Sunday, September 15, 2019

Mashpee Wampanoag Recall canceled just days before recall vote

The recall of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell and Treasurer Gordon Harris were canceled just days before the scheduled vote on September 15. The council members previously tried to expel three other council members from the governing board. There has been significant debate over spending for a proposed $1 billion casino-resort

Friday, September 13, 2019

California: Former Santa Clara Judge fired from job coaching tennis

Former Santa Clara Judge Aaron Persky, who was removed in the first recall/removal of a judge in the US since 1977, was fired from his job as a girls' high school tennis coach. Persky was targeted over his sentencing of Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to a six month jail term for sexual assault.

Michigan: Midland Councilman petitions rejected on clarity grounds by Election Commission

Nine-term Midland City Councilman Marty Wazbinski is now facing petitions, after being rejected three tomes by the Election Commision over clarity issues. The recall was launched over his support for a "road diet" plan. Petitioners would need 1072 signatures to get on the ballot.

California: Redondo Beach Councilman facing recall threats

Redondo Beach Councilman John Gran is facing a recall effort after switching his vote to cast one against a study to explore using the LA County Fire Department. Petitioners would need 2344 signatures to get on the ballot.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Colorado: State Senator Proposes changes to recall act

Colorado State Senator Jack Tate (R) has introduced a bill to change the recall act. Note it has a provision similar to Michigan's factual standard and an interesting provision restricting recall petitions against state legislators when the assembly is in session. Here's the key provisions -- Tate notes that the recall was adopted in 1912, though I'm unclear if and when the state moved away from a malfeasance standard.

The Colorado Valuing Open, Truthful, and Ethical Recalls (Colorado VOTER) Act includes:

  • Keeping taxpayer-funded ballot language factual. The law would explicitly state that petition recall statements ("statement of grounds") may not contain unlawful or defamatory language and are limited to statements of verifiable fact.
  • Protecting citizens’ right to representation when a state legislator is subjected to a recall effort. The Colorado VOTER Act restricts the filing or circulation of a recall petition of a state officer during the 120 days when the General Assembly is in session, reducing the amount of disruption a recall can cause when lawmakers are at the Capitol.
  • Full disclosure on the cost of recalls so that electors can make informed decisions. The measure requires the recall petition to include a disclosure of the estimated taxpayer cost to administer the petition campaign and a recall election, if the petition campaign is successful  

Tennessee: Signatures handed in against Jackson-Madison School Board Member

The recall against Jackson-Madison County School Board member Doris Black has not yet cleared the signature hurdle. Pettioners handed in 1189 signatures and they need 1151 (66% of the her vote total from the last election). 967 were found to be valid. Petitioners have until September 23 to get enough signatures.

The recall effort seemed to be over her opposition to the Superintendent's 10-year plan, though there is now a different list of complaints.

 In addition to Black, Chairman Kevin Alexander and Janice Hampton were both facing recall efforts.

The recall is taking place just after Governor signed a law allowing recalls in the Madison County Board of Education members. There is no replacement race if Black is removed. It would be an appointment to fill the slot.

California: Gubernatorial recall efforts start

Here

Texas: Kyle Mayor and City Council members facing recall efforts

Kyle Mayor Travis Mitchell and City Council Member Rick Koch are facing recall efforts, with a push for a vote on an rfp for a municipal complex among other issues. Petitioners would need 3403 signatures to get on the ballot. There was last a recall attempt in 2003 against former Mayor James Adkins.

Colorado: Two State Senate Recall fails

The attempts to recall Colorado Senators Pete Lee (D) and Brittany Pettersen (D) failed with no signatures handed in. Only one recall effort, against Senate President Leroy Garcia, is still outstanding.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Alaska: Longtime Columnist looks at the legal issues of past Alaska recall attempts

Longtime Alaska State Government reporter Dermot Cole has a great examination of the previous recall rejections and provides some thoughts as to why the Governor Mike Dunleavy recall may be different.

I'm really not sure how the courts may rule (Alaska's recall law seems to be a one of a kind), so it's great to have some people with experience provide a road-map to what has happened and what they think will happen.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Oregon: Petitions filed against Democratic House Representative

State Representative Tiffiny Mitchell (D) is the latest Democratic legislator to face a recall effort, which seems to be lead by a group called "Timber Unity." Petitioners claim they have no role in the Governor Kate Brown (D) recall attempt, though they support the effort.

Petitioners would need 4883 signatures in 90 days. If Mitchell would be recalled, there is no replacement race. Commissioners in the four counties they represent would be required to choose a Democrat as a replacement.

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayor, who lost a recall vote but won replacement race, now facing another indictment over bribery/extortion charges with marijuana vendors to remain in office

Fall River Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II (D), who lost a recall vote in March yet won his seat in the five candidate replacement race, is once again under indictment, though this time on bribery and extortion charges over his dealings with marijuana vendors.

Correia faced the recall after being indicted for stealing from investors and tax fraud. He lost the recall run overwhelmingly, 7829-4911. However, Massachusetts allows a candidate facing a recall to run in the replacement race (not that uncommon a provision). In this case, Correia was one of five candidates. He came in first with about 35% of the vote, beating out City Councilor Joseph Camara, School Committee member Paul Coogan, School administrator Kyle Riley and Erica Scott-Pacheco.

Can Correia face another recall? Looking at the recall provision he can, though not until 270 days after his last one. The Fall River recall provision does not contain a "double jeopardy" clause (preventing two recalls in one term). However, even if if it did, I suspect that would be inoperative. Correia is on a second term -- this term would probably be seen as a separate one from the one he was recalled from. 

Idaho: Ammon water rates lead to threats of recall efforts

High water rates have led to a petition in Ammon calling for lower bills, with threats being made for a recall against Mayor Sean Coletti and city council members.

Georgia: Signatures handed in against Hoschton Mayor, Councilman over racist comments/behavior

Petitioners handed in 270 signatures for the recall of Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Councilman Jim Cleveland after the revelation that Kenerly allegedly withheld consideration of a city administrator candidate because he was black. In an interview, Cleveland discussed his opposition to interracial marriage due to his "Christian beliefs."

Petitioners need to get 96 valids to pass the first stage of the recall effort.

Oregon: Metolius Mayor recall on the ballot for October 8

Metolius Mayor John Chavez is facing a recall vote over allegations that he concealed his criminal record, including an assault case from fighting with his brother and a DUII in March. Petitioners handed in 45 signatures, they needed 43. The recall is an all-mail ballot, with ballots due by October 8.

The leader of the recall is former City Councilor Tryna Muilenburg, who lost the 2018 race to Chavez by one vote.

Arizona: Petitioners claim to have enough signatures for Payson Mayor recall

Petitioners claim to have enough signatures to get a recall against Payson Mayor Tom Morrissey on the ballot, claiming that they have 974 signatures -- they need 770.

Therer are also recall attempts against Councilmembers Suzy Tubbs-Avakian, Janell Sterner and Jim Ferris over their votes to  fire a town manager and spend and transparency issues.

Opponents of the recall are claiming that the non-recall facing councilmembers "voted against God, out taxpayers at risk in supporting a $43 million prep school project and are trying to bring Chinese and Canadian immigrant students to town to claim taxpayer-funded benefits." Morrisey has said he has nothing to do with the flyer.

In addition, Councilman Steve Smith is now facing petitions over claims that he causes discord at meetings.

Smith was appointed to the seat in a controversial move -- the appointment in between the election for the rest of the council and their inauguration, so there was debate over who should have made the appointment. Smith has since opposed Morrissey and other council members, including filing open meeting violations claims.

Petitioners need 1638 signatures to get the other three recalls on the ballot. Petitioners claim they have over 900 signatures for Ferris, Sterner and Tubbs-Avakian.

Tennessee: Signatures handed in against Jackson-Madison School Board Member

Petitioners have handed in 1189 signatures to force a recall of Jackson-Madison County School Board member Doris Black. They need 1151 (66% of the her vote total from the last election) -- they are still collecting signatures for a cushion. The recall effort seemed to be over her opposition to the Superintendent's 10-year plan, though there is now a different list of complaints.

 In addition to Black, Chairman Kevin Alexander and Janice Hampton were both facing recall efforts.

The recall is taking place just after Governor signed a law allowing recalls in the Madison County Board of Education members. There is no replacement race if Black is removed. It would be an appointment to fill the slot.


Colorado: Recall attempt against Governor Jared Polis fails to turn in signatures by deadline

The recall attempt against Governor Jared Polis (D) has failed, with petitioners not turning in any signatures by the due date. Petitioners needed 631,226 and claimed to have 300,000, but as they won't have anyone check it, it is impossible to say how many they actually collected. The issues cited were his support for the National Popular Vote law, gun control legislation and the oil and gas law.

The leaders of the recall attempt have claimed that the recall was not an attempt for data mining purposes.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Arizona: Graham County Clerk of the Superior Court facing petitions

Graham County Clerk of the Superior Court Cindy Woodman (R) is facing petitions over complaints about her tenure, including high turnover, lack of knowledge and a court ruling that she was "derelict in her duties" due to evidence mishandling. Petitioners need 2698 signatures by January 1.

Rhode Island: Tiverton Council President sues to stop recall vote over notification issue

Tiverton Council President Robert Coulter is suing to stop the recall against him and Vice President Justin Katz over complaints about an executive session at meetings. Coulter is claiming that he wasn't properly notified.

The council approved a vote for October 10. The lead petitioner, William McLaughlin, lost as a council candidate in November.

Petitioner got 625 signatures for Katz (they needed 587) and 553 for Coulter (needed 505).

The town has an absentee veto provision. The turnout has to exceed the amount of votes each got in the last election for the recall to count (though unlike Idaho, the amount voting yes does not have to top the previous election's numbers).

Update: Coulter's suit was rejected.

Texas: City Clerk quashes Mineral Wells Mayor recall date

Petitioners have announced that they are ending the recall effort against Mayor Christopher Perricone after the city clerk said that they are too late to make the November 5 ballot. The recall would have to wait until May to get to the voters. Petitioners needed 1828 signatures by Friday to make the ballot, which they didn't have.

Alaska: Petitioners hand in 49,006 signatures for Governor recall

Petitioners handed in over 49,006 signatures to get over the hump of the first stage of the recall effort against Governor Mike Dunleavy. This is over 20,000 signatures than needed. However, now the challenges begin:

In Alaska’s case, petitioners must first gather verified signatures amounting to 10% of the turnout in the previous election (28,501), and then have the director of the Division of Elections-- headed by the same Lieutenant Governor who would become governor if Dunleavy is removed -- agree that the reasons stated in the petition meets the cause requirements in Alaska’s law. If the director approves this, petitioners must then gather signatures amounting to 25% of turnout (71,252 signatures). In the past, the division has rejected recalls against a governor, two state senators and one assembly representative due to a failure to state a valid cause of action.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Nebraska: Broken Bow Mayor facing petitions

Broken Bow Mayor Johnathan Berghost is facing petitions over claims of a hostile work environment, operating with out council approval and allegedly threatening police officers. Petitioners need 410 valid signatures.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Arizona: Recall effort targets fifth Payson elected official

Payson  Councilman Steve Smith is now facing petitions over claims that he causes discord at meetings. Smith's recall joins the ones against Mayor Tom Morrissey and Councilmembers Suzy Tubbs-Avakian, Janell Sterner and Jim Ferris over their votes to  fire a town manager and spend and transparency issues.

Smith was appointed to the seat in a controversial move -- the appointment in between the election for the rest of the council and their inauguration, so there was debate over who should have made the appointment. Smith has since opposed Morrissey and other council members, including filing open meeting violations claims. 

Petitioners need 1638 signatures to get a recall on the ballot.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Florida: Publisher calls for Miami Commissioner recall

The publisher of a Miami Community Newspapers is calling for the recall of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo over cclaims that he is conducting a revenge campaign against his opponents. Carollo is the former City Manager of the City of Doral and the publisher claims that Carollo had previously called any opponents part of a "secret Communist cabal."

Petitioners would need 1580 signatures in 30 days and then 4738 signatures in 60 days.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Alaska: Thoughts on the Unique Challenges of the Alaska Gubernatorial recall

I wrote the following op-ed on the effort to recall Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) after his line item vetoes. I want to expand on those thoughts here.

While there have been five other governors who have been threatened with a recall, the Alaska recall effort stands out.

1) Dunleavy is the only Republican facing a recall effort -- the other five are Democrats.

2) The recall drive is significantly less partisan -- numerous Republicans are involved in the petition effort. The others recall efforts appear to be explicitly partisan to the degree that the state party chairs are publicly involved.

3) Unlike the other states, due to Alaska law, if Dunleavy is removed, he will automatically be replaced by a Republican, his Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer. Oregon has some questions in this area, but the the leaders of the other five recall efforts clearly believe that they will flip the State Executive with a successful recall.

4) Alaska is the only "malfeasance standard" state to have a recall effort, which means that the courts could throw the recall out.

The first three points speak for themselves. But the fourth one is arguably the most important.

Nineteen states allow for a recall of a governor. But there is a big division in what is needed to get a recall on the ballot. In 11 states, including the five mentioned above, there is a political recall law. Under these laws, officials can face a recall for almost any reason. Causes of action, such as alleging actual criminal behavior or incompetence, is not required at all for the recall to move forward.

Alaska has what I call the malfeasance or judicial recall (not to be confused with a recall of a judge) standard, requires that the petitioner show a violation of a law, lack of fitness or some manifest incompetence. These laws vary greatly from state to state. In Illinois, only the governor is covered by recall, and in Virginia, there is no election but rather a judicial hearing. But all of these malfeasance standard states require an agency or the courts to hold that a specific, statutorily delineated bad act was performed by the elected official.

The difference is clear. There have been six state-wide recalls in US history, all in political states. There have been 39 state legislative recalls. Only one (in Washington in 1981) was in a malfeasance standard state.

In Alaska, the malfeasance standard appears to operate quite a bit differently than other states, in such a way that it is almost a hybrid version that may allow political recalls at will.

In Alaska’s case, petitioners must first gather verified signatures amounting to 10% of the turnout in the previous election (28,501), and then have the director of the Division of Elections-- headed by the same Lieutenant Governor who would become governor if Dunleavy is removed -- agree that the reasons stated in the petition meets the cause requirements in Alaska’s law. If the director approves this, petitioners must then gather signatures amounting to 25% of turnout (71,252 signatures). In the past, the division has rejected recalls against a governor, two state senators and one assembly representative due to a failure to state a valid cause of action.

But at the same time, a 1984 Alaska Supreme Court ruling held that the recall law “should be liberally construed so that the people are permitted to vote and express their will” - at least on the local level. In 2017, a Superior Court judge used this decision to allow a recall to move forward against three Homer City Council members over their support for protesters against the Dakota pipeline. The judge noted that the Alaska Supreme Court has previously held that the recall In the end, the Homer recall took place, though all the officials survived the vote. The Homer recall is not the only one to take place in recent years. This liberal construction of the recall has led to at least 27 recalls making the ballot since 2011, including the mayor of Whittier and a city councilman in Sarah Palin’s hometown of Wasilla.

What does this mean? One, as always as usual, we are ending up in the courts before this move forward. Two, the petitioners clearly think they have a good chance of success. But plenty of others have thought that in the past. Will the Alaska Supreme Court accept this liberal approach to recall law and allow it to go forward, or will they dial this effort back? It seems like we are about to find out.

Michigan: House calls for resignation of State Representative indicted over bribery and extortion charges

The move to push out Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R) after a grand jury charged him with attempted extortion, bribery and lying to the FBI continues, with the House voting 98-8 to call for his resignation. Inman is accused of trying to get a bribe from a union group for a vote to repeal the state's prevailing wage law.

Petitions are being collected and would need 12201 signatures to get on the ballot.

Maine: Four Mechanic Falls Councilors up for a vote on September 24

A recall against Mechanic Falls Council Chair Cathy Fifield (242), Vice Chair Wayne Hackett (248) and Councilors Nicholas Konstantoulakis (231) and John Emery (224) is set for September 24. The issue was a 4-1 vote to dismiss Town Manager Zakk Maher in what is alleged to be a violation of the Open Meeting Act.

Petitioners needed at least 192 signatures in 30 days (15% of gubernatorial turnout). There is a "absentee veto" provision, where the total votes in the recall must be at least 30% of the those cast in the 2018 gubernatorial election -- that is 384.

California: Signature gathering advances in Foster City Vice Mayor recall effort

Petitioners claim to have over 2500 signatures to get the recall of Foster City Vice Mayor Herb Perez  on the ballot over complaints about his conduct and "pro development agenda." Perez claims the issue is housing.  Petitioners 3313 signatures.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Articles on Gubernatorial Recall efforts

Lots going on with Gubernatorial recalls:

1) Here's 538 on the gubernatorial recall efforts

2) A look at the Oregon Governor Recall

3) Republicans in Oregon are claiming that they are on track to get enough signatures against Governor Kate Brown

4) One of the groups raising funds for the Colorado Governor Jared Polis recall has spent a good portion of its raised funds to Colorado for Trump.

Michigan: Two more Flint Council member petitions approved

The recall effort against Councilwoman Kate Fields, after officials threw out a majority of the signatures turned in. Petitioners handed in 825 signatures and needed 556. But only 332 were found valid.

There is still petitions out against Councilmembers Santino Guerra, Allan Griggs and Monica Galloway.

Guerra and Fields were facing a petition over a vote to extend a $12 million waste removal contract. Galloway is facing the petition over being absent for a vote to enter into a $5.6 million contract with a construction company.

Fields claims that Mayor Karen Weaver, Councilmember Eric Mays  and Community Liaison for Economic Development Aonie Gilcreast are behind the recall effort. Mays has acknowledged this.


Maine: Ogunquit Selectman who survived recall vote resigns office

Ogunquit Selectman Charles Waite III resigned from office after surviving a recall vote in May.  Waite  was one of three recall survivors, winning the race 386-358. The resignation was over a private matter.

Arizona: Signature gathering ongoing against Payson Mayor and Three Council members

Payson Mayor Tom Morrissey and Councilmembers Suzy Tubbs-Avakian, Janell Sterner and Jim Ferris are facing a recall effort over the firing of a town manager and spending and transparency issues.

Petitioners, including former Payson Mayor Kenny Evans and Councilor and Town Manager Fred Carpenter, have set a deadline on August 30 (so that they are on the November ballot). They need 770 for the mayor and 1653 for each council member.

Colorado: Petitions taken out against Elizabeth Mayor and Trustees

Elizabeth Mayor Megan Vasquez and Trustees Angela Ternus, Rachel White, June Jurczewsky, Steve Gaither, Loren Einspahr, Tammy Payne are facing a recall effort over development issues, with petitioners claiming that the town has more demands on services. Petitioners need 53 signatures for Vasquez and between 33-36 for the others.

California: Westminster Mayor and City Council facing recall efforts

Westminster Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmembers Kimberly Ho, Chi Charlie Nguyen, Tai Do and Sergio Contreras are also facing recall petitions over a council fight allegations of corruption and grandstanding. Ta, Ho and Nguyen are aligned on one side, while Do and Contreras are on the other.

Westminster has had difficulty retaining personnel, with 10 managers in 14 years and 5 police chiefs in 8.

Wisconsin: Vernon Supervisor Ousted in a recall

Vernon Town Supervisor Ed Moline was kicked out in a recall vote, finishing fourth with 49 votes. Former Town Chairman Fred Michalek won the race with almost 83% of the vote, 797-70-50-49.

The recall was over Moline's support for a boundary agreement between Vernon and Mukwonago. The petition specifically cited his approval of three newsletters that "favorably discussed" the agreement. Residents overwhelmingly opposed the agreement in a nonbinding referendum, 816-90. Town Chairman Carl Fortner also served as a recall petitioner.

Idaho: Three Middleton School Board members survive recall vote; One survives by absentee veto provision

Middleton School Board Members Tim Winkle, Marianne Blackwell and Alicia McConkie survived a special election recall vote on August 27. The vote for Winkle was 145-151 and Blackwell was 103-108.

The vote against McConkie was quite different. 115 voted to remove, and only 93 voted for her to remain in office. However, she survived the recall due to an "absentee veto" provision in Idaho law. 55% of voters cast ballots to remove McConkie. However, the vote to remove must exceed the amount of votes the candidate received when they won the office in the last election. This time the removal vote was 115. She got 120 last election.

Turnout was 11 percent.

The recall was over a vote not to renew the High School principal's contact. The principal has accused school administrators of harassing him. A fourth member, Kirk Adams, is facing threats, but due to his recent election, is not eligible for a recall until the November election.

Kenya: MP facing recall threat over alleged drunk appearance

MP Kuria Kimani is facing a recall threat after allegedly appearing drunk at a public meeting which was set up to discuss how to battle the sale of illicit drinks. Petitioners must get 30% of registered voters signatures, plus 15% in every ward. They also cannot launch a recall in the 24 months after an election and the one year prior to an election.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Washington: Clark County GOP Chair facing recall threats

Clark County GOP Republican Chair Earl Bowerman is facing a recall effort over claims of party finance problems, broken rules and other issues. Bowerman lost a GOP Primary last year to Congressman Jaime Herrera Beutler.

Party Vice Chair Brook Pell was also targeted over claims that she bashed Republicans and did not attend board meetings, but Pell has since resigned.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

California: Amador County School Board effort fails

Recall efforts against Board President Susan Ross and members Kandi Thompson and Janet White failed after petitioners handed in signatures but did not get enough. No signatures were handed in against Deborah Pulskamp.

Nebraska: Two Antelope Commissioners up for special election recall vote on October 15

Antelope Commissioners Tom Borer and Allan Bentley will be facing a recall vote on October 15 on the ballot. The meeting to schedule the vote was contentious, with Borer objecting to the date. The recall is over claims of mismanagement of funds. Petitioners needed 203 signatures for Borer and 135 signatures for Bentley (35% of turnout).

California: Three Lakeport School Board members facing recall effort

Lakeport school board members Dan Buffalo, Carly Alvord and Jennifer Hanson are facing recall threats over claims of harassment and the decision to fire the Superintendent, who removed a principal. So far, the first two petitions have been rejected, once for being too long and the other for not having all the required information.

Petitioners would need 1490 signatures (25% of registered voters) to get on the ballot.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Nebraska: Geneva Mayor facing recall effort

Geneva Mayor Eric Kamler facing recall effort over non-specific claims of irresponsible behavior, though Kamler claims that the recall is over his age (he is 28). Petitioners need 332 signatures by September 16.

Idaho: Three Middleton School Board members facing August 27 recall vote

The recall against Middleton School Board Members Tim Winkle, Marianne Blackwell and Alicia McConkie will be on the ballot in a special election on August 27.

The recall is over a vote not to renew the High School principal's contact. The principal has accused school administrators of harassing him. A fourth member, Kirk Adams, is facing threats, but due to his recent election, is not eligible for a recall until the November election. For the recall to succeed, the vote to remove must exceed the amount of votes the candidate received when they won the office in the last election.

North Dakota: Morton Township Supervisor and Clerk/Treasurer survived recall vote

Morton Township Supervisor Daymon Mill (30-26) and Clerk/Treasurer Mary Malard (29-27) survived recall votes on Tuesday. The recall's were their vote in favor of a wind farm. There have been other recalls in Michigan over wind farm votes.

There is a separate challenge her, as it is unclear how to have a recall of a township official. The Township elections take place in a township meeting and there is no early voting or absentee ballots.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Alaska: Governor rolls back most of spending cuts; still facing recall effort

Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) is still facing a recall effort after he signed a budget which got rid of many of his spending cuts aimed at the University of Alaska. Dunleavy refused to restore funding to a health program.

Colorado: Estes Park Mayor Pro Tem kicked out in recall vote

Mayor Pro Tem Cody Walker was kicked out in a special election recall vote on Tuesday, losing 1298-882. Eric Blackhurst, a former Trustee, won the replacement race with 1133 votes.

The issue was a change in the code in 2017 to allow commercial activity in a downtown park, which "inadvertently allowed commercial ventures almost anywhere in town or in the Estes Valley."

California: Simi Valley City Council member facing petitions over allegedly false statement of ICE raid

Simi Valley City Council member Ruth Luevanos is facing a recall effort and a censure vote after she claimed that there was a federal ICE agents raid at a supermarket.

North Dakota: Morton Township Supervisor and Clerk/Treasurer facing petitions over windfarm issue

Morton Township Supervisor Daymon Mill and Clerk/Treasurer Mary Malard are facing petitions over a kitchen sink of complaints, but the main one was a vote in favor of a wind farm. There have been other recalls in Michigan over wind farm votes.

There is a separate challenge her, as it is unclear how to have a recall of a township official. The Township elections take place in a township meeting and there is no early voting or absentee ballots.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

California: Buena Park City Councilwoman facing petitions over sign stealing

Buena Park City Councilwoman Youngsun "Sunny" Park (D) is facing petitions after being charged with allegedly stealing campaign signs that attacked her. Park beat Virginia Vaughn (R), the incumbent mayor, by 16 votes -- 1560-1544.

Petitioners need somewhere in the order of 1875 signatures by October 9 to get on the ballot.

Colorado: Petitions approved against State Senate President

State Senate President Leroy Garcia is now facing petitions, which were just approved by the Secretary of State.

Arizona: Four Payson council members face petitions

Payson Mayor Tom Morrisey, Vice Mayor Janell Sterner and Councilors Jim Ferris and Suzy Tubbs-Avakian are facing petitions over the 4-3 vote to fire the Town Manager (and other complaints). Petitioners need 770 signatures for the mayor and 1653 for the other council members -- the discrepancy is not clear from the article, but it must be due to turnout of some sort.

One of the lead petitioners is Stan Garner, who is the widow of former Councilor Su Connell.  

Maine: Signatures handed in against Four Mechanic Falls Councilors over Town Manager firing

Signatures have been handed in for Mechanic Falls Council Chair Cathy Fifield (242), Vice Chair Wayne Hackett (248) and Councilors Nicholas Konstantoulakis (231) and John Emery (224) over the recent 4-1 vote to dismiss Town Manager Zakk Maher in what is alleged to be a violation of the Open Meeting Act.

Petitioners need at least 192 signatures in 30 days (15% of gubernatorial turnout). There is a "absentee veto" provision, where the total votes in the recall must be at least 30% of the those cast in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Alaska: Petitioners claim over 29,000 signatures collected against Governor

Petitioners claim to have gathered 29,577 signatures for the recall of Governor Mike Dunleavy (R), which is more than the 28501 needed to move pass the first stage of the recall. Of course, they will almost certainly need a larger cushion to top the verification process.

Petitioners need to first get the 28,501 signatures before the Division of Elections will consider if they meet the petitions meet the state's malfeasance standards. Then they would need an additional 71,252 signatures to get to the ballot.

Alaska is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed (though the state courts has taken a lenient view of the the cause requirement in past instances).

North Dakota: Surrey Mayor resigns in the face of recall effort; Signatures being collected against Council President

Surrey Mayor Jason Strand has resigned in the face of a recall and Council President and Acting Mayor Karla Walsh is still recall effort over complaints of employee turnover. There has also been threats to recall Council Member Rodney Hjelden, but because his term ends within the year, he is not eligible.

Colorado: Nederland Mayor, two Trustees facing petitions

Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larson and Trustees Dallas Masters and Julie Gustafson are facing petitions over claims of "dereliction of duty." A regular town critic who is actually lives outside the town is one of the leaders of the effort. The complaints seems to be a kitchen sink effort, including complaints about Nederland's growth and lifting a moratorium on cannabis dispensaries. Petitioners need 58 signatures for Larson and 47 for the other two.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Nebraska: Plattsmouth Mayor recall effort fails

The recall against Mayor Paul Lambert failed, with petitioners handling in 200 signatures. They needed 538 in 30 days. The recall was after city workers threw out items left on or near gravestones. Petitioners are claiming that there was a lack of communication before the clean-up.

Rhode Island: Tiverton Council President, Vice President recall voted to be scheduled for October 10

Signatures were verified against Tiverton Council President Robert Coulter and Vice President Justin Katz over complaints about an executive session at meetings. The council approved a vote for October 10. The lead petitioner, William McLaughlin, lost as a council candidate in November.

Petitioner got 625 signatures for Katz (they needed 587) and 553 for Coulter (needed 505).

The town has an absentee veto provision. The turnout has to exceed the amount of votes each got in the last election for the recall to count (though unlike Idaho, the amount voting yes does not have to top the previous election's numbers).

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Newsweek Op-ed on the Recall Moves against Governors

Here's an op-ed I wrote for Newsweek on the moves against Governors throughout the country, especially the unusual fact that many of the efforts are being led by the Republican leadership in the states. I intend to write a full "state of play" post later on.

Colorado: State Supreme Court turns down effort to stop Cripple Creek-Victory School District Board Member recall; Set for November 5

The State Supreme Court has turned down a request from Cripple Creek-Victory School Board President Tim Braun to end the recall effort against him. The article describes the decision as almost "apologetic" over the delay, which has led the recall to be moved from an original target of July 16 to November 5.

Two other board members, treasurer Dennis Jones and secretary Tonya Martin resigned in the face of the recall.

The recall is over claims of violation of the open record act and possibly a suspension of the superintendent. One of the leader was a former Head Start director who lost to Jones by 30 votes in November 2017.

Nebraska: Signatures handed in against two Antelope Commissioners

Signatures were handed in to get the recalls of Antelope Commissioners Tom Borer and Allan Bentley on the ballot, though they need to be verified. The recall is over claims of mismanagement of funds. Petitioners need 203 signatures for Borer and 135 signatures for Bentley (35% of turnout) in 30 days.

Northern Arapaho Tribal Chairman facing recall efforts

Northern Arapaho Tribal Chairman Lee Spoonhunter is facing a recall effort over issues over the casino and the use of advisors and law firms.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Colorado: Brighton Mayor will face recall -- Recall to take place on Election Day

Brighton Mayor Ken Kreutzer will be on the recall ballot over the firing of the City Manager. The City Manager was allegedly fired because he uncovered $70 million in unused water money. No word yet on when the recall will take place -- it may wait until Election Day in November.

Petitioners handed in 1782 signatures, they needed 1136 signatures.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Louisiana: Jefferson Parish President who faced recall efforts won't run for reelection

Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni, who was the subject of a prominent recall effort after he was accused of sexting with a 17-year old high school student (this was back when he was Kenner's mayor), has announced he won't run for reelection.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Alaska: Petitioners claim 18,000 signatures collected against Governor after first week

Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) is the target recall effort, with petitioners claiming to have 18000 signatures after the first week.

Alaska is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed (though the state courts has taken a lenient view of the the cause requirement in past instances).

Petitioners need to first get 28,501 signatures before the Division of Elections will consider if they meet the malfeasance standards. Then they would need 71,252 signatures to get to the ballot.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

California: Second recall effort targeting Governor by former Senate candidate

A second attempt has been filed to recall Governor Gavin Newsom (D), this time by Erin Cruz, who came in sixth in the US Senate primary in 2018.  The recall effort mimics an early one set up by Dr. James Veltmeyer, who lost the Republican primary for a Congressional seat in 2018. The petitions seems to be focused on immigration issues, though there are also claims of capital punishment and the cost of the state wildfires and "medicare for all." There is also a preexisting online petition led by someone else that has 42,000 signers, of which exactly zero would count to a real petition.

Petitioners would need about 1.5 million signatures to get on the ballot.

Oregon: New debate over who would actually replace Governor in case of recall removal

Oregon is now having a debate about its gubernatorial replacement law. Bill Currier, the chairman of the State Republican Party, has filed recall papers against Governor Kate Brown (D). Another petition was also filed by a local resident, focusing on homeless issues.

What is perhaps most noteworthy is that Oregon's recall law does not provide for the immediate election of a replacement. Replacements are instead "filed immediately in the manner provided by law for filing a vacancy in that office arising from any other cause." A special election replacement race would take place on Election Day, 2020.

For Oregon, that would seem to mean that Secretary of State Beverly Clarno (R), an 83-year old former Speaker of the State House of Representatives, who was recently appointed after the death of her predecessor, would  automatically become Governor. Clarno was appointed by Brown herself.

However, Oregon law also appears to disallow the replacement by an appointed official. Under this interpretation, which is supported by Clarno, the replacement would be State Treasurer Tobias Read (D). The recall backers claim this is incorrect, though this article seems to be basing it on a tortured understanding of the use of the term "acting Secretary." Regardless, Clarno could herself resign, resulting in Read taking the position.

This no-vote provision is fairly common on the local level. However, it is relatively rare on the state level. I believe Idaho has a similar provision. State lawmakers appointed for a vacancy must be of the same party. In the wake of a 2011 state House recall and the 2012 Wisconsin recalls next door, Michigan changed its law so that the Governor  would be replaced by the next in line (i.e., the Lieutenant Governor), thereby short circuiting any recall push.

The recall was filed on the first possible day (after Brown had been in office six months). Petitioners would need 280,050 in 90 days. 

Oregon, the first state to adopt the recall for state-level officials way back in 1908, has had recalls against three state legislators, but never a Governor. Brown actually got the job when her predecessor John Kitzhaber face a recall threat.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

New Jersey: Great article on New Jersey's use of the recall law

This article by Terrence McDonald in the Record gives some good history to the use of the recall in New Jersey, going back before the 1993 passage of the statewide recall law. It takes as its jumping off point the Englewood Cliffs recall attempt.

Among the highlights:

1. North Bergen Mayor Peter Mocco lost a recall in 1978 and was reelected to his seat in the same ballot.

2. Stafford Mayor Wesley Bell was recalled in 1983, a decision that was tossed out by an appellate court, which was overturned by the State Supreme Court.

3. Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano lost a recall in 2009 and won back his office in May 2011. He is still mayor.

4. Mahwah Mayor John Laforet was removed in 2018.

Texas: Mineral Wells City Council member facing recall threats

Mayor Christopher Perricone is facing a recall effort. Petitioners need over 1800 signatures by August 30  to get on the ballot

Alaska: Recall petitions taken out against Governor

Petitions have now been taken out against Governor Mike Dunleavy (R), with over 10,000 signatures collected on the first day.

Dunleavy announced major spending cuts.

Alaska is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed (though the state courts has taken a lenient view of the the cause requirement in past instances).

Petitioners need to first get 28,501 signatures before the Division of Elections will consider if they meet the malfeasance standards. Then they would need 71,252 signatures to get to the ballot.

Michigan: Wind Farm projects leads to recall threats in Casnovia Township

Three Casnovia Township officials, Clerk Jennie Powell, Treasurer Gayle Brock and Trustee Dan Winell, are facing recall attempts on their vote to approve wind farms.

Wisconsin: Merrill Alderman resigns after surviving a previous recall

Merrill Alderman Dave Sukow, who was one of four alderman survived a recall vote in July, resigned. There was no reason given in the article.

Friday, August 2, 2019

UK: Liberal Democrats win Brecon & Radnor MP Seat in recall triumph; Conservative MP ousted

Liberal Democrat Party Leader Jane Dobbs won the by-election for the Seat in Brecon and Radnor, toppling, Conservative Party MP Chris Davies, who was removed in a recall and was the Conservative candidate to replacement himself. Dobbs won 13826 to 12401, with the Brexit Party gaining 331 and Labour coming in fourth, with a drop of 12.4%. Turnout was 60%.

Davies was removed after 10,005 signatures were handed in (petitioners needed 5303 (10% of voters) to get on the ballot.

Davies was fined 1500 pounds and hit with 50 hours of community service over two false expense invoices for landscape photographs. Since the sentence was under 12 months, he is not automatically ousted.

This was the second recall removal this year. Labour MP Fiona Onasanya was ousted and replaced by a Labour MP in June.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

California: Fresno Unified Trustee facing recall threats

Fresno School Board Trustee Terry Slatic is facing recall threats after he got into arguments with a cheerleading team, a wrestling coach and an army recruiter. Slatic was put in office in December. Two trustees, Veva Islas and Keshia Thomas, spoke in favor of a recall effort.

Petitioners would needd 7359 signatures in 120 days.

California: Five Pine Mountain Lake Association Board of Directors survive recall vote

All five members of the Pine Mountain Lake Association Board of Directors, a private, gated community survived a recall vote, 1006-668. The members are President Mike Gustafson, Steve Griefer, Nick Stauffacher, Wayne Augusburger and Karen Hopkins. The issue was a $2-$2.5 million renovation to fix buildings near the golf course.

Michigan: Jackson Councilwoman facing recall effort

Jackson Councilwoman Kelsey Heck is facing a recall effort, with language approved by the Election Commission. Heck was appointed to the seat after the resignation of her predecessor. The claim is a vote on an assessment.

Petitioner would need 225 signatures to get on the ballot. A former council candidate, Susan Murdie, is leading the recall effort.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Rhode Island: Tiverton Council President, Vice President facing petitions

Tiverton Council President Robert Coulter and Vice President Justin Katz are facing recalls over complaints about an executive session at meetings. The lead petitioner, William McLaughlin, lost as a council candidate in November. Petitioner has already handed in signatures, but is adding more. Petitioner needs 587 for Katz and 505 for Coulter.

The town has an absentee veto provision. The turnout has to exceed the amount of votes each got in the last election for the recall to count (though unlike Idaho, the amount voting yes does not have to top the previous election's numbers).

Idaho: Three Bannock County Commissioners join Assessor in facing recall effort over property tax increases

Bannock County Commissioners Terrel "Ned" Tovey, Steve Brown and Ernie Moser are now being threatened with a recall over property tax increases. Petitions have already been taken out against Bannock County Assessor Sheri Davies. The focus is on a delay in assessments, and miscommunication about deadlines and a lack of communication. The council has applied a 10% market reduction in one market and a 5% in the another. Petitioners need 8302 signatures (20% of registered voters) in 75 days to get Davies on the ballot and the article lists 9100 total.

If it does get to the ballot, Idaho has an "absentee veto" -- the vote to remove must exceed the amount of votes each candidate received in the last election.

Update: Petitioners claim they have over 5000 signatures.

Nebraska: Petitions taken out against Dundy County Attorney

Dundy County Attorney Gary Burke is facing petitions over complaints about his criminal proecution, though the petition apparently just cites a kitchen sink of charges of incompetence, with no specifics added. We'll see if further stories add to this. Petitioner needs 200 signatures (35% of turnout) by August 21.

Washington: Signatures handed in against 3 Mullis Community Senior Center Operations Committee boardmembers

San Juan Island's Mullis Community Senior Center Operations Committee acting Chair Stephen Shubert, Secretary Nancy Geist and Treasurer Carolyn Adler are facing a recall effort over the decision to stop a saying prayers before meals and the pledge of allegiance. Petitioners handed in 90 signatures and need 50.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Colorado: Poll shows Polis beating back recall effort

A new Magellan Strategies poll of likely voters say that 47% of Colorado voters will oppose a recall of Governor Jared Polis and 38% are in favor. Magellan is generally used by Republican candidates (with somewhat of a Republican lean in its polling), so not a good sign for the pro-recall crowd.

Michigan: Dalton Township Supervisor facing recall effort

Dalton Township Supervisor Tony Barnes is facing a recall effort over a court injunction to shut down the retail component of a family farm that has been labeled as a "nuisance." The language is still being reviewed.

Update: The petition was rejected on clarity ground

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Articles on Recall Season

There's been a number of articles out on the recall efforts throughout the country. I'm quoted in the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal and Pew's Stateline pieces.

Note this editorial mentions that the Republicans are looking to take advantage of the lower turnout in a special election instead of a recall scheduled at the same time as a general election. However, as my research has surprisingly showed, recall actually do better when timed with a general election.

Oklahoma: Recall against Four Pawhuska Councilors makes the ballot -- set for October 8

A recall election will be scheduled for Pawhuska Councilors John Brazee, Mark Buchnan, Rodger Milleson and Roger Taylor. Petitioners handed in over the 108 signatures needed. The recall is over the firing and subsequent rehiring a police chief. The fifth councilor, Jourdan Foran, is exempt from the recall because he just took office.

The recall has been set for October 8.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

California: Committee being set up to recall Governor by former congressional candidate

A move to recall Governor Gavin Newsom (D) is being set up by Dr. James Veltmeyer, who lost the Republican primary for a Congressional seat in 2018. The petitions seems to be focused on immigration issues, though there are also claims of capital punishment and the cost of the state wildfires. There is also a preexisting online petition led by someone else that has 42,000 signers, of which exactly zero would count to a real petition. 

Petitioners would need about 1.5 million signatures to get on the ballot.

North Dakota: Look back on the Bank of North Dakota and the 1921 recall

Here

Alaska: Editorial decries recall effort against Governor Dunleavy backed by Dems

An Anchorage Press editorial claims that the PAC backing the recall of Governor Mike Dunleavy ... The PAC treasurer is an aide to Anchorage Assemblywoman Suzanne LaFrance and has "ties" to the state Democratic Party. The editorial notes claims that the recall effort maybe a data mining operation (which is claim being made against the Colorado recall. Petitioners need 28501 signatures for the first round of applying to Elections Director. If that succeeds, petitioners would need 71,252.

Washington: Mullis Community Senior Center Operations Committee facing recall petitions

Mullis Community Senior Center acting Chair Stephen Shubert, Secretary Nancy Geist and Treasurer Carolyn Adler are facing recall petitions, allegedly over a move to stop a prayer and the pledge of allegiance before senior meals.

Michigan: State Representative facing recall over bribery and extortion charges

Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R) is facing petitions after a grand jury charged him with attempted extortion, bribery and lying to the FBI. Inman is accused of trying to get a bribe from a union group for a vote to repeal the state's prevailing wage law. Petitioners would need 12201 signatures to get on the ballot.

Update: Petitions have been filed.

Colorado: Signatures handed against Brighton Mayor

Petitioners handed in 1300 signatures for the recall of Brighton Mayor Ken Kreutzer, who is facing criticism over water overcharges. Petitioners needed 1136 signatures.

Update: 1782 signatures were finally handed in.

New Jersey: Petitions taken out against Englewood Cliffs Councilmembers

Petitions have been taken out against Englewood Cliffs Council members Edward Aversa (D) and Gloria Oh (D) over claims that they didn't do due diligence on affordable housing and other issues related to development. Aversa, who is running for mayor in the fall, claims that Mayor Mario Kranjac (who is also on the ballot) is behind the recall.

Petitioners would need more than 900 signatures (25% of registereds) in 160 days.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

California: Dixie School Board recall attempt fails to turn in any signatures

The recall effort against Dixie School District Trustee Marnie Glickman has failed, with petitioners not handing in any signatures. Glickman had previously announced she would not run for reelection.  The issue was a vote to change the name of the district from Dixie, due to its confederate connection. The board has voted to rename the district Miller Creek Elementary School District and the school as Lucas Valley Elementary School.

Petitioners needed 2851 signatures and claimed they were close.

Taiwan: Recall threatened against Kaohsiung Mayor/Kuomintang Presidential candidate

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, who was also just nominated as the Kuomintang Presidential candidate, is being threatened with a recall following flooding in the town (though presumably this may be part of the presidential political wrangling).

Friday, July 19, 2019

Arizona: Lawsuit looks to overturn state law limiting who can collect signatures

The Election Law Blog notes a lawsuit in Arizona that looks to overturn a state law that limits who can collect signatures for initiatives, referendum and recalls.

Massachusetts: Ranked Choice Voting Supporters cite Fall River Mayoral race

A move to push Ranking Choice voting in Massachusetts has seen the recall removal/replacement victory of Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II (D) as a key point in the claim.

Correia is under indictment for stealing from investors and tax fraud and lost the recall run overwhelmingly, 7829-4911. However, Massachusetts allows a candidate facing a recall to run in the replacement race (not that uncommon a provision). In this case, Correia was one of five candidates. He came in first with about 35% of the vote, beating out City Councilor Joseph Camara, School Committee member Paul Coogan, School administrator Kyle Riley and Erica Scott-Pacheco. An editorial in the Boston Globe noted this possible result.

Note on how that works:

While this is an unusual development, it is not unprecedented -- though I will have to search for the same result.

The reason that it is unusual is that having a replacement race where the candidate can run in the replacement race is itself not the standard recall law. Many jurisdictions do not have the "up or down" vote on a recall -- instead they just have a new election for the position, featuring a guaranteed slot for the candidate (Michigan, Wisconsin have this). Some places do not have a replacement race and instead just allow for an appointment to the position (notably Oregon); Rhode Island gave the position to the second place finisher in the last election. California has an up or down vote on the recall, but the candidate is barred from seeking the office in the replacement race.

That said, it is not that uncommon and in fact Fall River almost saw this result a little over four years ago. The city had a recall against then Mayor Will Flanagan. Flanagan lost the recall, but came in second in the replacement vote.

 Louisiana proposed changing its law to ban recall loser from running in a replacement race after one such candidate got 1/3rd of the vote after being kicked out (though that candidate did not win). Here's some other examples of candidates running in the replacement race and losing.

Update: In 1982, Mansfield, Massachusetts Selectman John McNair pulled off this exact type of victory (losing the recall, winning the retention race). This was part of a four person recall (over the firing of a town manager). The other three Selectmen, David May, Frank Ciolella and Norman Manhana, lost their seats.  The race is noted in Joseph Zimmerman's The Recall: Tribunal of the People.

Wisconsin: Door County Supervisors petitions rejected by clerk

A clerk turned down the petitions against Door County Supervisors John Neinas and Roy Engelbert due to claims of errors and invalid signatures. The two are facing petitions over their vote for a plan to draw down the Forestville Dam Mill Pond to dry out contaminated sediment from the pond. Opponents claim it will hurt the fish stock.

Washington, DC: Signature collection ongoing against Council member

Petitioners claim they have one third the needed signatures to get a recall against Council Member Jack Evans (D) on the ballot. The recall is over a probe into financial dealings.

They need approximately 5200 signatures (10% of registereds) by November  Evans has been in office for 28 years

California: Torrance Treasurer recall gains backers in City Council

City Councilmembers are backing the recall of Torrance Treasurer Dana Cortez after she hasn't shown up for work in nearly five months (she claims medical issues). Cortez has had her leave extended until September 30, which will be nearly a year since she last appeared. The council cut her salary by 50% and reassigned half her duties following allegations of mismanagement prior to her leave.

Petitioner needs about 13000 signatures. Petitioners claim they have 1500. The article notes that the last successful recall in Torrance was in 1941.

Michigan: Petitions rejected in Chesaning Village Council President recall

Petitions against Chesaning Village President Joseph Sadlar Jr. over the firing of a police chief have been rejected over clarity questions, though new language have been handed in, so expected it eventually to be approved.

Idaho: Bannock County Assessor facing recall effort over property tax increases

Petitions have been taken out against Bannock County Assessor Sheri Davies over property tax increases, with a focus on a delay in assessments, and miscommunication about deadlines and a lack of communication. Petitioners need 8302 signatures (20% of registered voters) in 75 days.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Michigan: Albion Mayor Pro Tempore Recall set for November 5

Albion Mayor Pro Tempore Sonya Brown is set for a recall vote on November 5. The recall is over the removal of the head of the Albion Public Safety Department. Brown's recall has been in court.

Petitions are presumably still out against Albion Mayor Dave Atchison  and Councilwoman Jeanette Spicer.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Wisconsin: Split vote in Merrill; Four Alderman survive; One ousted

Merrill Aldermen Council President Rob Norton (133-104) and Aldermen John VanLieshout (103-97), Dave Sukow (52 votes out of 58), Paul Russell (150-91) survived a recall vote. Alderman Tim Meehean lost to Steve Sabatke (91-72).

The issue was confusion over a property tax rate increase which was higher than expected (which seems to have been done due to a calculating error).

Maine: Petitions taken out against Four Mechanic Falls Councilors over Town Manager firing

Mechanic Falls Council Chair Cathy Fifield, Vice Chair Wayne Hackett and Councilors Nicholas Konstantoulakis and John Emery are facing petitions over the recent 4-1 vote to dismiss Town Manager Zakk Maher in what is alleged to be a violation of the Open Meeting Act.

Petitioners need at least 192 signatures in 30 days (15% of gubernatorial turnout). There is a "absentee veto" provision, where the total votes in the recall must be at least 30% of the those cast in the 2018 gubernatorial election.

Oregon: Recall filed against Governor

2019 seems to be the year of the Gubernatorial Recall, as Oregon now joins the fray. Bill Currier, the chairman of the State Republican Party, has filed recall papers against Governor Kate Brown (D). Another petition was also filed by a local resident, focusing on homeless issues.

The GOP Recall effort seems pretty nakedly political, though the issue cited is the Democrats support of various climate change bills.

The recall was filed on the first possible day (after Brown had been in office six months). Petitioners would need 280,050 in 90 days. 

Oregon, the first state to adopt the recall for state-level officials way back in 1908, has had recalls against three state legislators, but never a Governor. Brown actually got the job when her predecessor John Kitzhaber face a recall threat.

What is perhaps most noteworthy is that Oregon's recall law does not provide for the election of a replacement. Replacements are instead "filed immediately in the manner provided by law for filing a vacancy in that office arising from any other cause." 

For Oregon, that means that Secretary of State Beverly Clarno (R), an 83-year old former Speaker of the State House of Representatives, who was recently appointed after the death of her predecessor, would  automatically become Governor. Clarno was appointed by Brown herself.

This no-vote provision is fairly common on the local level. However, it is relatively rare on the state level. I believe Idaho has a similar provision (though state lawmakers appointed for a vacancy must be of the same party). In the wake of a 2011 state House recall and the 2012 Wisconsin recalls next door, Michigan changed its law so that the Governor  would be replaced by the next in line (i.e., the Lieutenant Governor), thereby short circuiting any recall push. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Colorado: Petitions approved against two more Democratic Senators

Many more developments in the Colorado recall campaigns: Petitions have been taken out against Senators Brittany Pettersen (D) and Pete Lee (D). Petitioners would need 18,376 signatures for Pettersen and 11,304 signatures for Lee. Two GOP Senators question the recall push here.




Nebraska: Two Antelope Commissioners facing petitions

Antelope Commissioners Tom Borer and Allan Bentley are facing recall efforts over claims of mismanagement of funds. Petitioners need 203 signatures for Borer and 135 signatures for Bentley (35% of turnout) in 30 days.

Oklahoma: Four Pawhuska Councilors facing recall effort

Pawhuska Councilors John Brazee, Mark Buchnan, Rodger Milleson and Roger Taylor are facing a recall effort following the firing and subsequent rehiring a police chief. The fifth councilor, Jourdan Foran, is exempt from the recall.

Petitioners would need 108 signatures.

Wisconsin: Signatures handed in against Vernon Supervisor

Vernon Town Supervisor Ed Moline is facing a recall effort over what appears to be his support for a boundary agreement between Vernon and Mukwonago. The petition specifically cites his approval of three newsletters that "favorably discussed" the agreement. Residents overwhelmingly opposed the agreement in a nonbinding referendum, 816-90.

Petitioners handed in over 1300 signatures. I'm not sure how many are needed to get on the ballot.

Alaska: Group started to Recall Governor

Governor Mike Dunleavy (R), who announced major spending cuts, is the subject of a Facebook group looking for his recall. No word on whether there is any intention to actually take out petitions. Alaska is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed (though the state courts has taken a lenient view of the the cause requirement in past instances).

Petitioners need to first get 28,501 signatures before the Division of Elections will consider if they meet the malfeasance standards. Then they would need 71,252 signatures to get to the ballot.

Update: Additionally meetings have taken place.

Michigan: London Clerk resigns; petitions approved against two trustees

London Clerk Lisa Marie Francis has resigned in the face recall campaign, and the Election Board has approved petitions for the recall effort against Trustees Penny Turner and Roger Werstein.

The issue appears to be a $995 payment from the general fund after a court case was settled over a violation of a township ordinance. The payment was against the advice of the township counsel. Turner was elected to replace Richard Horn, who lost his seat in the November 2018 recall.

There was also a petition to recall Trustee Gary Taepke, who survived a recall vote last year, but that petition was denied because the Taepke is exempt from facing two recalls in a term.

Massachusetts: State clears Milford Treasurer over claim that he worked against recall group

Milford Town Treasurer Christopher Pilla was cleared by the state ethics commission of a complaint that he violated ethics laws in alleged pressuring a local club to remove a room reservation for the recall of Selectman William Kingkade Jr.. The petition failed, with no signatures handed in.

The issue was a vote to not renew the police chief's contract as well as a single care crash that he was in. Petitioners need about 3700 signatures to get on the ballot. They claimed to have gotten about 2000.

Friday, July 12, 2019

North Dakota: Tower City Mayor survives recall vote

Tower City Mayor Scott Salberg survived a recall vote 74-25 for Randy Crist. The recall was over a kitchen sink of claims, including poor performance of duties, harassment, removal of city records and failure to conduct city business in an open fashion.

The article notes that there were 22 recall petitions for mayors statewide since 2001.

California: Four Westminister officials face recall effort

Westminister Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmembers Kimberly Ho, Chi Charlie Nguyen and Tao Do are facing recall efforts. There is a split here -- Ta, Ho and Nguyen were facing recall threats by Do's supporters. Now, others have targeted Do. The fifth councilman Sergio Contreras does not seem to be facing a recall threat (he appears to support Do).

Petitioners would need about 8,736 signatures to get on the ballot.

Michigan: Midland Councilman petitions rejected on clarity grounds by Election Commission

The recall filing against nine-term Midland City Councilman Marty Wazbinski was rejected by the Election Commision over clarity issues. The recall was launched over his support for a "road diet" plan. Petitioners would need 1072 signatures to get on the ballot.

Update: The petitions have now been rejected three times.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Ballotpedia claims 50% drop off in recalls in 2019 from 2016-2018

Ballotpedia is claiming a drop in recalls of 50% in the 1st half of 2019, compared to each of the last three years. The site lists 72 total recall attempts. I have to look at my numbers for comparison purposes.

Colorado: Two Cripple Creek-Victory School District Board Members Resign; One still on the ballot

The recall against Cripple Creek-Victory School Board members has resulted in two resignations, as Treasurer Dennis Jones and Secretary Tonya Martin dropped out. Board President Tim Braun is still set for a recall by a July 16 mail-in ballot.
The recall is over claims of violation of the open record act and possibly a suspension of the superintendent. One of the leader was a former Head Start director who lost to Jones by 30 votes in November 2017.

Michigan: Three London officials facing petitions

London Clerk Lisa Marie Francis and Trustees Penny Turner and Roger Werstein are facing petitions over what seems to be a $995 payment from the general fund after a court case was settled over a violation of a township ordinance. The payment was against the advice of the township counsel. Turner was elected to replace Richard Horn, who lost his seat in the November 2018 recall.

Michigan: Grosse Pointe School Board recall rejected in clarity hearing

A recall effort against School Board treasurer Judy Gafa and Board Secretary Kathleen Abke and trustee Christopher Profeta  were rejected in a clarity hearing. The recall was over a plan to close schools. Profeta actually appeared to vote against the closure plan, which passed 5-2

Update: Language has been approved against Gafa and Abke. Another attempt against Profeta was rejected.

Taiwan: Kaohsiung Mayor facing recall threat

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-Yu is facing a recall threat. Petitioners would first need 22,814 signatures (1% of the electorate) to get past an initial hurdle, then 228,134 signatures (10%) to get past a second, then they need the yes vote to at least equal 25% of the electorate  -- which is estimated to be over 600,000.

Michigan: Midland Councilman facing petitions over road diet plan

Nine-term Midland City Councilman Marty Wazbinski is facing a recall effort over his support for a "road diet" plan.

Petitioner needs 1072 signatures to get on the ballot.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Michigan: One of two petitions against Albion Mayor withdrawn

One of the attempts to recall Albion Mayor Dave Atchison has ended, with the sponsors canceling the clarity/factualness hearing. The recall was over a group of complaints regarding behavior to other council members and a vote against Indigenous People's Day and bringing a second grocery store to the city.

Atchison is the third Albion official to face recall petitions this term. Albion Councilwoman Jeanette Spicer is facing a petition claiming that the councilwoman is not responsive. Petitioners need 139 signatures. The Mayor Pro Tempore Sonya Brown is facing a recall fight over the removal of the head of the Albion Public Safety Department. Brown's recall has been in court.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

California: Pine Mountain Lake Association Board of Directors facing petitions

The private, gated community is looking to recall the five member board is facing petitions over a plan to spend $2-$2.5 million to fix buildings near the golf course.  The community would have to hire a private election consultant to run the election.

Michigan: Grosse Pointe School Board members targeted in recall petition

School Board treasurer Judy Gafa and Board Secretary Kathleen Abke and trustee Christopher Profeta are all facing recall threats over a plan to close schools. Profeta actually appeared to vote against the closure plan, which passed 5-2.

Michigan: Two more Flint Council member petitions approved

Petition language has been approved against Santino Guerra,and Allan Griggs after previously being rejected. Councilmember Monica Galloway's petitions have also been approved. Kate Fields is up for debate on Thursday.
Guerra and Fields were facing a petition over a vote to extend a $12 million waste removal contract. Galloway is facing the petition over being absent for a vote to enter into a $5.6 million contract with a construction company.

Fields claims that Mayor Karen Weaver, Councilmember Eric Mays  and Community Liaison for Economic Development Aonie Gilcreast are behind the recall effort. Mays has acknowledged this.

UK: Conservative MP Chris Davies will be candidate for in by-election for his seat that was vacated by recall petition

The Conservative Party is keeping Brecon and Radnor MP Chris Davies as the candidate in the upcoming byelection that was forced by a recall petition. Davies was removed after 10,005 signatures were handed in (petitioners needed 5303 (10% of voters) to get on the ballot.

Davies was fined 1500 pounds and hit with 50 hours of community service over two false expense invoices for landscape photographs. Since the sentence was under 12 months, he is not automatically ousted.

The election will take place on July 25 or August 1.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

New Jersey: Recall threatened against Hackensack School Board Member

Hackensack School Board member Frances Cogelja is being threatened with a recall for his criticism of an LGBT-inclusive curriculum for students. Petitioners would need about 5400 signatures to get on the ballot.

Friday, June 21, 2019

UK: Second recall makes the ballot, as signatures handed in against Conservative MP Chris Davies forces by-election

The UK is now set to have its second recall, as petitioners got enough signatures to get Brecon and Radnor MP Chris Davies (Conservative) on the ballot. According to UK law, Davies is removed, and now must face a new by-election (the Conservative Party is debating whether he will be the candidate). 10,005 signatures were handed in (petitioners needed 5303 (10% of voters) to get on the ballot.

Davies was fined 1500 pounds and hit with 50 hours of community service over two false expense invoices for landscape photographs. Since the sentence was under 12 months, he is not automatically ousted.

Washington, DC: Council member facing recall efforts has house searched by FBI

Washington, DC Council Member Jack Evans's (D) house was searched by the FBI after the disclosure of a memo that he knowingly violated ethics rules. Evans has been facing a probe into financial dealings.

Petitioners would need approximately 5200 signatures (10% of registereds).  Evans has been in office for 28 years.

Rhode Island: Over 1000 signatures push Narragansett Town Council recall law on 2020 ballot

Over a thousand signatures have been collected to put a recall law on Narragansett ballot in 2020. The City Council also approved the amendment. The impetus was a failure to approve a new library.

The law would require signatures from 25% of turnout in the last election in 60 days in order to get a recall on the ballot.

Texas: Recall effort against Edinburg Mayor and three other officials fails

The recall attempt against Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina, Mayor Pro-Tem  David Torres and Council members Jorge Salinas and Gilbert Enriquez failed, with petitioners not turning in any signatures. They needed about 2000 signatures in 30 days to get it on the ballot.

The recall is over Molina's arrest on election fraud charges. Molina allegedly pushed out of district residents to change their address and vote for him -- 19 people have been indicted including Molina's wife.

There were numerous delays due to the behavior of the city council with the recall effort as well as a push by officials to take down pro-recall signs.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Massachusetts: Phillipston School Board members facing recall

Phillipston School Board members are facing a recall effort over a busing plan. Petitioners handed 85 signature to clear the first barrier to get on the ballot.

Arkansas: Russellville Mayor facing petitions over opposition to marijuana dispensary

Russellville Mayor Richard Harris is facing the threat of petitions after he abstained from a tie-breaking vote that would have allowed a marijuana dispensary. He has also faced criticism for a casino gambling issue and for a failure to handle a neo-Nazi event.

Petitioners are looking for 2900 signatures (35% of turnout).

Massachusetts: Recall attempt discussed against married Plymouth Selectmen

Plymouth Selectmen Shelagh Joyce and Keven Joyce may be facing recall efforts, as online (completely legally irrelevant petition) has received 1088 signatures. Petitioners would need 6423 signatures, though they cannot start collecting until November. Petitioners would have 20 days to get the signatures and the vote would need turnout of at least 20%.

Joyce has been charged with embezzling about $28,000.