Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Year in Recalls: Coronavirus Rules, as elections/resignations drop to 80, but 434 attempted; 87 different recalls surrounding COVID pandemic

As with everything else in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic had an overarching impact on recall elections. 2020 saw recall elections and resignations drop to the lowest level over the 10 years I’ve been compiling the data. However, we also saw a big increase in recall attempts from last year. As I note in this Newsweek op-ed, for the first time, one issue transcended state and local borders and led a boom in recall attempts across the country – the response to the pandemic.

In 2020, we had only 80 recalls succeed in getting a result, with 42 officials kicked out, 14 resigned and 24 survived the vote. Two of the officials who survived the vote did so because of Idaho’s “Queen of the Hill” law that requires turnout to top their previous election. Additionally, six recalls seemed to get enough signatures, but were not scheduled because of the pandemic. The drop in recalls getting to the ballot was not a surprise – collecting during a pandemic seemed to be an almost impossible task. 

As a comparison, in 2019, 87 officials faced a recall vote (37 removals, 16 resignations, 34 survived). That total was itself a steep drop from previous years, as noted below. 

What did change was an increase in recall attempts. I tracked at least 434 purported recall attempts, an increase from the 344 in 2019. Recalls seem to go up in even-numbered years (see the 2019 recall post for some thoughts on why), so that is not a surprise. What is different is that recalls are rarely about on a specific national topic. In general, they are locally focused on subjects such as firing a City Manager, closing a school or allowing a development. Most of the recalls this year fit into those categories, though a good number of those many of these recalls were started before the pandemic.

Of those attempts, 87 were focused on the COVID pandemic shutdown. 80 of them targeted officials who supported provisions designed to stem the spread of the disease. 

That said, only two officials actually faced the voters and one of them (Oregon City’s Mayor) opposed masks and social distancing. Both of these officials, a school board member in White Pine, Idaho and the Mayor of Oregon City, Oregon, were removed. Three other school board members, two in West Ada, Idaho and one in Appleton, Wisconsin resigned. The West Plains, Missouri Mayor is scheduled to resign, but he has stated that it is not over his position in favor of protective measures. The Auburn, California Mayor died in plane crash while signatures were being collected. And a Commissioner in Enid, Oklahoma may yet get to the ballot, depending on the results of a State Supreme Court case being argued in February. There may also be upcoming School Board recalls  in Pocatello/Chubbuck and Idaho Falls, Idaho over the pandemic.  

The Black Lives Matters/Police Shooting protests were the other significant source of recalls attempts, but that was a smaller number (somewhere between 15-30 attempts -- there is a lot of leeway in how you would judge those recall efforts.) The most notable among these was likely Seattle's Mayor

The efforts that received significant attention were the 14 recall attempts against Governors. Only 19 Governors throughout the country are eligible to face a recall. Last year, Republicans began targeting Democratic governors even before they took office.  This year, Covid was the issue for 12 of 14 of them attempts. While Alaska’s was very noteworthy, including a big State Supreme Court decision, the coronavirus seems to have stopped it for now. California Governor Gavin Newsom is by now the most serious. I’ll have a bit more to say on it after some op-eds I’ve written run. 

 For comparison, 2018 (which I never published) saw 150 recalls make the ballot or lead to a resignation, with 85 removals, 28 resignations and 37 survivals. In 2017, we had 102 recalls, 2016, we have 119 recalls. In 2015, there were 109; 2014 (which, I never actually wrote up), 126 recalls. In 2013, we had 107 recalls2012 we had 166, and a 2011 we had 151 (the numbers do not always exactly match up to the links – I checked back and found additional recalls and removed a few). 19 States saw recall votes or resignations this year. I generally do not count the Native American tribal chair and trustee recalls in my compilation (unfortunately, they are very difficult to track).  I also do not count home owners associations, unions or college governments. There were also noteworthy recalls globally, especially in Taiwan and Japan, but they are also not included. 

 What can we expect in 2021? More of the same. The first recall is scheduled for January 4.

California: Consulting firm donated $500,000 for Governor Newsom recall effort

The recall effort against Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has received $500,000 from a virtually unknown consulting firm (Prov 3:9 LLC) that has no clear footprint and $100,000 from Sequoia Capital partner Douglas Leone and his wife 

Arizona: Second recall effort against Governor fails

The effort to recall Governor Doug Ducey (R) over his failure to order a statewide mask mandate to combat the coronavirus pandemic is being abandoned. An earlier effort opposing stay-at-home orders failed. 

There is still a threatened recall, which is supported by Congressman Paul Gosar (R). over Ducey's refusal to violate the law and support the unconstitutional overthrow of the state's Electoral College vote. 

Petitioners needed over 594,111 signatures in 120 days.

Missouri: State Representative proposing adding school boards to recall law

State Representative Chuck Basye (R) is proposing adding school boards to the list of officials available to face a recall vote in Missouri. Currently, the recall is limited to third-class cities, fire districts and ambulance districts (here's a long post from 2015 on Missouri's recall law). Bayse is promoting the idea due to complaints about the school boards' efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic with distance learning. 

There are two bills that would extend the recall to county commissioners, one by State Representative Doug Richey (R) that would require a 60 percent supermajority to vote out and a second one by State Representative Mark Ellebracht (D), which would need just a straight majority voting for an ouster. 

Michigan: Warren Councilman facing petitions over marijuana licenses; Impersonating officer to harass BLM protestors

Councilman Edward Kabacinski is facing petitions after voting against a settlement in a lawsuit filed by companies seeking marijuana licenses. The council wants to limit the licenses to 15 but investors want 28. The vote was 5-2.

Petitioners would need at about 3000 signatures to get on the ballot. Kabacinski has also faced other questions, including a misdemeanor assault and impersonating a public officer charges after handcuffing a woman for putting Black Lives Matters stickers on Trump signs and spraying him with silly string. 

Update: Wording on one of the petitions has been approved, while the other was rejected on factualness/clarity grounds, though petitioners are claiming that the vote was on partisan grounds. 

Idaho: Signatures handed in against Idaho Falls School Board Members

Signatures have been handed in for the recall against Idaho Falls School Board Chairwoman Lara Hill and Trustee Elizabeth Cogliati. Petitioners need 481 valid signatures for Hill and 280 for Cogliati. They have reportedly handed in more than that. There was also an attempt against Trustee Hillary Radcliffe, but because she was appointed to the position, the signature total needed was over 1400, so it seems to have failed.

The issue is the hybrid alternate day schedule the board adopted by a 3-2 vote in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The vote followed widespread social distancing guidelines.  

One of the leaders of the recall effort was State Representative Bryan Zollinger (R), who apparently wanted students in school four days a week. Zollinger had supported Hill in her campaign. 

Maine: New Gloucester Selectman facing petitions over alleged racist comments

New Gloucester Selectman George Colby has been censured and is facing petitions after yelling out alleged racist comments at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance during a recent board meeting. Petitioners would need about 293 signatures (10% of turnout in the district in the last gubernatorial election). The lead petitioner is a former Selectman. 

Tennessee: Tullahoma Alderman facing calls for removal over social media posts

Tullahoma Alderman Jenna Amacher is facing calls for her ouster after social media posts of a family Christmas with a prominent Confederate flag as well as allegedly racist comments. 

Tullahoma does have a recall provision, Petitioners would need at least 1776 signatures (15% of registered voters) in 75 days. There is a six month grace period at the beginning of the term. Amacher started in August, so the petitioning cannot begin until February 6. 

Monday, December 28, 2020

Oklahoma: Brief filed to State Supreme Court in Enid Commissioner appeal

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has fast-tracked Enid Commissioner Ben Ezzell's appeal of a judge's rejection of his attempt to throw out a recall against him. The recall has been set for February 9, 2021.

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. One of the candidates to replace Ezzell is a lead petitioner in the recall. 

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.

Ezzell is arguing that the district court was incorrect in not requiring a strict truthfulness test in the petition, instead going with an "implicitly complied" one. He also argues that it does not contain language and warnings as required by a 1998 court ruling (Clapsaddle v. Blevins). 

Illinois: Op-ed on proposed new recall law

Here's an op-ed by State Representative Mark Batinick (R) and Senator Jason Barickman (R) on their proposal to expand the recall law

I spoke with Rep. Batinick to offer my thoughts on how the recall operates in other states and what changes they may want to consider (I do this frequently when a new recall law is proposed). I have to say, I was quite impressed with the knowledge and seriousness that came with the drafting of this particular law. 

Missouri: Recall effort against six Joplin City Council members misses deadline for April 6 ballot

Petitioners have missed the deadline to get the recall of six Joplin City Council members, Mayor Ryan Stanley and Councilmembers Diane Reid Adams, Keenan Cortez, Anthony Monteleone, Chuck Copple and Christina Williams on the ballot for the April 6 election. 

The recall efforts is over their support for a mask ordinance to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners had taken out recall papers earlier and are now making a new effort. Petitioners claim there was a meeting in violation of the Sunshine Law (Open Meetings Act). Petitioners will need about 6500 signatures. 

Louisiana: Crowley Mayor recall fails

The recall attempt against Crowley Mayor Tim Monceaux over what seems to be complaints about receiving information and communication failed. Petitioners needed 2800 signatures in 180 days. They did not hand any in. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Massachusetts: Chicopee talking about adding recalls after social media post by council member

Chicopee is debating adding recall laws after a council member Lucjan Galecki courted controversy over a social media post where he answered a question on dressing and sexual harassment. The question was posed by his opponent in 2019, Kaween Fernando.

New Jersey: New recall effort launched against Governor

Another recall effort is being launched against Governor Phil Murphy (D) over coronavirus pandemic restrictions. The latest effort is from the owners of a Gym in Bellmawr that has been in the news over their violations of the stay at home orders. 

One effort failed and the second recall effort was rejected by the Board of Elections due to its failure to include a date for the recall. The petitioner notes that the board said if the effort leads to a special election instead of one tied with the next general election date, he would have to pay for the special. Note that the Governor of New Jersey faces an election in 2021, so it could be that a recall for the remaining three months of the term would take place concurrently with that race. 

Petitioners would need 1,484,358 million valid signatures to get on the ballot. The previous effort claimed to have gotten 1 million by March, but none were handed in. 

Update: One of the gym owners is claiming that the money he raised has been seized by the government. 

Colorado: Woodland Park Councilman facing petition threats

Woodland Park Councilman Jim Pfaff is facing recall threats, with a claim that he has not been a resident long enough to serve in office as well as a kitchen sink of issues about sales tax, an aquatic center and bullying. Pfaff has also reportedly called taxation "theft" and has social media posts against social distancing measures (as well as calling COVID "just the flu") though none of these allegations are in the petitions.

Nebraska: Recall against Lincoln Mayor and City Councilmembers fails

The recall effort against Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird (D) and Councilmembers James Michael Bowers (D), Richard Meginnis (R), Jane Raybould (D) and Tammy Ward (D) failed, with petitioners not handing in signatures. A City Council candidate in 2021, Benjamin Madsen, filed the petitions.

The recall is over the appointment of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director and mask requirements to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  Petitioners needed 21,652 signatures in 30 days to get the Baird recall on the ballot, and 4864 for Bowers, 8009 for Meginnis, 5362 for Raybould and 2495 for Ward. Three Council members were ineligible to be recalled, because they are in the grace period before the 2021 election. 

Comedian Larry the Cable Guy backed the recall, which seems to have garnered some press. Lincoln last had a recall in 2000, when a member of the Rokseby school board was kicked out. 

Maine: Recall effort against Hope Select Board and Budget Committee members gets to the ballot

Hope Select Board Members Bruce Haffner and Budget Committee member Elinor Goldberg are set to face a recall over claims that Haffner tried to undercut the roads budget, threatened officials and an employee among other complaints. Goldberg's petition cites an attempt to undermine and oust the Town Administrator.

Two of the lead petitioners are married to other members of the Select Board.

Petitioners needed 98 signatures, they handed in 106 for Haffner and 103 for Goldberg.

The vote may be scheduled for February 16 or held off till the June town meeting, as the law allows a recall to be delayed if it can be scheduled at the same time as another election. 

Louisiana: Recall effort fails against East Baton Rouge Parish School Board Member

The recall effort against East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Connie Bernard failed, with petitioners not handing in signatures.

Other members of the board apparently led the recall charge. Bernard criticized attempts to change the name of a high school named after Robert E. Lee, calling on people to "learn a little more" about Lee. She since apologized for those comments. There is also claims that she was online shopping during the naming debate meeting. Bernard has also recently plead guilty for battery after what is called a "profanity-laced confrontation" at a teen party in 2018.

Petitioners needed about 7600 signatures in 180 days, which is significantly less than was needed under the pre-2018 law of 33 1/3% of registered voters.

Monday, December 21, 2020

New York: State Legislators to introduce bill allowing special district recalls

Democratic legislators are looking to put forward a recall bill in New York, at least for special districts. Unfortunately, the story is behind a paywall, but hopefully they'll be more soon. 

Update: Here's another story not behind a paywall:

State Senator Todd Kaminsky (D) and Assemblywoman Judy Griffin (D) are sponsoring the proposed law. The issue appears to be that Oceanside Sanitation District Commissioner Ryan Hemsley "alleged racially charged Facebook posts," leading to calls for his removal. Hemsley denied making the posts. 

The recall  would require the smaller of the number of 10% of registered voters or 5000 signatures.

Taiwan: Kaohsiung City Councilor up for recall vote on February 6

Kaohsiung City Councilor Huang Chieh is up for a recall election on February 6. The recall appears to be revenge for the ouster of Mayor (and Kuomintang former presidential candidate) Han Kuo-yu on June 6.  Chieh was elected as a member of the New Power Party but left as part of the 2014 Sunflower Movement.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Texas: Granite Shoals clears up recall law

Granite Shoals has updated its recall procedures after the resignations of Granite Shoals Mayor Carl Brugger and Councilor Bruce Jones in the face of an upcoming recall.  Petitioners must submit separate petitions for each official (which is the standard everywhere else in the US). 

Jones is almost certain return to office. The recall was scheduled for May 2021, but Jones is running  unopposed for reelection for his seat. So his resignation would only be for the time being until he is backed on the new term. Brugger was term limited and not running for reelection. 

The recall was over a vote to give the city manager raise. 

Wisconsin: Waukesha Alderman resigns seat

Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry has resigned his seat after petitioners were taken out due to his arrest for failing to appear in court and to complete court documents in a restraining order granted to his wife (he is facing domestic abuse charges). Petitioners needed 712 signatures to get on the ballot.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Colorado: Westminster Mayor and Councilmembers recall turns in signatures, fails to get enough

The recall effort against Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison and Councilmembers Anita Seitz, Kathryn Skulley and Jon Voelz has failed. The recall was over water bills. Petitioners needed 25% of turnout, which is 5009 signatures for Atchison and 6,098 for the three council members. Skulley's signatures missed by 61; Atchison by 282; Voelz by 635 and Seitz by 757.

Missouri: West Plains Mayor set to resign following recall effort over masking ordinance

West Plains Mayor Jack Pahlmann has announced that he will resign in April after a recall effort was started over his vote to approve a masking ordinance in order to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Pahlmann said that the resignation was unrelated to the recall (and had to do with the retirement of the City Manager).

Councilmembers Josh Cotter and Jessica Nease are also facing a recall effort. Petitioners have 60 days, though unclear on how many signatures are needed. The City Attorney has claimed that the petitioners have not given an actual claim for the recall. 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

California: San Diego City Council President facing recall effort

San Diego City Council President Jennifer Campbell over what seems to be a vote on costal height policies and short-term rentals in the city. former City Councilwoman Barbara Bry wrote the op-ed and supports the recall effort. Petitioners need 13,553 signatures to get on the ballot. 

Wisconsin: Park Ridge Village President and Trustee removed in recall vote

Park Ridge Village President Steve Bergin (166-71) and Trustee Gert Neuendorf (154-81) both lost their seats in a December 8 recall election, apparently over the planned construction of a new fire station. Steve Menzel beat Bergin and Gord Renfert defeated Neuendorf.

California: Prominent national Republicans endorse Gubernatorial recall effort

More movement on the third recall attempt against Governor Gavin Newsom (D), with reports that Newsom's team is nervous and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee endorsing the effort. It had previously gotten abit of propulsion due to a group outing that Newsom took to the French Laundry restaurant. This recall effort lists a kitchen sink grouping of reasons, though it is focused on the economic damage of the pandemic. 

The lead petitioner is Yolo County Deputy Sheriff Orrin Heatlie, and one of the supporters is Tom Del Beccaro, the former Chairman of the California Republican Party. This article claims that they have 700,000 signatures, though that it obviously unproven. Two potential candidates are named, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and former gubernatorial candidate John Cox, who lost to Newsom by more than 20% in 2018.

Two previous petitions against Newsom failed. Petitioners would need 1495709 signatures.

Illinois: Republican state legislators propose expanding recall law

Following indictments of officials close to House Speaker Mike Madigan, State Representative Mark Batinick (R) and Senator Jason Barickman (R) are proposing an expanded recall law that would include all local and state officials (though not federal officials, who as we've discussed many times, are likely not eligible for the recall). 

Illinois currently has a recall provision for the Governor (passed after Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted for actions related to filling Barack Obama's empty Senate seat). However, this provision is arguably the most restrictive recall law in the country, requiring the support of 30 members of the legislature, with at 15 from each party. 

This recall provision would lower the amount of signatures needed from 15% of total voters to 12% cast for governor in the past election. For state legislators, it would be 12% cast for governor in that district. They use a sliding scale level for signatures in local jurisdictions, from 30% for 0-1000 registered voters to 10% for 100,000 or more registered voters. Officials are banned from holding the same position for 10 years. The vote also would require 60% for removal. The election would take place on a general or primary election date. 

Buffalo Grove and Rockford both have a recall law, though the only official I've seen who has faced a recall was a City Councilwoman in Buffalo Grove. 

Idaho: Second West Ada Board Chairman resigns in face of recall

West Ada School Board Chairman Phillip Neuhoff resigned rather than face a recall vote. The previous Board Chairman, Ed Klopfenstein resigned in October. The recall was over the school shutdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The focus is on the 6-12 grade students. 

Board members Steve Smylie, Rene Ozuna and Amy Johnson, are all facing recall efforts 

Idaho has a Queen of the Hill provision, so if the recall gets to the ballot, the vote must equal or top the number of votes that the board members got in the last election for the recall to succeed.

Four of them board members (all but Johnson), were originally appointed to the board after a 2016 recall led to the ouster of two members and the resignation of two others.

Ohio: Recall of Four Woodmere Village Council members canceled

The recall effort against four Woodmere Village Council members, Council President Jennifer Mitchell Earley and members Lisa Brockwell, Glenda Todd Miller and Craig Wade, has been canceled over complaints that some of the petitions were invalid and the signatures obtain using false claims. The recall was scheduled for January 19 and it was seemingly over the lack of a sidewalk on a road and an out of date website. The recall seems to be about new residents versus old ones. 

Wisconsin: Waunakee School Board President facing recall threats over coronavirus response

Waunakee School Board President Dave Boetcher is facing petitions over what seems to be his push to protect students during the coronavirus pandemic, with complaints that he condemned gathering and voted against medium and high-risk sports for the winter. Petitioners need 2612 signatures to get on the ballot.

Idaho: Three Pocatello/Chubbuck School Board Trustees recalls get to the ballot

The recall effort against Pocatello/Chubbuck School Board Trustees Jackie Cranor, Janie Gebhardt and Dave Mattson received enough signatures to get on the ballot.  Petitioners need 164 against Cranor, 206 against Mattson and 351 against Gebhardt. Petitioners claim that they handed in enough signatures with a 20-25% cushion.

The recall is over the board's decision to continue a hybrid learning model in order to ward off the coronavirus pandemic. The parents wanted full-in school model. There is also complaints about a boundary issue and a decision to retire a Native American mascot. 

The recall can't get to the ballot before May 2021. Under Idaho law, the recall requires that the votes must be at least as much as the amount cast for the officials in their election. Cranor received 279, Gebhardt, 417 and Mattson, 278

Update: The Recall has been scheduled for March 9. 

Wisconsin: Waukesha Alderman facing petitions

Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry is facing petitions following his arrest for failing to appear in court and to complete court documents in a restraining order granted to his wife (he is facing domestic abuse charges). Petitioners need 712 signatures to get on the ballot.

Oklahoma: Lawsuit filed against signature strikes in Stillwater City Council

Petitioners are suing Stillwater and the City Manager and City Clerk after they were found to have fallen short of the submitted signatures against five members of the Stillwater City Council,Mayor Will Joyce, Vice Mayor Pat Darlington and Councilors Alane Zannotti, Amy Dzialowski and Jon Wedlake.

The recall was over the city council's support for the government's moves to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners handed in between 530-540 signatures and need 415 valids. The lawsuit claims that the city violated the rules by adjusting the signature counts after the petitions have been certified. The changes led to striking 17 signatures for the mayor and 16 for councilmembers. Before those removals, four of the five had enough signatures to get on the ballot.

There are questions over whether the Payne County Assessor role, as the County Assessor was apparently holding petitions and notarizing them for anyone who signs. This is quite unusual in the US (though it is normal in the UK).

Georgia: Congressman calls for recall effort against Secretary of State

Representative Jody Hice (R-GA) is promoting the recall of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), who is facing criticism from Republicans for not illegally overturning the state's vote for Joe Biden in the presidential election. In the interview, Hice is uncertain whether the recall can take place before the January 5 Senate run-offs. Beyond the many practical implications of getting the petitions approved, collecting nearly 600,000 valid signatures, having them verified and surviving court challenges (see below), it still can't happen. Georgia law requires that the recall "shall be conducted not less than 30 days nor more than 45 days after such call..." 

Petitioners would need close to 600,000 signatures to get on the ballot. Georgia is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, so a showing of cause is needed. 

Nevada: Another recall effort against Governor fails

The Battle Born Patriots have failed in their recall effort against Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D. They turned in 64,765 unverified signatures, a little over 25% of what they needed (243,995).  There have been four efforts filed against Sisolak. A previous recall effort against has failed, where petitioners claimed that they got over 33,000 signatures.

The recall efforts are a kitchen sink of complaints, the coronavirus pandemic response, the economic shutdown, gun control, private well limits, DMV policy and an (apparently false) claim that he supports an income tax. The previous attempt floundered after a judge rejected an attempt to get an extension for the recall effort due to the stay at home orders

Monday, December 7, 2020

Arizona: Republican Congressman endorses recall of Republican Governor over refusal to overturn November Election

Congressman Paul Gosar (R) has announced support for the recall of Governor Doug Ducey (R). Gosar is calling for the recall over Ducey's refusal to support the overthrow of the state's Electoral College vote in favor of Joe Biden. There have been two petitions against Ducey over his response to the coronavirus pandemic. One of the petitions, which lapsed, was taken out by people opposed to the stay-at-home orders. A second was filed by petitioners who claim that Ducey's response took too long and Ducey reopened the state too quickly. 

Petitioners would need over 594,111 signatures in 120 days.

Japan: Kuastsu Assemblywoman kicked out in recall

A Kusatsu Gunma Prefecture Assemblywoman Shoko Arai was kicked out in a recall, 2542-208, after she accused Kusatsu Mayor Nobutada Kuroiwa of sexual assault. Turnout was 53.66 percent. The chairman of the assembly led the recall effort.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

California: Sonoma District Attorney facing petitions

Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch is facing a recall effort allegedly led by the owner of two senior care homes where 20 residents were abandoned in a fire when staff fled. The Oakmont Senior Living company settled for $500,000. The petition attacks Ravitch for ignoring fire safety issues. Petitioner would need about 30,000 signatures to get on the ballot. Ravitch has already announced that she is not running for reelection.

Michigan: Four Chippewa Valley Board of Ed members facing recall due to coronavirus pandemic shutdown policies

Chippewa Valley Board of Education President Frank Bednard, VP Denise Aquino and trustees George Sobah and Beth Pyden are facing recall petitions over their votes in favor of resume remote learning due to the surge in the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners need about 12000 signatures to get on the ballot. 

Oregon: Ex-Oregon City Mayor's appointments on day of recall certification being examined

Some fall out from the recall of Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay, who has appointed eight people to a city advisory board on the day his removal was certified. The council is looking into whether the appointments should stand.

Holladay lost a recall vote with over 68% voting for his removal. Holladay faced the recall over his opposition to the stay at home order to fight the coronavirus pandemic and his complaining about the protests following the killing of George Floyd. They got over 2400 signatures. They need 1828 signatures. The previous two mayors (who supported Holladay) have signed a letter calling the behavior "disturbing." The cost would be between $30,000 - $60,000.

This is the first mayoral recall to get on the ballot in Oregon City history (it is Oregon's oldest city).

Damon Mabee, who lost to Holladay in 2018, has filed to run in the March 2020 election.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Michigan: Appellate Court approves recall language against Governor, LG, Secretary of State and AG; Petitioner does not intend to collect signatures

The lead petitioner in one of the recall petitions against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D), Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel won a Appellate Court ruling upholding the factual language for the recall, though the petition said that they will not pursue the signature gathering effort. 

The petitioner cited the COVID-19 shut downs. Petitioners would need 1,062,647 signatures to get on the ballot, and thanks to changes in the law enacted by the GOP-led legislatures in 2012, a removal of Whitmer would simply lead to the elevation of the Lieutenant Governor. Presumably, if the entire state elected team was removed, they would  have eventually hit on a Republican to take over.

North Dakota: Horace Council members recall set for March 9

Horace Council members David Fenelon and Bryan Schmidt are facing an upcoming recall vote, with the date not yet set. The reasons for the recall is not clear from the articles (just a general argument of not representing the people), though hopefully we'll see more on it soon.

Update: The date is apparently March 9, 2021.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Wisconsin: Appleton School Board member resigns in face of recall effort

Appleton School Board member Leah Olson has resigned in the face of recall threats. The recall is over the board's vote for virtual classroom to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The recall is also targeting School Board President Kay Eggert and Treasurer James Bowman. Petitioners would need about 7000 signatures to get on the ballot.

Washington: Kennewick School Board recall effort stalls

The signature gathering effort against Kennewick School Board members Dawn Adams, Diane Sundvik and Ron Mabry seems to have stalled. The recall effort is over the board's vote to delay a return to school in February in order to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

Idaho: Signatures handed in against three Pocatello/Chubbuck School Board Trustees

Signatures were handed in against Pocatello/Chubbuck School Board Trustees Jackie Cranor, Janie Gebhardt and Dave Mattson. Petitioners need 164 against Cranor, 206 against Mattson and 351 against Gebhardt. Petitioners claim that they handed in enough signatures with a 20-25% cushion.

The recall is over the board's decision to continue a hybrid learning model in order to ward off the coronavirus pandemic. The parents wanted full-in school model. There is also complaints about a boundary issue and a decision to retire a Native American mascot. 

The recall can't get to the ballot before May 2021. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Georgia: Blackshear Council member ousted in recall election

Blackshear Council member Shawn Godwin was ousted in a December 1 recall, 39-14 (15.92 % of voters cast ballots). The replacement race will be held soon. 

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.

Oklahoma: State Supreme Court to hear Enid Commissioner appeal

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has agreed to hear Enid Commissioner Ben Ezzell's appeal of a judge's rejection of his attempt to throw out a recall against him. The recall has been set for February 9, 2021.

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. 

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.

Michigan: Flint Mayor recall rejected by Election Commission

The recall of Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley has been rejected by the Genesee County Election Commission on clarity grounds. The issue was a complaint that he failed to make a state of the city address within a year in office, though this seems to be based on a timing question, as Neeley is giving his speech on December 8 (petitioner claims it is a year from being sworn in, while Neeley argues it was during the calendar year).