Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Year in Recalls: The big flop -- 609 attempts, 66 to the ballot; first year that more elections resulted in officials surviving the vote than being removed

In many ways, 2021 was the year of recall elections throughout the country, though not for the reasons that many may think. The California Gubernatorial recall was one of the big political stories of the year, but the many recalls against school board members were also in the news. But we saw some surprising developments as I discuss in this op-ed in The Hill

This year saw the most recalls attempted since this blog started in 2011 -- at least 609 attempts. But unlike most years, when the recall gets to the ballot about one-quarter to one-third of the time, this year, most of the recalls went nowhere. Only 66 went to the ballot and 17 others resigned. 

Even more unusual, for the first time more officials survived the vote than lost. Most recalls result in removal -- about 60% of the time (plus 6% resignations). This year, 40 officials survived the vote and only 26 were removed. 

What explains this odd result? COVID and the laws designed to stop its spread. Most of the school board recalls were over COVID precautions. But few of them got to the ballot. And those that did failed. Only one of the apparently COVID-focused recalls (in Dodge County, Wisconsin) resulted in removal. 

This actually fits well with the goals of the recall. The pandemic resulted in arguably the most extensive changes for every citizen's lives in US history. It's no surprise that there would be a political impact. But the results, as can be seen by both the failure to get signatures and failure to actually win elections, maybe viewed as effectively an endorsement of the restrictions. 

As a comparison, 2020 saw 42 removals, 24 survived and 14 resignations, with 434 attempts. In 2019, 87 officials faced a recall vote (37 removals, 16 resignations, 34 survived). In 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. 

The COVID recalls are tapering off, but we have plenty more awaiting us. Not only will the San Francisco District Attorney and San Francisco School Board have recalls, there are others as well. January 11 will see recalls in both Leyton and Waverly, Nebraska. 

Michigan: Recall effort against one Mount Pleasant Board member fails

The recall effort against Mount Pleasant Board member Wiline Pangle has failed, with petitioners saying that they won't be turning in the 3200 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

There is still a recall effort ongoing against President Amy Bond and Board member Courtney Stegman after voting for a mask mandate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Petitioners need more than 3,000 signatures. Isabella County, where the school is located, has the lowest vaccination rate in Mid-Michigan.


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Oregon: Petitions taken out against Estacada City Councilor

Estacada City Councilor Katy Dunsmuir is facing a recall effort, seemingly over her support for a proposal to purchase a motel and convert it to housing. Petitioners need 214 signatures by February 28.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Ohio: Celina Council recall rejected by board due to lack of recall law

The Mercer County Board of Elections rejected petitions for the recall of Celina Councilmembers June Scott, Mike Sovinski, Myron Buxton and Eric Lochtefeld over their opposition to a bill declaring "Celina a 'Sanctuary City for the Unborn." Celina does not have a recall law in its charter, leading to tossing out the recall attempt.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Michigan: Fake signature causes issue in Davison School Board Member recall

One of the opponents of the Davison School Board Member Matthew Smith Jr. recall has been accused of signing a fake name to a petition, which was discovered after his wife bragged about it on Facebook. The fake signature is a violation of Michigan law.

Smith is charged with malicious use of telecommunication services (he is accused of harassing the Houghton County Clerk by calling her and threatening to kill her dogs). 

Smith is also the chairman of the Genesee County Republican Party.


Michigan: Lee Township Trustee and Supervisor facing petitions; Positive COVID test halts petition language meeting

Lee Township Supervisor Kristy Gustafson and Trustee Darla Rippee are facing recall petitions over the closure of the town dump. Rippee attended the meeting on the petition language and was found to have an active case of COVID, ending the meeting 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Mexico: President pushing for recall vote in Spring

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is once again pushing for a recall vote against him in April, with the board requiring 2.85 million signatures. The board has delayed the recall, which he is unhappy about. AMLO has long suggested that regular recalls are a good idea and previously suggested that a recall should be held on March 21, 2021(half-way through his term).

Wisconsin: Recall threats target Milwaukee County District Attorney

Petitioners are talking about targeting Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm over the low bail do Darrell Brooks, who killed six people, running them over in a Waukesha Christmas Parade. It's not clear if petitions have been taken out.

Michigan: Department of State punts on campaign finance issue with recall law

Here -- the board has not ruled on whether Governor Gretchen Whitmer (or future recall targets) can raise unlimited funds in a recall, but they may revisit it in the future. 

Nebraska: Papillion La Vista School Board member recall effort fails

The recall drive against Papillion La Vista Community School Board member Valerie Fisher failed, with petitioners not handing in any signatures. Petitions were taken out against Fisher, seemingly over her support for actions to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. She has been on the board for 22 years and won Nebraska's School Board member of the year award in 2019. Petitioners needed 7229 signatures in 30 days to get on the ballot. The other board members are up for reelection next year.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Arizona: Signatures not handed in for recall of Scottsdale School Board Members

The recall effort against four Scottsdale School Board members, Jann-Michael Greenburg, Julie Cieniawski, Libby Hart-Wells and Patty Beckman, failed, with signatures not handed in. The recall petitions were over their votes in favor of masking mandates to protect children from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as claims about critical race theory. Petitioners needed 20,935 by December 18 to get on the ballot.

Petitioners have also called for Greenburg to resign after he has been accused (by them) of having a google drive with information about some of the parents leading the recall effort. It sounds like Greenburg is no longer a chairman, but still a board member.

Nebraska: Alvo schedules recall vote for February 15

A recall vote has been scheduled against Alvo Board Members Larry Langer and Robin LaPage on February 15 Previously a lawsuit was filed against Alvo after the town board voted 5-0 against scheduling the election and a judge order the recall to be scheduled or the board to be held in contempt. The recall seems to be over a tire scrapeyard, which was previously owned by Langer.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Maryland: Claims of growing support for Baltimore Mayor recall

Don't see too many polls specifically called "unscientific" by their backers... Anyway, new talk of recalling Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott

California: Lawsuit seeks to stop SF Election Guide claim that the SF Democratic Party opposes School Board recalls

 A lawsuit is seeking to have the San Francisco Election Guide for the School Board recalls remove a claim that the SF Democratic Party opposes the recall. Check it out for the complicated details, which is based on a resolution in May opposing the recall efforts, though it seemed to be about the Governor Gavin Newsom recall more than anything else.

California: Petitions taken out against five Nevada County Supervisors

Petitions have been taken out against five Nevada County Board of Supervisors, Dan Miller, Hardy Bullock, Heidi Hall, Ed Scofield and Susan Hoek over votes to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. There is also a complaint about using drones to inspect property. Petitioners need between 2600-3200 signatures per supervisor.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

California: A look at who's funding the SF DA recall effort

Mission Local provides a look at the funding for the San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin recall effort. 

Oregon: Newberg School Board member recall makes the ballot

The recall against Newberg School Board member Brian Shannon has gotten on the ballot. There is also an effort against School Board member Dave Brown. The recall was over a vote to fire the Superintendent and a vote to ban political flags (such as LGBTQ and Black Lives Matter). Petitioners needed over 2500 valids, they gave in over 4000, and got about 3300.

Michigan: Scio Supervisor resigns in face of recall petition

Scio Township Supervisor Jane Vogel is resigning in the face of an approved recall petition. Vogel said the resignation is about "professional and family priorities." There is still a recall effort against Township Supervisor Will Hathaway. Petitioners need 2439 signatures to get each of the officials on the ballot. The recall seems to be about a vote to double Hathaway's salary. There was also a recall effort against Trustees Alec Jerome, though no word on what happened to that one.

Wisconsin: Butternut School Board President survives recall vote

Butternut School District Board President Gary Mertig survived a recall vote, 161-139 over Nate Prtizl. The recall appeared to be about Mertig's vote to combat the coronavirus pandemic by approving a mask mandate. Mertig has been on the board for 31 years.

Washington: Seattle City Councilmember survives recall

Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant survived her recall vote, 20,346-20,656.

Sawant is the first socialist elected to Seattle's council in 100 years. There's been quite a number of twists and turns to this one. The recall is over Sawant's conduct during the Seattle riots and her failing to comply with public disclosure requirements after she led protestors to the Mayor's house.

Nebraska: Saunders County Board Chair kicked out

Saunders County Board Chair Doris Karloff has been kicked out, 712-271. It seems that the recall was over a vote in favor of a solar farm. Karloff's son went into contract with the company launching the solar farm, though Karloff abstained from any vote. 

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Hawaii: Petitioners 20K+ signatures short of a Maui Mayor recall

Petitioners are quite far away from a recall effort against Maui Mayor Michael Victorino. They need 21586 signatures. They handed in 3211 signatures, and only 1564 were deemed valid. They do have 20 days to hand in the other 20,022 signatures to get on the ballot. The recall is over Victorino's support for measures designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners have also claimed some other issues (water needs/housing/transparency), but the story suggests that it is clearly a COVID recall. 

I do not know of a single recall that has gotten to the ballot in Hawaii. 

California: Shasta County Supervisor replacement race shaping up

Happy Valley Union School Board President Tim Garman seems to be in the lead in terms of earning endorsements in the replacement race for the recall of Shasta County Supervisor Leonard Moty has gotten to the ballot. Garman has received endorsements from the State of Jefferson movement, which wants to create a separate state in Northern California.

The recall is over Moty's support for restrictions to fight the Covid pandemic.

California: Recall effort launched against San Diego County Supervisor

San Diego County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer (D) is facing a recall effort, seemingly over her support for efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners need over 40,000 signatures by May 12. 

Louisiana: Richwood Mayor Survives Recall Vote

Richwood Mayor Gerald Brown survived a recall vote, 101-153. 

Petitioners handed in 462 valid signatures, so turnout was much lower.

Brown blames supporters of the previous Mayor Ed Harris for the recall, as well as Aldermen Wysinger Cleveland, Wilbert Reed Jr. and Alderwoman Leola Keys. Harris was apparently banned from holding office due to malfeasance. He is now once again eligible. The claims were general complaints over public safety, economic development and management issues.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Kansas: Labette County Commissioner ousted in recall vote over windfarm

It appears that Labette County Commissioner Brian Kinzie has lost his recall election, 831-580. The recall is over his support for a windfarm. Kansas is a Malfeasance Standard state, so the recall was over complaints of open meeting act violations.

Washington: Seattle City Councilmember Sawant recall about tied, but outstanding vote thought to be in her favor

The recall vote against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant is going to a second overtime, with the early numbers tied (the recall is up by 246 votes with over 39000 counted). All of the commentators seem to suggest that the later votes are expected to break for Sawant, so it sounds like she may survive. Turnout is higher than the November mayoral elections. 

Sawant is the first socialist elected to Seattle's council in 100 years. There's been quite a number of twists and turns to this one. The recall is over Sawant's conduct during the Seattle riots and her failing to comply with public disclosure requirements after she led protestors to the Mayor's house.

California: New attempt on Los Angeles District Attorney recall

The murder of Jacqueline Avant, the wife of a famed music executive, by a parolee, seems to have helped give a push to a new effort to a recall of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon. Gascon has faced recall efforts led by victims' rights groups and others over Gascon's criminal justice reform plans, including freeing bail; ending cash bail and other efforts. A previous effort failed to get 579,062 signatures.

California: 2nd hearing on proposed recall law

Here

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

California: Petitions taken out against Antioch Mayor; City Clerk may face effort as well

Petitions have been taken out against Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe. Petitioners need 9511 signatures by May 11. There is also a recall effort against City Clerk Ellie Householder, who rejected petitions against Thorpe submitted on September 24.  The issue seems to be the resignation of the Police Chief and the retirement of the City Manager.

Michigan: Genesee County Commissioner facing recall efforts

A new recall attempt is going after Genesee County Commissioner Gary Peppin (D). An earlier attempt to get a recall against Commissioners Peppin, Mark Young and Ellen Ellenburg was rejected due to clarity/factualness considerations. Peppin is being accused of lack of representation after missing 41 meetings due to surgeries. However, the recall is about votes in favor of masking and vaccination efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. There's also complaints about flying an LGBT flag and not a thin blue line one. 

Michigan: Signature collection started against three Alma commissioners

Signatures collections  have begun in the recall efforts against Alma Vice Mayor Roxann Herrington and Commissioners Nick Piccolo and Audra Stahl, It took numerous recall petitions before approval as a judge overturned an Election Commission ruling approving holding that the language was not factually accurate (and the Election Commission rejected another). The recall is over a vote that will allow a former nursing home to be converted into a temporary shelter for young male refugees. 

Petitioners will need 745 signatures in 60 days.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Wisconsin: Butternut School Board member facing recall

Update:

Ballotpedia has a bit more detail on this one, including a December 16 recall date. Nate Prtizl is running against him. Petitioners got 130 signatures and needed 126. 

I'm actually not sure what's happening here, as the only story I've seen is a letter to the editor from the target. Butternut School District Board President Gary Mertig is facing a possible recall vote on December 14, though I'm not sure if that's when the recall petitions would be approved. Mertig claims that the recall is about the board's vote to combat the coronavirus pandemic by approving a mask mandate. Based on everything we know about recalls against school board members this year, this is undoubtedly correct. 

California: Livingston Mayor and two councilmembers facing petitions

Signatures have been submitted for the recall effort against Livingston Mayor Juan Aguilar, Mayor Pro-Tem Raul Garcia and Councilmembers Maria Soto and Gagandeep Kang. Petitioners need 1483 signatures to get on the ballot. They handed in 1834 for Aguilar, 1809 for Garcia, 1832 for Soto and 1828 for Kang. It is not clear what the recall is about, though Kang was accused of misconduct for crude comments in January and the City Manager and Police Chief have been removed. 

Michigan: Petition language approved against Michigamme Township Supervisor

Petition language has been approved in a recall effort against Michigamme Township Supervisor William Seppanen. The issue is a vote to move a gazebo in alleged "reprisal against people who were opposed to giving part of a lake frontage right of way to a private property owner."

Virginia: Frederick County Supervisor facing recall effort

Frederick County Supervisor Shawn Graber is facing a recall effort after allegedly harassing someone on election day. He then allegedly lied about his interaction with the sheriff's deputy. No word on how many signatures they would need. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Taiwan: Legislator facing January 9 recall vote

Taiwan Independent Legislator Freddy Lim, the former lead vocalist for heavy-metal band Chtonic, is facing a recall vote on January 9, 2022 over what seems to be a debate of who was to blame for a Covid outbreak. Petitioners handed in 38,286 signatures and got 27,362 valids. They needed 24,475.

Lim was previously part of the New Power Party and an activist for independence. This may be part of the wave of recalls hitting Taiwan.

California: Signatures in Los Angeles Councilmember head to verification stage

The verification process of the recall of Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin has begun, as petitioners handed in 39,188 signatures for the recall against  Petitioners 27,317 signatures.

This recall attempt is supposedly over the homeless issues, though petitioners were previously talking about his support for the shutdowns to prevent further damage from the coronavirus pandemic. Two other councilmembers faced recall attempts, though both failed to get the signatures.

Bonin previously faced a recall effort in 2017-2018 over his road diet plan -- the DOT's removal of 9.4 miles of traffic lanes to prevent pedestrian deaths. 

Bonin is up for re-election in December, with a primary in June. If the recall got on the ballot, the vote would likely take place in April or May, though that would not effect the re-election vote in June. Bonin won his 2017 re-election run with 71% of the vote.

The last recall in Los Angeles was Councilman Art Snyder, who survived the vote in 1984. The last one to result in removal was Councilman Meade McClanahan in 1946. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Michigan: Board approved Benton Harbor Mayor petitions

The third recall effort against Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad   has been approved. The first two were rejected due to clarity/factualness hearings. Recent findings that there is lead in the water pipes, preventing residents from using them. Petitioners need 456 signatures. Muhammad won the office over Mayor James Hightower, who was the target of recall petitions (from a petitioner who later went to jail for fraud in the signature gathering process).

Colorado: Boulder Valley School Board recall fails

The recall effort against School Board VP Kathy Gebhardt and members Richard Garcia and Lisa Sweeney-Miran over the support for measures to battle the COVID pandemic has failed. Petitioners needed around 15,000 signatures. 

Maine: Two Kennebunk School Board members targeted

Petitions have been taken out against Kennebunk School Board Chair Arthur LeBlanc and Board Member Timothy Stentiford over a recent teacher contract and claims of bullying. Former board member Norman Archer is one of the leaders of the recall effort. Petitioners need 669 signatures in 30 days. 

Florida: Deltona City Commissioner facing recall effort

Deltona City Commissioner Loren King is facing a recall effort over his former membership in the Oath Keepers, one of the groups who led the failed January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. King has said that he hasn't been a member since 2017. Petitioners need at least 1034 signatures in 30 days to get on the ballot for the first stage and then 1551 more signatures in 60 days. There may also be a malfeasance standard in play (though the article lists one for the whole state, which may not be accurate), which means that the recall has to hit a statutorily delineated list of reasons to allow the recall to go forward.

Nebraska: Waverly School Board President recall scheduled for January 11

The recall of Waverly School Board President Andy Grosshans has made the ballot and is scheduled for January 11 (it is a mail-in ballot one). Petitioners got the 88 signatures they needed (notably, Grosshans ran as a write-in candidate, which may have depressed his turnout) Grosshans has actually been on the board since 2008. The recall is over his support for measures to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

Washington: Over $1M raised by both sides in Seattle City Council member recall; Turnout over 28% already

Both sides are estimated to have raised about $1 Million in the recall effort against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. 28% of voters have already turned in their ballots before the December 7 deadline. Sawant is the first socialist elected to Seattle's council in 100 years. There's been quite a number of twists and turns to this one. The recall is over Sawant's conduct during the Seattle riots and her failing to comply with public disclosure requirements after she led protestors to the Mayor's house.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Switzerland: Geneva voters adopt recall law

Geneva voters approved a recall law, with 92% of the voters casting ballots in favor of the constitutional amendment. It seems that the law requires a vote of the cantonal parliament in order to go to the vote. It seems like it may only be used for corruption issues. Other cantons in Switzerland have had the recall since 1848, though it is different in each place and is rarely used. 


Friday, November 26, 2021

California: A look at recall reform proposals

Quite a bit late on this, but things get in the way. There's been a lot of discussion on recall reforming in the state, including Senate hearings. I co-wrote a detailed analysis with David Carrillo, the Executive Director of the California Constitution Center at UC Berkeley Law School on some possible reform proposals. I'm generally a fan of the Wisconsin/New Election model and quite opposed to the most consistent proposal -- the "automatic replacement."

Additionally, here a recall reform interview, here's another article by David Carrillo and Stephen Duvernay. Here's material on the Senate hearings here and here.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

My Op-ed in the Hill on School Board Recalls

Lots of coverage in recent weeks over school board recalls, including quite a bit on the San Francisco School Board Recall, including some effort at separation from the other two targeted officials by board member Faauuga Moliga

I've written this op-ed in the Hill. I note that conventional wisdom coalesced around the idea that the Democrats were hit hard on Election Day due to school issues. But recalls tell a very different tale. So far, there have been 244 recall attempts against school board members in the US this year -- more than triple past years. Only 17 made the ballot and eight resigned. Of those 17, 15 officials survived the vote. All of those recalls focused on the pandemic protection procedures failed. 

California: Kevin Faulconer considering a run in 2022 for Governor

Here

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Massachusetts: Southwick Selectman facing petitions

Southwick Selectman Russell Fox is facing a recall threat over a vote to allow a Carvana facility in town and claims of retaliation against volunteers who opposed the project. 

Florida: Amendment proposed to expand recall law to include county officials

Florida Senator Joe Gruters (R) and Representative Jayer Williamson (R) are trying to get a constitutional amendment to expand Florida's recall law to include county officers. Currently only municipal and charter county officials face recalls (20 of 67 counties are under county charters). The recall would not hit state officers.

Massachusetts: Monterey Select Board member facing petitions

Monterey Select Board Member John Weingold is facing recall petitions seemingly over battling with other board members. Weingold is called "a law-and-order stickler" who leaves meetings over Open Meeting Law violations. He is also boycotting meetings until the chair steps down. There is also a battle over whether there was a violation of the law by scratching out a name on the petitions. 

Nebraska: Petition taken out against Papillion La Vista School Board member

Petitions have been taken out against Papillion La Vista Community School Board member Valerie Fisher, seemingly over her support for actions to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. She has been on the board for 22 years and won Nebraska's School Board member of the year award in 2019. Petitioners need 7229 signatures in 30 days to get on the ballot. The other board members are up for reelection next year.

Virginia: Signatures handed in against one Loudon School Board member; May face recall trial

Signatures were handed in against Loudon School Board Member Brenda Sheridan. They handed in 1850 and need 803. 

There were attempts against Atoosa Reeser, Beth Barts, Leslee King, Denise Corbo and Ian Serotkin, though King has since died and Barts resigned on November 2 after petitioners handed in signatures. Sheridan needed the smallest number of signatures of any of the members. The recall effort was supposed to be over complaints about alleged inappropriate reading materials in the school. The petitioners claim they are fighting against "Critical Race Theory." The recall petitions seem to have been focused on complaining about school closing to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Petitioners need between 850 to 11,600 signatures to get on the ballot. Loudon has faced discussions about recalls in recent years as Virginia is one of the most prominent states to move politically. Last year, Loudon County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall  is facing recall threats from the Young Republicans over her participation in a recent rally against police violence. The Young Republicans statement includes a reference to a violation of the 14th Amendment. 

If a recall got on the ballot, it would presumably covered by the state's Recall Trial law. The actual complaint seems to be an open meeting violation (the group joining a separate Facebook group). 

Kansas: Labette County Commissioner recall over windfarm scheduled for December 7

The recall against Labette County Commissioner Brian Kinzie has been scheduled for December 7. Petitioners handed in 1582 signatures and needed 1202. The recall is over his support for a windfarm. Kansas is a Malfeasance Standard state, so the recall was over complaints of open meeting act violations.

Arizona: Liberty School Board member resigns, other recall fails to get on the ballot

Thanks to Ballotpedia for this one -- From earlier in the year, but Liberty School Board members Suzanne McEvoy after petitions were taken out over her support for measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners also tried to recall Board member Mark Aguire, which did not get the signatures. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

California: More on Los Angeles Councilman recall

More on the Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin recall including an LA Times editorial calling into question the need for it one month before his election. 

California: Los Angeles D.A. recall gains new steam over prisoner release

Here -- the individual was released six years into a 50-year sentence.

Missouri: Kansas City council recalls fail

The recall efforts against Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Councilmembers Brandon Ellington, Andrea Bough, Kevin O'Neill, Lee Barnes and Katheryn Shields have all failed, needing about 13,700 for each and reportedly gathering less than 4000.

An earlier effort to recall Councilman Eric Bunch over his statement in favor of cutting the police budget also failed. 


North Dakota: Recall effort against State Representative appears over due to redistricting law

The recall effort against North Dakota Representative Dwight Kiefert (R) seems to be over, due to a weird turn in the redistricting. The new redistricting law requires Kiefert to run in 2022 in a three incumbent race for two seats. North Dakota gives a one-year grace period at the end of the term, so a recall wouldn't be allowed.

Kiefert was facing petitions over his vote to remove Representative Luke Simons (R) over "his alleged inappropriate behavior, which included 'creepy comments to female legislators and staffers."

Petitioners needed 1764 signatures in one year to get the recall on the ballot. It is led by District 24 GOP Treasurer Shane Anderson. The local party (but not the state party) censured Kiefert over his vote, which they claimed he was owed due process. In disagreement was the rest of the legislature, which voted by more than two-thirds to kick Simons out.

Apparently, Kiefert is expecting recalls against other House Republicans who voted to kick Simons out. There is an unofficial "ultra-conservative Bastiat Caucus" in the legislature, which included Simons and former state Representative and local party chairman Dan Johnston. 

Michigan: Third petition attempt approved against three Alma commissioners

The third recall petitions against Alma Vice Mayor Roxann Herrington and Commissioners Nick Piccolo and Audra Stahl, has been approved. A judge overturned an Election Commission ruling approving holding that the language was not factually accurate (and the Election Commission rejected another). The recall is over a vote that will allow a former nursing home to be converted into a temporary shelter for young male refugees. Petitioners will now need to submit a revised petition.

Petitioners will need 745 signatures in 60 days.

Oregon: Newberg School Board members facing petitions over Superintendent firing

Newberg School Board members Dave Brown and Brian Shannon are facing petitions over the firing of the Superintendent. Petitioners claim that they have enough signatures for Shannon. 

Ohio: Hudson Mayor recall effort "paused"

The recall effort against Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert has been paused. The recall was after he called for school board members to resign or face criminal charges for allowing the book "642 Things to Write About" to be assigned. The claim is that the book has prompts that are child pornography, an argument that the county prosecutor has rejected. Three school board members were recently reelected. Petitioners would have needed 3095 signatures to get on the ballot.

Alaska: Petition language approved against a third Anchorage Assembly member

Petition language has been approved in another recall attempt against Anchorage Assembly Member Jamie Allard.  The recall efforts is over the same reasons that the recall elections against Assembly member Meg Zaletel and Assembly Chair Felix Rivera got on the ballot (both of them easily beat back the recalls): a meeting which, due to the size of the audience, violated the emergency order limiting crowds during the coronavirus pandemic (there may have been 17 people at the meeting, which had a limit of 15). Petitioners seem to be opposed to masking requirements. There is a fourth reason based on an odd open meeting violation (Allard replied to all Assembly members in an email).

Allard actually voted against the requirements but is still being targeted by the same group.

Petitioners needed 2530 signatures. 

Allard previously faced a recall effort that failed after she posted on Facebook defending vanity license plates with the words "fuhrer" and "3reich." Allard also alleged wrote that the words "are simply German words with no offensive connotation." She also said alleged wrote that "progressives have put a spin on it and created their own definition." 

Governor Mike Dunleavy has since removed Allard from the state's Human Rights Commission. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Op-ed in the Hill on expanding the recall to the presidency

Here by Douglas Mackinnion -- not much chance of it passing. 

Hawaii: Signatures to be handed in for Maui Mayor recall

Petitioners are going to hand in over 22,000 signatures against Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino over mandates designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners have also claimed some other issues (water needs/housing/transparency), but the story suggests that it is clearly a COVID recall.

Petitioners need 21,586 signatures (20% of registereds) in 30 days. 

I do not know of a single recall that has gotten to the ballot in Hawaii. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Wisconsin: Two Somerset school board members resign in the face of recall vote

Two Somerset School Board members, Patricia Jo Forsberg and Katie Thurmes, resigned in September after a recall was set to get on the ballot. The recall was over their support for actions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

Wisconsin: Sparta School Board member resigns over threats

Sparta School Board member Eric Solberg resigned after being targeted in a recall over his vote to reinstate a mask mandate to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Solberg blamed threatening emails about being watched as the reason for his resignation.

Member Nancy Sikorsky is still facing petitions. The vote was 4-2, with the other members in their first year grace period. 

Petitioners need at least 1679 signatures to get on the ballot (though the number may actually be more).

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

California: Recall against Los Angeles City Councilmember (and former Senate President Pro Temp) temporarily dropped

The recall effort against Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de Leon has been temporarily dropped, though it may be brought up in January. The issue is over homeless issues and building tiny home villages. From social media posts, the lead petitioner appears to be from the right. Petitioners need about 20,500 signatures in 120 days.

de Leon is the former State Senate President Pro Temp (before he was term limited) and ran against Dianne Feinstein for the US Senate in 2018. 

de Leon is the third Council member to face a recall threat, as both Mike Bonin and Nithya Raman have been targeted. Homelessness has been cited in both of those cases, though Bonin has been targeted over other reasons before.

Michigan: First petitions against Lansing City Councilmember rejected

The first petition filed against Lansing City Councilman Brandon Betz has been rejected by the Election Commission due to clarity issues. The recall effort is over vulgar text messages he sent to a Black activist.  Betz has been stripped of committee assignments and "asked to consider resigning by the Ingham County Democratic Party." Petitioner needs about 2500 signatures to get on the ballot. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Michigan: Language approved in recall against Sidney Township Board Member

Petitions have been approved against Sidney Township Board member Jed Welder. This was the third attempt to get the language approved. The issue was a vote in favor of a wind farm. 

Washington: Pierce County Sheriff facing recall threats

There's new discussion about a recall effort against Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer following a an indictment for a misdemeanor criminal charges of false reporting and making a false statement and a report from a former US attorney. Troyer allegedly followed a Black newspaper delivery man around his neighborhood, then called 911 an claimed the delivery man threatened to kill him.  Petitioners would need 105.831 signatures to get the recall on the ballot. Washington is a Malfeasance Standard state, so a judge would have to sign off on the petitions. 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Missouri: St. Louis Alderman facing recall effort

St. Louis Alderman John Collins-Muhammad is facing a recall effort over his support for an $81 million development proposal. Petitioners need about 1300 signatures. 

The last successful recall was against Alderman Tom Bauer in 2005 (there have been four successful ones). Collins-Muhammad and Alderman Brandon Bosley tried a recall effort against former Mayor Lyda Krewson, but no signatures were handed in.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Arizona: Four Scottsdale School Board Members facing petitions

Four Scottsdale School Board members, Jann-Michael Greenburg, Julie Cieniawski, Libby Hart-Wells and Patty Beckman,  are facing recall petitions for their votes in favor of masking mandates to protect children from the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners need 20,935 by December 18 to get on the ballot.

Petitioners have also called for Greenburg to resign after he has been accused (by them)  of having a google drive with information about some of the parents leading the recall effort. 

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Colorado: Signatures handed in for Weld (Windsor-Severance) School Board members

Petitioners have handed in over 6500 (3250 per candidate) signatures for the recall of  Weld (or Windsor-Severance) School Board President Jennifer Lieber and Director Regan Price. Petitioners need 3120 signatures to get on the ballot. If signatures are rejected, petitioners have three days to cure. A recall would be scheduled for March or April if they get enough signatures.

The issues seems to be focused the school board's adoption of masking protocols to protect against the coronavirus pandemic, though there are other generic complaints about transparency as well. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

California: Petitioners hand in over 39,000 signatures in Los Angeles Councilmember recall

Petitioners have submitted over 39,000 signatures for the recall against Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin on the ballot. Petitioners need about 27,000 signatures by November 10.

This recall attempt is supposedly over the homeless issues, though petitioners were previously talking about his support for the shutdowns to prevent further damage from the coronavirus pandemic. Bonin previously faced a recall effort in 2017-2018 over his road diet plan -- the DOT's removal of 9.4 miles of traffic lanes to prevent pedestrian deaths. 

Bonin is up for re-election in December, with a primary in June. If the recall got on the ballot, the vote would likely take place in April or May, though that would not effect the re-election vote in June. Bonin won his 2017 re-election run with 71% of the vote.

The last recall in Los Angeles was Councilman Art Snyder, who survived the vote in 1984. The last one to result in removal was Councilman Meade McClanahan in 1946. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Oregon: Some signatures in Yamhill County commissioner recall may be tossed out over possible error

Some signatures collected in the Yamhill County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer recall effort over possible errors in the firm. Petitioners handed in 8903 signatures and need 6873. 1500 of these signatures were on e-sheets that needed the written approval by the county clerk's office. The issue is still being debated.

The recall is over ending development of a trail and demanding a special election for Urban Renewal District. Three past commissioners, including the commissioner who Berschauer defeated, support the effort.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

California: San Francisco District Attorney Recall makes the ballot; Scheduled for June 7, 2022

The recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin has gotten on the ballot, with petitioners handing over 83,484 signatures and needing 51,325 valids. There is no word on how many signatures were valid (they used a statistical sampling method of 4174 signatures and found that it would meet the requirement). The recall election has been set for the June 7th primary date. There is no replacement race. The mayor would select any replacement. 

This (and the three school board officials scheduled for February) are the first recalls in San Francisco since 1983. This would be the second recall of a District Attorney in California in two years, as the Sonoma County DA survived a vote on September 14. That may have been the first recall of a District Attorney in California since 2001 (in Marin County).

I looked at the recall of District Attorneys in some more depth in this piece in the Recorder and why there are so few D.A. recalls in the US.

District Attorney recalls are quite unusual. Until the Sonoma County D.A., I counted only four recalls against attorney positions in 10 years (with one other official resigning). The only one that took place in California was in 2013 against San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman. Penman, who represented the city but did not try criminal cases like a District Attorney, lost the vote. 

 One book that looks at recalls in California until 1930 mentions notes that there was only one District Attorney recall that led to an ouster up to that point, the Kern County D.A. in 1917. A San Francisco D.A. also faced a recall in 1917, but he survived the vote easily. 

Notably, there are fewer District Attorneys, usually only one per jurisdiction, as opposed to the multi-member city councils and other legislative bodies. District Attorneys usually faced less controversy and were more the crusading "tough on crime" types. But since the 2017 Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner election, there has been a change in who has run for the office. The Boudin recall (and the attempt against Los Angeles D.A. George Gascon) appears to be a reaction to this success.

The recall (San Franciscans for Public Safety) is led by local Democrats Mary Jung (the former chair of the local Democratic Party) and Andrea Shorter. The pro-recall side has raised about $1.6 million, while the anti-recall forces have raised about $800,000.

A first recall effort against Boudin failed, with petitioners claiming that they were1714 signatures short (though that is before verification, so it could be a lot less).

This first recall was led by former Republican Mayoral candidate Richie Greenberg (though Greenberg said he was replaced as head of the effort). It was considered the "Republican" recall. The recall is over complaints over lenient treatment of criminals. Recall efforts kicked into high gear after a convict who was arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle and violating probation was released without bail and then ran over two women while running a red light. 

Michigan: Judge overrules Election Commission, tossing out petitions against three Alma commissioners

A judge overturned an Election Commission ruling approving petitions language against Alma Vice Mayor Roxann Herrington and Commissioners Nick Piccolo and Audra Stahl, holding that the language was not factually accurate. The recall is over a vote that will allow a former nursing home to be converted into a temporary shelter for young male refugees. Petitioners will now need to submit a revised petition.

Petitioners will need 745 signatures in 60 days.

Nebraska: Leyton School Board recall set for January 11

A recall election date has been set for Leyton School Board President Suzy Ernest and Secretary Roland Rushman on January 11, 2022. Petitioners needed 138 signatures, they got 138 on the dot for Ernest and 148 for Rushman. 

The recall seems to be about placing a Superintendent on paid leave without board approval (the superintendent is now back in office), offering an interim superintendent a contract (that person is now facing child abuse charges) and signing an asbestos removal bid before a board vote. 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Massachusetts: Monterey voters looking for recall

Monterey's voters are asking for an recall provision (which requires the legislature to allow it). Select Board member John Weingold is one target of recall proponents, which can current be launched with signatures from 15% of residents.  The complaint is over repeated claims of a hostile work environment. 

There is accusations of an official crossing off names from the petition. 

Note this stat on recalls in Massachusetts. I'll have to look into this: 

"Beyond all of this, there are facts, and former Town Clerk Barbara Swann — who noted her doctorate in political anthropology and 30 years studying politics in this town — wanted everyone to know what they were getting into with this election recall, should it be approved. 

Out of 351 communities in the state, 170 have the recall law, she said, and 47 have had recall elections since 2010. Of those that held recalls, 19 were tabled, and only five officials were defeated. 

 “So you have a 50-50 chance even if you get the signatures [for the recall petition],” Swann said. “It doesn’t happen overnight. If it does, our state would be moving ahead on many things.”

More on School Board recalls

Lots more on the school Board recalls and more -- including news that Democrat is State Senator Scott Weiner has backed the recall against the SF School Board.

Michigan: Petitions taken out against Lansing City Councilmember

Petitions have been filed against Lansing City Councilman Brandon Betz over vulgar text messages he sent to a Black activist.  Betz has been stripped of committee assignments and "asked to consider resigning by the Ingham County Democratic Party." Petitioner needs about 2500 signatures to get on the ballot. 

Wisconsin: Stevens Point School Board recall effort fails

The recall effort against Stevens Point School Board members Ann Vang, Barbara Portzen, Christina Scott, Gee Pope and Jeffrey Ebel failed. with petitioners unable to turn in the 7033 signatures needed. The recall was over their support for policies looking to protect the schools from the coronavirus pandemic.

Michigan: Petitions approved against two Scio Officials

The recall petitions have finally been approved against Scio Township Supervisor Will Hathaway  and Jane Vogel on the second try. Petitioners need 2439 signatures to get each of the officials on the ballot. The recall seems to be about a vote to double Hathaway's salary. There was also a recall effort against Trustees Alec Jerome, though no word on what happened to that one.

Nebraska: Alvo refuses to schedule recall election against two village board members

A lawsuit has been filed against Alvo after the town board voted 5-0 against scheduling a recall for Board Members Larry Langer and Robin LaPage (both of whom voted). The recall seems to be over a tire scrapeyard, which was previously owned by Langer.

California: Chico Mayor and Councilmember facing petitions

Petitions are being taken out against Chico Mayor Andrew Coolidge and Council member Sean Morgan. The issues seems to be a hodgepodge of complaints about spending and behavior, though Morgan suggests that the petitioners are in favor of widespread cannabis dispensaries and needle distribution. Petitioners need 2424 signatures in 90 days against Morgan.

California: Three Lucia Mar School Board Trustees recall efforts fail

The recall effort against Lucia Mar School Board Trustees Don Stewart, Colleen Martin and Dee Santoshas failed, with petitioners not handing in any signatures (they claim to have gotten 6000 a piece). They needed 8302. The recall was over the board's policies to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners claim that the board took too long in reopening, while the board has said they simply followed state guidelines.

California: Manteca Mayor recall effort fails to turn first stage of signatures

The recall effort against Mateca Mayor Ben Cantu failed its first step, with petitioners not turning in signatures from 20 registered voters and an affidavit of notice of service. The recall is over a kitchen sink of complaints about poor hiring, lawsuits and homeless issues.

Cantu previously faced a recall effort over municipal financial issues and the replacement of the City Manager, who then fired the police chief.

Petitioners would need 7687 signatures to get on the ballot.

Manteca last had a recall in 1982, when three council members were kicked out.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Michigan: Sand Lake Trustee kicked out in recall over social media policy; Two other officials facing recall efforts

Sand Lake Village Trustee Rachel Gokey was kicked out of office on Election Day, beat by Jack Christensen, 88-29. The recall was launched over her refusal to sign the council's social media policy. 

Trustees Marcia Helton and Stacy Rudicil are facing recall efforts over votes on the paying a special assessment to the Kent County Drain Commission and (for Rudicil) voting to end the DPW Supervisor's employment contract. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Kansas: Nemaha School Board member appears to survive recall vote

It looks like Nemaha School Board member Amy Sudbeck survived a November 2 recall vote, 15-68. The recall was over her support for continued masking policy to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners handed in 8 valid signatures -- they only needed 5. 

Kansas is a Malfeasance Standard state, so petitioners are claiming that Sudbeck prevented them from making healthcare decisions for their children. 

Wisconsin: All four Mequon-Thiensville Board of Ed members easily survive recall vote

All four Mequon-Thiensville Board of Education members easily survived their recall vote on November 2. Wendy Francour beat Cheryle Rebholz (58.75-41.20%), Chris Schultz defeated Scarlett Johnson (58.93-41.05%), Akram Khan beat Kristopher Kittell (58.16-41.76%)  and Erik Hollander defeated Charles Lorenz (59.85-40.11%).

The recall was over distance learning plans to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Though the plans were for the last school year, and petitioners had an election in April, they seemed to focus on it now due to what they claim are results published from opening meeting request. 

Petitioners needed about 4200 signatures in 60 days.

Missouri: Nixa Mayor survives recall vote

Nixa Mayor Brian Steele overwhelmingly survived his recall election with 75% in his favor (808-2458). Turnout was much higher than Steele's original victory (he won 648-19). The recall was over Steele's support for the city's mask mandate to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners handed in 97 signatures, with 73 valid. They needed 67.  The recall cost was estimated to be $10,000-$15,000.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

UK: Conservative MP facing calls for recall over lobbying

Conservative MP Owen Paterson is facing calls for a recall, with the House of Commons set to suspend him for 30 days for lobbying on behalf of Randox and Lynn's Country Foods (he worked for them as a paid consultant). UK has a malfeasance standard requiring the official to be convicted -- though face less than a year in prison -- or be suspended by a parliamentary committee for at least 10 days. Petitioners need 10% of registered voters to sign for the recall to go to the ballot.

Update: Paterson resigned

UK: Conservative MP escapes recall for sexual harassment/misconduct charges due to loophole

A Conservative MP, Rob Roberts, has escaped facing a recall effort due to an unusual loophole in the rules. Roberts was accused of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. He was suspended by an independent panel. However, because the suspension was not enacted by a parliamentary committee, Roberts was not eligible for a recall (UK has a particular standard, requiring the official to be convicted -- though face less than a year in prison -- or be suspended by a parliamentary committee for at least 10 days). The Conservative Party is looking into closing the loophole.

Hawaii: Maui Mayor facing petitions over efforts to combat the pandemic spread

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino is facing recall efforts over mandates designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners have also claimed some other issues (water needs/housing/transparency), but the story suggests that it is clearly a COVID recall.

Petitioners need 21,586 signatures (20% of registereds) in 30 days. 

I do not know of a single recall that has gotten to the ballot in Hawaii. 

Washington: Judge tosses out recall effort against Central Valley School Board members

A Spokane County Superior Court judge has tossed out the recall effort against Central Valley School District President Debra Long and Directors Cynthia McMullen and Keith Clark. The petitions claimed that the districts masking and vaccine rules (which are state rules) to fight the coronavirus pandemic are a violation of the ADA, and also claimed that Long lives outside the district for the last nine years (she has been on the board since 2003). 

Washington is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state and the judge has to approve the petition (which must show a violation of the law). 

The lead petitioner, Rob Linebarger, is a candidate for the school board, though he has endorsed his opponent in the race. It sounds like he will not attempt an appeal. 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

California: Poway Mayor facing recall effort

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus is facing a recall effort over claims that he violated the Political Reform Act and complaints about an annual fundraising concert. The focus seems to be development issues. 

Petitioners need 6651 signatures by February 17.  Chris Olps, who lost three council runs, is a leader of the recall. 

Vaus, who won a Grammy as a country singer, was a leader of the 2009 recall effort against Councilwoman Betty Rexford. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Alaska: Anchorage Assembly member beating back recall in early results

Anchorage Assembly member Meg Zaletel appears to be easily beating back the recall election against  held on October 26, with 60% of the vote in her favor after 10,600 votes have been counted.

Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera defeated a recall in April. The issue seems to be the same -- over a meeting which, due to the size of the audience, violated the emergency order limiting crowds during the coronavirus pandemic (there may have been 17 people at the meeting, which had a limit of 15). Petitioners seem to be opposed to masking requirements and other efforts to combat the pandemic.

There is also an ongoing attempt is to recall Anchorage Assembly Member Jamie Allard.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

California: Petitioners hand in 83K+ signatures for SF District Attorney recall, over 30K cushion

Petitioners look to be in a very strong position to get the recall effort against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin on the ballot, as they handed in over 83,487 signatures. They need 51,325 valids. This should put them well in the safety category

The recall (San Franciscans for Public Safety) is led by local Democrats Mary Jung (the former chair of the local Democratic Party) and Andrea Shorter.

A first recall effort against Boudin failed, with petitioners claiming that they were1714 signatures short (though that is before verification, so it could be a lot less).

This first recall was led by former Republican Mayoral candidate Richie Greenberg (though Greenberg said he was replaced as head of the effort). It was considered the "Republican" recall. The recall is over complaints over lenient treatment of criminals. Recall efforts kicked into high gear after a convict who was arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle and violating probation was released without bail and then ran over two women while running a red light. 

 

Taiwan: Taiwan Statebuilding Party Legislator Ousted in Recall

Taiwan Legislator Chen Po-Wei (pro-independence Taiwan Statebuilding Party) was ousted in a recall election on October 23 vote, 77,899-73,433 looking for removal. Petitioners needed to not only win the election, but turnout needed to top 25% of registered voters in the district, which seems to be 73,744. Turnout was at 51.72%. Frequently, in these "absentee veto" recalls, the total is completely one-sided, as the opposition doesn't vote to deprive the recall proponents of the turnout needed. This case was clearly different. 

The replacement race will be held in three months.

 The KMT is supporting the recall and has made it an issue in the ongoing difficulties with China. This is also seen as part of a "revenge recalls" over the ouster of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-Yuto.

A vote would require 25% turnout (72,281) to succeed (as well as actually winning that vote). 

Chen is the first member of his party to win a seat, beating a local dynasty in 2020. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

California: Petitioners days away from deadline in San Francisco District Attorney recall effort

Petitioners are coming down to the wire in the recall effort against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, though organizers have not revealed how many signatures they have, though they said that the gathering is over. Petitioners need 51,325 signatures by October 25.

The recall (San Franciscans for Public Safety) is led by local Democrats Mary Jung (the former chair of the local Democratic Party) and Andrea Shorter.

A first recall effort against Boudin failed, with petitioners claiming that they were1714 signatures short (though that is before verification, so it could be a lot less).

This first recall was led by former Republican Mayoral candidate Richie Greenberg (though Greenberg said he was replaced as head of the effort). It was considered the "Republican" recall. The recall is over complaints over lenient treatment of criminals. Recall efforts kicked into high gear after a convict who was arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle and violating probation was released without bail and then ran over two women while running a red light. 

 

California: Shasta County Supervisor recall makes the ballot, vote scheduled for February 8

The recall of Shasta County Supervisor Leonard Moty has gotten to the ballot. Petitioners handed in 6032 signatures. They need 4308 valids to get on the ballot and got 4476. The recall has been scheduled for February 8, 2022. 

No signatures were handed against Supervisors Mary Rickert (4432 needed) and Joe Chimenti (4392 needed). The recall is over the Supervisors support for restrictions to fight the Covid pandemic. Petitioners claim they will restart the recall effort against Rickert and Chimenti, though they presumably would have to start from scratch and Chimenti's up for reelection in June. 

Here's a vastly more detailed look at the fight. There is also a claim that the recall proponents have copied their logo from the QAnon logo. Supervisor Patrick Jones joined the petitioners in their handing in the signatures.  

The cost for a recall election is estimated is between $200,000 and $400,000.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Nebraska: Waverly School Board President facing petitions

Waverly School Board President Andy Grosshans is facing petitions over his support for measures to stop the coronavirus pandemic. Petitioners need 88 signatures in 30 days (by October 30). 

(The newspaper is in Wahoo, home of Wahoo Sam Crawford, the All-Time MLB career leader in Triples. Until this moment, I assumed the nickname was about his personality, not his hometown)

Michigan: Petitions filed against Benton Harbor Mayor

Petitions have been filed against Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad over the recent findings that there is lead in the water pipes, preventing residents from using them. Muhammad won the office over Mayor James Hightower, who was the target of recall petitions (from a petitioner who later went to jail for fraud in the signature gathering process).

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Vermont: Underhill Selectman Ousted in Recall vote -- May be first recall in state's history

Big moment in Vermont Recall history, as Underhill Selectman Peter Duval was ousted in a recall vote, 570-23. The recall was over charges of conflict of interest and failing to behave in a respectful manner. The conflict was asking the town's lawyer to let him know about litigation -- Duval had been in litigation against the town over a zoning issue. Petitioners handed in 415 signatures to get the recall on the ballot. 

Voters adopted the recall on Town Meeting Day (the drafting was only in July). 16 towns in Vermont have recall amendments, though the story claims that it was the first use in Vermont's history. The replacement is chosen by the board.

California: San Francisco School Board recall makes the ballot, scheduled for February 15, 2022

The recall effort against San Francisco Board President Gabriela Lopez, former Vice President Alison Collins and member Faauuga Moliga has made the ballot and been scheduled for February 15, 2022.  Petitioners handed in over 81.200 signatures and they needed 51,285 to get on the ballot (it's not clear yet how many valids they got).  Collins also dropped a lawsuit $87 million lawsuit against the board for removing her from the VP position.

The School Board recall is over a few issues, including a push to plan for the reopening of the schools, changing admissions for a high school and an extremely controversial decision to change the names of public schools for political reasons and using some odd history, including removing the name of Abraham Lincoln. Mayor London Breed has been particularly critical of the board, and the City Attorney Dennis Herrera has sued to compel reopening. 

Other board members Jenny Lam, Mark Sanchez and Kevine Boggess and Matt Alexander, will not be able to face a recall until June. 

California has been happy to kick out school board members over the last decade -- 25 have been removed in a recall vote, 7 have resigned, one has been kicked out by the board and only 6 survived a recall vote.

As I note in the Politico story, this may be the most noteworthy school board recall since the Lost Year recall in 1959 in Little Rock, Arkansas. I consider the 1959 event, which helped end the fight to keep the schools segregated in the wake of Brown v. Board of Ed., the recall's finest hour and arguably the most important recall in US history. 

Alaska: New Recall Effort launched against Anchorage Assembly member

Another attempt is being made to recall Anchorage Assembly Member Jamie Allard is facing recall efforts over the same reasons that the recall elections against Assembly member Meg Zaletel (scheduled for October 26) and Assembly Chair Felix Rivera (defeated a recall in April) got on the ballot. The issue seems to be over a meeting which, due to the size of the audience, violated the emergency order limiting crowds during the coronavirus pandemic (there may have been 17 people at the meeting, which had a limit of 15). Petitioners seem to be opposed to masking requirements. There is a fourth reason based on an odd open meeting violation (Allard replied to all Assembly members in an email).

Petitioners needed about 2500 signatures. 

Allard previously faced a recall effort that failed after she posted on Facebook defending vanity license plates with the words "fuhrer" and "3reich." Allard also alleged wrote that the words "are simply German words with no offensive connotation." She also said alleged wrote that "progressives have put a spin on it and created their own definition." 

Governor Mike Dunleavy has since removed Allard from the state's Human Rights Commission. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

California: Op-ed on the dangers of moving to an "automatic replacement" model for recalls

I'll have a lot more to say about the proposed changes to the recall law, but here's an op-ed I co-wrote with David Carrillo taking down the proposed "automatic replacement" model. 

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Nebraska: Signatures handed in against Giltner School Board member

Petitions have handed in signatures for the removal of Giltner School Board President Chris Waddle over what seems to be a tax levy. It is not clear how many were handed in from the articles, but they need 119 signatures. 

UK: MP facing recall threats after harassment conviction

MP Claudia Webbe (formerly Labour, now independent) is facing recall threats after she was convicted of harassment for calling her partner's friend and threatening her with acid (and also release naked pictures and videos of the friend). The UK's Recall Law requires a conviction to be used (if the sentence if more than a year, than the MP is automatically expelled, but there was no jail time here). Petitioners would need the signatures of 10% of registered voters in six weeks.

Webbe replaced Keith Vaz as MP. Vaz also was a potential candidate for recall. 

California: Little Hoover Commission hearings on the recall

Here's a Politico article (quoting me) on the Little Hoover Commission and recall reform proposals. I also give some thoughts on the District Attorney recall attempts in SF and LA.

Michigan: Secretary of State says donations to Governor for recall fight must be returned or donated

The $3.4 million that Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) raised to fight off a recall will have to be returned to donors or donated to other sources according to a filing by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Benson's filing was part of a lawsuit filed by the GOP Chairman Ron Weiser looking to declare the recall exception unconstitutional (though, oddly, it was about the GOP preferred candidates for governor. Since there is no replacement race -- the LG takes over -- I'm not sure how that would work). 

Whitmer was able to raise funds in unlimited amounts, rather than the $7,150 usual limit. Anyone paying attention to the California and Wisconsin recalls will be well familiar with this result. Petitioners would need 1,062,647 signatures to get on the ballot and here's a bill that is being proposed to get the recall law in-line with other campaign finance rules.