Wednesday, April 14, 2021

California: Newsom Recall Roundup -- More complaints about Newman bill; more candidates, more rural dissatisfaction

More complaints about Senator Josh Newman's (D) bill allowing targets of a recall to see who signed the petition. As previously mentioned, this is the law in Wisconsin and I believe elsewhere. 

Former Congressman Doug Ose (R) is jumping into the race

Angelyne, a "billboard icon" in Los Angeles who ran in 2003 (and got a little over 2500 votes) is jumping into the race. Former porn star Mary Carey is already in there.

The LA Times' Mark Barabak on the rural dissatisfaction fueling the recall and attempts to break up California (and, apparently Oregon as well).

Nebraska: One of two petitioners to remove name from petitions against Kimball Mayor

One of the two petitioners looking to recall Kimball Mayor Keith Prunty said that she is taking her name off the petition, leaving it unclear whether the recall effort will continue. The issue appears to be the hiring of a new city administrator. The petitioner who is asking to have her name removed (Ashley Sisk) is the wife of Carson Sisk, who was passed over in the appointment process. Prunty's pick, the city clerk Annette Brower, was voted down 3-1 by the city council over questions about her role in the review process.

The other petitioner is a daughter of City Council member Kim Bailman.

Petitioners need 292 signatures. Prunty is on his second term.

Virginia: Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney facing recall efforts

Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano is facing a recall effort over complaints that over lenient treatment as part of a progressive agenda. A sex assault case seems to be one of the complaints, with a woman saying there has been three prosecutorial changes in her case (father charged with assaulting a daughter), as well as other complaints about domestic violence matters. 

Petitioners would need over 29,000 signatures. I'm not sure if this falls under Virginia's unique Recall Trial law or is a regular recall election (Virginia has both). The article notes that petitioners would need to meet a malfeasance standard, which would greatly increase the difficulty of getting on the ballot.

Monday, April 12, 2021

California: Newsom Round-up -- Newman signature reveal law advances, Mary Carey looking into running

Senator Josh Newman's bill to allow recall targets to see the names of petition signers cleared its first committee; the bill would also increase the timeframe to seek removal from 30 days to 45. I'm not sure what the laws are in all states, but I know that Wisconsin releases the names of the signers

Mary Carey, the (now-former) porn star who came in 10th in the 2003 recall is thinking of running again -- her slogan "Finally a politician you want to be screwed by."

Election Officials are leaving at a rapid clip -- which could spell trouble for the administration of the recall


Louisiana: Recall effort against House Speaker fails

A petition to recall Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder (R) failed with no signatures handed in. Schexnayder was criticized by right wingers over not fighting the Governor's coronavirus restrictions designed to combat the COVID pandemic. 

Oregon: Promotion of West Linn recall effort leads to investigation of Hidden Springs Neighborhood Association President

West Linn Council President Jody Carson and Councilors John Kovash and Scott Burgess are facing recall threats, which has led to an investigation into whether Hidden Springs Neighborhood Association President Lynn Fox abused her position by promoting the recall. Carson and Kovash both previously faced recall threats that went nowhere in 2014. 

California: Petitions started in Chico School Board recall

Paperwork has been filed against Chico School Board President Eileen Robinson and members Kathleen Kaiser, Tom Lando and Caitlin Dalby over their votes in February to continue the distance learning programs in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Petitioners need 10,806 signatures for each one in 160 days.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Minnesota: Petitions filed against Six Red Wing City Council members over police chief firing

Petitions have been filed seeking the recall of six Red Wing City Council members, Dean Hove, Andy Klitzke, Evan Brown, Becky Norton, Erin Buss and Laurel Stinson. The recall effort follows the firing of the Police Chief (the vote was 6-1).

Minnesota is a malfeasance standard state, so petitioners will need to show a statutorily specific reason for the recall. There has been only one recall that I've seen in Minnesota since 2011, and it is likely there hasn't been another one since the state-wide adoption of a recall law in 1996. 

California: Tulare County reports 79% signature verification rate

Here

Idaho: State looking at bills to change election dates may have impact on recalls

A concern that moving local elections to even-numbered years will result in huge signature requirements for recalls. This article also notes a bill that seems to be focused on recalls, though I'm not sure what it does as of yet. Hopefully, we'll see more about it soon.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

California: Recall Effort launched against Windsor Mayor over Sex Assault allegations

There is now talk of a recall against Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli, who has been accused of sexual assaulted by five different women. Eight of nine Sonoma County Mayors have called for Foppoli's resignation. Apparently, there was a pre-existing Recall Dominic Foppoli Facebook page, so that is now receiving attention.

Colorado: Loveland Councilmember facing petitions

Loveland City Council member Don Overcash is facing a recall effort over his revelation of not-yet- public information for a In-N-Out Burger drive-thru. Overcash is also allegedly hostile to the mayor and two other councilors. 

Overcash is running for mayor (so far unopposed). The leader petitioner is former city council member Troy Krenning. 

Petitioners need 1254 signatures in 90 days. 

Friday, April 9, 2021

California: Newsom Recall Roundup -- More and more on Jenner's run; Brad Parscale in the picture

More on the Caitlyn Jenner proposed run, including my reference to NY's great "all you need is a dollar and a dream" ad

Trump's former Campaign Manager Brad Parscale, who's tenure did not end well, is advising Jenner. Having an off-year election for campaign consultants to make bank is definitely a side benefit for any recall effort.

Jenner has also talked with a former top official with the Romney and Jeb Bush campaigns (Ryan Erwin), an RNC National Committeewoman (Harmeet Dhillon) and a long time GOP fundraiser (Caroline Wren). the Executive Director of the Republican Governors' Association is also being mentioned

Newsom is starting fundraising efforts

Alright, another one on how California is no longer the same state as in 2003

And a documentary on the 2003 recall

New Mexico: State Judge approves recall effort against Otero County Commissioner

A State Court Judge has greenlit the recall effort against Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin, who was arrested for rioting at the US Capitol on January 6. Griffin is the founder of the Cowboys for Trump. New Mexico is a malfeasance standard state and petitioners claim that Griffin used the county office building to raise money for the group and pay personal expenses, as well as filed for improper travel expenses and accepted money from a business association leader as an offset for the expenses.

Two fellow commissioners, Vickie Marquardt and Gerald Matherly, has said they will support the recall effort if he does not resign. The Attorney General of the state has also called for his resignation. 

In addition to his participation in the seditious riot, Griffin has been accused of calling for the murder of the Governors of Virginia and Michigan, and called for violence at President Joe Biden's inauguration. 

Petitioners would need about 1600 signatures in 90 days. 

Nebraska: Petitions taken out against Kimball Mayor

Petitions have been taken out against Kimball Mayor Keith Prunty. Not clear what the reason for the recall is from the story. Petitioners need 289 signatures. Prunty is on his second term.

California: More on the Shasta County Supervisors effort

More on the Shasta County recall fight, including the claim that the recall proponents have copied their logo from the QAnon logo. 

Supervisors Leonard MotyMary Rickert and Joe Chimenti seem to be facing threats over their support for restrictions to fight the Covid pandemic. Here's a vastly more detailed look at the fight, which notes that petitioners would need about 4000 valid signatures. 

Georgia: New Recall Effort launched against Governor

Another group is starting recall efforts against Governor Brian Kemp (R) for signing the highly controversial restrictive voters law. Petitioners would need about 1.1 million signatures. However, due to the fact that Georgia is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state and would need a showing of statutory cause to get on the ballot, petitioners would have a big hurdle to overcome. 

This is the second recall effort against Kemp as Governor. He also had one when he was Secretary of State. The first was over his refusal to mandate masks, and attempt to stop cities that did, during the coronavirus pandemic. As Secretary of State, Kemp faced a recall effort following the high profile election data breaches and a server wipe.

California: Petitioners claim 5000 signatures in recall effort against San Diego Council President over city vacation rental policy

 Petitioners claim to have collected 5000 signatures, a third of the way needed for a recall effort against San Diego City Council President Jennifer Campbell. The recall has started over what seems to be a vote on costal height policies and mainly short-term rentals in the city. Campbell has argued that there is simply no possibility of banning short term rentals, which some residents in her district want. Former City Councilwoman Barbara Bry supports the recall effort. Petitioners need either 13,353 or 14,421 signatures (I've now seen both numbers, I think it's the first) to get on the ballot. 

Nebraska: Countercharges made in Valparaiso Trustee recall effort

Some more details on the recall effort against Valparaiso Board of Trustees member Mike Blazek for what seems to be about the drainage project done on his property, allegedly by a village employee. Blazek has countercharged that the lead petitioner is the mother of the Valparaiso Library Director, and Blazek claims that the board has temporarily shut the library and the state is investigating inappropriate expenditures.

Petitioners need about 104 signatures (45% of turnout). 

Minnesota: Blue Earth City Council rejects recall effort on Malfeasance Standard grounds

The Blue Earth City Council rejected a recall petition against Councilman John Huisman by a 6-1 vote. An independent attorney noted that the city charter was in conflict with state law. Minnesota is a malfeasance standard state and the petition needs to hit a statutorily delineated reason to get on the ballot.

The recall effort claims that Huisman violated the First Amendment for signing a letter calling for a program to be removed from KBEW radio. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

California: Newsom Recall Roundup -- Caitlyn Jenner mentioned as potential candidate

Former Decathlon Gold Medalist/reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner is now being discussed as a potential candidate. 

Some thoughts from the cavalcade of 135 candidates in 2003

Newsom betting on a successful pandemic fight/reopening

Ohio: Newton Falls City Council to schedule recall election

Newton Falls City Council is looking to set a date for the recall election of Councilwoman Sandra Breymaier (D). The recall is over complaint of unprofessionalism, name-calling against the mayor and a vote in favor of smart meters. Breymaier claiming that Mayor Ken Kline (R) is behind the recall effort. Breymaier notes that she is a swing vote on the Council. Kline denies he is behind the recall effort. Petitions have 211 signatures (not certain from the article how much is needed. The number is 51% of the turnout). 

Newton Falls has an interesting history with the recall. 

Oregon: Senate Minority Leader facing petitions after showing up to a vote on firearm ban

Petitions have been filed against Oregon Senate Minority Leader Fred Girod (R) from right wingers after he and five other Republican Senators attended a Senate session with a vote to ban firearms in state buildings. The Republicans all objected to the proposal but their presences ensured the 20 member quorum needed to vote.

Petitioners need 8922 signatures by July 6. 

California: Two Birds with One Recall -- The big upside for Gavin Newsom and the GOP's Dylan Quote-off dilemma

I have an op-ed in the USA Today (thanks to the great editors there) examining the high risk/high reward nature of the Newsom recall. Expanding a little on it here:

So far, the Republicans (who, it should be noted are not all of the petitioners, but clearly the vast majority) seem to be viewing the recall as a "when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose" event. The party has been driven so low, that might as well roll on the dice on the recall.

However, there's another, more recent Bob Dylan quote that may be applicable, namely: "when you think that you lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more."

One new factor of this recall is it is coming right before Newsom's reelection run. Walker's recall was a year and half into his term; Davis' was in the first year (and he was term-limited); Lynn Frazier in 1921 only had a two-year term, and it was half through. So what does this mean?

Quite possibly, if Newsom racks up a big victory (and recalls have many blowouts) what happens in 2022? Newsom will have already spent an enormous amount of money burning his name into the brains of all Californians. He is getting to road test his machine. Who is looking to challenge Newsom in this reelection run if the biggest names just got stomped on the recall? 

The impact is not just on the reelection race, but a poor top of the ticket could greatly impact races down ballot -- remember that in 2018, the Republicans did not even have a candidate in the final Senate race. 2018 was a disaster for the Republicans. As I note in the article, 2020 was a fairly good result in California, all things considered, enough to almost get the party back control of the House. Could the recall cost the four seats that the GOP recaptured in 2020 (though one seat is likely lost to reapportionment)? And is that enough to cost them control of the House? Weirder things have happened.

On more state-wide level, the 2003 recall may be looked at fondly by the Republicans, but it certainly didn't help them. Since Schwarzenegger's  2006 reelection run (and their victory in the Insurance Commissioner race against cautionary tale Cruz Bustamante), they have faded to irrelevance in the state. Will this help reverse it or are they just digging deeper? The importance of California is a story for another day (and hopefully another op-ed), but until they start reversing, the party -- both in the state and nationally -- may continue to be pushed further into the minority. 

California: Carlsbad Councilwoman facing recall effort

Carlsbad Councilwoman Cori Schumacher (D) is facing a recall effort led by Reform California founder Carl DeMaio (who has led numerous conservative recall efforts) over a whole kitchen sink of complaints, including behavior, political donations, a labor agreement and her position in favor of enforcement policies to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Schumacher has criticized Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall (R) who she accuses of promoting personal attacks.

Petitioners need about 3800 signatures to get on the ballot. 

California: PAC supporting San Francisco District Attorney in a recall fight receives $100K donation from PAC that supported former SF DA (and current LA DA)

A Real Justice PAC that previously supported former San Francisco District Attorney (and current Los Angeles DA) George Gascon  has donated $100,000 to support current DA Chesa Boudin in his recall fight. The Real Justice PACT Supporting Gascon for LA County District Attorney 2020 gave the $100,000 to the San Franciscans Against the Recall of Chesa Boudin Sponsored by Real Justice PAC. Both Boudin and Gascon are recall targets this year, though due to the sheer number of signatures needed, Boudin seems much more likely to get on the ballot. 

Utah: State poll suggests overwhelming support for recall law

 A new poll by Desert News/Hinckley Institute suggests that Utah voters overwhelming support for a recall law -- 75% in favor, with 44% strongly so. 15% oppose such a law.

Utah actually voted down a recall law in 1976 in an extremely close result,  254,866-257,246. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

California: Newsom Recall Roundup

Former Senate President Pro Temp Don Perata is leading a signature removal effort against the Newsom recall

Fresno reports a 77% verification rate, which would be enough to get the recall on the ballot

Fracking issue comes to center stage before the recall

The plurality issue strikes again

Will the recall blow up the Republicans' face?

Vice President Kamala Harris jumps in to promise support for Newsom

Alaska: Blog suggests poor turnout among signers in Anchorage Assembly Chair recall

Must Read Alaska, a conservative blog that covers the political scene, suggests that the recall election of Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera so far has poor turnout for the people who signed the petitions, with only 700 of the 2700 signers having cast early or mail-in ballots. The vote is tomorrow, on the April 6th General Election. Rivera has filed a lawsuit to toss out the recall effort.

One of the articles suggest that the purchase of a hotel for a shelter served as an impetus for the recall, though previously stories seem to focus on the claim that Rivera didn't stop 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).

Canada: A look at the Alberta recall proposal

Here -- with a claim from St. Albert's NDP MLA Marie Renaud that the signature requirement is too high for the recall to be useful.

California: Petitions approved against San Francisco School Board

Petitions have been approved against San Francisco School Board President Gabriela Lopez, former Vice President Alison Collins and Faauuga Moliga.  The recall supporters cite both the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns 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. 

Petitioners would need to get 51,325 signatures each by September 7. The rest of the board members are in a grace period and not eligible to face a recall.

California: Santa Monica-Malibu School District members facing recall effort

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board members Laurie Lieberman, Maria Leon-Vasquez, Jon Kean and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein are facing recall efforts over a kitchen sink group of complaints about performance.  

California: Three West Sonoma County Union High School Board members facing recalls over consolidation vote

West Sonoma County Union High School District Board President Kellie Noe, Vice President Jeanne Ferandes and Trustee Laurie Fadave are facing petitions over a vote to consolidate two high schools. Petitioners need about 7200 signatures in 120 days. 

Colorado: Grand Junction looks at early mayoral recall and its tie to ranked choice voting

Interesting look at an early use of ranked choice voting in Grand Junction, leading to the 1911 election of Socialist Mayor Thomas Todd, who then survived a recall vote.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Washington: State Supreme Court upholds Seattle City Council member recall effort

The State Supreme Court has upheld a lower court judge ruling approving a recall effort against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant (the first socialist elected to Seattle's council in 100 years). Two of the six charges were dismissed sat the lower level. Sawant would be the first councilmember to face a recall in Seattle's history (though two Mayors were kicked out).

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

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

Idaho: Strange actions in Boise's North End Neighborhood Association recall leads to lack of clarity about next steps

Odd goings-on in the Boise's North End Neighborhood Association, where the board appears to be refusing to accept a recall election and claims the signature requirement was not met.  

The NENA is the oldest of the 34 neighborhood associations and Acting President Sarah Foregger, Carlos Coto, Daniel Foregeer, Tory Spengler and Sitka Koloski were possibly kicked out in the recall. 87 percent voted to remove every member of the board with near a 670-70 vote. Turnout was considered high.  

The issue seems to be a battle between old members and a new unexpected crop of officials (who were only recently elected).

California: Newsom Recall Roundup -- Arnold Appears! SCOCA Blog looks at the unique roles of the LT. Gov and Secretary of State

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger warns not to take the recall lightly

The SCOCA Blog and the same two authors write in the Recorder on the Clown Car recall possibilities and what the Lt. Governor and Secretary of State can do to head it off

Politico looks at the other recalls in California

Another look at the possibility of a Sports Betting Initiative 

A look at Orrin Heatlie, one of the leaders of the recall effort

Tom Steyer says he has no interest in a recall run

California: SF School Board member removed from VP position over anti-Asian comments

San Francisco School Board member Alison Collins, one of the members facing a recall effort, is now suing the school district and basically everyone else after she was kicked out of the Vice President position and was the subject of a no confidence vote to remove her from committees.  Collins posted anti-Asian comments on Facebook in 2016, which she says the response is a first amendment violation. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Virginia: Six Loudoun County School Board members facing petitions

A recall effort has been launched against six members of the Loudoun County School BoardBeth Barts, Denise Corbo, Leslee King, Atoosa Reaser, Ian Sertokin and Chair Brenda Sheridan. Barts has also been censured by the school board. The issue seems to be claims that the school board is looking to punish parents who oppose the teaching of Critical Race Theory. Petitioners need 1127 signatures for Barts.

California: Newsom Roundup -- New polls show 56% support Newsom; Davis speaks! and Tarantino references

A New Public Policy Institute of California poll has the recall at 56-40% with Davis surviving. 

Former Governor Gray Davis discusses the recall effort.

Are Latino voters key to the recall effort? Hopefully, we'll look into this a bit more in the coming months.

Richard Grenell, Trump's Ambassador to Germany, who has flirted with a replacement race run, tweets a comparison of anti-Vaxxers with of Holocaust victims (using a scene from Inglorious Basterds).

Democratic Strategist/Gray Davis Advisor Garry South looks at the dropping numbers for Republicans in California and why this has led to recall pushes.

A look at some of the strange possibilities that could come up in the recall election phase, including potential ballot measures.

How the recall works (I'm quoted in this one). 



California: Five Mount Diablo School Board Trustees facing petitions over school reopenings

Five Mount Diablo School Board Trustees, President Cherise Khaund, VP Debra Mason, Keisha Nzewi, Linda Mayor and Erin McFerrin, are facing petitions over complaints about the speed of school reopenings following the coronavirus pandemic. 

Petitioners would need between 5,000 to 7.000 signatures for each official in 120 days. 

Arizona: State Representative facing recall effort files to run for Secretary of State

State Representative Mark Finchem (R), who is facing a recall effort over his alleged support for the Capitol Hill riots on January 6th and the attempted overthrow of the presidential election, has now filed papers for a potential run for Secretary of State.

The recall will required 24,774 signatures in 120 days. 

Ohio: Editorial argues against constant recall threats in Newton Falls

Editorial calls out constant recall threats in Newton Falls.

Petitions seems to have been turned in against Councilwoman Sandra Breymaier (D), with the complaint of unprofessionalism, name-calling against the mayor and a vote in favor of smart meters. Breymaier claiming that Mayor Ken Kline (R) is behind the recall effort. Breymaier notes that she is a swing vote on the Council. Kline denies he is behind the recall effort. Petitions have 211 signatures (not certain from the article how much is needed. The number is 51% of the turnout). 

Newton Falls has an interesting history with the recall. 

California: More on the funding of the recall effort against San Francisco District Attorney

More on the leading backer of the San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin recall effort, with a third of the money so far put up by "PayPal Mafia" investor David Sacks -- though that is only $25K of $75K raised

New Jersey: Obit talks about North Bergen recall battles

Worthwhile obit here of a former Hudson County Surrogate Joseph Ryglicki, who was a key player in some of NJ's most famous recalls. North Bergen Mayor Peter Mocco was removed in a recall in 1978, but won reelection in a same day race. Ryglicki led a failed recall effort in 1980. In 1985, Mocco's allies removed Mayor Anthony DiVincent in a recall vote. 


Colorado: New Colorado GOP Chair appears not as focused on recalls as the last one

The new Republican Party Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown is taking a step back from the party's push for recalls under past chair Representative Ken Buck (who famously said in his acceptance speech in 2019 that "We need to teach them how to spell R-E-C-A-L-L." Unfortunately for him, the Democrats, who went from winning two presidential elections in the state between 1952-2004 to winning the last four straight, seemed to be focused on learning other words, such as blowout). 

Burton Brown was a leader in the recall effort against State Representative Tom Sullivan that failed, as did all the other recall efforts. 

Burton Brown noted: 

“I think that recalls can be an effective solution,” she told The Sun earlier this year. “We’ve seen them be effective in Colorado in the past. That specific recall, I’ll just say, I learned a lot from. Recall would not be a major strategy I would focus on as state party chairman. I think if any recalls happen, they need to be extremely selective and extremely strategic and there are better strategies to get our candidates in office.”

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Washington: Pierce County Sheriff facing petitions over profiling allegations

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer is facing petitions after he allegedly profiled a Black newspaper delivery man. 

Colorado: Lake County Coroner recall effort leads to request for a change of venue for trial

The ongoing recall effort against Lake County Coroner Shannon Kent has led to a change of venue motion by his attorney to move his trial to a jurisdiction where he would not be facing the voters. 

Kent is facing a recall effort after his (and his wife's) arrest after leaving a body in funeral facility. The charge is tampering with a deceased human body. Kent is also facing charges for violating bail bond conditions from a 2019 arrest for perjury and misconduct for enlisting his wife as deputy coroner. The state suspended their funeral homes in October 2020 over the cremation of a stillborn baby. Petitioners need 690 signatures in 60 days. 

Minnesota: Outside counsel hired to examine Blue Earth City Council recall effort

An outside counsel is set to be hired to determine if a recall effort against Blue Earth City Councilman John Huisman should be allowed to go forward. Petitioners claim to have more than the 250 signatures needed to get on the ballot. Minnesota is a malfeasance standard state and the petition needs to hit a statutorily delineated reason to get on the ballot. Minnesota has a very high hurdle.

The recall effort claims that Huisman violated the First Amendment for signing a letter calling for a program to be removed from KBEW radio. 


Friday, March 26, 2021

California: Newsom recall roundup -- Pelosi throws cold water on Democrats in the replacement race

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backs Newsom and says no Democrat should run in the replacement race

The 18 member Jewish Legislative Caucus (all Democrats) backs Newsom before the first born fast

Where should the Recall Newsom forces look for votes? I'm quoted and mention that the rural/red areas ain't gonna be enough and they need to make inroads in LA and with some traditional Democratic voters

And here's a Bloomberg quick take on the recall

Tennessee: Signature requirement debate over charter amendment seeking to ease Nashville recall laws

14,000 signatures have been handed in by an anti-tax attorney who is also proposing easing recall laws against Nashville city officials, with a charter amendment that will lower the amount of signatures needed to get on the ballot from 15% of turnout to 10%, expand the signature timeframe to 75 days from 30 and ban officials from running to replace themselves in a recall. 

There is a debate over how many signatures are needed. The city says that they need 31,212 signatures based on the November election. Petitioner Jim Roberts claims they should use the August election and the number would be 12,142.

Nebraska: Petitions taken out against David City Mayor over masking mandate to battle coronavirus pandemic

Petitions have been taken out against David City Mayor Alan Zavodny over complaints about the mask mandate signed to stop the coronavirus pandemic. Zavodny named the mask mandate after a disabled young man hospitalized for COVID-19 issues. Petitioner needs 275 signatures by April 14.

The petitioner, Gerald Kosch, cited the economic damage of the mask and questioned the coronavirus itself. Specifically:

"As far as (Zavodny's) concern for the injured kid and his coronavirus, I don't think he understands what the coronavirus is. The coronavirus is nothing more than the common cold," Kosch said to The Banner-Press." 

and

"What about the people who lost income because of that? … I don't know of anybody in general but you've seen it happen," Kosch said to The Banner-Press.

California: San Francisco District Attorney recall starts; top backer Silicon Valley Executive

The former PayPal Executive is so far the biggest donor to the effort. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

California: Newsom Roundup -- Can Newsom resign and cancelled the recall? Poll out looking good Newsom and more chatter about replacement candidates

Will the Democrats regret not having a top-tier replacement election candidate? (Spoiler alert! No). Will anyone jumping in regret it? Let's look back -- Oh, Oh, yes

In the same piece, Alexandra Pelosi floats the idea of Newsom resigning and be replaced by his Lieutenant Governor and the recall being cancelled. That's not how the law works. In some states, you can resign within five days of the recall being approved. Not California -- the recall goes to the ballot whether or not the official resigns

A Probolsky Research polls shows Newsom up 53-35% among likely voters (53-46% among all voters). Only 2/3rds of Democrats are in Newsom's camp -- a number he needs to increase, while independents break his way 43-41% (compared to 55% in favor of the recall in the Davis race).

QAnon and other conspiracy theories are unsurprisingly getting involved in the recall effort. 

Alaska: Podcast interview with petitioner on Anchorage Assembly Chair recall set

Here's an podcast interview with one of the leaders of the recall effort against Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera, which is set for the April 6th General Election. Rivera has filed a lawsuit to toss out the recall effort.

The write-up notes the purchase of a hotel for a shelter as an impetus, though previously stories seem to focus on the claim that Rivera didn't stop 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).

Petitions have been rejected for Assembly members Meg Zaletel, Austin Quinn-Davidson and Kameron Perez-Verdia. New petitions are being reviewed for Quinn-Davidson and Perez-Verdia.

California: Op-ed in the California Recorder on the District Attorneys recall; Podcast on Legal Talk Network

I wrote this piece in the Recorder (an American Lawyer publication) on the District Attorneys recalls in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sonoma County and why there are so few D.A. recalls in the US.

And here's a Podcast interview I did, though focused on LA DA Gascon.

Washington: Three Seattle School Board members facing petitions over COVID pandemic opening

Petitions have been filed against three Seattle School Board Emily Cherkin, Jennifer Crow and Beverly Goodman over complaints that the school did not transition fast enough to in-person teaching during the coronavirus pandemic. There are also complaints about shrinking play areas, selling school property and data protection.

Washington is a malfeasance standard state and the Superior Court first has to approval the charges before it moves forward.

Update: A look at how the Seattle School Board elections work

California: Recall proponents starting documentary on Shasta County Supervisors effort

Restaurant owners who are pushing for a recall against Shasta County Supervisors Leonard MotyMary Rickert and Joe Chimenti and Les Baugh have putting out a new documentary series on it (though Baugh does not seem to be a target in this story). They are facing recall threats over their support for restrictions to fight the Covid pandemic (Baugh appears to be opposed to the restrictions). Here's a vastly more detailed look at the fight, which notes that petitioners would need about 4000 valid signatures. 

California: Elk Grove Mayor facing recall effort

Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen is facing a recall effort led by the Elk Grove Hmong Americans after Singh-Allen allegedly made derogatory comments about the Hmong community. Singh-Allen defeated Steve Ly in 2020 -- Ly was apparently the first Hmong mayor in America. . Petitioners need about 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot. 

Update: Here's a response from Singh-Allen

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

California: Tom Steyer in the mentioning category for a replacement race

We've been talking about a big time Democrat getting into the replacement race and I'm not sure that Tom Steyer qualifies. Steyer was a candidate for President where he spent $131 Million for no delegates and a little over 250,000 votes. He has now commissioned a poll with himself as the replacement candidate. As I mentioned earlier, there could be a heavy penalty for the candidate who jumps into the race. 

California: Demystifying the Plurality Voting Conundrum

Thanks to the Professor Rick Hasen at the Election Law Blog for running this as a guest post. Just going to include the text here:

Attention is now being paid to one factor of the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) – the way the recall operates and whether it is “fair.” California’s recall law uses a one-day, two-step process. There is an up or down vote on whether Newsom, where he needs to win a majority (or a tie) to stay, combined with a concurrent vote on the replacement candidate, which only counts if Newsom loses. The replacement candidate only needs a plurality to be elected. Newsom is not allowed to run to replace himself. The result of this structure is that Newsom’s replacement can win office with a tiny fraction of the vote that Newsom received in losing office.

Despite the fact that there were 135 candidates on the replacement ballot, this did not occur in the 2003 gubernatorial recall, when Arnold Schwarzenegger received almost 200,000 more votes in the replacement race than Gray Davis/No on Recall received. However, over the last 10 years, there have been at least five instances where the elected official who was kicked out in the recall outdrew the winner of the replacement race, including one last year in Santa Ana, as well as the most recent state-level recall election, State Senator Josh Newman in 2018. 

The issue of whether a recall victor should be able to receive fewer votes than the removed official is not new. Recall laws across the country have seen attempts to solve the problem of how to choose a new candidate. Idaho uses a “Queen of the Hill” provision (the amount of votes in favor of the recall has to top the votes received by the official in their victory). Some local jurisdictions, as well as other countries, require what I call an “absentee veto” – where total voter turnout in a recall needs to be higher than a set percentage of the population in order for the recall to count. 

Variation in recall laws has always been the rule, not the exception. The early comprehensive study of the recall in California (Bird & Ryan’s book published in 1930) notes that in the cities of California alone “…there has developed such a variety of treatment of all the features of the law that it is difficult to think of any possible innovation left untried.” (58) 

In the 19 (or possibly 20) states in the US that allow recalls against Governors or state level officials, the primary divisions in recall structure are 

1) a Yes or No vote or just a new election; 

2) a replacement race or filling the position in the matter set out by the law (i.e. the Lieutenant Governor takes over) ;

3) whether a replacement race should be the same day as the recall or held on a different day. 

The differences breakdown as follows by state:

Yes or No, Same Day Replacement: California, Colorado 

Yes or No, Different Day Replacement, Georgia, Illinois (though primary may be the same day), Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Rhode Island

Yes or No, replaced by Lt. Governor: Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan (only for the Governor, changed in 2012. All other recalls in the state use the New Election model), Oregon (No Lieutenant Governor, replaced by the Secretary of State), Washington.

New Election: Arizona, Nevada (if no other candidate runs, then it seems it is a yes or no vote), North Dakota, Wisconsin

Recall Trial: Virginia (probably doesn’t impact the Governor, may hit other state officials).

Even within these divisions, there are variations. In some places, candidates are allowed to run in the replacement race, which has led to the odd result of a candidate being defeated and then replacing themselves. 

The Yes or No with a new election may seem unfair, but the most recent states to adopt the recall (Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Georgia and Montana) have all opted for this method with a replacement race. 

States have also changed their laws over time. Oregon moved to the automatic replacement model (actually, filling the replacement by law rather than election) in the early years of having the recall; Michigan made this change for Governor back in 2012. 

Even California, which has had the same provision since 1911, seemingly had a New Election structure in one of its most important early recalls, against state Senator Edwin Grant. Contemporary reports claim that Grant lost by 531 votes to his predecessor Eddie Wolfe. None of the stories seem to explain the discrepancy in how the recall law worked, though it is likely that the election simply used San Francisco’s charter law New Election provision.

It may seem unfair that Newsom or any other official can lose their position to a replacement who gains fewer votes. But California voters have had 110 years to change this structure. The legislature has not been that shy in tinkering with recall laws – as we saw in 2017 with the adoption of a signature removal law. Other states like Oregon and Michigan have seen their recall model changed. It may be difficult, but if California voters really wanted the law changed, they could have done it. The structure, put in place with more than 76% of the vote in favor, should be respected.  

California: Newsom Recall Roundup -- new poll on the recall, discussion of possible Democratic candidates

A new Emerson poll shows that about 38% of voters would vote for the recall (about the same as vote against Newsom in 2018). 55% want a change in the next election. So far, the pro-Recall numbers seem pretty static in every poll I've seen. 

Some discussion on whether a big name Democrat will jump into the replacement race -- I discussed this in the last post.

People waking up to the plurality rule (Newsom can lose the recall and win more than his replacement) -- I'll have quite a bit more on this soon. 

Washington Monthly piece on Newsom and the politics of rage.

A pro-recall look from the right (Hoover Institute) saying why it is about the pandemic response.

Here's a conversation I had with the Legal Talk Network

California: Will a big name Democrat jump into the replacement race? The cautionary tale of Cruz Bustamante

Some early chatter on whether a big name Democrat will jump into the replacement race, as the great naming has begun. We'll see what happens, but as long as Newsom is ahead, any serious name may be scared away.

Democrats see Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante's decision to get into the replacement race in the Gray Davis recall as a disaster (Garry South, Davis Advisor, suggested it cost Davis 5%). Bustamante paid a price in his political career -- he lost the Insurance Commissioner race in 2006, which combined with Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides, the gubernatorial candidate, were the last two Democrats to lose in a major statewide race. Bustamante, who got under 38% of the vote, has the unfortunate distinction of having the worst showing of any Democrat in a statewide race (not including Board of Equalizers) since at least 1994, when the top two law was passed.  

In the Colorado recalls in 2013, Democrats didn't run any replacement candidate. Hard to say that it mattered. In 2018 in the Josh Newman recall a Democrat did run, to no avail.

The one recent example I can think of this strategy working was a two-day recall in 2011/2012 in Michigan against State Representative Paul Scott (i.e., the replacement race was months later).


Idaho: Boise's North End Neighborhood Association recall appears to succeed

Five members of  Boise's North End Neighborhood Association may have been ousted . The NENA is the oldest of the 34 neighborhood associations.  Members facing the recall are Acting President Sarah Foregger, Carlos Coto, Daniel Foregeer, Tory Spengler and Sitka Koloski. 87 percent voted to remove every member of the board with near a 670-70 vote. Turnout was considered high.  

California: SF School Board member facing additional recall threats over tensions

San Francisco School Board member Alison Collins, already part of the group facing recall threats for a proposal to rename schools, is now facing issues for earlier posts she wrote about tension with Asian students. 

Alaska: Wrangell Mayor petitions rejected by city

The City rejected a petition seeking the recall of Wrangell Mayor Steve Prysunka over a claim that he gave insufficient notice of an emergency meeting that imposed a $25 fine for violating a mask mandate to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The petitioner, former Mayor Don McConachie Sr. has said that he will not appeal but will run for office.

The meeting over mask mandating was called five hours after Governor Mike Dunleavy sent an emergency cell phone alert about rising infections.

Alaska is a Malfeasance Standard state, so petitioners would have had to meet a statutorily delineated violation to get on the ballot, though after the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of the Dunleavy recall attempt, the courts may allow this recall. Petitioners needed 104 signatures.

Prysunka faced an earlier recall attempt in January, but he had not yet gotten out of the 120 day grace period. Interestingly, the article notes that no recall can be filed for 6 months now that this one has been rejected. 

Colorado: Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District Board Members recall appears to get on the ballot

The recall in the town of Gypsum's Buckhorn Valley Metropolitan District Number 2 (BVMD) seems to have gotten on the ballot, as board members facing a recall effort are President John Hill, Anna Maria Ray, David Garton, Jr. and Scott Green (a fifth seat is open). Petitioners needed about 300 signatures to get on the ballot (40 percent of voters). They handed in 378. 

The issue is developer control of the community (petitioners claim the developers of the area have too much control of the board and its decisions). The cost seems to be about $65,000-$70,000.

Pennsylvania: State Representative files recall bill

State Representative Martina A. White (R) has introduced a bill (H.822) which would bring the recall back to Pennsylvania, though with serious limits. The bill is a proposed Constitutional Amendment allowing recalls against the Governor, AG, Treasurer, Mayors, District Attorneys and Auditor General. It oddly leaves out the legislature (though both Illinois and Rhode Island also leave the legislature out of the recall law). The idea is that these officials have executive authority. 

The state's recall law was struck down in 1976 by the State Supreme Court. 

The proposal would require 25% of turnout. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

California: Is signer party identification a red flag for petitioners in the Newsom recall?

The recall proponents looking to oust California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) have been justly crowing about handing in an estimated 2,117,730 signatures (they need 1,495,709 valids and that seems like enough of a cushion based on past failure rates -- barring an impressive signature strike effort).

However, in what may be an "It's not what you want" stat, Dave Gilliard, a Republican recall strategist, tweeted that the breakdown of signers was 64.1% Republicans. 25.3% No Party Preference; 9% Democrat; 1.6% Other. The signers were evenly divided by gender, with 49.48% of signers listed as Female. 

It does not seem that there was a breakdown of the 2003 Gray Davis petitions by party breakdown, but there are exit polls that show how voting went -- and recall proponents would need some different numbers come election day. In 2003, almost 25% of Democrats reportedly voted to oust Davis, and 55% of Independents went that way as well (91% of Republicans voted for removal, which shouldn't be a surprise). California is also a vastly less Republican state than it was in 2003. 

I do realize this is comparing apples to oranges -- the percent numbers are measuring two separate things, (one if percent of signers who are Democrat, the other percent of Democrats who voted one way) but it does show that a good number of Democrats and independents were needed to succeed.

The one stat that is a particular positive for petitioners is the nearly 50% Female signers. Back in 2003, the recall did 7% better among men than women. The gender gap between the parties has widened significantly since then.

It could very well be that Democrats and independents will behave very differently at the ballot box than at the signing phase (one is an obviously vastly more public rejection of the party). But that is a stat that suggests the petitioners have some serious work to do.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Nebraska: Petitions taken out against Valparaiso Trustee

Petitions have been taken out against Valparaiso Board of Trustees member Mike Blazek for what seems to be about the drainage project done on his property, allegedly by a village employee. Petitioners need about 104 signatures (45% of turnout). 


California: Former Republican Congressman says he will run in a recall effort

Doug Ose, a former Republican Congressman, has announced that he will run for Governor in a recall effort against Gavin Newsom. Ose was in office from 1999-2005 and ran for Governor in 2018, but dropped out. 

California: Petitioners hand in 2,117,730 signatures in Gubernatorial recall effort

The petitioners report that they have handed in 2,117,730 signatures in the recall effort against California Governor Gavin Newsom (D). They need 1,495,709 valid signatures, so as long as their signature failure rate tops a little under 30%, they will get on the ballot (here's a look on failure rate).

Dave Gilliard, a Republican recall strategist, tweeted that the breakdown of signers was 64.1% Republicans. 25.3% No Party Preference; 9% Democrat; 1.6% Other. The signers were evenly divided by gender, with 49.48% of signers listed as Female. 

Alaska: Alaska Governor looks at recall effort and suggests that it may likely get on the ballot

A new interview has led Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) to say that he is operating on the assumption that the petitioners in the recall effort will get the signatures. Petitioners claim they have 56,476 signatures (79 percent) of the 71,252 valids needed to get on the ballot. 

The Supreme Court has already upheld the recall and said that it meets the state's malfeasance standard. There is no time limit for the collection of the signatures. 

If Dunleavy were recalled, there would not be a replacement race. Instead, the Lieutenant Governor (a Republican) would automatically be moved up to Governor.

Louisiana: Recall effort against Governor fails

The recall effort against Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) has failed, with petitioners handing in 26,679 signatures (one parish is still outstanding).  Petitioners needed over 600,000 signatures in 180 days. This was the first gubernatorial recall threatened since  Louisiana loosened its recall laws. The state formally required 33 1/3 % registered voter signature to get on the ballot. Now, it is only 20% (not turnout, like in California or Wisconsin).

The recall was over Edwards' mask mandate to combat the coronavirus pandemic. 

California: Can the Newsom recall backfire

 Well, we've discussed this at length (and I'll probably write more on that), but here's one more take

Minnesota: Meeting held on recall efforts against Six Red Wing City Council members over police chief firing

A group seeking the recall of six Red Wing City Council members, Dean Hove, Andy Klitzke, Evan Brown, Becky Norton, Erin Buss and Laurel Stinson, held a meeting discussing the efforts. The recall effort follows the firing of the Police Chief (the vote was 6-1).

Minnesota is a malfeasance standard state, so petitioners will need to show a statutorily specific reason for the recall. There has been only one recall that I've seen in Minnesota since 2011, and it is likely there hasn't been another one since the state-wide adoption of a recall law in 1996. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Arizona: Superior Court Judge tosses out Kingman Mayor recall over signature issues

A Mohave County Superior Court Judge has tossed out the recall of Kingman Mayor Jen Miles, which hasn't been scheduled but the enough valid signatures were found to have been handed in. The judge found that the petitions were "not attached to a 'time-and-date-marked copy',,, and some petitions were not personally witnessed by the circulator.

Petitioners seem to have handed in 2367 signatures, of which 1512 were valids. They needed 1384. The recall is over a vote to continue the mask covering requirement to combat the coronavirus pandemic until October 20, 2020.

No word on the recall efforts against Councilmembers David Wayt, James Scott Stehly, SueAnn Mello Keener and Ken Watkins, though petitioners had an extra week to hand those in, so it could be we are waiting (petitioners need 1438 signatures for the council members).  Two other councilmembers who voted against the protective mask requirements are not facing recall efforts.

No word yet on whether the petitioners will appeal. 


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

California: Newsom Roundup -- a look at how the signatures are verified

Here's a good look at how the signatures are verified -- note that California appears to have a looser proof standard than many states and therefore a higher approval rate. 

Is Gavin Newsom  a fan of the blog? He notes on CNN that California has the easiest gubernatorial recall law in the US.

Accentuate the partisanship and let's start talking about the money -- Politico also looks at who is running the Newsom effort.

Here's my podcast interview with San Francisco Chronicle's Joe Garofoli.

Arizona: Petitions taken out against House Speaker over pandemic shutdown, Republican election loss in state

Arizona House Speaker Russell Bowers (R) is facing a recall effort from a further right group over not calling a special session during the Coronavirus pandemic (presumably to overturn the governor's shutdown procedures) and the "failure to protect the integrity of the 2020 election" by a group looking to overturn the results of the election.

Petitioners need 22,331 signatures by June 17. 

Here's a lot more on it with some of my comments on whether the recall can be helped by a petition drive taking place at the same time. Reminds me of the crypto-initiative issue. 

Arizona: Petitions taken out against State Representative

 Petitions have been taken out against State Representative Mark Finchem (R) over his alleged support for the Capitol Hill riots on January 6th and the attempted overthrow of the presidential election. The effort had been facing questions after the Chair of the Casa Grande Democrats, Ralph Atchue stepped back from the effort to let professionals run it. Representative Athena Salman (D) has also introduced a resolution to expel Finchem. Finchem accepted more than $6000 from Trump in Recount legal consulting. After facing an ethics complaint, Finchem filed ethic complaints against nearly all Democrats in the state legislature, which went nowhere. 

Petitioners would need 24,774 signatures in 120 days. 

California: Newsom Recall Round-up -- Did someone dropped the appellate ball? Plus, polls show some alleged negatives (but probably really positives) for Newsom

Did the Secretary of State drop the ball in not appealing the ruling allowing 120 more days to get signatures? Democratic consultant Garry South says yes. The issue appears to be the SoS' willingness in allowing more time for two initiatives. 

Newsom says he will appoint Black woman to any potential opening in Dianne Feinstein's seat, pushing the obvious partisan angle to play in a very Democratic state. 

New poll has Newsom up 42%-38% in recall vote. The polls seem to show a straight line on the removal vote, so far, not topping 40%. I suspect the negatives may be the most important topline finding in any poll here. 

More stories on the recall -- I'm quoted in the Guardian one. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Kentucky: New law lowers signature totals for school board tax increase recall election

Kentucky does not appear to have recall elections of individuals, but they do have laws that allow for a recall of a school district tax increase. A new law was passed that lower the signature requirement for a school district tax recall to 5000 signatures from the current requirement of 10% of total voters. A Jefferson County recall failed to get on the ballot because of the 35,517 signatures needed. 

Canada: Alberta considers new recall bill that seems to remove local officials by just handing in signatures

The newest recall proposed legislation in Alberta has an odd issue, as it includes procedures for the recall election of MLAs (60 days to collect 40% of eligible voters), but the portion dealing with local officials and school board members do not include an actual vote. They will be removed by the handing in of signatures. 

This column criticizes the recall law as setting to high a bar and claiming it is a betrayal of the old Wildrose Party, which had pushed for a recall law in Alberta. 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

California: Camarillo council members facing recalls over BLM support

Camarillo Vice Mayor Shawn Mulchay and Council member Susan Santangelo are facing petitions over their support for Black Lives Matter protests. There are also claims that the two wanted to defund the police, though that is denied, Petitioners need 9475 signatures by April 15. Since 2018, Camarillo moved from an at large system to a district-based one, though apparently all Camarillo residents would be able to vote in a recall. 

Update: Here's a letter looking for a signature removal effort. 

Idaho: Does the March 9 Idaho recall results show evidence in how pandemic-focused elections will turn?

What is the electoral impact of the pandemic and the shutdown? This is important for the Gavin Newsom recall, but also for the longer term scope of 2022. As we've seen with the 87 recall attempts in 2020, the pandemic unleashed a good deal of voter anger, and a good portion of that was on the right side of the aisle. 80 of those recalls were started by voters who were opposed to the shutdown requirements designed to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Last year we saw only two officials actually face 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 a plane crash while signatures were being collected. A recall against Commissioner in Enid, Oklahoma (and one in Norman, thought that had other issues involved as well) were thrown out by the State Supreme Court case.

But now we have some new results and while these are small jurisdictions, they may shine some light on the issue.

A small subset of recall elections in Idaho on March 9th gave us a first glimpse of how voters may feel on the downslope of the pandemic and how elected officials who supported shutdowns may be treated. School boards were targeted in the recall efforts and they are well represented here. While obviously this is a small sample of low population jurisdictions, it may point out that any fever for recalls over the shutdown could be waning. 

For the Newsom effort, we should keep in mind that Idaho is practically the mirror image of California. All state level officials are Republican -- the last Democratic Senator was elected in 1974, the last Governor in 1986.  The state legislature is veto-proof dominated by Republicans. Perhaps most importantly, the state voted for Donald Trump by 30%, almost the exact opposite of California's 29% for Biden. 

Idaho seems to be a perfect place to see voters kick out their elected officials over the pandemic. And on Tuesday March 9, seven officials in five separate jurisdictions faced recall votes. But all survived their vote. One recall (the mayor of Plummer) seemed to have nothing to do with the pandemic. The others, especially the five school board members did. 

Idaho has an interesting provision in its recall laws, one that, for lack of a better term, we will copy Congress and call it a "Queen of the Hill" law. In Idaho, a recall is an up or down vote on the elected official. But for it to succeed, not only do you need a majority of the vote in favor of recall, you also need the vote total to top the amount of votes the candidate won in the last election. As an example, Idaho Governor Brad Little won election in 2018 with 361,661 votes. If he faced a recall not only would they need to have a majority vote to remove, that majority would have to be at least 361,662 voters.  

This law only came into effect in the Plummer recall. All the other recalls were significant victories by the candidates. 

All three Pocatello/Chubbuck School Board Trustees, Jackie Cranor (677-708)  Janie Gebhardt (674-959) and Dave Mattson (782-1055), survived the recall vote.  

Idaho Falls School Board Trustee Elizabeth Cogliati survived a recall vote, with nearly 60% in her favor.  183-272. The recall would have failed unless 221 people voted for removal. 

Nampa School Board member Mike Kipp survived a recall vote 436-497 (46.7% - 53.3%). 

Hagerman City Mayor Alan Jay survived a recall vote, 116-129. The complaints seem all over the place, including a Covid pandemic issue, but there are complaints about enforcement of the city codes and alleged misappropriation of funds. They needed 162 votes. 

Is this just some small subset of the population? Or is this a real statement that voters may have been upset enough about the shutdowns to sign petitions, but now are not willing to kick someone out over it?

*** Just some point about the nomenclature. As opposed to the Queen of the Hill rule (used when several amendments are trying to impact a law, so the one with the most votes wins), a King of the Hill provision is when the last vote is the one that counts, no matter if an earlier one gets the most votes. I have used the phrase Absentee Veto provision (where a recall vote must exceed a certain turnout number -- say 30% of the electorate must vote, making it more valuable to sit it out than to vote against. This provision is used frequently overseas).

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Ohio: Late results now show clean sweep in Woodmere Village Council member recall with 4 ousted

After counting seven outstanding ballots, Woodmere Village Council member Craig Wade has now lost his seat, 91-88, joining Council President Jennifer Mitchell Earley (93-80) and members Lisa Brockwell (90-83) and Glenda Todd Miller (89-85). Wade seemed to have survived on the election day vote (85-87). 

Replacements will be named by the remaining council. If they can't make a decision, the mayor chooses. 

The recall was over seemingly over the lack of a sidewalk on a road and an out of date website. Perhaps most interesting is a fight over chickens -- one person bought chicks for his children and they kept escaping. The council allegedly took too long in give a special use permit to construct a structure to hold the chicks, so they gave them away. The recall seems to also be about new residents versus old ones in a 900 person village, as well as a battle between the Council President and Mayor.