Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Maryland: Recalled Bowie City Council member running in replacement race

Diane Polangin, who was removed in December with 69% against her, is one of four candidates running in the replacement race.

Michigan: Petitions handed in against Kalkaska Village President

232 signatures have been handed in against Village President Jeff Sieting. Petitioners need 166 valids. The issue is controversial Facebook posts about Black Lives Matters and Muslims and a vote for the city budget with a deficient.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

California: A look at the motives for the Salinas School Board recall effort

Here's a look at the behind the scenes actions in the recall of School Board member Kathryn Ramirez. She was served by Salinas City Councilman John "Tony" Villegas who, prior to his election, lost to Ramirez in a race for the school board seat. The stated issue is the construction of a new high school.

Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe recall fails due to turn out issues

The second recall of tribal leadership, including President Keeney Escalanti, Vice President Virgil Smith and Council member Loraine White failed because a majority of registered voters did not come up to vote. Council member Jordan Joaquin also faced a recall, but actually won the vote outright.

The petitioner was Sally DeCorse, a tribal member who claimed the appointment of Smith unconstitutionally passed over her.

UK: Cross-party panel proposes recall vote for sexual harassment and bullying


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Oregon: Petitioners claim enough signatures for Ashland Commissioners

Petitioners handed in signatures against Commissioners Rick Landt, Mike Gardiner and Jim Lewis over their vote to reorganize a Senior Center and fire the center's manager. Petitioners need 1566 signatures.

California: Salinas Union High School Board Trustee facing recall effort

Trustee Kathryn Ramirez is facing a recall effort over a delay in the opening of a new $77 million school.

Colorado: La Plata County Commissioner facing recall effort

Commissioner Gwen Lachelt (D) is facing a recall effort over lobbying on environmental issues such as methane venting, and her employment with Western Leaders Network, a nonprofit focused on conservation issues. Lachelt argued that oil and gas lobbying organizations are pushing the recall.

Petitioners need 7505 signatures to get on the ballot.

Virginia: Three Charlottesville City Council members facing recall efforts

Once again, there's an attempt to recall members of the City Council with a very heavy race component to it. The previous effort was led by a petitioner accused of a being a white supremacist. Now, Councilor Mike Signer, Kathy Galvin and Wes Bellamy are facing recall efforts. The issue appears to be focused on the council's changing the named of Lee and Jackson parks as well as removing Confederate monuments.

Petitioner needs 1580 signatures to get on the ballot. Petitioner would still need to meet the malfeasance standard, which does seem unlikely based on past cases.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Oregon: Split decision in Huntington -- 3 survive recall vote, one loses

Mayor Candy Howland (98-70), Councilor Richard Cummings (99-70) and John McLean (106-60) all survived a recall vote, though Councilor Cindy Deck (91-75) lost her seat.  Deck will be replaced by appointment. The recall was over claims of a hostile work environment.

California: Oxnard Recall vote scheduled for May 1

Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn and Council members Carmen Ramirez, Bert Perello and Oscar Madrigal are all facing a special election on May 1 for their support of a wastewater increase (voters backed a rate repeal).

Friday, January 26, 2018

California: Hanford Council member kicked out

City Council member Francisco Ramirez was tossed out with 61.6% against him (234-146). Turnout was 384 out of 3475 registereds. He was replaced by Diane Sharp in a four person race.

Oregon: Oregon State University student representative facing recall for white nationalist views

Representative Andrew Oswalt is facing a recall effort after being arrested on criminal mischief charges, which includes "plastering activists' cars with bumper stickers containing the n-word."

Michigan: Plainfield Township Board Supervisor and Trustee facing recall effort

Supervisor Bob Horman (R) and Trustee Susan Morrow (R) are facing recall efforts over water safety concerns and a toxic chemical plume from a tannery waste dump site. Both were elected in 2016, though Horman was previously the township superintendent for 17 years and Morrow was the clerk for 24 years. Petitioners would need 3069 signatures to get on the ballot.

Michigan: Muskegon County Drain Commissioner facing recall effort

Commissioner Brenda Moore is facing a recall effort over plans to spend $2 million to make improvements to a drain. Moore was appointed in 2013 and elected in 2016.

The first version was rejected by a 3-0 vote of the Election Commission.

California: Petitioning started against Stockton Mayor

Mayor Michael Tubbs is facing a recall effort -- here's some of the backstory.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

New Hampshire: House Bill/Constitutional Amendment to pass recall law

House Bill 1299 would allow recall for town's selectman (following a dispute in the town of Piermont). A constitutional amendment would allow recalls throughout the state. It needs to pass the House and Senate by a 3/5ths margins and then pass the statewide election by 2/3rds.

Wisconsin: Signatures handed in against St. Francis Mayor

1275 signatures were turned in the recall effort against Mayor CoryAnn St. Marie-Carls. Petitioners need 1047 valids. The issue was claims of unprofessional behavior. Alderman Ken Tutaj said he will run in a recall effort.

California: Calaveras County Supervisors hit with recall effort over pot ban

Supervisors Dennis Mills and Gary Tofanelli are facing recall efforts over their support for a cannabis ban, which passed by a 3-2 vote (the third vote was Clyde Clapp, who won his seat in a 2016 recall against Supervisor Steve Kearney). Supervisor Jack Garamendi is facing a recall effort over his support for the cannabis industry.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Nevada: Las Vegas City Councilman pleads guilty, resigns in face of recall effort

Councilman Ricki Barlow plead guilty to misusing campaign funds and resigned his seat. Barlow was facing a newly launched recall effort before his resignation.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

New Jersey: Mahwah Mayor facing new recall effort

Mayor Willaim Laforet is facing another recall effort following his opposition to an ordinance which bans non-New Jersey residents from using township parks, as well as an anti-Eruv ordinance. The law is allegedly aimed at Orthodox Jews from Rockland County in NY.  The state has filed civil rights suits against the town, and the Town Council effectively rescinded the ordinance.

Petitioners need 4150 signatures to get on the ballot.

California: Hanford Councilman recall set for January 23

Councilman Francisco Rodriguez is up for a vote this week

Oregon: Port of Brookings Commissioners facing recall effort

Commissioners Angi Christian, Jan Barbas, Roger Thompson and Andy Martin are facing recall efforts over the firing of the Port Manager. Roy Davis, the last commissioner, is supporting the recall. Petitioners require 856 signatures by April 16.

Michigan: Branch County Prosecutor facing recall effort

Prosecutor Ralph Kimble is facing a recall effort over a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him in October, as well as investigations into his conduct by the state Police and the Attorney General.

Petitioners need 2858 signatures to get on the ballot.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Massachusetts: Stoughton Board Member kicked out in December recall running in next race

Former Selectman Peter Brown, who was ousted in a December recall, is now looking to run in an April town election.

Michigan: Albion Mayoral recall abandoned

The effort to recall Mayor Garrett Brown has been dropped by the petitioner.

Colorado River Indian Tribe Chairman and Council facing recall effort

Tribal Chairman Dennis Patch and the rest of the tribal council are facing recall efforts over a plan to lease the Tribes' Colorado River water allotment. Petitioners need 300 signatures by February 2.

Colorado: Rockvale Mayor kicked out in recall; City Council resigns before recall vote

Mayor Dan Schlaak was kicked out in a recall 93-10, with Dave Barnes replacing him. The issues firing the town clerk, claims of misuse of funds from "Mudfest" and violation of the Sunshine Law.

Trustees Jaylene Lee, Garth Leonard and Linda Grueschow all resigned in the face of a recall. The replacements haven't been chosen yet.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Nevada: Las Vegas Councilman facing recall effort

Councilman Ricki Barlow is facing a recall effort following reports that the FBI is investigation kickbacks to his campaign fund. Petitioners would need at least 1132 signatures.

California: Yosemite Unified School District Board facing recall group

Here -- though the group seems to be just studying the situation

Michigan: Whitehall Councilwoman looking to be have city pay legal fees related to recall effort

Councilwoman Ellie Dennis is facing a recall effort over alleged violations of the Open Meetings Act from a secret vote that resulted in her gaining the Mayor Pro Tem role.

North Dakota: Washburn City Commission President survives recall

City Commission President Larry Thomas survived a recall vote 190-157 over Derek Laning. The issue was claims of an open meeting law violation and a hostile work environment.

California: Moreno Valley Councilwoman tossed out in 2014 recall facing new recall effort

Councilwoman Victoria Baca, who was removed in a 2014 recall but came back to beat her replacement LaDonna Jempson in 2016, is facing another recall effort. Baca's 2014 recall surrounded a political corruption investigation that results in a Councilman pleading guilty.

The latest recall is about campaign donations that Baca received from a developer that she worked for as a consultant.

Quechan Indian Tribe: Two members survive vote

Councilwoman Marsha Hill and Mark William White both survived votes. There were enough votes to meet the minimum threshold.

Alaska: Unalaska recall set for March 6

Mayor Frank Kelty is facing a March 6 vote over the land use agreement for the Unalaska Marine Center.

Michigan: Algonac Mayor petitions finally approved Election Commission

Petitions against Mayor Eileen Tesch were approved by the Election Commission on the second try. The issue appears to be a move to have signatures gatherers against two other councilmembers removed from a meeting. Those two councilmembers, Irene Bird and Joe Nugent, resigned before a November vote.

Petitioners need about 350 signatures.

California: Orange County DA seizes failed petitions against Newport Beach City Councilman over fraud claims

The D.A. is now checking the petitions that were turned in against Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter. The issue seems to be around a third party circulator. Petitioners just missed getting the recall against Peotter on the ballot -- handing in 10696, with 2357 withdrawn or thrown out.

Update: There may have been some violation of local rules.

Michigan: Garden and Fairbanks Township officials facing petitions

Garden Township Supervisor Morgan Tatrow, Fairbanks Township Supervisor Ron Collins, Clerk Kathryn Denholm and Trustee James Dalgord are facing recall threats over a violation of conflict of interest laws. Petitions are first facing a clarity hearing.

Oregon: Huntington Council recall set for January 23

Mayor Candy Howland and Councilors Richard Cummings, John McLean and Cindy Deck are facing a January 23 recall vote over claims of public records violations, allowing "unbonded persons to handle city funds" and hostule work environment.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

California: Petitioners hand in 95,000 signatures against Santa Clara Judge Aaron Persky; Likely to be first recall of a judge since 1982

Petitioners have apparently handed in over 95,000 signatures for the recall of Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky over his sentencing of a Stanford University swimmer to a six month jail term for rape (many outlets are claiming it is 100,000 signatures).

Petitioners need 58,634 valid signatures to get the recall on the ballot. Based on past experience in California, where we frequently see around a 15% failure rate for the raw signatures, they should easily meet this burden, and we probably can expect a recall this Spring (I imagine there would be a good chance it would be on the June 5 ballot). The recall petitioners have reportedly raised more than $700,000.

There will still be suits in the case, as Persky is claiming that the California's Secretary of State should be the one to examine the signatures.

This would be the first recall of judge to get on the ballot in the country since Wisconsin in 1982 against William Reinecke (he survived the vote). The last successful one was in 1977 (also in Wisconsin against Archie Simonson). Both of those were also directly related to sexual assault issues. Those two judges made disparaging comments about victims from the bench.

 In 2016, there was a recall against a Wheeler County Judge, though that seemed to really be an executive position more than a judicial one. Nevada had an attempted recall of judge in 2015 that was thrown out and declared unconstitutional by the Nevada Supreme Court in 2017.

The last recalls of a Judge in California took place in 1932 against Los Angeles Superior Court Judges John L. Fleming, Dailey S. Stafford and Walter Guerin. All three were removed. There were only a few before then, notably one in 1913 that was over similar leniency in sex crimes. (Leniency in sex crimes is a common factor in many threatened recalls of judges -- here's one in Orange County and another in Montana).

 Note that there are many retention elections that are incorrectly described as recalls -- most notably California Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Bird, Cruz Reynoso and Joseph Grodin in 1986 and three Supreme Court members in Iowa.

Using the recall against a judge has always been controversial. California's recall law almost floundered over this issue back in 1911 – a late-breaking state Supreme Court scandal proved decisive. On the national level, President William Howard Taft vetoed the Arizona constitution over a recall of judges’ provision and the recall of judges was one of the key flash points in the Taft- Theodore Roosevelt split in 1912.

 Addendum on the term judicial recall/recall of judges:

Also, just to define our terms: I call this subject the recall of a judge, rather than judicial recall. In the history and the literature the term Judicial Recall refers to something totally different (what I call the malfeasance standard or for cause recalls). A judicial recall occurs in states and jurisdictions where a judge is required to rule on whether a recall meets a specific standard to get on the ballot. Essentially, the official has to have violated the law or shown demonstrable incompetence for the recall to be placed on the ballot. It has nothing to do with removing judges. I keep this divide up so as not to confuse people who may be conversant or studying the literature.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Massachusetts: Two Stoughton Selectmen tossed in December recall claim Open Meeting Act violations


South Dakota: Trent councilmember resigns following petition filing

Board President Bob Dickey resigned for the council over claims that he took unethical and illegal actions. Petitioners collected 38 signatures. Dickey has served in the position on and off for 40 years.

Michigan: Williamston School Board facing recall of vote on transgender/gender non-conforming policy

Board of Education members Greg Talberg, Christopher Lewis, Sarah Belanger and Nancy Deal are facing petitions (which were approved on the fourth try) over their votes for a policy customizing support for each student's equal access.  The board's vote to allow separate locker space was not listed on the petition.

Petitioners need 1145 signatures to get on the ballot.

California: Everything you need to know about the State Senate recall


Oregon: Eugene voters looking to allow for recall of City Auditor in May ballot proposition

Update: The ballot measures calling for an elected auditor failed.

Michigan: Hayes Township Commission facing recall threats

Hayes Township Clerk Marlene Golovich, Treasurer Robbin Kraft and Trustee Paul Hoadley are facing a recall due to their support for a boat launch and fishing pier plan. The language met the factual/clarity requirements.

Petitioners need 222 signatures to get on the ballot.

Monday, January 8, 2018

California: State Senator Newman recall set for June 5

The State Senator Josh Newman recall, which is either over the gas tax or an attempt by Republicans to deprive Democrats of a 2/3rds majority in the Senate was approved for the ballot.

California: Lake Forest Councilman loses recall vote

Councilman Andrew Hamilton was kicked out in the January 2 recall vote, losing with 72% against. Tom Cagley was elected to replace him. The issue appeared to be support for road projects.

Texas: Two San Antonio Councilmembers facing recall threats over removal of Confederate soldier statute

Councilmember Roberto Trevino and William Cruz Shaw are facing recall threats over their support to move a confederate soldier statute from the park as well as moving a tree-lighting ceremony from one park to another.

California: Rancho Santa Fe School Board member removed on December 15; Special Election scheduled for April 24

Board member Jon Yonemitsu was removed in a December 15 vote, less than two months after he was appointed to the seat. The handing in of a petition (with 65 signatures) was all that was all that was needed for removal (due to his appointed nature).

Washington: Black Diamond Councilwoman recall set for February 13

Following a Supreme Court decision that caused the original petitions against Councilwoman Pat Pepper to be tossed out, petitioners handed in 496 signatures, enough to get on the ballot. The election is set for February 13.

Maryland: Bowie Council recall certified

The successful recall of Councilmember Diane Polangin was finally certified, though Polangin can run in the upcoming replacement race.

California: St. Helena Mayoral recall ends

Mayor Alan Galbraith has agreed to hold town hall public forums in order to end a recall threat. Petitioners needed 835 signatures.

California: Victor Valley College Trustee facing recall effort

Trustee Joseph W. Brady is facing a recall effort after an ethics investigation over racial comments he made about President Barack Obama in 2016. Petitioners would need about 17,000 signatures to get a recall on the ballot.

Nebraska: Signatures verified in recall of Elmwood Village Board Chairwoman

83 signatures were verified in the recall of Board Chairwoman Pat Wray. Petitioner needed 77. Three of five members of the board resigned in the fall, siting Wray's actions as rude, unethical and illegal.

Michigan: Failed Council candidate threatens Ferrysburg recall

Ivy Barnes, who lost in a November election and then wasn't chosen for a vacant council seat, is threatening a recall effort against Mayor Rebecca Hopp and Councilwoman Kathleen Kennedy. Barnes came in second in the council seat race (the winner resigned the seat after one meeting; the third place candidate was selected -- the difference between first and third was 6 votes). Petitioner would need 316 valids.

California: Oxnard recall moves forward

Enough signatures were handed in to get recalls on the ballot against Mayor Tim Flynn and council members Carmen Ramirez, Bert Perello and Oscar Madrigal. Petitioners needed about 12,000 per (which equals 48,000) The recall is over a 5% raise in wastewater rates.

California: Three Dublin officials facing recall petitions

Vice Mayor Don Biddle, Councilman Abe Gupta and School Trustee Dan Cunningham are all facing recall threats. Biddle is set to be termed out, though there was discussion of modifying the term limits rule. The recalls appear to be over various votes on development issues.

Alaska: Petitioners hand in enough signatures for Unalaska recall

The recall against Mayor Frank Kelty over a land-use agreement with the Marine Center is moving to a vote. Petitioners originally failed to gain the full 168 valid signatures, but then were able to add 17 to get it on the ballot. The vote will be between February 23 and March 26.

UK: MPs may be subject to recall over sexual harassment claims


Michigan: Judge rejects move by Kalkaska Village President to kill recall


California: Editorial opposes Oxnard recall