Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Michigan: State Supreme Court rules in favor of petition language in State Rep. Inman recall; Missing word not a valid reason to toss out petitions

Big unanimous decision by the Michigan Supreme Court allowing a more lenient standard on recall petition language. The decision overturned lower court rulings, including by the Michigan Court of Appeals, which tossed out the 13,991 signatures looking for the recall of Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R). The petition language was originally approved, but the petitions that were printed out left out the word "right" in the sentence: attempted extortion under color of official right."

Among the key findings of the court:
“The recall petition is proper because the reasons give for recall in the circulated petitions were not different that the reasons that were approved by the Board of Canvassers.”
Petitioners needed 12201 valids to get on the ballot, though an initial review claimed that over 1800 signatures were invalid.

Inman, who is term-limited, was also recently found not guilty by a federal jury found of lying to federal authorities, but were hung on charges of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe.

Inman was indicted by a federal grand jury over 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. He has been prevented from going to his old office, though he is able to go onto the House floor. Inman blamed an opiod addiction.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Colorado: Reversal of fortune as official results show both Elizabeth Trustees removed in recall election

Big reversal of fortune in Elizabeth. While the unofficial results showed that Elizabeth Trustee June Jurczewsky survived her recall vote, the official results show her being ousted.

161 votes called for Jurczewsky's removal (no idea how many voted to retain). Trustee Rachel White was removed with 166 looking to kick her out. White will be replaced by Jason Weiss, who received 153 votes and Jurczewsky was replaced by Ron Weaver, who garnered 152 votes in the separate replacement race. The recall was launched over the Mayor and Councils' support for development proposals.

Recalls against Elizabeth Mayor Megan Vasquez and Trustees Angela Ternus, Steve Gaither, Loren Einspahr, Tammy Payne have made the ballot and should be scheduled for April.  The different time frames is due to the fact that the other officials haven't served six months yet.l 7.

California: Second Oceanside City Council member facing recall effort

A second Oceanside City Councilmember, Esther Sanchez, is facing petitions, over her opposition to legalized cannabis (and more generic complaints about her work with her peers). Sanchez (who has been on the council since 2000) faced an effort in 2007 that went nowhere. She has said she is a candidate for mayor position.

Oceanside City Councilman Christopher Rodriguez (R) is already facing a recall over complaints that he allegedly lied about being a farmer. and his vote to approve a housing development. Petitioners would need 4456 signatures for Rodriguez.

Texas: Signatures handed in against McKinney City Councilman

Signatures have been handed in against Councilman La'Shadion Shemwell who has been a controversial member of the council with complaints of violating ethics codes and making inflammatory statements and getting arrested repeatedly (one seemed to be for domestic violence), which he claimed occurred after he was racially profiled after refusing to sign two citations after he was pulled over for speeding last year. Shemwell has previously declared a "black state of emergency" in Texas.

McKinney approved an amendment to make recalls easier to get on the ballot earlier this year.

Petitioners handed in over 3300 signatures. They need 2127 signatures.

California: Signatures verified against three Westminister officials; Recall still to be scheduled

Westminister Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmembers Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen will all be facing an upcoming recall vote. Petitioners handed in over 11,000 signatures, they needed 8736 (don't yet see how many were validated). The issue is claims of ethical violations, such as limiting debate and participation.

There is also an attempt against the other two members, Tao Do and Sergio Contreas. Do's supporters have backed the recall of the other three and Do welcomed the recall of the other three on Facebook.

The recall will be a special election -- because of the law (the recall must be held between 88 and 125 days after the next council meeting), it cannot coincide with the March primary.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Idaho: Four Priest Lake Library District Board Members up for Recall vote on March 10

Priest Lake Library District Board Members Debbie Sudnikovich, Laurel Smith, Nancy Bushman and Lori McReynolds are facing a March 10 recall vote over their vote to fire the library director. There is also a civil suit against each trustee. The vote will be on the presidential primary date.

Former board member Rosemary Yocum led the recall effort, which claims violations of open meeting laws.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Virginia: Newport News Vice Mayor facing petitions

Newport News Vice Mayor Tina Vick is facing petitions, with a reason seeming to be inter-district issues, though there doesn't sound like a specific subject motivating the recall. She has been in the city council since 2008 (and is the aunt of former NFL Quarterback Michael Vick). The article doesn't mention how many signatures are needed. It does explain that petitioners have gotten 200 on change.org, which is equal to zero actual signatures, but it sounds the petitioner will be trying to get actual signatures after Christmas (though it is unclear if he has an actual valid petition).

India: Op-ed calling for adoption of recall in India

Here's an op-ed calling from Pankaj Sharma, a member of the Congress Party, for the adoption of the recall in India. Some interesting history on the debate on whether India should have a recall law:

There is recall law at Panchayat level in some states such as UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, MP, Chhatisgarh, Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh. This law applies to municipalities and municipal corporations also in some states. But state assemblies and the lower house of Parliament are out of this charter.

In India, the concept has its roots since Vedic times when the lack of effective governance was a cause for removal of a king. The debate over recall of elected representatives has a long history in the Indian democracy; the matter was discussed in detail in the Constituent Assembly also where several members were of the opinion that the Right to Recall must accompany the Right to Elect and the voters must be provided with a remedy 'if things go wrong'. However, Dr B R Ambedkar did not accept this amendment. Some members of the Constituent Assembly argued that the 'Recall' provision would help in strengthening the democratic system, others felt that it would be improper to provide a Recall provision at the infancy of the Indian democracy. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel expressed his opinion during this debate by saying, "If there are any stray instances or some black sheep who having lost the confidence of their constituency still want to continue to represent the constituency in the House, for some such bad instances we should not disfigure our Constituency. We should leave it as it is, to the good sense of the members concerned". 
In recent times, humanists such as MN Roy and politicians such as Jayaprakash Narayan have spoken extensively on the need to introduce right to recall in our electoral system. When Somnath Chatterjee was Lok Sabha Speaker, he also sought to install the right to recall to ensure accountability. Constitution (Amendment) Bill about Voters' right to recall elected representatives was introduced in Lok Sabha by C K Chandrappan in 1974 and Atal Bihari Vajpayee had supported this but the bill did not pass. A private member bill, The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced by BJP MP Varun Gandhi in Lok Sabha. With the increasing impulse of manipulating democracy for the benefit of certain individuals or political outfits, the urgency of having and enforcing the right to recall must be felt with all its seriousness. If the people have the power to elect their representatives, they should also have the power to dismiss them when they engage in misdeeds or fail to fulfil their duties. In 2001, Madhya Pradesh amended its Panchayat Raj Act and gave voters the right to recall their non-performing elected representatives. The 17-year-old incident of Palavika Patel, the former president of Anuppur municipality in Madhya Pradesh, India and Gray Davis, former governor of California, USA are two distinct fall-outs of participatory democracy. In 2002, voters of extremely poor Anuppur; and in 2003, voters of extremely rich California; exercised a similar constitutional right: the right to recall an elected representative for non-performance. Patel and Davis were removed from their positions.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Texas: Silsbee City Council members facing threats

Silsbee City Council member Sue Bard is facing petitions, with threats to go after the rest of the council. The mayor had already resigned. The petitioner has an online petition that has over 200 signatures, though none count at all. Bard claims that the petition is over the council's refusal to remove a speed hump from the lead petitioners block.

California: Four candidates jump into replacement race for two Santa Cruz Councilmembers

Four candidates have entered the race against Santa Cruz Councilmen Drew Glover and Chris Krohn, which is set to be on the March 3 primary ballot. Three of the candidates, Katherine Beiers, Don Lane and Tim Fitzmaurice, are former mayors

The issue is over allegations of a focus on a homeless camp and issues at city meetings, though articles have noted a focus on the city's rent control and eviction ballot measures. Petitioners handed in over 11,000 signatures and needed at least 7938.

Petitioners have spent at least $50,000 in the recall fight.

Taiwan: Signatures to be handed in against Kaohsiung Mayor/Kuomintang Presidential candidate

300,000 signatures are set to be handed in against Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yuto, with the petitions being handed in one day after the one year grace period from the beginning of his term. Petitioners seem to need about 228,000 -- 10% of city inhabitants.

Han is also the Kuomintang Presidential candidate, and is being threatened with a recall following flooding in the town (though presumably this may be part of the presidential political wrangling). There is an absentee voter provision -- 25% of eligible voters must cast ballots for the recall to count.

Colorado: Lawsuit trying to force a special election recall in Nederland rejected; Election scheduled for same time as next town election date

A Judge has rejected a suit trying to force a special election against Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larson and Trustees Dallas Masters and Julie Gustafson rather than having the recall scheduled for April 7 (the town's next election date). The Judge held that the plaintiffs did not allege an injury.

The recalls are 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.

Trustee James Rawsthorne resigned, complaining about the same issues that petitioners are using to target the three officials.

North Dakota: Ramsey County State Attorney facing petitions

Signatures are being collected looking for the recall of Ramsey County State Attorney Kari Agotness after she did not press charges against a police officer who shot and killed a local man. The family of the man who was killed is leading the recall effort. Petitioners need approximately 1300 signatures in a year to get on the ballot.

Nevada: Settlement in Storey Sheriff Sexual Harassment case

The former Chief Deputy Sheriff Melanie Keener has received a $250,000 settlement over her claims that she was sexually harassed by Sheriff Gerald Antinoro.

Antinoro survived a recall vote (883-601) over accusations of sexual harassment, wrongful termination and budget improprieties.

Michigan: State Court of Appeals upholds ruling tossing out signatures in recall of State Representative

A Michigan Court of Appeals has upheld (by 2-1 vote) the Elections Director decision tossing out the 13,991 signatures looking for the recall of Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R). The petition language was originally approved, but the petitions that were printed out left out the word "right" in the sentence: attempted extortion under color of official right." Petitioners needed 12201 valids to get on the ballot.

Inman was also recently found not guilty by a federal jury found of lying to federal authorities, but were hung on charges of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe.

Inman was indicted by a federal grand jury over 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. He has been prevented from going to his old office, though he is able to go onto the House floor. Inman blamed an opiod addiction.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Arizona: Payson recall efforts all fail

The recall effort against Payson Mayor Tom Morrisey and Councilmembers Suzy Tubbs-Avakian, Janell Sterner, Jim Ferris, Steve Smith, Barbara Underwood and Chris Higgins have all failed, with petitioners not handing in signatures or collecting them. The issue was over votes to  fire a town manager and spend and transparency issues.

This long running saga came about after the Arizona Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that the recall attempt against Payson Mayor Tom Morrissey needs more signatures than previously thought, resulting in the recall now being off the ballot.

Petitioners handed in 974 signatures, 821 valids, and thought they needed 770. The Judge ruled that they need 1225.

The issue is based on the fact that Payson mayors have been effectively elected in the primary race for the last 17 years. The general election date will only take place if there was a runoff from the primary race.. The recall law requires 25% of turnout at the last election for that office. Morrissey claims that they should use the primary race. We should be seeing a written opinion on this.

Petitioners need 1638 signatures to get the other three recalls on the ballot. Petitioners claimed they had over 900 signatures for Ferris, Sterner and Tubbs-Avakia ans a separate campaign against Steve Smith claimed that they had 1700 signatures.

Florida: Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District Board of Commissioners facing recall threats over salary raise

The Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District Board of Commissioners are facing threats of a recall over an upcoming vote for salary raise. The Lehigh Acres Community Council President is threatening a recall if the salary raise is approved.
 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

New Jersey: Signatures handed in against Englewood Cliffs Councilmembers

In a comment below, someone is claiming that petitioners have handed in over 1200 signatures for the recall of 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 valid signatures (25% of registereds).

Florida: Hialeah Mayor Recall effort fails

The recall effort against Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez failed, with no signatures handed in. Petitioners needed 5175 valids and they claimed to have gotten 4900.

The recall was over general claims of mismanagement. The lead petitioner is former City Council candidate Fernando Godo, though Hernandez claims that former Mayor Julio Martinez is leading the effort (Hernandez beat Martinez in 2013).

Washington: Petitions filed against Attorney General

Petitions have been filed against Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) over his support of gun control legislation. Since Washington is a malfeasance standard state, there is a very high bar to get on the ballot as the Supreme Court must rule that the AG violated a specific set of laws. An attempt to recall Governor Jay Inslee ((D) earlier this year failed.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Colorado: Split result in Elizabeth Trustee recall -- one ousted, one survived -- (Updated -- both removed)

Unofficial results show that Elizabeth Trustee Rachel White lost her recall vote 161-154, while Trustee June Jurczewsky seems to have survived 159-156. White would be replaced by Jason Weiss, who received 148 votes. The recall was launched over the Mayor and Councils' support for development proposals.

Recalls against Elizabeth Mayor Megan Vasquez and Trustees Angela Ternus, Steve Gaither, Loren Einspahr, Tammy Payne have made the ballot and should be scheduled for April.  The different time frames is due to the fact that the other officials haven't served six months yet.

North Dakota: Surrey Council President ousted in recall vote

Surrey Council President and Acting Mayor Karla Walsh has been ousted in a recall effort over complaints of employee turnover. Walsh lost to Jennifer Johns 60-37.

Surrey Mayor Jason Strand had already resigned in the face of a recall. He was replaced by Charles Tollefson in the special election on Tuesday. There had also been threats to recall Council Member Rodney Hjelden, but because his term ends within the year, he is not eligible.

Idaho: A look back at Lewiston's 1970 recall of 6 of 7 member after annexation fight

Here's a look back at a 1969 annexation that led to the 1970 recall and removal of six of 7 Lewiston City Council members after the annexation of a community (called Lewiston Orchards). The best part of the story is when town officials "tried to count individual cemetery plots in the Orchards as pieces of property..."

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Louisiana: Four Vermilion Parish School Board members facing petitions

Vermilion Parish School Board President Laura LeBouf and members Dale Stelly, David Dupius and Kibbie Pillette are facing petitions after placing the Superintendent on paid administrative leave.

Colorado: Cripple Creek-Victory School District Board President loses recall vote

Cripple Creek-Victory School Board President Tim Braun lost a recall vote on Election Day (November 5), 54-46% . Mary Bielz won the uncontested replacement. The recall was delayed due to appeals, leading to what was called an almost "apologetic" decision from the court.

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

The recall was 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.

Georgia: Hoschton Mayor resigns in face of upcoming recall election

Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly has resigned rather than face a recall election on January 14. Councilman Jim Cleveland resigned last week.

The recall was launched 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." Georgia has a malfeasance standard rule and they claimed that the recall reasons do not meet the "for cause" requirement for a recall.

Petitioners handed in 270 signatures to push through the first stage of the recall they need 96 valids.

Canada: Op-ed calling for an Alberta recall

Op-ed calling for an Alberta recall in the Calgary Sun

Colorado: Signatures verified against Idaho Springs Mayor

Signatures have been verified against Idaho Springs Mayor Mike Hillman for  recall that has catch-all language, though appears to be over the increased speed of residential development. Petitioners turned in 150 signatures and needed 77 signatures to get on the ballot. The recall will be scheduled for sometime next year.

UK: Two victors in recall elections lose seats; Reduced majorities in two other seats that faced recall efforts

This year, there were two recalls for MPs in the UK and two attempted recalls this year.
Labour MP Fiona Onasanya faced the first recall, but did not run for the position. Labour MP Lisa Forbes replaced her.

Conservative Party MP Chris Davies lost his seat in a recall, which was won by Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds.

DUP's Ian Paisley faced a recall attempt, but the petitions did not get enough signatures.

Labour's Keith Vaz was to face a recall right before the election, but he stood down from running.

Both Forbes and Dodds lost their seats in the regularly scheduled election, with the Conservative Party winning both races. Paisley won reelection and the Labour candidate for Vaz's seat both won, though with reduced majorities.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Louisiana: Clinton Mayor resigned after recall effort failed

Clinton Mayor Lori Ann Bell, who faced petitions over claims that she and the former police chief illegally entered into contracts to lease cars for the police department, has resigned after failing to deliver an on time budget and being placed under arrest for malfeasance.

Petitioners did not get enough signatures to get the recall on the ballot. They needed 419 signatures by May 7.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Michigan: State Representative facing recall effort found not-guilty of one count, hung jury on two others

A federal jury found Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R) not guilty of lying to federal authorities, but were hung on charges of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe.

Inman was indicted by a federal grand jury over 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. He has been prevented from going to his old office, though he is able to go onto the House floor. Inman blamed an opiod addiction.

The recall effort against Inman has floundered after the Elections Director tossing out the 13,991 signatures. The petition language was originally approved, but the petitions that were printed out left out the word "right" in the sentence: attempted extortion under color of official right."

They needed 12201 valids to get on the ballot.

California: Panel on judicial independence discusses recall effort

Here

Nevada: Signatures handed in against Humboldt County Sheriff

Petitioners handed in signatures for the recall of Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Allen over his decision to enforce the red flag gun control laws which were signed into law this year. Petitioners need 502 signatures to get on the ballot.

Petitioners are complaining that Allen was allowed to see the signatures, which seemed to violate state law.

California: Protests and petitions against Acting Oakland School Board President over school closures

The push against acting Oakland Unified School Board President Jody London over school closures has led to five disrupted meetings. Petitioners need about 5000 signatures by May. London announced that she will not be seeking reelection, as her child is graduating. No word about whether other members are facing petitions

Nebraska: Editorial opposing Northwest School Board

Here's an editorial in the Grand Island Independent opposing the recall efforts against Northwest School Board Members Dan Leiser and Robin Schutt over management questions and claims of a lack of responsiveness, plus complaints about the district boundaries.

The editorial focuses on the reasons for recalls, claiming that:

Recall elections can serve an important purpose. They can remove someone from office who has broken the law or who has done something unethical.
However, recalls are not meant to remove someone just because of a disagreement over policy. To do that, there are elections. If you disagree with decisions someone has made while in office, don’t vote for them.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Georgia: Hoschton Councilman resigns rather than face January 14 recall vote; Mayor still on ballot

Councilman Jim Cleveland has announced that he will resign rather than face a recall vote on January 14. The recall was launched after the revelation that Mayor Theresa 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." Georgia has a malfeasance standard rule and they claimed that the recall reasons do not meet the "for cause" requirement for a recall.

No word on whether Kenerly is considering resigning.

Zimbabwe: Group pushing for recall law

Here

Arizona: Supreme Court rules that petitioners need more signatures for Payson Mayor

The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that the recall attempt against Payson Mayor Tom Morrissey needs more signatures than previously thought, resulting in the recall now being off the ballot.

Petitioners handed in 974 signatures, 821 valids, and thought they needed 770. The Judge ruled that they need 1225.

The issue is based on the fact that Payson mayors have been effectively elected in the primary race for the last 17 years. The general election date will only take place if there was a runoff from the primary race.. The recall law requires 25% of turnout at the last election for that office. Morrissey claims that they should use the primary race. We should be seeing a written opinion on this.

There 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 claimed they have over 900 signatures for Ferris, Sterner and Tubbs-Avakia.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

North Dakota: Look back at Dickinson School Board recall, which took place of renaming school mascot

An interesting one from the pages of history -- on December 17, 1996, three Dickinson School Board members were recalled after the school changed the name to its mascot.

Michigan: Petitions against Traverse School Board President stopped on technicality

A technicality has stopped the recall effort against Traverse School Board President M. Sue Kelly (though not for Treasurer Matt Anderson and Secretary Pamela G. Forton). The petitions were originally approved by the Election Commission for all three, but apparently Kelly's petition had to be submitted to Leelanau County. The signatures do have to be turned in to Grand Traverse County.

The recall is over the resignation by mutual agreement of the superintendent for reasons that are unclear.

Petitioners would need about 11,700 signatures to get on the ballot.

There is a claim that the group would have to pay for the recall -- $80,000. I've seen this provision once (in West Virginia), but never in Michigan. I wonder if that is actually constitutional.

Update: The language has now been approved

California: Signatures verified against El Rancho School Board President and Member

Signatures have been verified against El Rancho School Board President Jose Lara and member Leeanne Ibarra in Pico Rivera on the ballot. Petitioners handed in about 9700 signatures for each. They got 7659 for Lara and 7623 for Ibarra. They needed 6509 signatures to get on the ballot. It sounds like the election will be scheduled for May.

The El Rancho Federation of Teachers supported the recall effort. The issues include questions over suspected bond mismanagement, rehiring of a construction company and principal firing and reassignment. The recall effort allegedly cost only $7000 to mount.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Washington, DC: Signatures failure in City Council recall

The Board of Elections has rejected over a large amount of signatures in the recall effort against Councilman Jack Evans, potentially dooming it -- though it may not matter. Petitioners handed in 5588 signatures and needed 4949. Evans claimed that more than 2000 signatures were improper or forged and it seems like the Board knocked much of those off -- the article notes that it fell short by a 1000.

At the same time, the City Council has voted to recommend expelling Council Member Jack Evans (D). Evans is facing recall threats after the revelation of 11 cases where he took action on behalf of paying client. Evans claims that he broke no rules. Members of the council are calling for his resignation.

Georgia: Hoschton Mayor, Councilman recall set to take place on January 14

The recall of Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Councilman Jim Cleveland is now set to take place on January 14.

The recall was launched 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." Georgia has a malfeasance standard rule and they claimed that the recall reasons do not meet the "for cause" requirement for a recall.

Petitioners handed in 270 signatures to push through the first stage of the recall they need 96 valids.

Oregon: Recall efforts against Democratic House Representative fails

The recall effort against State Representative Tiffiny Mitchell (D) failed, with no signatures handed in. The group leading the recall effort was"Timber Unity." Petitioners claimed they have no role in the Governor Kate Brown (D) recall attempt, though they support the effort.

Petitioners needed 4883 signatures in 90 days.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Michigan: Union major backer of indicted Michigan State Representative recall

The Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, the union that was allegedly extorted by Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R,) has been a major backer of the recall against him, with the suggestion that they have contributed as much as $60,000 to the effort.

The recall is now facing lawsuits. The Election Commission tossed out the signatures, because of an error in the petition. The petition language was originally approved, but the petitions that were printed out left out the word "right" in the sentence: attempted extortion under color of official right."

Petitioners handed in 13,991 signatures for the recall They needed 12201 valids to get on the ballot.

Inman was indicted by a federal grand jury over 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. He has been prevented from going to his old office, though he is able to go onto the House floor. Inman blamed an opiod addiction.

Washington, DC: Expulsion motions being considered for City Council member

The City Council has voted to recommend expelling Council Member Jack Evans (D), who is facing a potential recall. Evans is claiming that the signatures handed in against him were forged, which seems to be the case for some of them, though it sounds like only a small amount. 5588 signatures were handed in. Petitioners need 4949 to get on the ballot.

Evans is facing recall threats after the revelation of 11 cases where he took action on behalf of paying client. Evans claims that he broke no rules. Members of the council are calling for his resignation.

If the recall gets on the ballot, an election would have to take place in 114 days and would cost an estimated $250,000.

The City Council is also considering a censure or expulsion motion.

Nebraska: Northwest School Board members facing petitions

Northwest School Board Members Dan Leiser and Robin Schutt are facing a recall effort over management questions and claims of a lack of responsiveness, plus complaints about the district boundaries. Three other board members are not able to face a recall due to the grace period for the next election. Petitioners would need 352 signatures in 30 days.

Update: Northwest School Board Members have disputed the claims of the recall.

Update: The recall effort failed, as no signatures were handed in.

Georgia: Hoschton Mayor, Councilman recall moving to the ballot with expected January vote

The recall of Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Councilman Jim Cleveland is now set to take place, with the Supreme Court declining to hear the appeal. The vote is expected in January. The article notes that this would be historic as Georgia's first recall of a Mayor, though that is not correct. In 2017, Meigs Mayor Linda Harris was kicked out in a recall vote.

The recall was launched 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." Georgia has a malfeasance standard rule and they claimed that the recall reasons do not meet the "for cause" requirement for a recall.

Petitioners handed in 270 signatures to push through the first stage of the recall they need 96 valids.

California: State GOP backing Governor Newsom recall, though fundraising is for party not recall efforts

The two attempts to get a recall going against Governor Gavin Newsom (D) have now been endorsed by the California Republican Party, with a fundraising email being sent out mentioning the efforts. However, any money raised from the letters will go to the party, not the recall efforts.

Two recall efforts have filed to recall Newsom, one led by Erin Cruz, who came in sixth in the US Senate primary in 201 and one 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. While both efforts have been getting press, there hasn't been much money raised for the effort ($53,000 for one, $48,000 for the second).

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

Michigan: Petitioners appealing ruling tossing out signatures against State Representative because missing word on petitions

Petitioners are appealing the Elections Director ruling tossing out the 13,991 signatures for the recall effort against Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R). The petition language was originally approved, but the petitions that were printed out left out the word "right" in the sentence: attempted extortion under color of official right."

They needed 12201 valids to get on the ballot.

Inman was indicted by a federal grand jury over 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. He has been prevented from going to his old office, though he is able to go onto the House floor. Inman blamed an opiod addiction.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Washington, DC: City Council member challenges signatures

Council Member Jack Evans (D) is challenging the signatures handed in against him, claiming that one third of the 5588 signatures were inaccurate or forged. Petitioners need 4949 to get on the ballot.

Evans is facing recall threats after the revelation of 11 cases where he took action on behalf of paying client. Evans claims that he broke no rules. Members of the council are calling for his resignation.

If the recall gets on the ballot, an election would have to take place in 114 days and would cost an estimated $250,000.

The City Council is also considering a censure or expulsion motion.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Michigan: Signatures against State Representative tossed out because missing word on petitions

The Elections Director has tossed out the 13,991 signatures for the recall effort against Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R). The petition language was originally approved, but the petitions that were printed out left out the word "right"."

They needed 12201 valids to get on the ballot.

Inman was indicted by a federal grand jury over 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. He has been prevented from going to his old office, though he is able to go onto the House floor. Inman blamed an opiod addiction.

It sounds like the petitioners are debating appealing the ruling.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Maryland: District Heights Mayor facing recall threats over conviction for helping someone buy fireworks

District Heights Mayor Eddie Martin is facing calls for his removal and a possible recall threat after he was convicted of using his position to help someone buy $50,000 of fireworks. Martin was in the city council for 14 years and has been mayor since 2018. Petitioners would need 30% of eligible voters signatures to get on the ballot.

Nebraska: Bellevue City Councilwoman facing recall effort led by Councilman

Bellevue City Councilwoman Kathy Welch is facing a recall effort led by Councilman Pat Shannon over a kitchen sink of claims, including that she doesn't live in the district. Shannon himself faced a recall effort in 2017 and has been criticized by various media outlets for chilling speech and preventing potential whistleblowers.

Petitioners would need 886 valid signatures for a recall, which would be on the ballot on May 12.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

North Dakota: Two Williams School Board Members recalls set for February 25

Two challengers, Chris Jundt and Sarah Williams, have announced that they will run in the recall effort against Williams School Board President Penny Soiseth and Vice President Curt Sullivan. The recall is scheduled for February 25. The issue was complaints about transparency and a push for $12 million to expanded Williston High School.  Petitioners handed in 45 signatures and needed 24 signature. Jundt was the leader of the recall effort.

California: Buena Park City Councilwoman fails with signatures thrown out

The recall for Buena Park City Councilwoman Youngsun "Sunny" Park (D) has failed after 700 signatures were tossed out. Park was charged with allegedly stealing campaign signs that attacked

Colorado: Palmer Lake Mayor and two other officials facing recall effort

Palmer Lake Mayor John Cressman, Trustee Gary Faust and Town Attorney Maureen Juran are facing recall threats following talks about closing the local fire department. Petitioners are first asking the Trustees to remove the officials by a two-thirds majority vote. They have a list of other complaints as well.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Michigan: Signatures handed in for recall of Michigan State Representative

Petitioners handed in 13,991 signatures for the recall effort against Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R). They need 12201 valids to get on the ballot.

Inman was indicted by a federal grand jury over 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. He has been prevented from going to his old office, though he is able to go onto the House floor. Inman blamed an opiod addiction.

Inman's attorney has a strange argument that the recall petition is unconstitutional because it prejudices his trial.

Guam: Yona Mayor facing recall petitions

Mayor Jesse Blas is facing a recall petition after being arrested on bribery and extortion charges related to an alleged scheme to import crystal meth. Petitioners need 981 signatures to get a recall on the ballot (though a 2/3rds vote of the legislature can put a recall on the ballot as well).

Update: The Vice Speaker has submitted a bill to try and get the recall on the ballot.

Friday, November 22, 2019

California: Acting Oakland School Board President facing petitions

Petitions have been taken out against acting Oakland Unified School Board President Jody London over school closures. Petitioners need about 5000 signatures by May. London announced that she will not be seeking reelection, as her child is graduating.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Texas: McKinney City Councilman facing petitions

Months after McKinney approved an amendment to make recalls easier to get on the ballot, petitions have been taken out against Councilman La'Shadion Shemwell who has been a controversial member of with complaints of violating ethics codes and making inflammatory statements and getting arrested repeatedly (once seemed to be for domestic violence), which he claimed occurred after he was racially profiled after refusing to sign two citations after he was pulled over for speeding last year.

Petitioners need 2127 signatures by January 4.

Wisconsin: Former State Senator George Petak looks back at vote that led to his recall

In 1996, State Senator George Petak cast the decisive vote for a .1 % sales tax to finance the Miller Park (the Brewers Stadium). The result was a recall that led to Petak's ouster (and flipped the Senate from D to R). The tax is now set to end in 2020, and Petak looks back at the vote.

Michigan: Petitioners ready to hand in signatures against indicted Michigan State Representative

Petitioners claim that they are reading to submit signatures for the recall effort against Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R). Petitions need 12201 signatures in 60 days to get on the ballot.

Inman was indicted by a federal grand jury over 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. He has been prevented from going to his old office, though he is able to go onto the House floor. Inman blamed an opiod addiction.

Inman's attorney has a strange argument that the recall petition is unconstitutional because it prejudices his trial.

California: Petitions taken out against Irvine Mayor and Councilmember

Petitions were taken out against Irvine Mayor Christina Shea and Councilmember Mike Carroll over development complaints. One of the petitioners is Kev Abazajian, a former city council candidate. Petitioners need over 13,000 signatures to get to the ballot.

California: San Francisco Supervisor who chanted against Police Officers Association facing recall threats

San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer is facing recall threats over videos of her "chanting 'F* the POA! [Police Officers Association" at an event for Chesa Boudin, who has won the San Francisco District Attorney race. Petitioner would need somewhere near 8543 signatures to get on the ballot.

California: Recall against two Santa Cruz Councilmembers makes the ballot

Signatures were verified against Santa Cruz Councilmen Drew Glover and Chris Krohn over allegations of a focus on a homeless camp and issues at city meetings, though articles have noted a focus on the city's rent control and eviction ballot measures. Petitioners handed in over 11,000 signatures and needed at least 7938.

The recall is likely to be on the March 3 primary ballot.

Wisconsin: Door County Supervisor survives recall vote

Door County Supervisor Roy Englebert survived his recall vote on November 19, winning 53.85%. Englebert faced Forestville Trustee Lora Jorgensen (33%) amd Forestville Supervisor Jason Tlachac. The race was a primary, though since Englebert topped 50%, he won outright. The recall was over 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. The recall was the first against a supervisor in the county since 2002.

Arizona: Signatures handed in against Graham County Clerk of the Superior Court

Petitioners handed in 3147 signatures looking for the recall of  Graham County Clerk of the Superior Court Cindy Woodman (R) 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 2697 signatures by January 1.

Nebraska: Three Hamilton County Commissioners facing petitions

Petitions have been taken out against Hamilton County Commissioners Rich Nelson (241 signatures needed) and Roger Nunnenkamp (251) and have been threatened against Becky Richter (233). The recall has a kitchen sink group of complaints (failure to represent constituents and the like) and one issue on failure to inspect materials resulting in hazardous road conditions.

Commissioner Gregg Kremer was kicked out in a recall in February.

Texas:Signatures handed in against two Leon Valley City Council members

Over 1500 signatures have been handed in against Leon Valley Councilmembers Monica Alcocer and Donna Charles over the vote to kick out Councilman Benny Martinez over sexual harassment complaint. Petitioners need 500 signatures each to get a recall on the ballot.

Petitioners include two former council members and the Mayor Chris Riley.

Virginia: Former Arlington County GOP Chair calls for Recall Elections law

Here;s an op-ed column by former Arlington GOP Chairman Mark Kelly calling for a state-wide recall election law following revelations about a Arlington County Board member. Kelly notes that Virginia has a recall trial law, but notes that judges are loath to use the power.

California: Oceanside City Councilman facing recall effort

Oceanside City Councilman Christopher Rodriguez (R) is facing a recall over complaints that he allegedly lied about being a farmer. and his vote to approve a housing development. Petitioners would need 4456 signatures.

North Dakota: Two Williams School Board Members recalls set for February

The recall of Williams School Board President Penny Soiseth and Vice President Curt Sullivan appears to have made the ballot for a February election (the article is behind a paywall. The issue was complaints about transparency and a push for $12 million to expanded Williston High School.  Petitioners handed in 45 signatures and needed 24 signature.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Georgia: Supreme Court allows recall of Hoschton Mayor, Councilman to move forward

The Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal green lighting the recall of Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Councilman Jim Cleveland. The challenge was 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." Georgia has a malfeasance standard rule and they claim that the recall reasons do not meet the "for cause" requirement for a recall.

Petitioners handed in 270 signatures to push through the first stage of the recall. They need 96 valids.

Nebraska: Broken Bow Mayoral recall scheduled for January 14

Despite the mayor's refusal to sign for the recall date, Broken Bow Mayor Jonathan Berghost will face a January 14 recall. The recall is over claims of a hostile work environment, operating with out council approval and allegedly threatening police officers. Petitioners handed in 476 signatures, they need 410 valid signatures.

Washington, DC: Signatures handed in against City Council member

Petitioners have handed in more than 5588 signatures for the recall of long-time Council Member Jack Evans (D). Petitioners need 4949.

Evans is facing recall threats after the revelation of 11 cases where he took action on behalf of paying client. Evans claims that he broke no rules. Members of the council are calling for his resignation.

If the recall gets on the ballot, an election would have to take place in 114 days and would cost an estimated $250,000.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Tennessee: Judge halts Jackson-Madison School Board recall

A Chancery Court Judge has stopped the recall effort against Jackson-Madison County School Board member Doris Black, which was scheduled to begin early voting on November 20 and end on December 10.

Previously, State Attorney General Herbert Slatery III had raised constitutional questions of Madison County's Recall law.

Slatery is calling into question the fact the state bill that approved the recall for Madison County only involves a "narrow population bracket" -- counties with populations between 98,200 and 98,300, which is only Madison -- as well as the severability provision (if part of the bill is found illegal, the rest can be severed and survive).

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.

Black is currently set to be facing a recall vote on December 10. 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.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Colorado: Wiggins Trustee Recall set for April 7

Wiggins Trustee Jeff Palmer is facing a recall vote on April 7, the next regular election date. Petitioners handed in 90 signatures and got 81 valids.

California: City of Industry Councilman facing petitions

City of Industry Councilman Abraham Cruz is facing petitions. The City of Industry rarely has elections. Cruz claims the recall is being brought after he attempted to shine a light on a corruption suit.

Colorado: Idaho Springs Mayor facing petitions

Petitions have been taken out against Idaho Springs Mayor Mike Hillman, with petitioners needing 77 signatures to get on the ballot (though I wonder if this is off -- the article cites 25% of the number of votes Hillman received. It is usually the total vote for the office).

The petitioners handed in a catch-all language, though Hillman says the issue is a residential development.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Alaska: Judge sets slower timeline to review Governor recall

Superior Court Judge has set oral arguments for the appeal of the Election Director's rejection of the recall of Governor Mike Dunleavy to start on January 10. The recall proponents wanted an expedited timeline. Petitioners wanted the recall set 30 days earlier.

California: Signatures handed in against three Westminister officials

Petitioners handed in about 11,000 signatures in the recall effort against Westminister Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmembers Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen -- they need 8736 to get to the ballot. The issue is claims of ethical violations, such as limiting debate and participation.

There is also an attempt against the other two members, Tao Do and Sergio Contreas. Do's supporters have backed the recall of the other three.

Florida: Hialeah Mayor targeted in recall effort

Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez is facing petition over general claims of mismanagement. The lead petitioner is former City Council candidate Fernando Godo, though Hernandez claims that former Mayor Julio Martinez is leading the effort (Hernandez beat Martinez in 2013).

Petitioners need over 5000 signatures in 30 days to get to the ballot.

Michigan: Constantine School Board VP facing petitions

Constantine School Board Vice President Syntia Salisbury is facing petitioners over her participation on contract discussions with a basketball coach. The petitions now goes before the election commission for a clarity/factualness hearing.  Petitioners would need 690 signatures.

Nebraska: Broken Bow Mayoral recall gets on the ballot; Fight with mayor over scheduling

Petitioners got enough signatures to get the recall of Broken Bow Mayor Johnathan Berghost on the ballot. The recall is over claims of a hostile work environment, operating with out council approval and allegedly threatening police officers. Petitioners handed in 476 signatures, they need 410 valid signatures.

The City Council has set the recall election date for January 14, 2020, though the mayor has refused to sign into law the vote.

Idaho: Bayview Water and Sewer District Chair and Vice Chair kicked out in recall election

Bayview Water and Sewer District Board Chair Sharon Meyer (157-73 ) and Vice Chair Robyn Edwards (157-75) were both kicked in a recall vote. The seats will be filled by appointment. The issue was complaints about management.

Arizona: Oro Valley Mayor and Vice Mayor facing petitions

Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield and Vice Mayor Melanie Barrett are facing petitions over the plans for the town's El Conquistador Golf Club. This golf club was the source of a recall in 2014 (four officials survived a vote, though the four were all voted out in 2018). There is also complaints over the process for hiring a new police chief.

Petitioners need 3952 signatures for the mayor and 3668 for the vice mayor.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Colorado: Two candidates in recall race against Elizabeth Trustees on December 17

Jason Weiss and Ron Weaver will be running against Trustees Rachel White and June Jurczewsky in the December 17 recall vote. The recall was launched over the Mayor and Councils' support for development proposals.

Recalls against Elizabeth Mayor Megan Vasquez and Trustees Angela Ternus, Steve Gaither, Loren Einspahr, Tammy Payne have made the ballot and should be scheduled for April.  The different time frames is due to the fact that the other officials haven't served six months yet.

California: State Supreme Court looks at proposal to allow judges to defend selves against criticism in context of reelection and recall campaign

This is following the Santa Clara Judge Aaron Persky recall.

Michigan: Arthur Township Supervisor ousted in recall vote

Arthur Township Supervisor Lee Schunk (R) lost a recall vote on election day 94-80 to independent Matthew Bednorek (the Democrats did not field a candidate.

The issue appeared to be the implementation of a fire prevention contract with another jurisdiction's fire department (which is being financed with donations, the critics seemingly want it paid out of the general fund). 

Alaska: Quite a bit more on the Gubernatorial Recall effort

The ruling by the Director of Elections has been appealed to the Supreme Court -- note that Dermot Cole has some great writing on whether the grounds for the recall might work by looking at the 1991 recall effort against Governor Wally Hickel and Lieutenant Governor Jack Coghill (The court helped run out the clock on the effort).

Also, the conservative blog Must Read Alaska, notes that nearly 20% of Alaskan Democrats signed the recall petition, making up 32% of signers (which frankly is surprisingly low). 7% of the signers were Republicans. Most of the signers were Undeclared and Nonpartisan voters (who make up about half of the voters in Alaska).

Additionally, here's my comments on Alaska Public Radio.

Rhode Island: Three Tiverton Council members facing recall threats

Following the ouster of the Tiverton Council President of their supporters has launched a recall against new Town Council President Patricia Hilton, Vice President Denise deMedeiros and John Edwards. Edwards was appointed as a replacement to one of the two vacated seats.

The recall was over complaints about an executive session at meetings.

UK: Labour MP, facing possible recall after six month suspension for violating law, agrees not to run for reelection

Labour MP Keith Vaz has agreed not to run for reelection, thereby stopping a potential recall fight. Vaz faced an automatic recall petition after the House of Commons found that there was enough evidence to suspend him for six months after he allegedly expressed "a willingness to help buy cocaine for male prostitutes." A 32 year veteran MP, Vaz has had other issues during his tenure. Because there is an upcoming election, Vaz will avoid the recall by not running in the race.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Wisconsin: Vote to end Miller Park tax which fueled famed 1996 State Senate recall

In a throw-back moment for the recall, Wisconsin State Senate has voted to end a .1% tax for Miller Park, the Brewers Stadium that has collected $600 million. The law was adopted in 1996, when Wisconsin Senator George Petak (R) cast the decisive vote for the law after stating that he wouldn't. The result was that Petak lost his seat in a recall to Kim Plache (D), which flipped the Senate from Republican to Democrat.

Ohio: Newton Falls Councilman, who lost in 1993 recall, survives recall vote and wins reelection

A very interesting result in Newton Falls, where Councilman and Acting Mayor John Baryak (D) survived a recall vote and also won reelection in a separate race at the same time.  The complaint against Baryak was a catch-all one of general misfeasance and failing to properly conduct city business.While there was no candidate in the recall, former Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman lost in the general election, with Baryak garnering 70% of the vote (I have yet to see vote totals for the recall on the election site). Hoffman and Councilman Phillip Beer and former Councilwoman Nancy Hoffman lead the recall effort. Hoffman is running against Baryak in the primary in May.

This unusual recall type (reelection and recall at the same time) is unusual, but we've seen it before, most notably in the 2008 recall and reelection of Michigan Speaker Andy Dillion.

Baryak had lost a recall in 1993, so he avoided joining the two-time recall loser club.

Newton Falls is no stranger to recalls, as Mayor Patrick Layshock lost in 2010 to Lyle Waddell.

Colorado: Englewood Councilmember survives recall vote

Englewood Councilmember Laurett Barrentine survived a recall vote earlier this year, but that didn't help her come election time -- she overwhelmingly lost reelection to Joe Anderson, 71%-29%. The recall was over claims of bullying and firing threats. Petitioners included two former mayors.

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayor loses reelection run

Election Day saw the end of the long running saga of Fall River Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II (D), as School Board Member Paul Coogan overwhelmingly won the mayoral election.

Correia, who managed to get only 7% of the vote, had previously taken a temporary absence from the job and quit his run for another term.

Correia recently survived a preliminary election and has moved into a face off against a school committee member and community activist in November.

Correia lost a recall vote in March yet won his seat in the five candidate replacement race, and 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 Coogan, City Councilor Joseph Camara, School administrator Kyle Riley and Erica Scott-Pacheco.

Georgia: Hoschton Mayor, Councilman recall effort appealed to the state Supreme Court

The effort to recall Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Councilman Jim Cleveland is being appealed to the state Supreme Court following a lower court ruling that the recall could go forward. The challenge was 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." Georgia has a malfeasance standard rule and they claim that the recall reasons do not meet the "for cause" requirement for a recall.

Petitioners handed in 270 signatures to push through the first stage of the recall. They need 96 valids.

California: Orange County Register article on the governor and LA Mayor recall efforts

The Newsom effort has been covered widely. The effort against Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti effort would need 315,724 signatures by February 6.

Washington, DC: Signature collection ongoing against Council member

An investigation into long-time Council Member Jack Evans (D) has revealed 11 cases where he took action on behalf of paying client Evans claims that he broke no rules. Members of the council are calling for his resignation.

Petitioners have been collecting signatures for a recall, claiming they have 4600. They need 4949 by November 18 to get on the ballot.

Arizona: Two recalls look to remove Congress members over impeachment; Almost certainly not going anywhere

Congressman Greg Stanton (D) is facing a recall threat over his support for impeachment of the president and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R) is facing one for a vote against criticizing the president for withdrawing troops from Syria and betraying the Kurds.

The article notes that petitioners would need 65,311 signatures for Stanton and 76,104 for Lesko. However, as we've seen before, even if they get the signatures, the recall is likely to be thrown out by the courts. While there hasn't been a definitive ruling, there is a strong likelihood that recall of federal officials would not be allowed.

Mexico: Congress approves Presidential recall law

The next stage of the adoption of a recall law has passed, as Mexico's Congress approved the adoption of a recall for president 372-75. The recall would need at least 3% of registered voters. Opponents criticized the law for potentially opening the way to multi-terms for a president (Mexico's president is limited to a single six year term).

A majority of state legislatures must pass the law for it to be adopted (the president's party has control of just such a majority).

Michigan: Petitions started against four Traverse School Board

Petitions have been taken out against Traverse School Board President M. Sue Kelly, VP  Jeffrey Leonhardt, Secretary Pamela G. Forton and Trustees Jane E. Klegman over the resignation by mutual agreement of the superintendent for reasons that are unclear. The petitions still need to be approved by the Election Commission.

Petitioners would need about 11,700 signatures to get on the ballot.

There is a claim that the group would have to pay for the recall -- $80,000. I've seen this provision once (in West Virginia), but never in Michigan. I wonder if that is actually constitutional.

Idaho: Middleton School Board member who survived August recall vote kick out in regular election

Middleton School Board Members Tim Winkle, who survived a recall vote on August 27th with 145 voting to oust and 151 voting to keep him in, lost his seat on Election Day. Briggs Miller beat him 376-319.

The recall was over a vote not to renew the High School principal's contact. The principal has accused school administrators of harassing him.

Texas: Rio Bravo Mayor ousted in recall vote

Rio Bravo Mayor Daisy Lee Valdez was ousted in an Election Day recall vote 288-148 (67% against). Valdez faced the recall over claims that she spent $5000 of city money on gift cards. No word on a replacement yet.

Canada: Alberta Legislature debating Recall bill

UCP MLA Mark Smith has introduced a private members' recall bill for the Alberta Legislature. Smith had previously introduced the bill in 2016 as a Wildrose MLA. The recall proposal would oust the MLA if petitioners get 40% of eligible voters signatures in a 60 day period. There is a long grace period -- 18 months after a general election and 6 months before.

Update: The bill is moving to a second reading.

Colorado: Brighton Mayor kicked out in recall vote

Brighton Mayor Ken Kreutzer was ousted in a recall  on Election Day, with 70% of voters (6194-2551) casting ballots for his removal. No word on the replacement yet.

The recall is over the firing of the City Manager. The City Manager was allegedly fired because he uncovered $70 million in unused water money and there have been protests over high water bills.

Kreutzer had raised seven times a much money as the pro-recall effort ($11,414-$1600). The recall is on the Election Day ballot (mail-in vote).

Update: Councilmember Greg Mills was named as the replacement by the city council.

Michigan: Flint Mayor, who survived earlier recall vote, loses reelection race

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who survived a recall vote in 2017, lost her reelection bid.

Idaho: Huntington Mayor, who survived 2018 recall vote, kicked out

Huntington Mayor Richard Cummings, who survived a 2018 recall vote and won the mayor's office last November, was ousted in a recall vote on Election Day. The vote was 93-71 for removal (2 votes were challenged and have not yet been counted).

Cummings was accused of harassment, intimidation and assault over the clean-up of fire that destroyed historic buildings.

Cummings will be replaced by an appointment.

Michigan: Adams Township Board Supervisor, who won office in a 2018 recall, survives recall vote

Adams Township Board Supervisor Mark Nichols, who was elected in a 2018 recall vote, survived a recall vote on Election Day, winning with a 62%-38% margin in his favor. The recall was launched over the repeal of a nuisance ordinance. Nichols was a leader of the recall campaign, which he launched after he received a notice for keeping junk cars in his driveway. He was one of three candidates to win office in the recall effort.

Leading the recall fight against Nichols was former Adams Township Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Rob Glass III, who is running to replace Nichols.

Michigan: Albion Mayor Pro Tempore Recall kick out in recall vote

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.

Petitions were also out against Albion Mayor Dave Atchison  and Councilwoman Jeanette Spicer.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Texas: Rusk Voting on recall changes

Following the ouster of two Rusk councilmembers in a recall in May, the city is voting on changes to the recall law, most notably providing a provision that allows the City Council to keep working if they have less than a quorum after a recall.

Texas: Mercedes Mayor and Commissioner recall petitions rejected by City officials with minimal details

An attempt to recall Mercedes Mayor Henry Hinojosa and Commissioner Leo Vilarreal is being held up by the City Manager despite  handing in more than 500 signatures (not clear how many are needed to get on the ballot).

The rejection seems very odd, as it does not spell out what requirements the petitioners failed to meet and in a meeting the City Manager refused to elaborate.

The petitioner was one of four people arrested at a City Council meeting after the majority of members began a process to censure and remove a freshman Commissioner, Leonel Benavidez, who has been critical of the majority of the council.

Having officials try to kill a recall before it gets to the ballot by exercising control over the process is not that unusual,  especially in Texas. Some more here and here.

Michigan: Arthur Township Supervisor up for recall vote today

Arthur Township Supervisor Lee Schunk (R) is facing a recall vote today over what appears to be the implementation of a fire prevention contract with another jurisdiction's fire department (which is being financed with donations, the critics seemingly want it paid out of the general fund). The Democrats are not running a candidate -- independent Matthew Bednorek is opposing Schunk.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Alaska: Division of Elections Rejects Grounds for Gubernatorial Recall, setting up lawsuits

Update: I am editing the original post to include today's news:

The Alaska Division of Elections unsurprisingly rejected the recall attempt against Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R), a ruling that is only the kickoff to lawsuits that may finally decide the shape of Alaska's unique recall law, and may eventually lead to a Supreme Court ruling that results in a recall. The Director of the Division of Elections was tasked with deciding whether the effort to recall Dunleavy meets the for cause statutory "malfeasance standard" requirements to allow a recall on the ballot and that petitions can be taken out by recall proponents.

However, the Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson first submitted a recommendation against the recall effort. Here's an example of a previous negative recommendation against State Senator (and Majority Leader) Kyle Johansen.

We should first put this in some national and state contexts. I wrote the following op-ed on the effort to recall Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) after his line item vetoes.

There have been six other governors who have been threatened with a recall this year, though the Alaska recall effort stands out.

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

2) This recall drive may be seen as 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 and Washington were the only states among the six facing recall efforts that had a "malfeasance standard," which means that the courts could throw the recall out. This already happened in Washington.

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. The Division asks for a recommendation from the Attorney General. 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.

The conservative Must Read Alaska website, run by Suzanne Downing, has some very good details on the recall efforts that have gone to the division. It seems many recalls do not get to that level, as Alaska has had a good number of local recall elections over the years.

On the other side, longtime columnist Dermot Cole has thoughts on why the recall may be able to go forward.

The big question is how the courts will view this. Despite the strict malfeasance standard language of the Constitution, 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. 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. The Attorney General's recommendation seems to ignore this discrepancy of how courts have used the recall in the state.

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.