was also the subject of a recall effort, resigned.

The issue was allowing the city manager to sue the planning commission.

New Jersey: Bayonne City Council recall stalls

The attempt against Councilman Sal Gullace has not restarted after one of three members on the recall committee dropped out. Petitioner would need 2569 signatures.

California: Recall threat voiced against Orange County School Board Member

Board Chairman Bill Sublette after he commented on the election against Board member Christine Moore. Moore came in first in her race, but is facing a run off against Matthew Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is hinting at recalls over the board members discretionary spending.

Arizona: Oro Valley Councilmembers swept out in first election following recall

While the four members of the council survived a recall vote caused by a purchase of a golf course/country club, the other three members were defeated in the primary that took place last week. Interesting turn around.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Arizona: Superior Mayor kicked out

Superior Mayor Jayme Valenzuela was removed 516-151, with council member Mila Besich-Lira taking the seat. Valenzuela had been accused of using the town debit card at a casino.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Texas: Rio Bravo Mayor recall in front of a judge

The recall effort against Mayor Francisco Pena is now in the courts, as a petitioner is demanding a decision by a judge to put the recall on the ballot.

Non recall article in Huffington Post on death of local news

I wrote this one for the Huffington Post's new contributor site.

Arizona: Peoria Councilmember not facing a recall

This is the second failed attempt against Councilmember Vicki Hunt.

Colorado: Platte Canyon School Board Recall to make the November Ballot

Valid signatures were handed in against School Board members Chet Lawrence (719) , Katie Spodyak (684), Katy Davis (677), Susan Carpenter (678) and Jon DeStefano (706). Each one needed 646. The issues are claims that the school is getting achievement in the form of ACT scors and graduation rates and they discourage public involvement. There's also questions about water quality and emergency exits at an elementary school.

California: Los Banos School Board Member removal confirmed

Following the final count, Board Member John Mueller was kicked out (182-169) in the final total, with 18% turnout. The recall occurred before news of a corruption investigation into another board member. Mueller claims he would have won if the investigation was known before the vote. The recall was over support for a new school building and other claims (such as condoning nepotism, distruptive behavior at meetings and the district's low test scores).

Mueller is replaced by Ray Martinez.

California: Senate President, State Senator, Assemblywoman, two Congressmen endorse Judge Persky recall effort

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, Senator Jim Beall, Assemblywoman Nora Campos, and Congressmen Eric Swalwell and Jerry McNerney have all endorsed the recall of Judge Persky.

Virginia: Neabsco District School Board member facing recall effort

School Board Member Diane Raulston is facing recall threats over charges that she threatened teachers who opposed a decision to rename a county middle school.
The recall effort is allegedly being run by the "Prince William County Democratic Campaign Committee" but Raulston is a Democrat, as are the other members of the committee who were taken by surprise over the recall. The County Democratic Committee has stated that they are not behind the recall. The only person associated with the recall was a political strategist who ran the chairman's race.

Petitioners need 700 signatures (10% of turnout) and a judge's approval.

Georgia: Effort against Grovetown Councilman fails to get signatures for first effort

The effort against Councilman Dennis Trudeau failed as petitioners did not hand all the 100 eligible signatures needed. Petitioners handed in 115 signatures, but only 88 were valid. Six were outside Grovetown, 17 were not registered, and four didn't registered to vote until after the November 2015 election.

California: Linkedin founder donated $25K to Judge Persky recall effort

Here and some more news as Brock Turner was released on Friday after three months.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Nebraska: Hitchcock County Assessor recall set for November 8

County Assessor Marlene Bedore is facing a November 8 recall vote. Petitioners handed in 526 signatures, they got 466 validated. They needed 410. The issue was a claimed failure to use a professionally accepted mass appraisal technique for valuing property. There is a report that she played favorites and lowered valuation and the state's property tax administrator has recommended probation.