Sunday, March 27, 2022

Nevada: Washoe County Commissioner recall effort abandoned

The recall effort against Washoe County Commissioner Vaughn Hartung (R) has ended, though no reason has been given. The petitioner was apparently spreading election fraud conspiracies. Petitioners needed 14,345 signatures to get on the ballot. 

The petitioner, who claims to be Robert Beadles and said he is an "avid believer in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology" 

Two Washoe Republican Board members (Cindy Martinez and Sandra Linares) are listed as supporters of the petition.

Petitions were also filed against School Board Member Angie Taylor, though it is not clear what happened with that. 

Louisiana: Franklinton Alderman survives recall vote

Franklinton Alderman Heath Spears (R) survived a recall vote 500-384.  Turnout was 41%. The recall was over claims that he does not live in the town. Spears said he moved temporarily after his house was damaged in a fire.

Friday, March 25, 2022

California: New petitions taken out against Downey Councilwoman

New petitions have been filed against Downey Councilwoman Catherine Alvarez, after the first one came 35 signatures short of qualifying (Petitioners handed in 4,016 signatures and need 3454 valids).  The recall is reputed to be over Alvarez's failure to disclose her criminal history, where she was arrested for welfare fraud and shoplifting,

Update: Here's more on the recall effort

California: New petitions taken out against Los Alamitos School District board member

A new petition has been taken out against Los Alamitos Unified School District Scott Fayette. Petitioners need about 1800 signatures. A previous effort was tried against board members Megan Cutuli, Chris Forehan and Scott Fayette, which missed the deadline. Petitions were over the board's support for restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic, as well as an adoption of an ethnic studies elective.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Michigan: Petitions taken out against third Albion Council member

Petitions have been filed against Albion City Council Member Marcola Lawler, claiming that she used council meetings for her own public relations. Petitioners have recently been taken out against Councilmembers Nora Jackson and Linda LaNoue, though they seem to be about other issues.

Petitioners would need 74 signatures to get on the ballot. 

Minnesota: More on the Two Harbors "Underwater Hotel" recall effort

Here's another article on the recall effort being organized against Two Harbors Mayor Chris Swanson seemingly over claims that he used a podcast to discuss an underwater hotel in Lake Superior, thereby using his title as mayor to attract investors, and plans to fund city projects with cryptocurrency. Swanson was one of six Minnesota mayors to endorse Trump in September, which has also led to complaints (though does not seem to be the basis of the recall). 

Minnesota is a strict malfeasance standard/judicial recall state and nearly all petitions that I've seen have been rejected at that stage. Petitioners would need about 450 signatures to get to the ballot. Interesting provision in the charter -- if there are less than two years in the term, the council appoints a replacement. If there are more, than there is a special election. 

California: Petitions taken out against three Templeton School Board members

Petitions have been taken out against Templeton School Board Trustees, President Nelson Yamagata, Trustee Ted Dubost and Clerk Mendi Swan. It seems it is about the district's votes in favor of protective measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Oregon: Early returns suggest Yamhill County Commissioner appears to survive recall vote

Yamhill County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer appears to have survived her recall vote, 53.4-47.6% in early voting (with 44.3% voting). 

The recall is over a kitchen sink of issues, including cutting fees that a landfill paid the county, ending development of the Yamhelas Westsider Trail (over questions of how it would effect nearby farms) and demanding a special election for Urban Renewal District. She has been criticized for her opposition to mask and vaccine mandates to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Update: Berschauer survived the vote (52.4-47.6%).


Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Oregon: Yamhill County Commissioner recall on March 22

Yamhill County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer is up for a recall election on March 22,

The recall is over a kitchen sink of issues, including cutting fees that a landfill paid the county, ending development of a trail and demanding a special election for Urban Renewal District. She has been criticized for her opposition to mask and vaccine mandates to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Oregon: Banks Fire District 13 Board Members facing recall election on April 12

Banks Fire District 13 Board Members Mark Schmidlin and Ed Ewing are facing a recall vote on April 12 over claims that they failed to quickly investigate claims that the fire chief sexually harassed a minor as well as made racist and sexist remarks. Petitioners needed 449 signatures and got 513 and 536. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

California: Sacramento City Council member facing petitions

Sacramento City Council member Katie Valenzuela is facing a recall effort over complaints about homelessness, crime and property values.

Colorado: Alamosa District Attorney facing recall effort

Alamosa District Attorney Alonzo Payne is facing a recall effort over crime victims complaints about dismissals and overly lenient plea bargains. The city council voted 4-1 to help pay for the recall effort, which seems quite odd.

Payne has been accused of violating the Victim's Rights Act.  

Friday, March 18, 2022

California: Look at backer of Shasta County recall

Here's a look at Reverge Anselmo, who financial backed the Shasta County recall. There is some discussion over whether land use issues at his ranch and vineyard was a reason for his support.

Massachusetts: Recall effort against Lancaster Planning Board Members rejected and needs restart

The recall effort against Lancaster Planning Board Chair Russ Williston and Member Carol Jackson has been rejected by the Board of Registrars over claims that the board didn't properly certify the first round of signature collection.

Michigan: Lakeshore School Board members facing petitions

Four petitions have been filed against Lakeshore School Board members Jason Beckrow and Rachel Wade, which is after the petitions were rejected by the Election Commission. The petitions appear to be over their support for mask mandates to combat the coronavirus pandemic. There is also a second claim that they have been in office too long (six years instead of four). Not sure what that one means. 

California: Poll shows serious trouble for San Francisco District Attorney

A new poll out suggests significant trouble for San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, with 68% of voters saying they will vote to remove him.

California: $3.5M raised in the Los Angeles District Attorney recall effort

The effort to recall Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon says it raised more than $3.5 million, and has collected over a 125,000 signatures. They need 566,857 by July 6. Note that the effort has been a long running affair (with the first set of petitions start last February, though any signatures from then are not counted in this number). 

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

California: My op-ed in the SF Gate on reading too much into the California recalls

Here's an op-ed I wrote for the SF Gate on whether pundits are reading way too much into the recent California recalls. The SF School Board recall led to questions of whether recalls portend doom for Democrats in November. The Democrats may face disaster come Election Day, but this recall is not any sort of signpost on that road. A look at both recent school board recalls and the history of recall elections shows should serve as a cautionary tale for anyone trying to read too much into this result

California: Asian turnout up, but not decisive

Mission Local notes that Asian turnout in the school board recall was up, but not decisive. And here's additional analyzing of the vote.

Michigan: Petitions taken out against two Albion City Council members

Albion City Council members Nora Jackson and Linda LaNoue are facing recall efforts. Jackson is over complaints about a nonprofit led by Jackson receiving tax dollars, while LaNoue is over a vote in favor of a former college president Matthew Johnson's vision for the city, while LaNoue was employed by the college. There are separate individuals launching the recalls. Petitioners need 146 signatures for Jackson and 142 for LaNoue

Oregon: Two Banks Fire District Board members up for recall on April 12

Banks Fire District Board members Ed Ewing and Mark Schmidlin are facing recall votes in April 12. Petitioners needed 440 signatures and got 513 and 537 respectively. The issue was complaints that they refused to investigate multiple harassment complaints against the fire chief. 


Michigan: Petition language approved against Brighton School Board Member on third try

A third petition has finally been approved against School Board member Bill Trombley, with an appeal going into the rejection of the petition against member John Conely. A second petition against Conely and Trombley was been rejected by the Election Commission due to factualness/clarity grounds. 

The issue is Conley and Cross opposition to COVID pandemic protections -- Conley compared mask mandates to Nazi rules and "presented a slide show that contained misinformation about masks." Cross allegedly "intentionally coughed on a member of the public" and was unprepared for meetings. 

Petitioners need 5472 signatures to get on the ballot.

Update: Language has now been approved.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Virginia: Portsmouth effort to create Malfeasance Standard killed in House of Delegates

An effort to change the Portsmouth's recall law was killed in the House of Delegates, with Delegate Tim Anderson (R), who supported a recall effort against Senate President Pro Temp Louise Lucas (D) last year, credited with stopping the proposed law.

The change would have created a malfeasance standard/judicial recall law, requiring a specific statutorily delineated grounds (approved by a judge) for the recall to move forward. 

Portsmouth is the cite of the first (that I know of) two-time recall loser, Mayor James Holley (in 1987 and 2010) and a failed effort against Mayor Kenny Wright in 2016. 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Montana: Recall effort against Yellowstone County Commissioner fails

The recall effort against Yellowstone County Commissioner Don Jones has failed. Petitioners needed about 15,600 signatures (15% of registereds) to get on the ballot. Petitioner gathered 1348 signatures (of which 992 were valid). The issue was Jones' support for looking into privatizing management at MetraPark. 

Friday, March 11, 2022

Maine: Court rejects effort to toss out Kennebunk School Board recall scheduled for March 29

A Superior Court Justice has greenlit the recall election of Kennebunk School Board (RSU 21) Timothy Stentiford for March 29. The court ruled that the recall should follow town charter provisions, not the state school board ones.

Petitioners, including former board member Norman Archer, handed in 697 signatures and verified 668, though that was lowered to 665. They needed exactly that.

Petitions were also taken out against Chair Arthur LeBlanc, with petitioners missing by one signature (they got 664). The issue appears to be a recent teacher contract and claims of bullying.

The recall may be set for March 29. 

Ohio: Kirtland Councilwoman resigns before recall election

Kirtland Councilwoman Kelly Wolfe resigned right before her March 8 recall election. Wolfe was the only council member voting against the removal of the Police Chief. It was discovered that Wolfe was personally involved with the Chief. The council will appoint a replacement. 

Michigan: Two candidates announcing in Lee Township Trustee and Supervisor recall election scheduled for May 3

Two of the leaders of the effort for the recall election against Lee Township Supervisor Kristy Gustafson and Trustee Darla Rippee have announced replacement runs for the seat. Doug Kruger is facing off against Gustafson and Mark List is opposing Rippee in the election scheduled for May 3. The recall is apparently 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.

California: San Francisco District Attorney notes issues with recall law

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin notes that San Francisco uses a statistical sampling method to verify signatures. An interesting point when you look at the signature failure rate in the past. 

California: San Francisco Mayor names three replacement school board members

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced the three replacements for the ousted school boards members -- Ann Hsu, Laine Motamedi and Lisa Weissman-Ward. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Nebraska: Gage County Supervisor facing petitions

Gage County Supervisor Don Schuller (D) is facing petitions for what seems like a kitchen sink of reasons, though one is a vote in favor of wind turbines, a big recall issue recently. Schuller is the only Democrat on board (there are seven seats). 

The other issues include a vote against a bill touting 2nd Amendment rights and votes in favor of a 30-by-30 plan and the Kansas-Nebraska Heritage Act. 

Petitioners need 453 signatures in 30 days.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

California: Redondo Beach Councilmember facing petitions

Petitions have been filed against Redondo Beach City Councilmember Zein Obagi Jr., apparently over his support for affordable housing and a homeless pallet shelter in his district, as well as claims of misconduct by the state bar. Obagi blames Cannabis dealers. Petitioners would need about 2250 signatures in 90 days. 

Georgia: Augusta Commissioner recall fails due to lack of signatures

The recall effort against Augusta Commissioner Catherine Smith appears to have failed at the early stage, as petitioners handed in only 92 of a 100 signatures needed. The complaints were over the redistricting process. Petitioner apparently tried to withdraw the petition, but there is no provision to do that under state law. The article notes that Grovestown recalled and removed three sitting councilmembers in the 1980s. 

Minnesota: Two Harbors Mayor facing petitions

A recall effort is being organized against Two Harbors Mayor Chris Swanson seemingly over claims that he used a podcast to discuss an underwater hotel in Lake Superior, thereby using his title as mayor to attract investors, and plans to fund city projects with cryptocurrency. Swanson was one of six Minnesota mayors to endorse Trump in September, which has also led to complaints (though does not seem to be the basis of the recall). 

Minnesota is a strict malfeasance standard/judicial recall state and nearly all petitions that I've seen have been rejected at that stage. Petitioners would need about 450 signatures to get to the ballot. Interesting provision in the charter -- if there are less than two years in the term, the council appoints a replacement. If there are more, than there is a special election. 

Michigan: Brighton School Board Members recall petition rejected for 2nd time on factualness/clarity grounds

A second petition taken out against Brighton School Board members John Conely and Bill Trombley has been rejected by the Election Commission due to factualness/clarity grounds. No word on if the petitioner will appeal or try and third attempt. 

The issue is Conley and Cross opposition to COVID pandemic protections -- Conley compared mask mandates to Nazi rules and "presented a slide show that contained misinformation about masks." Cross allegedly "intentionally coughed on a member of the public" and was unprepared for meetings. 

Petitioners need 5472 signatures to get on the ballot.

Oregon: Josephine County Commissioners recall effort fails

The recall effort against Josephine County Commissioners Dan DeYoung and Herman Baertschiger failed, with no signatures handed in. The recall was over their votes on the COVID-19 pandemic response, wildlife preparation and "illegal marijuana policies." Petitioners need about 6300 signatures by March 2.

Friday, March 4, 2022

California: Recall effort against Westminster Councilmember fails; signatures being checked in second one

The recall effort against Westminster Councilmember Kimberly Ho failed, with 1657 signatures tossed out. Petitioners handed in 4045 signatures. They needed 2381 valids and missed by 285. 

Signatures are being checked in a second recall against Councilmember Carlos Manzo. 2873 were submitted, and they need about 2100. 

Ho, along with Mayor Tri Ta and Councilmember Chi Charlie Nguyen, survived an April 7, 2020 vote, with 57% opposing the recall (Ta and Ngyuen also survived by similar margins).

Ho seems to have switched her regular vote to join with two other councilmembers (Tai Do and Carlos Manzo, who opposed Ta, Ngyuen and Ho. 

In the last recall, the claims were of ethical violations, such as limiting debate and participation.

Louisiana: Franklinton Alderman up for recall vote on March 26

Franklinton Alderman Heath Spears is facing a recall vote on March 26 over claims that he does not live in the town. Spears said he moved temporarily after his house was damaged in a fire.

Michigan: Petitions taken out against two Brighton School Board Members

Petitions have been taken out against Brighton School Board members John Conely and Bill Trombley. The Election Commission rejected the language on the first attempt due to factualness/clarity grounds.

The issue is Conley and Cross opposition to COVID pandemic protections -- Conley compared mask mandates to Nazi rules and "presented a slide show that contained misinformation about masks." Cross allegedly "intentionally coughed on a member of the public" and was unprepared for meetings. 

Petitioners need 5472 signatures to get on the ballot.

Colorado: Rio Blanco County Commissioner recall set for May 10

A recall election has been scheduled against Rio Blanco County Commissioner Gary Moyer on May 10.

The recall is over complaints of verbally abuse and misusing his power against employees, as well as trying to eliminate the Dispatch Center and a lack of transparency. 

Petitioners needed 747 signatures in 60 days. This is apparently the first recall attempt in Rio Blanco County history.

Massachusetts: Petitions out against Bourne School Board Member

Bourne School Board Member Kari MacRae is facing petitions over her critical comments (on TikTok) on school policy on gender identification and racism education/critical race theory. MacRae is running for a State Senate seat as well. 

Michigan: Three Winfield Township officials facing recall efforts

Three Winfield Township officials are facing recall efforts, though it is not clear why or which three.

Michigan: Two candidates announce for Sidney Township Board recall

Two candidates are running in the May 3rd recall election of Sidney Township Board member Jed Welder (R). The candidates are Erik Benko and Scott Giddings, both running with no party affiliation. The Democratic Party did not nominate a candidate. 

Petitioners handed in 370 signatures, they got 306 and needed 274. It took three tries to get the language approved. 

The issue was a vote in favor of a wind farm.

Update: Giddings appears to have dropped out.

Florida: Judge rejects recall attempt against Pahokee Vice Mayor

Did not see this one earlier -- Pahokee Vice Mayor Regina Bohlen faced a recall effort over a decision to fire the interim city attorney on a 3-2 vote. The same 3-2 vote rehired the past city attorney, who had been fired two years before. Mayor Keith Babb Jr. (who opposed the vote) locked the group out of the council chambers, so the vote was in a parking lot. Babb tried to launch a recall against Bohlen, but it was rejected by a judge.

Vermont: Push for adoption of direct democracy, including recall, in Burlington

Here

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Michigan: Leelanau County Commissioner facing May 3 vote

Leelanau County Commissioner William Bunek (R) is facing a May 3rd recall election vote. Bunek, who has been in office for 14 years, is facing the recall over his efforts to zero out Early Child Services millage. Voters passed that law in 2019, and a 4-3 vote by the council tossed it out.

Lois Bahle (D), who lost to Bunek in the last two elections, will be running for the seat. Petitioners handed in 663 signatures and needed 513 valids (not sure how many were tossed out).

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

California: LA Mayoral Hopeful backs Gascon recall effort

Los Angeles Mayoral candidate Rick Caruso is backing the District Attorney George Gascon recall and has promised some financial support for the signature gathering effort.