Tuesday, February 28, 2017

North Carolina: Editorial calls for expanding recall to state legislators while expanding their terms to four years and introducing term limits

Representative Harry Warren (R) has proposed a law expanding state lawmakers terms from two to four years and adding in term limits (among other things). This editorial in the Wilson Times also suggests adding in a recall provision. This actually mirrors the early 1910s reasons that some gave for adopting recalls, where it was tied in with expanding terms for legislators.

New Yorker story on 1951 proposed recall amendment for presidents

Here's a look back to 1951 at a proposed presidential recall by New Jersey Senator Robert Hendrickson (R) for a constitutional amendment to recall the president. This was following Harry Truman's firing of General Douglas MacArthur for insubordination during the Korean War.

This quasi-recall would require two-thirds of the state legislatures to demand a recall of the president, and those two-thirds would have to equal two-thirds of the electoral college. Needless to say, this idea went nowhere, much as other attempts to extend the recall to federal officials.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Washington, DC: Police union head survives recall vote

Sergeant Matthew Mahl, the head of the police union (and a gay man, as noted quite prominently in this story) survived a recall vote. They needed 2/3rds of voters to got against, the vote was 595-387 in favor of removal (60 percent). Turnout was seemingly low, 982 votes out of 3600 officers.

The issue appears to be that there wasn't strong enough negotiation for pay.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Texas: San Angelo Councilman resigns under threat of recall

Councilman Bill Richardson, who came under a fire of criticism for a Facebook post asking non-Hispanic citizens to keep a written record of their encounters with Hispanic police officers has submitted a letter of resignation following the release of a audio recording of the incident. Richardson was threatened with a recall effort by the San Angelo Law Enforcement Spouses Association, and it sounds like they had already started getting the petitioning effort going.

California: Recall filed against mayor and four councilmembers after City Clerk hit with restraining order

Mayor Ramon Medina and councilmembers Eduardo De La Riva, Sergio Calderon, Thomas Martin and Ricardo Villarreal are all facing recall threats. Medina and the City Attorney filed a restraining order to keep City Clerk Gerardo Mayagoitia out of City Hall over claims that he threatened the mayor. Mayagoitia  (who is reported to be planning a run for the city council) and Councilman De La Riva has criticized the hiring of City Manager Reuben Martinez, who they claim was hired because he was a longtime customer of Medina's auto repair shop.

Maywood has had significant issues over the years and had to shut down it police department after being on the verge of bankruptcy in 2010 -- oddly, the city was set to hand over administrative responsibilities to the city of Bell, which became the poster boy for local corruption.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nevada: Storey County Sheriff recall gets signatures

Sheriff Gerald Antinoro appears to be facing a recall over his excessive settlement from sexual harassment cases. Petitioners handed in 491 valid signatures, they needed 477.

Massachusetts: Signatures handed in against Townsend selectmen

Signatures were handed in against Selectmen Gordon Clark and Cindy King over claimed that they neglected their duties and numerous claims about handling the police leadership. Petitioners claim they have more than 700 signatures. If approved, it seems that there will be a second stage, where petitioners need signatures from 10% of registered voters, which seems to be about 639. Most likely those earlier signatures count for this effort.

Last year Clark and Selectman Carolyn Smart faced recall efforts, but both failed.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Arizona: House passes bill designed to limit use of initiative

The bill also requires strict construction with petition laws rather than substantial compliance -- an issue that came up during the recall of Arizona State President Russell Pearce. The bill will also ban the use of paid circulars.

Virginia: Charlottesville Court hearing Vice Mayor Recall effort

The recall effort against Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy was heard by a circuit court. The issue was racially-charged tweets.

The signature amount is up for debate, as each voter cast ballots three times for three open council seats. So the question is whether the signatures needed are 527 or 1580.

Texas: Editorial calls for San Angelo City Council member to resign

Councilman Bill Richardson has been facing recall threats and pushes to resign following his Facebook post against Hispanic officers. Here's an editorial by the Standard-Times calling for his removal.

California: Otay Water District Board Member under threats over tweets against Muslims

Water District Board Member Hector Gastelum (R) is facing recall threats after negative tweets about Muslims with a #SubhumanMonsters hashtag. Gastelum won his first term in November.

California: Tulare Regional Medical Center Board not scheduling recall

The recall of board member Dr. Parmod Kumar has not yet been scheduled, as the board ignored election officials who recommended dates for the recall vote. Thanks to California law, the board is irrelevant for the procedure, as the election officials will schedule the vote. It must take place by July 11.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Colorado: Otis Town Council recall scheduled for April 10 (Update: Now the 4th)

The recall against Otis Town Councilmembers Jesse and Sue Stackhouse, Lana Rogers, Lacie Denney, Jennifer Brandon and Linda Bethel was scheduled for April 10.

The petition was started by a former board member, Leon Payne. The issue seemed to be a heated debate over an executive session.

Update: The election was changed to April 4.

Tennessee: State Senator files legislation to give Rutherford County recall law

Senator Bill Ketron is introducing a bill giving Rutherford County the ability to hold recalls, though it will be limited to officials who were indicted on felony charges. The issue came to the fore over former-Sheriff Robert Arnold's indictment (and later guilty plea) for extortion, wire fraud and honest services fraud.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

California: Orange County Register editorial calls for potential recall of Orange Coast College Trustees

A brouhaha in Orange Coast College has led for an editorial calling for the Board of Trustees potential recall. A student recorded an instructor during class making negative comments about the election of Donald Trump, including calling it an "act of terrorism" and then calling on students who voted for Trump to stand and be counted. The student was then punished for recording on school grounds without consent and required him to write a letter of apology and three page essay before returning to class.

The editorial calls for the student to be reinstated with an apology and for the instructor to be reprimanded.

Wisconsin: Green Bay Mayor survives council vote for removal; Recall next?

An attempt to remove Mayor Jim Schmitt (R), who was convicted of three campaign finance violations, from office failed by one vote, with the council voting 8-4 for removal (the council voted 9-3 for finding enough cause for removal, but Alderman Randy Scannell switched his vote). Schmitt is now likely to face a recall effort.

Oregon: Push to allow impeachment for Governor


Rhode Island: Providence Councilman recall signed by "who's who"

A list of former senior officials, including two former state senators, have signed petitions to get a recall against Councilman Kevin Jackson on the ballot following his indictment for embezzlement.

Texas: San Angelo City Councilman facing recall threats over alleged targeting of Hispanic police officers

Councilman Bill Richardson is being hit with calls to resign and discussion of a recall, including with supportive comments from the mayor, after Richardson posted a complaint with a Hispanic police officer on Facebook. Richardson asked non-Hispanic officers to keep a written record of their interactions with Hispanic police officers. Richardson, who was elected in May 2016, is now facing recall threats from the San Angelo Law Enforcement Spouses Association.

Louisiana: State Representative looks to open up recall process

State Representative Paul Hollis is getting set to introduce a bill for the new legislative session that should make it easier to get a recall on the ballot. Hollis is apparently looking to lower the signature requirement for recalls in larger jurisdictions, potentially by changing the law to the voter turnout requirement from 33 1/3 percent of eligible voters.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Virginia: Charlottesville Vice Mayor facing petitions for recall trial over tweets; dispute over signatures needed

Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy is facing petitions for a recall trial over some controversial tweets he made between 2009 and 2014 that led him to leave a teaching position and resign from the Virginia Board of Education.

Jason Kessler, the leading petitioner is a blogger who is accused of being a white supremacist (he has a Pepe the Frog symbol on his site, though he denies the racist charge) and targeting Bellamy because he is the only African-American on the city council (in the story, he calls Bellamy a "race pimp.")

One of the speakers against Bellamy ,GOP gubernatorial candidate and Prince William County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart,  focused on Bellamy's vote to remove a statute of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park as "politically correct madness."

There does seem to be a dispute on the number of signatures needed to get to the judge. Virginia law requires signatures totally 10% of the total number of votes cast in the last election for the office. The debate is over whether the signature total is for the total number of votes cast in the 2015 City Council election (which was 15,798 -- meaning 1580 signatures needed) or just those that Bellamy received (which was 4688 -- meaning 469). Kessler claims that it should be the lower number.

We've discussed Virginia's peculiar recall trial law in the past. It doesn't seem likely that this charge would meet the narrow criteria that judges use to allow a recall trial to go forward. Note the Loudoun County Supervisor attempt.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Louisiana: State Senator Resigns in face of expulsion and recall threats

State Senator Troy Brown (D) resigned instead of facing an expulsion vote or a threatened recall. Brown twice plead no contest for domestic abuse charges.

Nebraska: Table Rock Village Board member facing petitions

Petitions have been filed against board member Wayne Schulenberg. The story is behind a paywall, so we'll have to wait for more details.

Comanche trial petitions ask for recall


Colorado: Otis Town Council recall on hold

Otis Town Council members are facing a potential recall threat, though the effort has been put on the backburner due to other issues. Councilmembers Jesse and Sue Stackhouse, Lana Rogers, Jim Weibers and Linda Bethel are facing petitions. The only other council member has recently been appointed.

The petition was started by a former board member, Leon Payne. The issue seemed to be a heated debate over an executive session.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Washington: State Senate recall paperwork filed

Petitions have been filed against state Senator Doug Ericksen, who is working for the transition team at the EPA while he still serves in the state Senate.

Colorado: Federal Heights Mayor survives recall vote, Mayor Pro Tem resigns

Mayor Daniel Dick (405-658) survived a recall over his support of a Residential Inspection program.

Mayor Pro Tem John Hamlin also faced a recall, but he resigned prior to the election (he is moving out of town).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Arizona: Three Whetstone Water District Board Members facing May recall vote

Board President Tim Sulger, and members Leonard Howell and Robert Tinney are facing an upcoming recall election on May 16. Sulger is accused of violating open meeting laws, threatening the health of water customers and failing to obtain board approval before working on a repair with a private contractor. The recall is led by one of three employees who the board fired on January 25

Petitioners needed 74 signatures, they got 76 for two and 79 for Sulger. The recall is slated to cost about $3000, which Sulger calculated as $75 per customer.

Washington: State Senator facing recall effort over position on Trump's Transition Team

State Senator Doug Ericksen is facing a recall effort over his role as communications director for the EPA for the Trump transition team. According to the report, Ericksen, the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee Chair,  has missed at least 75% of committee meetings this session (since January), though it's unclear how many actual meetings that is. Ericksen claims that his committee is among the most productive in the Senate.

Washington is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, and it is definitely very questionable that this would meet the for cause part of a recall petition. A Judge will have to decide that next. If it does go forward, petitioners would need 18,061 signatures in six months. An editorial in another paper calls for Ericken to resign.

California: Santa Clara Judge recall out-raised Judge by 5-1

The recall effort against Judge Aaron Persky over a Stanford student sexual assault sentence has seen a significant fundraising. Stanford professor Michele Dauber, who is leading the recall efforts, has raised $323,785, with donations from co-founder of Linkedin and the CEO of CrowdPac. Persky has raised $64,618.

Virginia: Editorial on Recall Trials in Petersburg

Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham and councilman (and former mayor) Howard Myers are both facing recall effort. The editorial is focused on the very odd recall trial law that Virginia uses, and recommends a bill proposed by Delegate Richard Anderson that would create a recall election law.

Oklahoma: GOP Stephens County Treasurer calls for recall law

Steve Fair, the Stephens County Republican Party treasurer, has an op-ed calling for a recall law. He notes the recent resignation of a Tulsa legislator over sexual harassment charges. The article is a straightforward look at recall laws.

California: One candidate in replacement race for Oakdale Irrigation District board seat

The April 25 special election against Linda Santos has only one replacement candidate, Nate Ludlow. A second candidate dropped out after she claimed vandals were outside her home.

South Dakota: Mitchell Mayor hearing recall threats

A look at South Dakota's recall law following "heated exchanges" between Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey and residents, one of whom Toomey called the man ran several stoplights (the resident called Toomey a drunk) and the other is the owner of a janitorial supply company who claims that Toomey's personal vendetta led to bid issue.

The state has a malfeasance standard/judicial recall requirement, so there has to be a showing of cause. Petitioners would need 1455 signatures to get one on the ballot.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Louisiana: Parish Presidents facing recall efforts show part of the challenges in Louisiana politics

The two recall efforts are front and center in this story. The push against Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni over inappropriate text messages sent to a 17 year-old boy is still going on, though petitioners need 90,000 names.

The second recall, against Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa is on hold until hearing from a grand jury. Matassa has been accused of trying to bribe a candidate to drop out of a city council race.

Myanmar: New Recall bill proposed


West Virginia: Huntington Mayor facing recall effort:

Mayor Steve Williams is facing a recall effort led by Steven J. Davis, who was a former Republican candidate for mayor. The issue seems to be claims of tax increases and lay-offs.  It sounds like they may need a charter change to get a recall on the ballot.

Colorado: Crawford Mayor survives recall vote

Mayor Wanda Gofforth beat back a recall vote 99-79 (55%) on Tuesday. Gofforth, who won the office in April by one vote, was launched over allegations that she wasted taxpayer money in attorney fees and violated open meeting laws. The candidate that Gofforth between in April, Gil Saunders, was the only candidate running in the succession race.

Oregon: Lincoln Mayor recall effort fails

No petitions were submitted in the recall effort against Mayor Don Williams. Petitioners needed 456 signatures to get on the ballot.

Arizona: Buckeye Water Resources Director resigns

The rise in water bills has been the source of a recall effort against Buckeye Mayor Jackie Mecks. Petitioners have until March 22 to hand in signatures.

Texas: Hearne City Council refuses to schedule recall of councilmember

The city council was stymied by a tie vote in its effort to set a date for a special election (and the general election). Councilman Rodrick Jackson, who is facing a recall effort in the special, claims the petition was illegal. The fight will now go to a judge.

We've seen this happen a number of times in Texas.

Pennsylvania: 19,000 signatures for online US Senator Toomey recall petition

Outside of online petitions being worthless for electoral purposes, the article notes that Pennsylvania doesn't have a statewide recall law and, of course, that US Senators may not be subject to recalls. The article is a bit too strong on that point -- as I've said in the past, I imagine the US Supreme Court would rule 9-0 that federal officials can't face recalls, but I've been wrong plenty of times before. One other thing to note -- 19,000 signatures is not that much for a recall of a federal officials.

Nevada: Signatures handed in against Storey County Sheriff

597 signatures were handed in for the recall of Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, who is being blamed for the cost of legal settlements due to his managing style. He has also been accused of sexual harassment. Petitioners need 477 verified.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

North Carolina: Look back at the Statesville City Council Recall of 1963 over swimming pool integration

Here's a look back at move to recall all six members of the Statesville (at the time, the City of Progress) after their vote to integrate the city's two swimming pools. There's a particular focus on Verna Cline. The council were all voted out.

Texas: Recall effort against El Paso Represenative called off

The pettion effort against Representative Cortney Niland has been called off, though petitioner claims to have gotten more than the 719 signatures needed for a recall. Family health issues have prevented Niland from attending city council meetings since early January. The issue prompting the recall was a decision to build a Triple A stadium,

Lumbee Tribe Chairman facing recall effort

Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. is facing a recall effort over transparency and "unfulfilled promises." Petitioners need about 1300 signatures to move forward. More info here.

Japan: Local assemblies reject 16 referendums, including recall effort against Yakushima Mayor

A municipal government building costings about 2 billion yen led to a referendum to rethinking the spending, which was not brought up for a vote. Petitioners than tried to removed Yakushima Mayor Koji Araki, which needed 33.3% of residential voters, which residents narrowly failed to get.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Massachusetts: Westford Selectmen recall doesn't move forward

An attempted recall of Westford Selectmen Andrea Peraner-Sweet and Mark Kost has not moved forward since the affidavits were rejected because they were neither notarized or signed under penalty of perjury. The recall effort was over legal settlement allowing an asphalt-manufacturing plant.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Rhode Island: 2600 signatures handed in for recall of Providence Councilman

Petitioners handed in over 2600 signatures for the recall of Councilman Kevin Jackson over his arrest for embezzlement and campaign finance violations. They still had a month more to collect signatures. They need 2070 valids.

Georgia: Former Meigs Mayor found guilty of credit card fraud

Mayor Linda Harris, who was kicked out of office in a recall after her indictment, has been found guilty of credit card fraud. Harris took credit cards to buy supplies and hold a Christmas party after the city council voted down the party. The spending was $138. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Florida: Stuart Mayor facing recall threats over referencing police officer as a pig

Mayor Eula Clarke is facing threats and a push for her resignation from the other four city commissioners after walking into a grocery store where the police officer was talking to a clerk and reportedly saying, "I didn't know we were serving pig tonight." She has since apologized.

North Dakota: Bismarck Mayor hits back on issue of pipeline protestors

Mayor Mike Seminary, who is facing recall threats over infrastructure issues including the expansion of an event center, is now being criticized for welcoming opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline to a mayor session. Seminary noted that the event help pump $4.1 million into the local economy.

Louisiana: Lafourche Parish Council holding no-confidence vote in Parish President

Lafourche Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle is facing a no-confidence vote after posting to social media on the council saved money on a health insurance policy, but his critics say that it didn't explain the rate increase. Cantrelle is also criticized for firing the parish administrator. So far, there has only been mention of a recall, but no organized effort.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Venezuela: President reported to have turned over some powers to VP


New Mexico: Petition filed against four Tucumcari commissioners

Tucumcari Commissioners, including Mayor Pro Tem Robert Lumpkin, Commissioner Amy Gutierrez, John Mihm and Ralph Moya are facing recall threats after a trucking company was fined for having unused trucks and equipment on the street.

Massachusetts: Two Shirley Selectmen ousted

Shirley Selectmen Bob Prescott (825-451) and Kendra Dumont (832-422) lost their seats in a recall on Monday. Both ran in the replacement races, and lost again. Jim Wilson beat Prescott 830-477 and Holly Haase beat Dumont 872-434. No real explanation for why Prescott and Dumont got more votes in the replacement race than in the recall.

The issue was a board vote to increase health benefits for the town administrator after a Town Meeting rejected a pay increase.