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 need 7388 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 Queen of the Hill rule -- 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


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 Englebert 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.