Sunday, August 30, 2020

Wisconsin: Petitions taken out against Governor/Lieutenant Governor

Petitions were taken out against Governor Tony Evers (D) and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (D) over the responses to the coronavirus pandemic and the unrest in Kenosha. Petitioners would need 668,327 signatures in 60 days to get on the ballot. 

Idaho: Ketchum Mayor facing petitions

Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw is facing petitions over his dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and waivers for large developments. Petitioners would need 508 signatures to get on the ballot.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Utah: Grand County Council looks to change form of government and remove recall (which may be disallowed under state law)

Utah's Grand County Council is looking to move to an expanded commission form of government in order to get into compliance with state law, which will remove recall elections (as well as non-partisan elections and term limits). Utah passed a state law in 2018 mandating that all counties use one of four forms of government.

It was not clear if Grand County's recall law was legal under Utah law. There was one attempt for a recall in 2018, though it failed and may have been disallowed. 

Colorado: Avon Mayor Pro Tem facing attempted recall

There appears to be an attempted recall of Avon Mayor Pro Tem Amy Phillips, with petitioners needing 479 signatures to get on the ballot. I don;t see any coverage of this except for a post in a story about the Avon upcoming elections. No word on why the recall is being attempted, though the post says that she will avoid the recall by getting on the ballot to seek reelection (not sure if that means that she could be recalled for the remaining portion of her term and win reelection, or if it is something else). 

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Florida: Miami Commissioner looks to remove signatures; Effort moving to second stage

 The recall effort against Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo, which previously featured a lawsuit, now has Carollo supporters gathering signatures to remove their names from signed petitions. Florida allows this counter-signature strategy, but it is required within 30 days after submission. Carollo is outside of that timeframe.. Petitioners gathered 1941 signatures and needed 1577 to pass the first stage. So Carollo needs at 365 removals. 

Florida has a two stage signature gathering process, so petitioners would need to get another 4738 signatures in 60 days.

The recall is over accusations that Carollo pushed for targeted code enforcement against a businessman who owns the Ball & Chain nightclub.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Washington: Look into history of Seattle Mayoral recalls

Here. It mentions the recall of Mayor Hiram Gill in 1911 and Frank Edwards in 1931, though focuses on Mayor Wesley Uhlman, who survived a recall in 1975.

Oregon: GOP petitioners optimistic they have signatures for Governor recall

Petitioners are claiming that they believe they will get a recall on the ballot against Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D). Petitioners would need 280,050 valid signatures and are hoping to get 430,000 by the August 31 deadline. They attest to having 290,000 currently, but the Secretary of State has said that signatures handed in do not meet the needed requirement yet.

The Oregon Republicans have led the charge on the recall.  Brown's push for the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, that seems to have help prevent a major recurrence in Oregon, is one of the new motivators for the recall, though since the GOP has been launching recalls since her election in 2018, this seems more like the latest reason. Last year, two attempts, including one led by Republican leaders, both failed.

Brown herself is term limited.

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 faced 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." But this has led to serious questions of who would replace Brown. 

Oregon does not have a Lieutenant Governor provision. The normal candidate to step up is the Secretary of State, in this case 84 year-old Republican Beverly Clarno. But Clarno was appointed (by Brown) to the position to replace her deceased predecessor. Oregon law appears to disallow the replacement by an appointed official. The next in line would be State Treasurer Tobias Read (D). 

Missouri: Kansas City Mayor facing recall effort over pandemic response, but city's malfeasance standard may stop it

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is facing petitions, which lists "poor judgement and inadequate leadership" though the Facebook page was launched the day that he extended the mask mandate to combat the coronavirus pandemic. 

As Tony KC's site notes, Kansas City's recall law is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall one, which would seem to present a very high bar to get on the ballot. Note that Missouri recall provisions allowing it for charter cities also has a malfeasance standard.

It seems petitioners need to get 13,393 signatures in 30 days to get on the ballot. The petitions are too late to make the November ballot. 

Wisconsin: Lake Mills School Board member resigns in face of recall effort

Lake Mills School Board member Rachael Davies, who was the target of a recall effort, has resigned her seat.  Petitioners needed 1273 signatures in 60 days. 

Davies has been censured by the board for racially charged comments made on her social media page over the 50 Miles More march.

Update: Petitioners have decided to not hand in signatures so as not to force a new election.

Missouri: Petitioner holding on to petitions in recall attempt against St. Louis City Alderwoman over opposition to airport privatization plan

The lead petitioner in a recall attempt against St. Louis Alderwoman Cara Spencer has claimed that he has collected about 1900 signatures to get a recall on the ballot (they need 1139 valids) but has said he hasn't decided to hand them in. The recall is over her opposition to an airport privatization plan which will be on the November 3 ballot. The signatures are being collected by the same group that is seeking enough signatures to also get the privatization plan on the ballot (though the petitioner claims that the issue is that Spencer is a white person representing a majority minority district). Spencer has announced a run for mayor the following year.

The petitions have to be handed in by Mid-September.


Idaho: Two Lincoln County Commissioners survive recall vote due to Queen of the Hill provision

Lincoln County Commissioners Rick Ellis and Roy Hubert survived Tuesday's recall vote thanks to a Queen of the Hill provision. 73% voted against Ellis and Hubert. However, Idaho's recall law's "Queen of the Hill" provision: the vote to remove must exceed the amount of votes the candidate received when they won the office in the last election. The Hubert recall vote totaled 698, but he received 833 votes in his favor in 2018. Ellis saw a 704 votes to remove. He got 710 in 2018. So both survived. 

The recall is over a vote to build a new courthouse rather than make the current one ADA compliant. A bond effort failed, because they did not get 2/3rds of the vote. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Washington: Judge okays Benton County Sheriff recall petition

A judge has green lit a recall effort against Benton County Sheriff Jerry Hatcher, ruling that petitioners have met Washington's malfeasance standard on eight charges.

The Deputy Sheriff's Guild membership was leading the way. An independent investigator found that Hatcher retaliated against a whistleblower and two witnesses and engaged in anti-union activity.

Hatcher also has run into personal issues with his wife filing a civil protection order claiming that he choked her during a fight over his extramarital affairs. The order meant he had to surrender his firearm. He also was previously charged with felony witness tampering and assault, though chargers were dismissed.

Washington: Leader of Seattle City Council recall member loses job over effort

Ernie Lou, one of the leaders of the recall effort against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant (the first socialist elected to Seattle's council in 100 years), has lost his job due to his work on the recall. He was an independent contractor at a film festival. 

The recall effort over a kitchen sink of complaints, including revealing the mayor's home address, giving decision-making authority to Socialist Alternative (which has been a complaint against her before, though it was dismissed by the Ethics and Election Commission), promoting a ballot initiative, letting protesters in City Hall after hours and helping to create a criminal environment.

Petitioners would need over 10,700 signatures to get on the ballot. Washington is also a "malfeasance standard/judicial recall state", so a recall effort will need to get approval to get on the ballot. 

Oregon: Two Gates City Councilors kicked out in recall vote

Gates City Councilors Ron Carmickle (101-91) and Jim Hensell (105-85) were oust in an August 18 recall vote. The issue was joining a proposed sewer district. The city did not have people willing to run for the position last election, so they may have some challenges in filling the seats. The council only has two of six positions filled. 

Petitioners needed 35 signatures to get on the ballot (they handed in 87)

A former Mayor Dan Tucker (who recently resigned twice) led the recall effort. 

Friday, August 21, 2020

Florida: Howey-in-the-Hills Town Councilman kicked out in recall vote

The recall election against Howey-in-the-Hills Councilman Matthew McGill finally took place, with McGill ousted 483-163. The recall was postponed from its April 14 date.

From previous coverage, McGill and others are threatening to sue the town for a $1M each, with complaints of ethical violations. McGill has complained about the police chief's enforcement policies.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

35 Pandemic-focused recall attempts -- Op-ed in the Oklahoman and further thoughts

While it has shaken up the national races, the first political impact of the coronavirus pandemic is taking place on the local level. Already, there have been 35 recalls attempts focused all or in part on elected officials responses to the pandemic. 30 of these recalls have targeted officials who support the health guidelines promoting social distancing and mask wearing.

 At the start of the shutdowns, there was good reason to believe that we would see a precipitous drop in recalls. That may have happened. Some elections were delayed and numerous recalls attempts failed or were abandoned in the planning stage once the social distancing prevented full out signature gathering campaigns.

 But since then, pandemic-focused recalls (and to a lesser degree, recalls surrounding the BLM protests and police defunding) have taken off. Republican Governors of Arizona and Idaho have seen petitions. Democratic governors of California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon and Wisconsin have all been hit as well, though Republicans (in this case, actual party leaders) have targeted some of these governors since their election in 2018.

 Perhaps most surprisingly, Oklahoma, a state that has seen only rare uses of the recall, has been a key participant. As I wrote in this op-ed in Oklahoman, the state has seen fifteen recall attempts in four cities. Additionally, seven officials in Comanche Nation have been targeted with a recall effort, ostensibly over the distribution of pandemic funds (though the petition leader has launched numerous recalls in the past).

Five of these recall attempts have been against officials who have been opposed to enforcement of social distancing rules; two sheriffs and a city councilman in Washington State; an assemblyman in Anchorage, Alaska and a Texas councilman. Washington State is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of statutorily listed cause is needed to get the recall going. The other recalls are targeting officials who have been in favor of protective social distancing rules (though the recalls in Norman, Oklahoma are focused on police funding – I have not been able to find an actual copy of the petition – there has also been discussion of social distancing). One election is already set to take place (though not till February), one resignation has occurred and signatures have been handed in against two other officials.

 Most of the recall efforts will fail to hand in enough signatures to get on the ballot, which is the norm in recalls throughout the country. But recalls can be a strong indicator of political anger and upheaval. We’ll see what it means going forward.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Washington: Another Seattle Councilmember facing recall threats

 Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold is facing petition threats after she voted for a budget that would cut 100 police officers. So far, there is an online petition, though no actual petitions seem to have been taken out. Petitioners would need to meet Washington's malfeasance standard/judicial recall law, which is usually a significant barrier. Petitioners would need 8990 signatures to get on the ballot.

Washington: Seattle City Councilmember facing petitions

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant (the first socialist elected to Seattle's council in 100 years) is facing a recall effort over a kitchen sink of complaints, including revealing the mayor's home address, giving decision-making authority to Socialist Alternative (which has been a complaint against her before, though it was dismissed by the Ethics and Election Commission), promoting a ballot initiative, letting protesters in City Hall after hours and helping to create a criminal environment.

Petitioners would need over 10,700 signatures to get on the ballot. Washington is also a "malfeasance standard/judicial recall state", so a recall effort will need to get approval to get on the ballot. 

Update: Petitions have been filed

Texas: Cedar Park City Councilmember recall fails to turn in signatures

Petitioners have not handed in any signatures for the recall of Cedar Park City Councilmember Tim Kelly over Facebook posts calling teachers "leeches" and calling for the firing of teachers who refuse to return to the classroom during the Covid-19 pandemic. Kelly has been censured by a 4-3 council vote.  

Petitioners needed to get 4,112 signatures (10% of registered voters) to get on the ballot.

Oklahoma: Enid Commissioner recall not taking place on Election Day, delayed tiil February 9

The recall election of Enid Commissioner Ben Ezzell has been delayed until February 9, 2021 as the city commissioners tabled the vote (there is no provision for Special Elections). 

The recall date will be on the same day as the new elections for commissioner. Ezzell is termed out, so the race will be focused on the last three months of his term. 

Ezzell is presumably still objecting to the recall and the signatures gathered after petitioners handed in 204 signatures and the election board validated at least 87. They needed 69 to get on the ballot. The issue was Ezzell's support for the city to enforce the state's COVID-19 alert system and his criticism of the police chief for a failure to enforce a mask mandate proposal designed to combat the pandemic.

Update: Some comments from recall petitioners on the delay. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Texas: Granite Shoals Mayor and Councilor facing petitions over City Manager raise

Granite Shoals Mayor Carl Brugger and Councilor Bruce Jones are facing petitions after voting to give the City Manager a raise. Two councilmembers tried to rescind it but failed in a 5-2 vote. Jones is running unopposed for reelection on the November ballot, so no word on how a recall would effect that run (presumably, he would just be out for the remainder of his current term). 

Petitioners need 152 signatures (6.5 percent of registered voters) to get on the ballot. 


Oklahoma: Enid Commissioner challenges recall signatures

Enid Commissioner Ben Ezzell is objecting to the recall and the signatures gathered after petitioners handed in over 200 signatures and the election board validated at least 87. They needed 69 to get on the ballot. The issue was Ezzell's support for the city to enforce the state's COVID-19 alert system and his criticism of the police chief for a failure to enforce a mask mandate proposal designed to combat the pandemic.

The date of the recall is still open. It will be either on Election Day in November or on the city's ward elections in February. Ezzell's term expires in May, so the race would also include a race to succeed Ezzell for the next term (Ezzell is termed out).

Monday, August 17, 2020

Oklahoma: Petitioners hand in signatures against Norman Mayor and City Councilmember

 Petitioners have handed in 20,560 signatures in the recall of Norman Mayor Breea Clark and about 3500 signatures against Alison Petrone. They need 18,124 valids to get on the Clark recall on the ballot and about 2500 to get Petrone. 

City Councilwoman Sereta Wilson previously resigned in the face of the recall threat. It seems that they haven't handed in signatures against two other councilmembers who were threatened, City Council members Kate Bierman and Stephen Holman. 

The recall is over a vote to cut the police department's proposed budget by $865,000 (it appears not to be an actual cut -- the police wanted a big increase and got only a smaller one). There are also complaints about the council's push to require masks to stave off the coronavirus.

If they have the valid number of signatures (no certainty here -- they sound like they have a 12% margin), then the recall may take place in January 2021. Petrone is up for her regularly scheduled election a month later. 

The petitioners asked for a 10 day extension due to claims of harassment, though it was denied as not being provided for in the law.  


Update: The councilmembers are planning on a hiring an attorney if the petition gets the signatures. 

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Taiwan: Kaohsiung Mayor replacement vote won by Democratic Progressive Party candidate who lost the election in 2018

Democratic Progressive Party candidate Chen Chi-Mai won the Kaohsiung Mayor replacement race. Chen lost the 2018 Mayoral election to Kuomintang Party Mayor (and former Presidential candidate) Han Kuo-yuto. 

Mr. Han lost his recall vote on June 6 with 42.14% of the voters turning out. The vote to remove was 939,090-25,051. The vote total itself is misleading, as Han's supporters would have stayed home due to the "absentee voter" provision -- 25% of eligible voters were required to cast ballots for the recall to count.

Chen (70%) beat the KMT's Li Mei-jhen (25.90%) and Taiwan People's Party's Wu Yi-jheng (4%).

The recall was officially about Han's handling of flooding in the town (though presumably it was also part of the presidential political wrangling).

Montana: Stevensville Mayor recall set for Election Day

The recall election of Stevensville Mayor Brandon Dewey has been greenlight by a Judge. The recall is over a contract for services with a tech provider. Dewey argued that the recall does not meet the state's malfeasance standard. The judge temporarily delayed the vote before ruling that the recall can proceed. The recall was originally set for August 4 but will now be held on Election Day. 

The claim is that the $79,800 contract wasn't approved by the City Council. There was also petitions filed five petitions filed against Dewey from 2018-2019, though none met the state's malfeasance standard and all were tossed.

Update: The mayor has filed a complaint against the recall committee, claiming that they failed to file finance reports.

Texas: Cedar Park City Councilmember facing recall effort over Facebook posts

 Cedar Park City Councilmember Tim Kelly is facing a recall effort over Facebook posts calling teachers "leeches" and calling for the firing of teachers who refuse to return to the classroom during the Covid-19 pandemic. Kelly has been censured by a 4-3 council vote.  

Friday, August 14, 2020

Idaho: Recall effort against Governor fails

The recall effort against Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) failed. The effort was launched over his response to the coronavirus pandemic. The push was from the right and includes complaints about the shut-down and abuse of "police powers." There was also a complaint over disrespect.

Petitioners needed 183,523 by August 11 to get on the ballot. 

Florida: Sebastian City Council recall rescheduled for September 15

 A judge has rescheduled the recall election against Sebastian City Council members Damien Gilliams, Charles Mauti and Pamela Parris to September 15 from September 9. The Judge has put off the recall over "an abundance of caution."  Gilliams has filed suit to stop the recall vote

The recall seems to have started over fights with the Mayor and other council members -- the three were elected on on a platform of opposition to an 1100 acre annexation plan last year. Gillams and Parris notably voted against the hiring of a new city attorney.  They were also arrested for breaking the Sunshine Law and perjury for lying to investigators. The three members allegedly voted to fire the city staff and appoint Gilliams mayor in what investigators call an illegal meeting. The two allegedly lied under oath.

The recall (which couldn't start until they've been in office six months (which seems to be in May) would require about 1995 signatures each. Petitioners handed in 10282 total, but there is no breakdown for each member.

Louisiana: Alexandria City Councilman facing petitions

Alexandria City Councilman Gerber Porter is facing a recall effort over his opposition to a multi million dollar reconstruction of the Johnny Downs Sports Complex. Petitioners would need about 1820 signatures in 180 days. 

Texas: Big Springs Mayor recall scheduled for Election Day

The recall election of Big Springs Mayor Shannon Thomason has been scheduled by the City Council for Election Day. The recall is over claims that she threatened business permits after the petitioners family member filed a lawsuit against the City. Petitioners handed in 872 signatures and 771 were validated. They needed either 549 or 747 signatures (it was not clear if the total needed was 35% of turnout for the last election or the runoff).

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Oklahoma: Petitioners can claim they have signatures for Norman City Council recall

Petitioners claim that they have the signatures to get three recalls on the ballot against Norman Mayor Breea Clark and City Council members Kate Bierman, Alison Petrone and Stephen Holman. Petitioners have asked for a 10 day extension over election interference.

City Councilwoman Sereta Wilson resigned in the face of the recall. 

The recall is over a vote to cut the police department's proposed budget by $865,000 (it appears not to be an actual cut -- the police wanted a big increase and got only a smaller one). There are also complaints about the council's push to require masks to stave off the coronavirus pandemic.

Petitioners would need 25% of registered voters in 30 days. The recall of Clark would require over 18,000 signatures.

Washington: Three Kent School Board members facing petitions over Superintendent's contract vote

Kent School Board members Vice President Denise Daniels and Directors Maya Vengadasalam and Leah Bowen are facing a recall effort over their votes in favor of extending the Superintendent's contract.

Petitioners needs between 4825 and 6356 to get a recall on the ballot. 

Massachusetts: Holyoke Mayor running for Congress now facing recall threats

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who is running for Congress against incumbent Richard Neal, the Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, is facing a recall effort after claims of inappropriate behavior during his time as a lecturer at UMass. The inappropriate conduct claims are being contested by Morse.

City Councilor Mike Sullivan, Linda Vacon, David Bartley and Howard Greaney Jr. are all co-sponsoring an order to allow for the recall. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Oklahoma: Stillwater City Council facing petitions over pandemic requirements

The five members of the Stillwater City Council, Mayor Will Joyce, Vice Mayor Pat Darlington and Councilors Alane Zannotti, Amy Dzialowski and Jon Wedlake, are all facing recall petitions over the government's moves to fight the coronavirus pandemic. There are questions over whether the Payne County Assessor role, as the County Assessor is apparently holding petitions and notarizing them for anyone who signs. This is quite unusual in the US. 

Petitioners need to hand in 100 signatures to get started and collect 415 signatures in 30 days. 

Update: Petitions have been approved.

Wisconsin: Petitions filed against Lake Mills School Board member

Signature collection has started against Lake Mills School Board member Rachael Davies. Petitioners need 1273 signatures in 60 days. 

Davies has been censured by the board for comments made on her social media page over the 50 Miles More march.


Wisconsin: Spider Lake Town Chairman kicked out in recall vote

Spider Lake Chairman John Leighton lost his recall election to Town Supervisor Tim Sheldon, 173-92 on the statewide primary date. 

Georgia: One Blackshear Council recall petitions passes first stage of signatures

The first stage in the recall petition against Blackshear Council member Shawn Godwin has been filed, with petitioners handing in the signatures of 10% of registered voters (30 signatures). If approved, they would then need 89 signatures to get on the ballot.

Council members Linda Gail Dennison and Timmy Sapp were also facing recall petitions, with the council holding a hearing on the charges. Two former mayors have signed the petitions. The issue appears to be their initial opposition to the hiring of the City Clerk. There's also a kitchen sink of other complaints over meeting attendance, open meeting violations and claims of censorship on social media.

Georgia is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed. 

Idaho: Recall against Heyburn Mayor gets on the November ballot

Petitioners have handed in enough signatures to get the recall of Heyburn Mayor Mark Rosa on the November ballot. The recall is over complaints of a hostile environment, overstepping financial authority trying to stop a sewer improvement project and trying to get funds to pay for an attorney to sue the city.


Petitioners needed 230 signatures to get on the ballot. No word on how many were actually verified. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Oregon: Ontario City Councilor facing petitions

Ontario City Councilmember Freddy Rodriguez is facing recall threats over a kitchen sink of complaints, including that he has a restraining order against him. Petitioners would need 493 signatures to get on the ballot.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Arizona: Tucson Mayor facing recall discussion over pandemic fighting efforts

 A recall effort is being launched against Tucson Mayor Regina Romero over her moves to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with recall supporters complaining about closing churches and restaurants as well as mask mandates to stop the spread of the virus. 

Texas: Signatures validated in Big Spring Mayor recall

Signatures have been validated in the recall of Big Spring Mayor Shannon Thomason over claims that she threatened business permits after the petitioners family member filed a lawsuit against the City. Petitioners handed in 872 signatures and 771 were validated. They needed either 549 or 747 signatures (it was not clear if the total needed was 35% of turnout for the last election or the runoff). The election is suppose to be scheduled for Election Day in November.

Update: Thomason is contesting the petitions. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Arkansas: Diamond City Mayor recall on November ballot

Diamond City Mayor Linda Miracle is facing a recall vote on November 3. Diamond City has had both police officers and other city employees resigns in recent months. Miracle sued the city council earlier this year after they held a meeting without her. Miracle had allegedly not shown up to multiple meetings. 

Florida: Recall vote against three Sebastian City Council members scheduled for September 9

 The recall election against Sebastian City Council members Damien Gilliams, Charles Mauti and Pamela Parris have been scheduled for September 9. Gilliams has filed suit to stop the recall vote

The recall seems to have started over fights with the Mayor and other council members -- the three were elected on on a platform of opposition to an 1100 acre annexation plan last year. Gillams and Parris notably voted against the hiring of a new city attorney.  They were also arrested for breaking the Sunshine Law and perjury for lying to investigators. The three members allegedly voted to fire the city staff and appoint Gilliams mayor in what investigators call an illegal meeting. The two allegedly lied under oath.

The recall (which couldn't start until they've been in office six months (which seems to be in May) would require about 1995 signatures each. Petitioners handed in 10282 total, but there is no breakdown for each member.

Texas: McKinney City Councilman recall scheduled for November 3

The recall election of Councilman La'Shadion Shemwell, which was originally scheduled for May 2, will now take place on November 3.

Shemwell has been a controversial member of the council with complaints of violating ethics codes and making inflammatory statements and getting arrested repeatedly. Shemwell has argued that the arrests have occurred after he was racially profiled for 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. The Shemwell recall is supposed to cost the city $70,000.

Missouri: St. Louis City Councilwoman facing petitions over opposition to airport privatization plan

 St. Louis Alderwoman Cara Spencer is facing petitions over her opposition to an airport privatization plan which will be in the November 3 ballot. The signatures are being collected by the same group that is seeking enough signatures to also get the privatization plan on the ballot. Spencer has announced a run for mayor the following year.

Petitioners would need over 1100 signatures to get on the ballot.

Washington: State Supreme Court upholds ruling tossing out Yakima City Councilmember recall

The Washington Supreme Court has upheld a ruling tossing out the recall effort against Yakima City Councilmember Jason White after he called for resisting state and federal social distancing guidelines and called for people to "take off your masks!" The other Yakima councilmembers voted to censure White, who has not attended the last three council meetings. The Superior Court had held that White's actions did not meet the state's malfeasance standard/judicial recall to get on the ballot.

Update: Here's a copy of the ruling

Texas: Laredo City Council rejects charter amendment looking to change recall law back to 10% of turnout

 In 2016, Laredo voters changed the recall law from petitioners gather signatures of 10% of voter turnout to 10% of registered voters (I much higher hurdle) to get on the ballot. The city council just rejected a proposed amendment to the charter that would have changed it back to the older, looser standard.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Alaska: Governor recall not to be on November ballot

The Alaska Gubernatorial Recall effort is not making the November ballot, as petitioners haven't handed in the signatures. The claim to have 42,680, as petitioning has slowed since the coronavirus pandmeic. They need 71,252.

Florida: Signatures handed in against three Sebastian City Council members

Petitioners have handed in signatures against Sebastian City Council members Damien Gilliams, Charles Mauti and Pamela Parris.

The recall seems to have started over fights with the Mayor and other council members. Gillams and Parris notably voted against the hiring of a new city attorney.  They were also arrested for breaking the Sunshine Law and perjury for lying to investigators. The three members allegedly voted to fire the city staff and appoint Gilliams mayor in what investigators call an illegal meeting. The two allegedly lied under oath.

The recall (which couldn't start until they've been in office six months (which seems to be in May) would require about 1995 signatures each. Petitioners handed in 10282 total, but there is no breakdown for each member.

Alaska: Petitions started for Anchorage Assembly member

Anchorage Assembly Member Meg Zaletel is facing petitions after Mayor Ethan Berkowitz ordered the public barred from Assembly meetings during the coronavirus pandemic.Petitioners need 2468 signatures in 60 days. Alaska's malfeasance standard is much looser than other states, so petitions may be able to get on the ballot.

The Assembly appears to be the Anchorage City Council and not a state legislative body (as one usually presumes when they hear the word Assembly). 

Arizona: Mesa County Clerk recall effort fails

The recall effort against Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters (R) has failed, with petitioners not getting enough signatures. The recall was over a high turnover rate and undiscovered ballots.

Petitioners needed 12,192 to get on the ballot. They claim to have gotten 10,892, though they weren't verified.

Colorado: Rio Grande Commissioner facing petitions

Rio Grande Commissioner John Noffsker is facing a recall effort over handling county business and employee turnover. Petitioners need 909 signatures in 60 days. 

Oklahoma: Enid Commissioner recall likely makes the ballot; Date to be set

The recall effort against Enid Commissioner Ben Ezzell appears likely headed to the ballot, as petitioners handed in over 200 signatures, validated at least 87. They needed 69. The issue was Ezzell's support for the city to enforce the state's COVID-19 alert system and his criticism of the police chief for a failure to enforce a mask mandate proposal designed to combat the pandemic.

The date of the recall is still open. It will be either on Election Day in November or on the city's ward elections in February. Ezzell's term expires in May, so the race would also include a race to succeed Ezzell for the next term. 


Nebraska: Humboldt Mayor recall gets enough signatures

Petitioners have handed in enough signatures to get the recall of Humboldt Mayor Bob Mendenhall on the ballot. The recall is over strict cost control program. Petitioners handed in 132 signatures and got 121 valid. They needed 113 signatures by July 31.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Texas: Levelland Mayor recall effort hands in signatures, but fails

Petitioners did not get enough signatures to recall Levelland Mayor Barbra Pinner. They needed 468 signatures, they handed in 468, which not examined for verification since they were not enough. The recall is over racist Facebook posts. Pinner has since apologized.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Michigan: Traverse School Board recall effort fails

The recall effort against Traverse City School Board President Sue Kelly, Treasurer Matt Anderson and Secretary Pamela G. Forton did not hand in signatures. Petitioners need to collect 11,700 signatures by July 31. The signatures need to be in person and witnessed, which may be impossible under current pandemic shutdown conditions.

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

The recall has faced numerous twists, including a big decision by an appellate court that allowed the recall to go forward over grace period questions.

Wisconsin: Wausau School Board facing recall threats; City Clerk alleged to help recall proponents "behind the scenes"

Wausau School Board President Tricia Zunker is facing recall threats after a vote to start the school year virtually due to the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic. Marathon County Clerk Kim Trueblood, who is in charge of elections, is a member of the group calling for reopening and recalls against school board members. According to Zunker, Trueblood offered to do "anything behind the scenes" to help with a recall.

Oregon: Metolius Mayor and three council members facing recall effort; Last Mayor kicked out in 2019 recall

Metolius Mayor Carl Elliot and Council President Patty Wyler and Councilmembers Dan Dulaney and Denise Keeton are facing a recall petitions after the city bought a wooden train for $500 (and spent $2500 refurbishing) and then discovered that it was built by a convicted criminal who is in jailed for child molestation. The recall is focused on a recent council vote to keep displaying the train, which was later reversed.

Petitioners need 43 signatures in 90 days. 

The petitions are led by a former City Councilor Tryna Muilenberg, who also led the 2019 recall of Mayor John Chavez. Elliot (who was the council president) stepped into the role of Mayor. Muilenberg had lost to Chavez by one vote in 2018 (a race that Elliot came in 3rd in) and is running for mayor.