Friday, December 30, 2016

Washington: Napavine hearing discussions of recall following contentious meeting

The City Council is facing recall discussion following a difficult meeting that came after two council resignations, threats against officials and one audience member being kicked out of City Hall. The issue seems to be an ability to approve a budget.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Arizona: Cave Creek Commissioner, kicked out in previous recall, appointed to planning commission

Commissioner Reg Monachino was ousted in a March 10, 2015 recall, then lost an August 30, 2016 election, was just appointed to the planning commission.

Michigan: Language for Flint recall rejected for the second time


Rhode Island: State Supreme Court allows Providence Councilman recall effort to move forward

Providence Councilman Kevin Jackson's attempt to get the state Supreme Court to toss out the recall effort against him failed. Jackson's petition was rejected by the Superior Court, and the Supreme Court declined the appeal. Petitioners got the 300 signatures needed to start the effort, and now need 2100 signatures (20%) to get on the ballot.

California: Greenfield mayor recall coming up on January 24

Mayor John Huerta, who beat back a 2012 recall vote, is now up again over his support for a medical marijuana cultivation.

North Dakota: Examining the post-recall career of Grand Forks Councilman

Here is a check-in with John Hoff, who was kicked out soon after his 2000 election.

Canada: Alberta Premier subject to online recall petition effort

This is against Rachel Notley -- though the write-up suggests this online petition would have some force of law, which seems extremely unlikely.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ballotpedia's Year End Wrap-up

Ballotpedia has put out their year-end recall wrap-up -- this time with some great graphs! I should have mine done shortly, and, usual, I should have a higher number than them. I'll explain at that time.

They list 390 attempts, with 100 making the ballot. 56 were removed and 44 survived. I'm not sure how many resigned. They also have a list of some of the most notable recalls of the year. I'd have to think of my own list (Crystal City, Texas may be number one), but we'll wait for later.

Anyway, check it out.

Taiwan: New Power Party Executive Chairman facing recall effort over marriage equality law

New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang is facing a recall effort by residents opposed to his support for gay marriage. Petitioners collected 3124 signatures, and now need 25,119 signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

New York: Spring Valley Mayor ouster effort goes before a judge

In another event that has led to calls for a recall in New York, there is a hearing scheduled for a petition to toss out Mayor Demeza Delhomme over malfeasance issues.

Wisconsin: Denouncement in Paris recall

The battle over a move to transfer part of the Paris to the village of Somers led to a recall earlier this year -- the officials survived. Now, the ordinance transferring the properties has been repealed.

Massachusetts: Two candidate running in Shirley recall

The upcoming January 30 recall against Shirley Selectmen Bob Prescott and Kendra Dumont now has two challengers. James Wilson and Holly Haase will run for the seats if there is a recall.

California: Redding City Council members hearing recall threats over increased service costs

Following two pay raises and increases in utilities, garbage, sewer and water services, there's talk and a Facebook page touting the recall of Redding City Council members. Mayor Brent Weaver and council members Kristen Schreder, Francie Sullivan would be the only ones who could face a recall immediately, with councilmembers Adam McElvain and Julie Winter not up for recall until they serve 90 days. Petitioners would need 15% of registereds -- 7615 signatures in 160 days. There were attempts for recalls in 2012 and 2009, though both failed to turn in signatures.

Louisiana: Kenner zoning rules on boat parking lead to recall threats

Kenner's City Council is facing recall threats over a new zoning code that limit where boars can be parked.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Missouri: Lee's Summit Council recall put on April ballot

This is against Councilman Chris Moreno. Not clear if this is a special election -- I imagine that it is, but not totally certain.

California: Oakdale Irrigation District Board Member facing April 25 recall

The recall of Director Linda Santos is scheduled for April 25. Petitioners handed in 660 signatures, 628 were valid. They needed 421. The issue was claims that Santos put too emphasis on the interests of her friends, contributors and others.

Maine: Litchfield Selectman kicked out

Selectman Tim LaChapelle was removed in a 167-50 vote yesterday -- the first recall since the voters passed the law in October. Lachapelle will be replaced in an upcoming election that may not be held till February.

Lachapelle, who won in a three-way race, has pushed for transparency with a number of information requests and has accused the town manager of hiring the manager's husband to be the transfer station manager and accusing the Code Enforcement Officer of theft due to over-reporting travel expenses.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

California: Judicial Disciplinary Panel find no sanctions against Santa Clara County Judge

Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky, who has faced a strong recall effort over his sentencing of a Stanford student in a sexual assault case, will not face sanctions from a California judicial disciplinary panel. Since the judge was just reelected, the recall effort's signature gathering will likely not begin until April.

Oklahoma: New wrinkle in Healdton recall after no one files to run against incumbents for seats

The legal battle over the recall against Healdton Councilmembers Treva Gage and Linda Hill, which has resulted in a lawsuit attempting to throw out the recall the February 7, now has a new wrinkle. Gage and Hill are trying to kill the recall in court. However, no candidates have filed to run in the February 7 race against the two incumbents. It could be that a recall would be put off until April (the next regular municipal election or perhaps it would be cancelled.

Michigan: Second petitions filed to recall Flint Mayor

Following a rejection of the language of his first recall petition, a Flint man filed new recall language seeking the removal of Mayor Karen Weaver. The issue is a trash contract and payment to City Councilman Eric Mays over a damage claim after being Mays was removed from a council meeting.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Colorado: Sedgwick County Sheriff recall schedule for January 10

An all-mail ballot recall election will be completed on January 10 against Sedgwick County Sheriff Thomas Hanna. Here's a copy of the ballot. Hanna is facing the recall after he was arrested for misconduct including felony offenses and sexual conduct on an inmate and soliciting prostitution. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

California: Newhall County Water District Board members

Board Members Maria Gutzeit and Dan Mortensen are facing recall efforts, allegedly over their support for a merger with Castaic Lake Water Agency. 14 of the 15 board members were in favor of the merger -- the one member opposed is allegedly backing the recall effort. A former board member who lost a race for the Castaic Law board is leading the effort.

Petitioner needed about 6000 signatures - a recall allegedly would cost up to $180,000.

Montana: Recall effort against five Whitehall officials rejected by judge

The recall effort against Mayor Dale Davis and four council members was rejected by a judge, who held that the petitions didn't meet the standards for a host of reasons, most notably the fact that there wasn't a cause under Montana's malfeasance standard/judicial recall law.

Nebraska: Madison Mayor refuses to reappoint City Clerk after recall victory


Texas: El Paso City Representative facing recall effort

Representative Cortney Niland is facing petitions over a plan to build an arena. Petitioners would need about 385 signatures.

California: Oakdale Irrigation District recall likely to take place on April 25

Board member Linda Santos is facing an upcoming recall election probably on April 25 (the board has to vote. Petitioners handed in 660 signatures, and got 628 valids. They needed 421. The board is divided 3-2, with Santos *who beat an incumbent a year ago) and another new member Gail Altieri on the short end. The board majority sued the two minority members after they provided sworn declarations used by opponents in a lawsuit over a fallow for money plan.

Read more here:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

New Mexico: Bill pushing for amendments to recall process

Representative Dennis Roch (R) is pushing for a change in the law that will prevent political recalls -- i.e. recalls for any reason. Roch's bill will move recalls in manager/commission-type of local governments to a malfeasance standard/judicial recall plan. 

New Mexico: Las Vegas Mayor recall dropped

The recall effort against Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron has been abandoned five days before the deadline.

New Jersey: Trenton Mayor arrested on corruption charges

Mayor Tony Mack, his brother and a supporter were all arrested on bribery charges for a proposed fake parking garage. Mack faced a recall effort last year, but petitioners couldn't get enough signatures to get on the ballot.

Missouri: Petitions handed in against Lee's Summit Councilman; Recall set for April 4

This is the recall against Councilman Chris Moreno, though it has to do with the business dealing with the Park Department of a different Councilwoman, Diane Forte. Petitioners handed in 621 signatures. The recall is set for April 4.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Additional comments on the Electoral College

Here's my CNBC article shedding some light on the history of the Electoral College. The actual origins of the Electoral College and the reasons for it seem to be misunderstood, which is the focus of my piece.

A couple of additional points and some links for those interested:
  • The father of the Electoral College -- Philadelphia's James Wilson -- was the delegate who was most focused on democracy. Wilson appeared to really want direct elections, but after seeing no support (outside of his fellow Pennsylvanians), he came up with the Electoral College framework. Wilson, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court died in disgrace due to his debts, but he is clearly one of the most important figures at the Convention.
  • On July 24, Wilson also suggested a system of "picking lots" -- whereby they would randomly choose 15 members of the legislature who would choose the executive (not called a president at that time).
  • There was significant debate of whether (after the narrowing to five candidates by the EC) the president should be chosen by the Senate or the House. The decision to give the choice over to the House was seen as a nod to the larger states -- though since each state has one vote, that doesn't seem to be much of a benefit.
  • The original idea of Congress choosing the executive may have resulted in a quasi-parliamentarian system, though the existence of a powerful Senate makes it a black box as to what that would have meant. One important variable would have been the vice president. Unanswerable historical possibility under this system -- with the VP heading the Senate, would the VP have become a more important figure than the President? This is not as outlandish as it seems -- Texas has a weak Governor/strong Lieutenant Governor model.
  • Among the changes made by the 12th Amendment was limiting the amount of candidates sent to the House from 5 to 3. This may seem like a minor point, but it has huge repercussions on US history. Henry Clay came in 4th in the 1824 election and was eliminated from contention. If Clay had been sent to Congress and won instead of Adams or Jackson. Since the Adams/Jackson's battles can be seen as the birth of the two party system, what would have changed if the far better politician Clay had been elected instead of Adams?
  • To get any understanding of the Electoral College, it is important to look at the elections of 1796, 1800, 1824 and 1876. 
Some links here:

Some of the State Constitutions

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Texas: Latest lawsuit in El Paso recall dismissed by appellate court

These cases have been going on for five years. Here's the latest dismissal of a counterclaim by the church against the city over the question of standing

Ohio: East Cleveland City Hall ransacked after recall

So far, no suspects have been named.

Washington: Seattle City Councilwoman facing online petitions

Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant (the first socialist elected to their council in 100 years) is facing internet-based petitions for her removal after she called for demonstrations of the Donald Trump inauguration on January 20.

Needless to say, internet-based petitions are not worth anything. Washington is also a "malfeasance standard/judicial recall state", so a recall effort will not likely make the ballot regardless.

Wisconsin: Green Bay Mayor facing petition of removal

Mayor Jim Schmitt (R), who is plead guilty to misdemeanor charges of campaign finance law violations in September, has had a petition filed against him -- though it is a bit different than the usual recall. This petition is under the rarely used provision which allows the city council to vote out the mayor. It is not clear how that will work.

Oregon: Columbia River People's Utility District recall leads to tort lawsuit over removal of lawn signs

The $400,000 lawsuit is over removal of political sign opposing the recall during the February recall and claims of intimidation.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Colorado: Park Hospital Board of Directors facing recall effort

Park Hospital Board President Diana Van Der Ploeg is facing a recall effort seemingly over the dismissal of longtime staffers, the contract for Estes Park Medical Center Interim CEO Mark Gregson and the hiring of a management company without board approval. There are also questions of whether Van Der Ploeg can serve a third consecutive term. Petitions with 458 signatures were sent demanding the removal of Van Der Ploeg and Gregson, but these are not the real petitions. Petitioners claim they have 300 valid signatures on another petition.

Montana: Whitehall recall effort decision expected this week

A Judge is set to rule on whether a recall can be launched against Mayor Dale Davis and councilmembers Tom Jenkin, Gerry Keogh, Joe Adams and Gary Housman. The questions are about whether there are legal reasons under Montana law to have a recall -- Montana is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state. The petition claims that there were a violation of oath of office and official misconduct, but the claim is about events that happened in a council meeting on April 11. The town attorney disputes that the claimed events happened.

Colorado: Crawford Mayor recall on the ballot, set for February 7

Petitions have been verified for the recall of Mayor Wanda Gofforth -- the council is looking to set the recall for February. The issues were hiring a town attorney on her own to represent the town clerk in a civil protection order that the clerk filed against a resident as well as alleged open meeting law violations. The resident, Carl Page, who ran for the council was requesting email addresses and phone numbers of council members. Page attempted to recall the former mayor Susie Steckel in 2014.

Update: Recall set for February 7 -- it is suppose to cost $900.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Jersey: Bill looks to set standards for homeowners' associations recall

Here -- looks like they will need 10 percent of members.

Missouri: Lee Summit Councilman facing recall effort

Councilman Chris Moreno is facing a recall effort, due to the state's Ethics Commission's investigation in Councilwoman Diane Forte for her business dealings with the parks department.Forte's companies twice sold awards that to the department (the value of the sales was about $2000). State law holds that there should have been a bid. Moreno has been a leader of the effort against Forte, which petitioners have called counterproductive. They already claim to have gathered 650 signatures.

Taiwan: Recall effort planned against DPP candidates

The KMT (Chinese Nationalist Party) is planning to launch recalls against members of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party for their support of lifting a ban on importing food from areas affected by the Fukushima disaster in 2011. There are some questions of whether the attempt shows disorganization on the part of the KMT.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Washington: Effort to change Snohomish form of government leads to mayoral recall effort

Mayor Karen Guzak faced a brief recall effort led by the chief proponent of the group that backed a proposal to change the government to a "strong-mayor" form. The bill passed, but the leader of the effort, Bill Betten, lives outside of the town. Guzak has requested a recount. Betten filed the recall petition on June 23, but withdrew it 3 weeks later.

Michigan: Threats against Roseville School Board VP over alleged racist Facebook posts

Roseville School Board VP Alfredo Francesconi is facing complaints and what sounds like a possible recall threat following posts on his private Facebook page that allegedly claim that Muslims are terrorists and African-Americans don't vote. Still seems early on this one

Alaska: Galena School Board President kicked out in recall vote

School Board President Kim Kopp was removed 102-67. The replacement will be appointed.

Former school board member Jenny Bryant (who resigned this summer) launched the recall, which needed 25 signatures.

The issue seemed to be a claim that Kopp's role with a bible church and the school board was a "very divisive wedge."

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Colorado: Federal Heights Mayor and councilman facing recall

This article is a little odd in that it states that the recall happened though it seems that the signatures were just handed in.

Mayor Daniel Dick (300 signatures handed in, 295 needed) and Councilman John Hamilin (102 handed in, 84 needed) are facing a February 7 recall vote. The issue was their support for a rental inspection program.

Louisiana: Mansfield Alderman facing recall vote

Mansfield Alderman Mitchell Lewis is facing an upcoming recall, with 316 valid signatures being handed in (petitioners needed 296). The effort against Mayor Curtis McCoy failed.

Ohio: East Cleveland Mayor and City Council President ousted

First reports are out that East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton Jr. (548-528) and City Council President Thomas Wheeler (229-211) both lost their recall vote on Tuesday. This was Wheeler's third recall -- he survived one in December and June. This was the first time that Norton faced a recall (he was elected in 2009 and reelected in 2013).

The vice president of the city council Brandon King will become mayor, and the council will appoint replacements for Wheeler and King.

The issue was a debate over bankruptcy or merging with Cleveland.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Arizona: Superior ex-mayor sued by town clerk

The former town clerk sued the Mayor Frank Valenzuela and the town for firing of her after she reported the felony theft over the mayor's use of a town credit card at a casino. Valenzuela was kicked out in a recall earlier this year.

California: Tulare Healthcare District Board Member facing petitions

Board member Dr. Parmod Kumar, on the board since 1994, is facing petitions. Petitioners need 1049 signatures by January 3. The issue seems to be an $85 million bond to complete an addition to a hospital, which was never built, as well as bringing in a association to serve as administrator of the hospital.

Wisconsin: Senator Schilling wins recount against Kapanke

This was the recall rerun for 2011

California: Greenfield Mayor facing second recall vote in four years

Mayor John Huerta Jr. will be up for a recall vote on January 24, 2017 over his alleged interference for a criminal investigation of the medical marijuana industry. The city council censured Huerta already.

Petitioners needed 1078 signatures and they got 1081.

Huerta barely survived a recall vote in 2012 that took out two city council members.At that time, the issue was over a merger of the police department.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Ohio: East Cleveland recalls get Jeers of the week

Here --- claiming that the recall will cost the city $30,000 less than 10 months before the regular mayoral election. Note that it mentions that Mayor Gary Norton was fined $114,100 for mishandling campaign finance documents.

Massachusetts: Shirley Selectmen try to kill recall effort

Selectmen Kendra Dumont and Robert Prescott have filed a petition to toss out the recall effort over complaints the town clerk allowed more time then the 30 days legal alloted and that the signatures were gathered by people who weren't the actual petitioners. The recall is scheduled for January 30.

The recall is over a vote to give the Town Administrator greater health insurance benefits after a town meeting rejected the idea.

Taiwan: Legislature passes amendment loweringsignatures and turnout requirement for recalls; allowing campaigning during recall effort

Under the old law, a recall needed turnout of half the voters (and half of those had to vote to remove) for it to pass. The turnout requirement has now dipped to 1/4 of the voters. Signature gathering is much easier, it went from 2% of the total electorate to 1 % for the first stage of the recall, and the follow-up petition now needs 10% as opposed to 13%. The time grame has been doubled from 30 to 60 days.

Campaigning is now allowed in recall efforts as well.
The bill follows the 2014 "Appendectomy Project", which was launched by activists with the intention of recalling Kuomintang lawmakers activists claimed were unfit to serve, including Tsai Cheng-yuan, Lin Hung-chih and Wu Yu-Sheng.
Out of the three cases, only the motion to recall Tsai garnered the requisite number of signatures, but it did not attract required voter turnout numbers.
The Taipei City Election Commission fined the team that launched the project NT$600,000 in March of this year on the grounds that they breached the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act by campaigning for Tsai's recall after the motion had received enough signatures.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Colorado: Snowmass Property Owners seek recall of 5 board members

Snowmass' Base Village Metropolitan District board members Matt Foley, Steve Sewell, Letitia Hanke, Jim D’Agostino and Craig Monzio are facing a recall attempt over developer and commercial debt from a stalled project. Petitioners already claim to have signatures from over 40%. Four of the five board members work for companies involved in the debate.