Monday, January 30, 2017

New York: Voters discover no recall for Rochester City Court Judge accused of drunken run-in with security guard

Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio was nearly pepper sprayed in a bathroom as well as a drunk driving charge and has not been allowed to preside in court or appear in non-public areas of the courthouse. But only the State Commission on Judicial Conduct can take her out.

California: Three San Miguel Fire Protection Board members hit with recall petitions

Fire Protection Board President Theresa McKenna and directors Jim Ek and Mike Vacio were all handed recall notices over their vote to negotiate a contract for dispatching services, a change from the arrangement with Cal Fire. The vote was 4-3.

Petitioners would need about 9,906 signatures.

Update: The petitions were found deficient

Georgia: Gwinnett Commissioner recall held up for filing for 6 month grace period

The recall effort against Gwinnett Commissioner Tommy Hunter cannot start filing papers until July, due to the 6 month grace period. Hunter is facing recall threats after calling Congressman John Lewis a racist pig and calling Democrats "demonrats."

No word on the possibility that the recall would be accepted under Georgia's tough malfeasance standard/judicial recall law. If it did get past that stage, they would need 30% of registered voters, so it sounds like something on the order of 38,470 valids needed in 45 days.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Australia: Editorial looks at adopting recall law


Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians looking for recall of Chief

Chief Phyllis Anderson is facing recall threats over employment discrimination over political affiliations and fiscal irresponsibility. Petitioners need 40% of registered voters signatures, and must have turn out of 60% for the recall to count.

California: Los Angeles District Attorney facing recall threats

District Attorney Jackie Lacey is facing recall threats following a decision not to file charges against two officers who were involved in the shooting death of Ezell Ford in 2014.

Ohio: Fairfield County Prosecutor states there is no recall law allowing attempt against Lancaster mayor

Lancaster Mayor Brian Kuhn has been under attack after pleading guilty for two counts of attempted failure to pay taxes. Recall attempts have been discussed, but Fairfield County Prosecutor Kyle Witt notes that Lancaster has no recall provision. Fairfield is a statutory city,, which doesn't have recall ability in Ohio law.

Californa: Greenfield mayor loses recall vote

Mayor John Huerta lost the recall with 61% voting against (866 votes). He is succeeded in the replacement race by Jesus OlverGarcia (with 68%). Huerta faced a recall over claims that he doesn't do enough to promote economic development, though the recall also took place after the city council censured him for improper involvement in city government administration and providing improper directives to the city manager.

Turnout was 30.7%.

Huerta barely survived a 2012 recall vote.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

California: Two Paradise Irrigation District Board Members kicked out

Turnout was "very low" with 4265 ballots returned out of 17,215 sent out. Larry Duncan (18%-82%) and Sep Carola 21.7%-78%) both lost their seats, with Anne Rice and Marc Sulik replacing themm
The issue was a fiscal crisis over water purity.

This is the second time that Duncan has been recalled -- he lost his seat in 1991 as a town council member over a proposed sewer line.

Texas: Corpus Christi Mayor resigns

Mayor Dan McQueen resigned 37 days into office after facing recall threats over his behavior, educational background and his relationship to his chief of staff.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kansas: Marion County Commissioner resigns seat

Marion County Commissioner Lori Lalouette resigned (effective March 20) after recall petitions were filed with the county attorney (they are still being reviewed) Lalouette missed 24 meetings and was late for 26 others, which she blames on illness.

Massachusetts: Attorney General finds Shirley Selectmen violated open meeting law

A week before a recall against Selectmen Kendra Dumont and Bob Prescott, the Attorney General found they violated an open meeting requirement during an executive session. The charge was filed by another selectman.

Wisconsin: Scott Walker has raised over $100 million between 2009-2016


Sunday, January 22, 2017

North Dakota: Editorial opposes Bismarck Mayor recall

The Bismarck Tribune has an editorial today denouncing the effort against Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary, noting he has less than 18 months in office and that the criticism is over old complaints.
recall effort. The petitioners would need about 1898 signatures (25% of turnout).

Michigan: Warren Mayor facing recall threats over verbal attacks

Mayor James Fouts, who faced a recall effort in 2014, has been facing renewed efforts for a recall after he is accused of verbal attacks on the mentally challenged, African Americans and older woman.

Petitioners would need 9200 signatures to get on the ballot. More here.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Colorado: Crawford Mayor facing recall efforts

Mayor Wanda Gofforth is facing petitions after admitting to improperly handling a town meeting and being accused of wasting $8,000 on a restraining order for a town employee.

California: Signatures certified against Tulare County Healthcare Board member

Signatures have been certified against Tulare County Local Healthcare District Board of Directors members Dr. Parmod Kumar. Petitioners handed in 1414 signatures. 1180 were valid -- they needed 1049. The issue is quality of care and the current operator, Healthcare Conglomerate Associates HCCA.

Virginia: Petersburg petitions filed against Mayor and councilman

Petitions have been filed against Mayor Samuel Parham and councilman (and former mayor) W. Howard Myers by "Clean Sweep Petersburg." The group had previously said they were going to go after city Treasurer Kevin Brown, but it is not clear why he was no included.

Virginia requires a recall trial and a showing of cause. Petitioners would need 10% of turnout to get to that stage. The article notes that there is a bill in the legislature which would double the signature total to 20%.

Friday, January 20, 2017

California: Editorial opposes Fontana Mayor recall

An editorial in Press Enterprise opposes the potential recall of Mayor Acquanetta Warren as a "big waste of time." The recall effort is alleged about her receiving $100,000 in contributions and her subsidizing other cities with a police helicopter program, as well as attempts to take over control of the school district. Warren pushed for a recall in 2013 against two school board members (which succeed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Michigan: Yale mayor facing recall effort over police chief suspension

Mayor Richard Busch is facing a recall effort over his suspension of the city police chief for not wearing a bulletproof vest while on duty.

Kansas: Hillsboro County Commissioner facing recall threats

Commissioner Lori Lalouette is expected to decide whether she will resign rather than face a recall over her continued absences. Petitioners seem to have started the recall process.

Massachusetts: Rowley Water Commissioner pushing for records release as part of his recall effort

Water Commissioner Timothy Toomey, who was licked out in a recall last February, is asking for the name of the person who opened the library for a 2015 meeting of his recall push. Toomey is in front of a Superior Court for a ruling on the public records request.

Massachusetts: Holyoke City Councilor proposing recall law

Councilor Nelson Roman proposed a recall law against officials who serve four years, which is the clerk, treasurer and (after the next election), the mayor. The recall would have to be started at least a year before, and require 15 % of registered voters.

Georgia: Gwinnett County Commissioner facing recall threats after calling Congressman John Lewis "a racist pig"

Commissioner Tommy Hunter is facing protesters and calls for his resignation after calling Congressman John Lewis "a racist pig."There is also talk of a recall, though Georgia is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so this is unlikely to meet the standard.

Texas: Corpus Christi mayor faces recall threats

Mayor Dan McQueen is facing threats for a recall effort over questions about his educational background and his relationship to his chief of staff.

Massachusetts: Shirley selectmen signed warrant for recall -- to be held on January 30


Massachusetts: Uxbridge approves recall law

Uxbridge passed a recall law at its town meeting 120-30. The town previously passed a law in October, but the state attorney general didn't approve the amendment. This law looks to have the state legislators pass a bill for a charter amendment.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Massachusetts: Uxbridge voting on recall law in town meeting

Uxbridge is voting on a recall law, submitted by petition newly-elected selectman Justin Piccirillo, at town meeting on Tuesday. The recall law would require 100 signatures for the first stage, then would need 75% of turnout from the most recent annual town election. Piccirillo said that approximately 170 communities in the state have a recall law.

California: Orange County Judge awards $100K in attorneys fees to Golden Rain Foundation director whose recalls were overturned

Judge Robert Moss handed down a $95,850 ruling for Golden Rain Foundation director Kathryn Freshley and former director Mary Stone over the recall they faced on November 2, 2015. The issue was a vote to fired a longtime managing agent for the retirement community.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Virginia: House of Delegates looking at state recall law

Delegate Rich Anderson (R) has proposed a recall law for the state -- currently Virginia requires a judge to rule on a recall. Anderson wants to turn recalls into an electoral method.

North Carolina: New Tobaccoville Mayor appointed

Following the recall of Mayor Bill McHone in November, Tobaccoville village council appointed Mark Baker, chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, as the new mayor. He was previously on the council before he became a member of the county commissioner.

Ohio: Problems in East Cleveland since recall


Louisiana: Mention of recall against state Senator

Senator Troy Brown (D), who was convicted of two separate domestic abuse crimes against two different women in two different cities, is not resigning. Brown can be expelled, though the article also notes the possibility of a recall.

Massachusetts: Shirley recall before a judge

The recall effort against Shirley Selectmen Kendra Dumont and Robert Prescott is before a superior court judge, though the judge's decision may be too late, as the election is on January 30.

Update: Injunction denied

Friday, January 13, 2017

California: Stanislaus County District Attorney facing recall talk

District Attorney Birgit Fladager (who tried the Scott Peterson case) is facing recall threats from former Mayor and current restaurant owner Carmen Sabatino. Sabatino has gone on the offensive after the arrest of his former attorney and friend Frank Carson (who ran against Fladager in 2014)in a murder case in 2015. Sabatino faced 11 felony fraud charges when he ran for reelection in 2003, which ended in a mistrial. Fladager did not try Sabatino in that case.

California: Fonatana Mayor facing recall

Mayor Acquanetta Walker is facing a recall effort alleging the mayor treats opponents with disrespect and wants to build housing that he opposes.

North Dakota: Recall effort filed against Bismarck Mayor

Mayor Mike Seminary is facing a recall effort over a plan to expand the Event Center. Petitioners would need 1898 signatures.

Colorado: Sedgwick County Sheriff kicked out

Sedgwick County Sheriff Tom Hanna, who was indicted over sexual assault charges filed by a developmentally delayed inmate, was removed in a recall vote 944-89. He was replaced by Deputy Larry Neugebauer (though briefly, Howard McCormick had six jobs, including acting sheriff).

Colombia: Bogota Mayor facing recall effort

Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa is facing a recall effort over his privatization proposals, a new push for above-ground public transportation options and health sector reforms. Petitioners would need 271,818 signatures in 6 months (30% of the vote for Penalosa in the last election).

Petitioners would also need 40% of the turnout in a recall vote -- meaning at least 1092229 votes.

There have been 160 failed recall attempts over the last two decades, though a change in law in 2015 made it easier to get a recall on the ballot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Venezuela: Move to appoint new Vice President made to fight against recall effort

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro may have avoided a recall in 2016, but there is still a chance that he will face one in 2017. However, a recall in 2017 will result in his VP taking over instead of a replacement vote. Maduro is appointing Aragua Governor and former Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami as his vice president.

Louisiana: Jefferson Parish President recall effort claims still trying recall push


California: Leader of recall effort against Santa Clara Superior Court Judge attacks Commission on Judicial Performance review

Stanford law professor Michele Dauber has written a seven-page analysis criticizing a recent state Commission on Judicial Performance review of the six-month sentence handed down against former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner for sexual assault. The Commission held that Santa Clara Judge Aaron Persky did not engage in judicial misconduct in handing down the sentence. You can check out the analysis here.

Oregon: Clatskanie Mayor who survived 2015 recall vote loses mayoral race

Diane Pohl, who survived a 2015 recall vote, lost a reelection run in November to Bob Brajcich.

Oregon: Slander suit from recall effort against Columbia River People's Utility District Director dismissed


Rhode Island: Providence treasurer refuses to pay Councilman's recall legal bills

Providence Treasurer has rejected a request by Councilman Kevin Jackson that the city pay his $30,000 legal fee in a fight against a recall effort. The issue is the Jackson's indictment on embezzlement charges -- he is alleged to take $127,153 from a track and field team.

Massachusetts: Bolton recall law signed by Governor

The recall law was voted in May 2015, though the Governor just signed the law into effect.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

120 Recalls in 2016 -- 60 removals, 17 resignations, 42 survive; at least 403 attempts

A week later than I'd like, here's the Recall Elections Blog's annual end of the year stats: In 2016, we had 119 recalls (Edit -- nearly a year later, I've found another to push this to 120 get to the ballot or end in a resignation. The recall once again proved to be a powerful weapon, though not as successful as in last year. Of the 120, 61 were ousted in the vote, and 17 resigned. 42 officials survived a recall vote.

Additionally, one recall got enough signature to get on the ballot and then was withdrawn; one mayor resigned after the recall was rejected by a judge; two other officials resigned after the recall failed to get enough signatures.

This year saw an increase from 2015, which had 108 recalls, and was more in line with 2014 (which, I never actually wrote up), were we had 126 recalls. In 2013, we had 107 recalls2012 we had 168, and a 2011 we had 151.

For the third straight year, no state official has faced a recall (though in 2015, the Oregon Governor resigned in the face of recall threats). This is a return to the historic norm. The recall on the state level took off from 2011-2013, but despite the pitch partisan battles, recalls have not been used. There were discussions of recalls against legislators in Nevada and Oregon, but none went anywhere. The Michigan Governor has been a perennial target, but as discussed here, there is little chance or reason for the recall to get moving.

There were two recall attempts that did receive an enormous amount of attention, though neither got on the ballot: The recall threat against Santa Clara Judge Aaron Persky and, on the international stage, the recall against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Arguably the most notable recall was in East Cleveland, where Councilman Thomas Wheeler survived a recall in 2015 and in June, and then was finally ousted in December. I counted at least 402 attempted recalls, so once again, the vast majority of recall attempts do not result in signatures being handed in. Most recall attempts are abandoned.

Some basic stats:

  • 13 states had recall elections take place 
  • The big recall states were California (13) and Michigan (13) 
  • 22 mayors, one vice mayor and one village president faced a recall vote.
  • I have not included recalls in Native American territory (I count three, though there may be more), nor do I include HOAs or Senior Living Communities. 

Ballotpedia put out their year-ender on recalls, and the numbers are slightly different. Why the difference? It's not fully clear, but I do have easier access to all of their coverage, so that has to be figure into any fact. The resignations may be an issue of "when do you count a resignation in the face of a recall."  I also would not read that much into the calculation of attempt -- it is frequently not clear if someone took out petitions and there is some overlap between 2015 and 2016. So take that number with a grain of salt, but it does show how often recalls are threatened.

What can we expect in 2017? More of the same. 14 recalls are already on the ballot.

Kansas: Marion County Commissioner facing calls to leave

Commissioner Lori Lalouette is facing calls to resign and this story about a possible recall attempt. Laloutte has been criticized for walking out of meetings, missing 24 meetings and being late for 26 others. Lalouette has claimed illness is responsible.

Petitioners would need 588 signatures (40% of turnout) in 90 days, plus approval by the County Attorney (Kansas is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state).

Ohio: East Cleveland recall leader appointed to city council

Devin Branch, one of the leaders of the successful recall of Council President Thomas Wheeler and Mayor Gary Norton, was appointed to the council to replace Wheeler. Norton had filed assault charges against Branch following the election.

Kansas: Leavenworth Commissioner recall effort fails

The recall effort against Commission Chairman Bob Holland appears to have fallen short -- petitioners needed 2012 signatures. The lead petitioner said he would turn in the signatures, but claimed he doubts he got 500. The issue was claims of a violation of open meeting laws.

California: Signatures handed in for Tulare Regional Medical Center board recall

Petitioners handed in 1375 signatures in the recall effort against board member Dr. Parmod Kumar. They need 1049. Kumar has been in office since 1994. The board sought financing for an expansion tower, though that was defeat and two members lost their seats.