Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Texas: Austin has one of lowest signature requirements in Texas

A recent report from the City Auditor claims that among major Texas cities, only El Paso has a lower signature requirement for a ballot measure. For recalls, petitioners need 10% of total voters for mayor and 10% of registereds in each council district for a city council recall.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

UK: Labour MP facing possible recall after six month suspension for violating law

Labour MP Keith Vaz is now potentially facing a recall effort 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. No word yet on how signatures are needed to get the recall on the ballot.

North Dakota: Profile story of ND Governor Ragnvold Nestos, victor in first gubernatorial recall effort

Here's a profile of former North Dakota Governor Ragnvold Nestos, the victor in the first Gubentorial Recall in US History (defeating Lynn J. Frazier in 1921).

Monday, October 28, 2019

Alaska: Governor makes public relations swing in national conservative media against recall effort

Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) has gone on a nationwide offensive to defend against the recall, which others note that it may be an effort to help raise money for a potential campaign against the recall down the road. The article notes that the effort is unusual, as Dunleavy generally "avoids traveling, public speaking and formal interviews" and has rejected requests to speak from all media in Alaska.

Notably, Alaska has a loophole in its campaign finance laws allowing unlimited donations to recall efforts (Wisconsin has a similar provision).

Nevada: Former GOP Senate recall candidate apologized to targeted State Senator for recall effort

Dr. Carrie Buck, who was set to be the Republican candidate in last year's failed recall effort against State Senate Joyce Woodhouse (D), apologized for the effort in text messages as she asked for a meeting to get Woodhouse's help in attempting to be appointed state superintendent. Buck lost to Woodhouse in 2016 and is running again for the seat in 2020 (Woodhouse is term-limited).

Michigan: Traverse School Board facing recall threats over superintendent ouster

Following the resignation by mutual agreement of the superintendent for reasons that are unclear, there is a discussion to recall members of the board -- President M. Sue Kelly, VP Doris E. Ellery, Treasurer Matt R. Anderson, Secretary Pamela G. Forton and Trustees Jane E. Klegman, Jeffrey A. Leonhardt and Erica L Moon Mohr over lack of transparency issues. Petitioners would need about 11,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Colorado: Brighton Mayor outraising pro-recall effort in fundraising campaign

Brighton Mayor Ken Kreutzer has 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). 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.

Petitioners handed in 1782 signatures, they needed 1136 signatures.

Nebraska: Signatures handed in against Broken Bow Mayor

Signatures have been handed in against Broken Bow Mayor Johnathan Berghost 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.

Colorado: Recall against Elizabeth Mayor and four Trustees scheduled for April; Two others facing December vote

The recall against Elizabeth Mayor Megan Vasquez and Trustees Angela Ternus, Steve Gaither, Loren Einspahr, Tammy Payne has made the ballot and should be scheduled for April. The recall was launched over the Mayor and Councils' support for development proposals.

 Trustees Rachel White and June Jurczewsky, are facing a December 17 vote. The different time frames is due to the fact that the other officials haven't served six months yet.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Virginia: Five Warren County Supervisors facing recall trial efforts

Five Warren County Supervisors, Daniel J. Murray, Thomas H. Sayre, Tony F. Carter, Archie A. Fox and Linda Glavis, are facing recall efforts after they were indicted over misdemeanor charges over failing to act when $21 Million in county funds were embezzled with Economic Development Authority. The Warren County Sheriff committed suicide during the indictment process.

The Supervisors would face a recall trial -- something that only Virginia has -- if petitioners hand in between 100 and 250 signatures. Petitioners handed in 941 signatures, though it actually sounds like it needs to be significantly more. If the signatures are accepted, the judge would then hold a trial to decide whether the officials can retain their offices.

California: Signatures handed in against El Rancho School Board President and Member

Petitioners may have collected enough signatures to get El Rancho School Board President Jose Lara and member Leeanne Ibarra in Pico Rivera on the ballot. They claim they will hand in 9760 signatures for Lara and 9680 for Ibarra. They need 6509 signatures to get on the ballot.

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.

Texas: Austin Mayor and five City Councilmembers facing recall efforts

Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Natsha Harper-Madison, Sabino Renteria, Ann Kitchen, Paige Ellis and Kathie Tovo are all facing recall efforts from a Political Action Committee. The other five council members have terms ending in 2020. The leader of the effort previously sued the council over a voter proposition on a Major League Soccer stadium deal, and tried to get people dressed in zombie costumes and weddings out of graveyards.

Petitioners need 57,340 signatures for Adler and somewhere in the neighborhood of 4884 for Kitchen -- not clear what each of the rest will be.

Rhode Island: Tiverton Council replacements named

Following the ouster of Tiverton Council President Robert Coulter and Vice President Justin Katz, two new councilmembers were appointed, Stephen Clarke and John Edwards V as replacements. The Town Solicitor resigned due to his past work with Katz.
The recall is over complaints about an executive session at meetings.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Arizona: Governor calls for new way to push out elected county officials

Governor Doug Ducey has called for a new way to toss out county officials after Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen was arrested for an alleged rile in an international adoption business earlier this month. Petersen is subject to recall law, but the article notes the sheer numbers of signatures required and the delay in scheduling an election may make it unfeasible.

Texas: Rio Bravo Mayor facing recall vote on Election Day

Rio Bravo Mayor Daisy Lee Valdez is facing a recall vote on November 5th over claims that she spent $5000 of city money on gift cards.

North Dakota: Two Williams School Board Members facing recall petitions

Williams School Board President Penny Soiseth and Vice President Curt Sullivan are facing petitions over complaints about transparency and a push for $12 million to expanded Williston High School.  Petitioners need 24 signatures for each.

Update: Petitioners handed in 45 signatures.

California: Banning City Councilman recall rejected for failing to meet requirements

An attempt to recall Banning City Councilman David Happe has been rejected  by the Election Commission for not providing proper notice. The issue seems to be a vote for an 80 unit apartment complex, though there's also a complaint about "disparaging veterans" due to a comment about purple hearts.

Former Councilman Jerry Westholder seems to be involved in the recall effort. No word on whether the petitioners will try again.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Colorado: Senate Majority Leader recall effort fails, with only 4 signatures handed in

Despite just claiming that they had enough signatures to get on the ballot, Republicans only turned in a protest four signatures for the recall of Senate President Leroy Garcia (D) -- they needed 13506.

The Colorado recall fights are now seemingly over, as four other attempted recalls against Colorado officials failed to turn in signatures (and one other Representative resigned for what she claimed was other reasons).

Garcia's was considered the most serious of the recall threats, as he represents the district that former Senator Angela Giron (D) was in for her 2013 recall.

One of the articles notes that the reasons more signatures weren't handed in was because they worried about "doxxing" of the signers, though another claim that it is because "Colorado law would have prevented those people from signing on for any future recall effort against Garcia." This doesn't sound accurate, but perhaps there is something else to the law.

Friday, October 18, 2019

California: Signature verified against Foster City Vice Mayor -- Recall scheduled for March 3

Foster City Vice Mayor Herb Perez looks like he will face a vote, as election officials verified enough signatures to get on the ballot. Petitioners handed in 4380 and got 3913. They needed 3314. The recall claims that it is about complaints about his conduct and "pro development agenda." Perez claims the issue is housing.

The city is looking to hold the recall on the statewide primary day, March 3, 2020. However, it may end up being a special election (the difference in cost could be between $71,900-$86,280 for the primary day and $257,905-$309,486 for a special).

Update: The Recall has been scheduled for March 3 -- it will be the first in the city since 1977.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayor takes leave of absence and quits run for new term

The saga of Fall River Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II (D) seems to be hurtling to a conclusion, as he announced that he is taking a temporary absence from the job and quitting 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 City Councilor Joseph Camara, School Committee member Paul Coogan, School administrator Kyle Riley and Erica Scott-Pacheco. Coogan came in first in the preliminary election.

Nebraska: Two Antelope Commissioners kicked out in recall vote

Antelope Commissioners Tom Borer (337-187) and Allan Bentley (307-174) were kicked out in a mail-in election. The recall was over claims of mismanagement of funds, mistreatment of officials and spending money on an outside attorney after a state patrol investigation.

Replacements will be appointed by the remaining three commissioners.

Wisconsin: Door County Supervisor recall on the November ballot

Door County Supervisor Roy Englebert will be on the ballot in November 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 is the first against a supervisor in the county since 2002.

Australia: Poll on potential recall law

Here's the results of a poll of Australia's parliamentarians -- 72% oppose a recall law, though the public apparently does want such a law.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Colorado: Republicans claim they have signatures for Senate President recall

Republicans are claiming that they have enough signatures to get a recall against Senate President Leroy Garcia (D). Petitioners would need 13506 signatures by Friday -- they have failed in four other attempted recalls against Colorado officials (and one other Representative resigned).

The story notes that they are hoping for the same result as they had against Angela Giron in 2013. Note that recall had one of the lowest signature gathering rate failures that I've seen.

Mexico: Senate passes Presidential Recall Election Law

Mexico's Senate has passed a recall election law for the President, as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says the law would require him to face a recall vote halfway through his term. Obrador originally proposed a recall every two years.

Obrador is disputing the claim that he is trying to use these changes as a way to seek a second term (Mexico limits presidents to a single six year term). The law passed the lower house, but Obrador's supporters do not appear to have the 2/3rds vote needed to get a constitutional amendment passed.

Oregon: Two Governor Kate Brown Petition fails -- one doesn't turn in signatures, the other doesn't have enough

The attempts to recall Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) failed. The big organized effort led by Republican leaders did not turn in any signatures -- they claim to have been 10% short of the 280,050 needed, though as a general rule, these claims of just missing the signature number should be taken with several oceans' full of salt. They suggest they may try again in the future.

A second petition did get handed in featuring 23,926 pages of signatures, but with only 10 signatures max per page they clearly didn't have enough signatures, it was rejected.

For some background, Bill Currier, the chairman of the State Republican Party, filed the original 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.

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." 

This has led to serious questions of who would replace Brown.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

UK: Electoral Commission recommends cutting signature gathering from 6 to 4 weeks

The UK Electoral Commission has recommended cutting the signature gathering period for a recall from 6 weeks to 4 weeks, as well as provide more secrecy on signatures. They are also suggesting a singing sheet for opposing the recall.

Georgia: Opinion piece calls into question basis for Hoschton Mayor, Councilman recall

A judge in Georgia has approved the recall effort against Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Councilman Jim Cleveland, and this op-ed takes issue with whether the judge used an extremely elastic view of the malfeasance standard. Unlike many other opeds against recalls, this one is worth reading, as it deals with the specifics of Georgia's recall law, rather than whether recalls should be allowed at all.

This op-ed notes that the judge takes a very lenient view of malfeasance. Georgia requires that the recall meet a set of "for cause" requirements. The recall was started after 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."

California: Signatures handed in against Buena Park City Councilwoman

Petitioners handed in about 2100 signatures calling for the recall of Buena Park City Councilwoman Youngsun "Sunny" Park (D) after she was charged with allegedly stealing campaign signs that attacked her. Petitioners need about 1875 valids to get to the ballot.

Park beat Virginia Vaughn (R), the incumbent mayor, by 16 votes -- 1560-1544.

Colorado: December 17 Recall Election scheduled for two Elizabeth Trustees

A recall against Elizabeth Trustees  Rachel White and June Jurczewsky has been scheduled for December 17. The effort is over development issues, with petitioners claiming that the town has more demands on services. Signatures have also been handed in against Mayor Megan Vasquez and Trustees Angela Ternus, Steve Gaither, Loren Einspahr and Tammy Payne, though those recall efforts are currently held up in court over a notary issue.

Oregon: Petitioners claim to be close to Governor recall signatures; deadline is October 14

Petitioners have until Monday to handed in signatures for the recall of Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D). They claim they are close to the 280,050 needed to get the recall on the ballot.

Note that being close to 280,050 would almost certainly not be enough. The lowest signature rejection rate I've seen is 6% in a Colorado Senate race. Generally, it can range from 15-40%, so they almost certainly need over 300,000 to get on the ballot.

There is also a significant issue over who would replace Brown that has not been decided.

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

Petitioners claim to have gathered the 300,000 signatures needed to get Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yuto on the ballot (they seem to need about 228,000 -- 10% of city inhabitants). Han was also just nominated as 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.

Update: Petitioners claim to have enough signatures to get on the ballot.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rhode Island: Tiverton Council President and VP kicked out in recall vote

Tiverton Council President Robert Coulter (1594-75) and Vice President Justin Katz (1589-80) were both kick out of office in a recall vote. The low votes for Coulter and Katz has a lot to do with strategy, as there was an absentee veto provision in the recall law.  The absentee veto means that turnout has to exceed 40% of 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). Both of them easily topped that total.

The recall is over complaints about an executive session at meetings. The lead petitioner, William McLaughlin, lost as a council candidate in November.

Oregon: Lexington Mayor resigns in face of recall; City Council member survives recall

Lexington Mayor Marcia Kemp resigned in the face of an October 22 vote. The government was shut down for nine days  after councilors did not show up for a budget meeting, which three of the councilors claim that Kemp did not send them "reminders in order to make them look bad" -- Kemp says they didn't show up to make her look bad.

City Councilman Bill Beard survived an October 1 recall vote, 54-43. A city maintenance worker filed the recall effort against Beard, and has since resigned.

California: Dixie School Board member who faced recall effort resigns

Dixie School District Trustee Marnie Glickman, who faced a failed recall effort earlier this year, has resigned her seat.

Glickman had previously announced she would not run for reelection -- petitioners did not hand in any signatures.  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.

The article did note that many school board members resign early from their seats.

North Dakota: Belfield Mayor resigns in face of recall

Belfield Mayor Ken Solberg resigned after signatures were handed in over claims that he disregarded the city council recommendations and took "matters into his own hands" in dealing with city business. Petitioners handed in 66 signatures and they were in the process of being verified before the resignation.

Update: The Council will be appointing a replacement from its own four members.

Nebraska: Petitions filed against Waverly City Councilman

Petitions have been taken out against Waverly City Councilmember Bill Gerdes. The issue seems to be approval of a development project. Petitioners need 226 signatures to get on the ballot.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Oklahoma: Four Pawhuska Councilors survive recall vote

Pawhuska Councilors John Brazee (407-178), Mark Buchanan (369-202), Rodger Milleson (397-188) and Roger Taylor (392-`93) all survived a recall vote over the firing and subsequent rehiring a police chief. The fifth councilor, Jourdan Foran, is exempt from the recall because he just took office.

Oregon: Metolius Mayor kicked out in recall vote

Metolius Mayor John Chavez was kicked out of office in a recall vote, 124-73. The issue was allegations that he concealed his criminal record, including an assault case from fighting with his brother and a DUII in March. He was also arrested for only completing 2 days of a 10 day jail sentence. The leader of the recall was former City Councilor Tryna Muilenburg, who lost the 2018 race to Chavez by one vote. Turnout (or return of the mail-in ballots) was about 35%.

The seat will be filled by appointment.

California: New law allows official facing recall to have party preference listed on ballot

Here on SB 151 (sponsored by Senator Thomas Umberg)

Monday, October 7, 2019

California: Look at the History of recalls against Governors

A good video segment/write-up on the challenges of recalling a governor in California. It has been tried 87 times, and gotten to the ballot once. Jerry Brown faced 12 recall attempts (5 during his first two terms as governor, five during his second stint, and two as State AG).

Michigan: Recall effort launched against State Representative indicted over bribery and extortion charges

The recall effort against Michigan State Representative Larry C. Inman (R) has started, though Inman's attorney has a strange argument that the recall petition is unconstitutional because it prejudicies his trial. Inman was indicted 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.

Petitions are being collected and would need 12201 signatures in 60 days to get on the ballot.

Texas: Leon Valley City Council members facing recall effort

Leon Valley City Council members Donna Charles and Monica Alococer are facing recall efforts after their vote to kick out Councilman Benny Martinez over sexual harassment complaint. Petitioners need 500 signatures each to get a recall on the ballot.

Texas: San Antonio Express Editorial opposing specific recalls, though calling it "an important check on government"

Here's a San Antonio Express editorial on recalls, noting that: "When dsyfunction fever is running high within an elected body, a recall can be the appropriate medicine."

However, it goes on to say that it should "only be prescribed in rare circumstances and never to threaten elected officials who might make sound, but unpopular, decisions. Unhappy with those decisions? That's what elections are for. Not recalls."

California: Antelope Valley School District members recall effort fails

The recall effort against Antelope Valley Union High School District President Robert Davis, VP Victoria Ruffin and Clerk Amanda Parrell failed. The effort was over an agreement with a law firm investigating discrimination and disparate treatment of minority students and in hiring decisions. Petitioners would have needed between 6833 and 7964 signatures to get on the ballot. Petitioners claimed to have gotten 12000 totals, though it doesn't seem to have handed in the signatures.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Colorado:Signatures verified in Nederland Mayor and Trustees recall

Petitioners handed in enough signatures to get recalls against Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larson and Trustees Dallas Masters and Julie Gustafson on the ballot. Petitioners handed in 64 for Larsen and 59 were approved. They needed 58. Gustafson had 59 turned in, 55 approved and needed 47. Masters had 64 turned in, got 59 and needed only 47.

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.

Update: A court rejected complaints against the recall effort, so now we are waiting on setting a date

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Colorado: Group behind Colorado Governor recall effort gave $11,000 as gifts to employees and board members


Georgia: Judge greenlights recall effort against Hoschton Mayor, Councilman over racist comments/behavior

A Judge has allowed the recall of Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Councilman Jim Cleveland to 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.

Massachusetts: Milford Town Meeting rejects lower recall requirements

Milford voters rejected an attempt to loosen the recall standards, so that only 10% of signatures would be needed to get on the ballot, and only 15% of voters would have to vote in their absentee veto provision.

Colorado: Recall gets enough signatures against Elizabeth Mayor and Trustees

Petitioners handed in enough signatures against Elizabeth Mayor Megan Vasquez and Trustees Angela Ternus, Rachel White, June Jurczewsky, Steve Gaither, Loren Einspahr, Tammy Payne for an upcoming recall vote. The effort is over development issues, with petitioners claiming that the town has more demands on services. Petitioners needed 53 signatures for Vasquez and between 33-36 for the others.

Arizona: Three Continental County Club Board members removed

Continental County Club Board Members John Keegan, Robert Hoadley and Dusty Rhoton were ousted in a recall vote over supporting short-term rentals in the area. 500 of 926 ballots were turned in (about half of the homeowners). The three will be replaced by appointment.

Tennessee: State Attorney General questions constitutionality of Jackson-Madison School Board recall law

The recall effort against Jackson-Madison County School Board member Doris Black may now be facing a significant hurdle, as State Attorney General Herbert Slatery III has 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.

Rhode Island: Tiverton Council President and VP push for voters not to cast ballots in recall election on October 10

Tiverton Council President Robert Coulter and Vice President Justin Katz are using the absentee veto provision in the recall law as an electoral strategy and asking voters not to show up to vote.  The absentee veto means that 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).

The recall is over complaints about an executive session at meetings. The council approved a vote for October 10. The lead petitioner, William McLaughlin, lost as a council candidate in November.