Sunday, April 30, 2023

Australia: Op-ed in favor of a recall law

Here's an article calling for a recall law in Australia. The article notes that in 2009, New South Wales proposed such a law (here's an op-ed I wrote at the time for the Sydney Morning Herald). On the federal level, there was a brief debate in 1988. The Liberal Democrats have it as part of their platform.

Michigan: Milan Township and Clerk face May 2nd recall election

Milan Township Trustee Robert Dopkowski and Clerk Barbara Collins will face a May 2nd recall vote over the votes opposing rescinding a solar ordinance, which was amended to allow large developments in industrial and agricultural-zoned districts.

Dopkowski (NP) is facing Thomas McGettigan (NP) and Nicholas Straub (R).

Collins (R) is facing Stephanie Kozar (NP).

California: Petitions taken out against three Yucaipa officials

Petitions have been taken out against Yucaipa Mayor Justin Beaver, Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Duncan and Councilmember Matt Garner over the decision to oust the City Manager and City Attorney. The decision came two months after their contracts were renewed. There are claims of working with developers on the ouster.

This is apparently the first recall attempt in Yucaipa history.

Michigan: Belvidere Township Supervisor resigned in face of recall vote

This was in January, but Belvidere Township Supervisor John Anderson (R) resigned after a recall got to the ballot over votes to approve wind and solar energy ordinances. They handed in 358 valid signatures and needed 227. 

Interesting discussion in the article over a proposal to pay Anderson through the date of the recall (it was $4216), as he would still be saving the township money from holding the vote. Supervisors approved the plan, but then claim that it may be illegal. Not sure whether he got the money or not.

Michigan: Three Cato Township officials facing May 2nd vote

May 2nd will see the Recall Elections against Cato Township Supervisor Larry Gilbert, Clerk Todd Lincoln and Trustee Jourdan Lindsay. The recalls are all over votes to approve wind and solar energy ordinances, as have been many in Michigan over the last year. 

All of the officials are Republicans. Petitioners needed 283 valid signatures for the three Cato officials. They got Gilbert (411), Lincoln 383) and Lindsey (365).

Colorado: 11th Judicial District Attorney facing recall threats

There is discussion of a recall effort against 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley over an investigation into criminal charges being reduced over discovery violations sanctions. There seem to have been more than 25 cases of discovery violations. 

Petitioners would need 13,260 signatures (25% of turnout) to get on the ballot.

Texas: Petitions taken out against Jasper County Commission Chair

Petitions have been taken out against Jasper County Commission Chairman Don Jernigan. Petitioners need 768 signatures (30% of registereds) in 30 days to get on the ballot. There is a malfeasance standard, so a judge will rule on whether the petitions show the grounds for the recall. 

The issue seems to be a zoning approval, with claims that open meeting laws were violated by working with three commissioners on text.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Florida: Crescent City Commissioner appeals judge's ruling allowing recall to move forward

Crescent City Commissioner Cynthia Burton is suing to overturn a judge's decision to allow the recall effort against her to move forward. Petitioners need 151 valids for the recall to get on the ballot. The issue is complaints about a sunshine law violation, though it was over a vote to abolish the police department (which took place two years ago). A former mayoral candidate, Craig Oates, is leading the effort.

There was previously failed recall against another Commissioner, Judith West, over the same vote.

MIT Undergraduate President facing recall

MIT Undergraduate Association President David Spicer is facing a recall vote over a campus postering campaign using controversial comments in favor of free speech. Note that the note was sent via Instagram. 

Arizona: Threat against petitioners in recall of Cochise County Supervisor

Threats are being made against petitioners seeking the recall against Cochise County Supervisor Tom Crosby (R). The recall is over his refusal to certify the November votes of the county due to baseless claims of election deniers. The two folded after a judge stepped in. Petitioners would need to get 4865 signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

There was also discussion of a recall against Peggy Judd (R), though her vote to certify may have warded this off. 

Michigan: Petitions taken out against Benton Harbor School Board member

Petitions have been rejected against Benton Harbor School Board Trustee Trenton Bowens due to the language being too vague. A new petition has been filed. The issue was a vote against replacing a boiler at the high school. Bowens had faced a recall attempt when he was a commissioner (though the petition never made the ballot).

Michigan: Sebewaing Village President and Trustee facing petitions

Sebewaing Village President Julie Epperson and Trustee Brandy Gunsell are facing petitions over a wrangling with the police chief. Officials have allegedly complained about his performance and the chief's use of Facebook to inform the public.

Gunsell seems to have submit a resignation, though it's status as "pending" seems to be at issue.

Maine: Three bills look to change recall law for school board members

Three bills are looking to change Maine's recall laws against school board members. Two of the bills would loosen the law by removing the malfeasance standard, and one of them would allow recalls against any municipal officials.

The third bill would both increase the number of signatures needed (from 10% to 25% of gubernatorial turnout)  and place an absentee veto (votes must equal 30% of the gubernatorial turnout number).

California: 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall Candidate Larry Elder running for president

Larry Elder, who came in first in the replacement race in the failed recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom, announced that he is running for the Republican nomination for president. 

California: Petitions taken out against Placerville Supervisor

Petitions have been served to Placerville Supervisor Lori Parlin, though the reason seems to be a general complaints (though some of it is focused on a homeless shelter).

Parlin ran unopposed for reelection in 2022.

Worth noting -- lead petitioner Lon Uso said "Lori, this is not personal" when serving her and is then quoted by the Mountain Democrat as saying "I do not believe she has the moral compass or ethics to sit on that dias."

Petitioners need 5535 signatures.

Colorado: Elizabeth School Board recall effort fails

The recall effort against Elizabeth School Board Member Heather Booth has failed, with petitions not handing in any signatures. The recall was over claims of unprofessional conduct, including disclosing confidential school safety information.

Petitioners needed about 2500 signatures to get on the ballot.

Nebraska: Some criticism of petition tactics in Kearney School Board member recall effort

Here's some criticism of petitioning tactics used in the recall effort against  Kearney School Board Member Dave Brandt over the transathelete issue.

The petition claims it is over missing part of a meeting, though the article notes that petitioners are focused on the fact that Brandt was one of two members to vote against a requirement to restrict 6-12 grade athletes to teams of their biological gender. The lead petitioner, James Clark is the Buffalo County Republican Party Vice Chairman.

Petitioners would need 2227 signatures (35% of the top vote-getter in the last election) in 30 days. A recall would cost between $20-30,000. 

Oklahoma: Petitions taken out against three Bartlesville council members

Three Bartlesville City Councilmembers, Mayor Dale Copeland, Vice Mayor Jim Curd Jr. and Councilor Loren Roszel, are facing petitions over an agreement the city signed which would allow drag shows on private property or at an indoor venue. This agreement came after a protests over a drag show performed at a Pride event  

Petitioners need 20% of registered voters to get on the ballot. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Colorado: Fight over whether Dacono councilmembers facing recall can vote on resolution

A Dacono City Council meeting was shut down over a fight about paying for the upcoming recall vote and whether the two councilmembers hit with the recall can vote on the proposed resolution. The recall election has been set against Dacono Councilmembers Jim Turini and Jackie Thomas for June 27. The recall is over their votes to remove the city manager. Two other councilmembers are not facing a recall effort. Kathryn Wittman is facing reelection in November and Danny Long is still in the six-month grace period.

Nebraska: Petitions taken out against Omaha City Councilmember

Petitions have been taken out against Omaha City Council member Vinny Palermo after his arrest on felony fraud charges and allegations of steering contracts for bribes. The petition includes a kitchen sink of other complaints in it, but this seems to be the focus.

Petitioners need 2462 signatures.

Louisiana: Proposed Recall amendment gets hearing in legislature

A law seeking changes in Louisiana's recall law has advanced to a hearing. The big change proposed is moving the signature totals from 20% of registered voters to 20% of turnout. 

Here's an op-ed I wrote for the Louisiana Illustrator on the potential changes in the law. One suggestion I make is getting rid of the five-day add period. Here's an article by Matt Sledge in NOLA (Times-Picayune) looking at the potential changes.

California: Shasta County Supervisor hit with recall petition

Petitions have been taken out against Shasta County Supervisor Kevin Crye over the vote to cancel a voting systems contract with Dominion Voting and requiring handcounting, which will cost the county millions. Petitioners need 4151 signatures to get to the ballot. This is part of the fight in Shasta and Crye seems to be connected to the far right groups, one of whom led the successful recall of Supervisor Leonard Moty.

Update: Language has been approved.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Colorado: Four Englewood officials facing recall effort

Englewood Mayor Othoniel Sierra and Councilmembers Joe Anderson, Chelsea Nunnenkamp and Cheryl Wink are facing petitions over a plan to allow multifamily development in a single-family zone. Anderson succeeded a former Councilmember Laurett Barrentine, who survived a recall vote but lost reelection. 

Arizona: Apache Junction School Board members facing petition threats over superintendent firing

Apache Junction School Board President Dena Kimble and members Gil Cancio and Gail Ross are facing recall efforts over the firing of the superintendent. Petitioners need 1500 signatures to get on the ballot.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Massachusetts: Villages at Brookside Board members facing April 29 election

Four Villages at Brookside Board Trustee members, including Chairman Joe Mattingly, Vice Chair Ed Iwanicki,  are facing an April 29 recall vote over the cost of a three-year capital improvement project and some other expenses. Voters are residents of the condo community and pay $600 in monthly homeowner dues. There are 233 units and petitioners needed signatures from 33.3% to get on the ballot..

California: More on the Alameda County District Attorney recall effort

More on the push to recall Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price as well as a controversial op-ed (from an editorial board member at the SF Gate), attacking reporters for the coverage of Price and the D.A.'s office.

Quapaw Nation Chairman resigns after signatures verified

Quapaw Nation Chairman Joseph Tali Byrd resigned in the face of a recall effort that seems to have gotten enough signatures to get to the ballot. The petitions claimed that he failed to attend meetings and participate in votes. Byrd has been running for office in the Cherokee Nation. 

Friday, April 14, 2023

New Jersey: State White Paper provides detailed look at recall usage in NJ

Really great White Paper from the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, looking at the use of the recall throughout NJ history

The paper notes that the recall started in the state in 1911, but adopted it on the state level in 1995 (it was approved by voters in 1993). 

Throughout the 112 years, there have been 649 targeted officials, resulting in 156 recall votes (in 80 elections). 96 officials lost, while 60 survived the vote. 87 officials may have resigned due to recall efforts.

The last recall in the state was in 2018.

UK: A look at the UK recall laws use

Here's a check on the UK recall law, with Boris Johnson facing a potential recall effort. The article looks at the six recall efforts.

Washington: Lynnwood City Councilmember facing recall effort

Lynnwood City Councilmember Josh Binda is facing a recall effort over claims that he spent money on personal expenses (for which he was fined $1000) and for shooting a personal video at the council chambers without permission. Petitioners would need 2500 signatures. Washington is a Malfeasance Standard state, so petitioners will need the court's approval to move the recall forward.

Massachusetts: Easthampton School Board Chair facing recall effort

Easthampton School Board Chair Christina Tammaro Dzagan is facing recall threats over the hiring of a new superintendent. There is also an online discussion to recall all seven board members. 

Colorado: Louisville Councilwoman facing recall effort

Louisville Councilwoman Maxine Most is facing recall petitions over a lack of empathy for fire victims, including allegedly mocking fire survivors and calling on owners to build smaller houses if they can't afford larger ones.

Colorado: Op-ed calls for resignation or recall of Denver School Board

The op-ed is written by Doug Friednash, the former Chief of Staff to former Governor (and current Senator) John Hickenlooper. The focus is on transparency issues in the wake of school shootings. 

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Michigan: Editorial calls for tougher recall law

Here's an editorial from the Genesse County View Managing Editor Gary Gould suggesting that there are too many recalls occurring in Michigan and calling for a stricter and more difficult recall law. The editorial calls the recall focused on "a process to get the 'bad seeds' out -- people who misused their position, who misappropriated funds or who's vote was harmful to the people they represented or the community itself."

Massachusetts: Danvers Select Board disapproves of recall law

Danvers Select Board disapproved of a warrant 3-1 that would allow for a recall law, though the Town Meeting will be voting on the law on May 15 regardless. Select Board member Matthew Duggan said that he believes he will be targeted in a recall. Duggan faced calls to resign from the Chairman Daniel Bennett for missing meetings and sanctioned for misbheavior. He also photographed a women's hose and sent her insulting messages before she appeared for a permit. He was a stripped of leadership roles for the behavior.

Last year, the Town Meeting did not vote for a recall (also following the Select Board recommendation). 

The proposed recall law would need 350 signatures to start, than get 20% of registered voters in 20 days (town has 4300 people). 

Nebraska: Kearney School Board member facing petitions

Petitions have been taken out against Kearney School Board Member Dave Brandt over the transathelete issue.

The petition claims it is over missing part of a meeting, though Brandt was one of two members to vote against a requirement to restrict 6-12 grade athletes to teams of their biological gender. The lead petitioner, James Clark is the Buffalo County Republican Party Vice Chairman.

Petitioners would need 2227 signatures (35% of the top vote-getter in the last election) in 30 days. A recall would cost between $20-30,000. 

North Carolina: No recall law for State Representative switch

Not fully accurate, as places in North Carolina have a recall law. But there is none on the state level, so any attempt against party-jumping State Representative Tricia Cotham would fail.

Arkansas: Siloam Springs Directors facing recall efforts

Siloam Springs Directors David Allen and Lesa Rissler are facing recall threats over a voter to fire the City Administrator months after giving the same administrator a raise. 

Michigan: Judge greenlights Pere Marquette recall petitions

A judge has rejected an appeal of the approval of petitions against Pere Marquette Township Supervisor Jerry Bleau (R). 

Petitions were previously approved against Treasurer Karie Bleau (R) over complaints about lack of leadership, difficulty with employees and accounting practices. Specifically, inaccuracies over water bills and employee resignations were cited. Jerry Bleau said that he believes the issue was clean-up of blight at a Recycling factory. The Bleaus are married. 

Petitioners would need 343 signatures to get on the ballot.

Colorado: Grand Junction School Board President facing petitions

Grand Junction D51 School Board President Andrea Haitz is facing a recall effort for a decision to close a middle school and debates over two elementary school closings. Haitz was part of a conservative bloc that won power in 2021. No word on signature requirements in these stories.

Michigan: Article on how Eagle Township Supervisor recall could lead to development issues over NDAs

Petitions have been approved against Eagle Township Supervisor Patti Schafer over signing a non-disclosure agreement as part of a factory development. Petitioners would need about 450 signatures to get on the ballot.

Schafer has been on the board for 25 years or so. The NDAs are apparently quite common in Michigan and this article notes that there is concern of what a recall could mean for NDAs and development proposals in the future.

Update: The first effort on signatures were rejected.

Washington: Private community Shelter Bay Board Director facing April 12 vote

Shelter Bay Board Director Judy Kontos is facing a recall vote on April 12. Kontos is accused of releasing confidential information and being a party to litigation against five board members. 

Shelter Bay is a private community that has members-only town halls that are not open to the media. 

Michigan: Petitions taken out against Maple Valley Treasurer, wife of former Supervisor kicked out in 2022 recall

Maple Valley Township Treasurer Marianne Schwandt is facing petitions less than a year after her husband, Supervisor John Schwandt, was kicked out over votes that were seen as supportive of wind farms. Article is behind a paywall, so I can't say what this recall is specifically about or other details, but hopefully, we'll get those details soon.

Update: The petition language has been rejected twice.

Colorado: June 27th recall set against two Dacono Councilmembers

A recall election has been set against Dacono Councilmembers Jim Turini and Jackie Thomas for June 27. The recall is over their votes to remove the city manager. Two other councilmembers are not facing a recall effort. Kathryn Wittman is facing reelection in November and Danny Long is still in the six-month grace period. 

Petitioners needed 189 signatures to get on the ballot..

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Michigan: White River Township Supervisor facing petitions

White River Township Supervisor Mike Cockerill is facing petitions over his support for a solar project. Cockerill has land that will be leased to the renewable project. The petition has already been approved. 

Louisiana: Potential changes to state's recall law

Here's an op-ed I wrote for the Louisiana Illustrator on the potential changes in the law. One suggestion I make is getting rid of the five day add period. Here's an article by Matt Sledge in NOLA (Times-Picayune) looking at the potential changes.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Texas: Appellate Court tosses out case trying to overturn McKinney Councilmember recall

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has thrown out an attempt to overturn the recall of Councilman La'Shadion Shemwell, citing that it took too long to file the appeal.

Shemwell was ousted in a recall, 47,843 to 18,440. The recall of Shemwell, was originally scheduled for May 2,  but took place on November, 2020.

Shemwell has been a controversial member of the council with complaints of violating ethics codes and making inflammatory statements and getting arrested repeatedly. Shemwell has argued that the arrests have occurred after he was racially profiled for refusing to sign two citations after he was pulled over for speeding last year. Shemwell has previously declared a "black state of emergency" in Texas.

McKinney approved an amendment to make recalls easier to get on the ballot earlier this year. The Shemwell recall is supposed to cost the city $70,000.

Washington: Costs reported for potential Richland School Board recall effort

The recall effort against three Richland School Board members Semi Bird, Audra Byrd and Kari Williams looks like it will cost between $75,000-$100,000. The recall is over their vote to make mask mandates optional, which allegedly violates a state law that mandated masks to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Washington State Supreme Court has approved the recall effort, which because Washington is a malfeasance standard/judicial recall state, needed a showing of a violation of state law. Petitioners would need at least 5000 signatures each. 

Virginia: Prince William County Supervisor recall effort fails

The recall effort against Prince William County Board of Supervisor Chair Ann Wheeler (D) failed, as petitioners have said that they will not get the signatures and instead will focus on the next election.

Petitioners had previously claimed that they are near the signature requirement. They needed 11,209 valid signatures. This would not be a recall election, but a recall trial presided over by a judge. 

The recall, and the recent resignation of Supervisor Peter Candland in the face of recall threats, appears to be over the supervisors' approval of development proposals for data centers. Apparently, Candland, who served 10 years, abstained from the vote and "stands to make millions of dollars from selling his home on land now earmarked for data centers."

South Dakota: Baltic Mayor facing petitions

Petitions have been taken out against Baltic Mayor Deborah McIsaac over a construction project. The owner of the project claims that McIsaac and other city officials have thrown up roadblocks to stop the project from continuing. Petitioners would need 15% of registered voters in 60 days. 

Sunday, April 2, 2023

California: Recall effort against Los Angeles Councilmember failed

The recall effort against  Los Angeles City councilmember Kevin de Leon (the former President Pro Tempore of the State Senate) has failed, with petitioners not handing in signatures. The petition effort was over fallout from racist comments from City Council President Nury Martinez regarding redistricting. Martinez. has already resigned due to the revelations, and still no word on a recall against the third council member who was in the room, Gil Cedillo.

Notably, Pamela Adkins was one the petitioners, and had filed three previous recall attempts against de Leon in July 2021 and May 2022 (over homeless issues). Earlier articles noted that Adkins would be pushing from the right, while the current criticism is from the left.

Petitioners needed 21,006 signatures to get to the ballot.

Colorado: Broomfield City Councilmembers facing recall petitions

Petitions have been taken out against Broomfield City Councilmembers Todd Cohen and Heidi Henkel over their support for two gun control ordinances that passed, one of which required serialized numbers to prevent ghost guns and banning open carry. Petitioners are also complaining about a water tank bill and homelessness. 

Petitioners need 1083 signatures to get on the ballot. The anti-recall group is citing a potential cost of $76,000 for the recall.

Michigan: Petitions approved against Eagle Township Supervisor

Petitions have been approved against Eagle Township Supervisor Patti Schafer over signing an non-disclosure agreement as part of a factory development. Petitioners would need about 450 signatures to get to the ballot.

California: Alameda County District Attorney facing recall threats

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price is facing recall threats following criticism of what are seen as lenient plea deals, including a judge rejecting a plea deal of 15 years in a triple murder case. Price was elected as one of the new wave of Progressive prosecutors, which led to the recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and the serious attempt against Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon.

Petitioners would need 92,928 signatures to get on the ballot. While there is talk about a current effort, since Price's term only started on January 2, and there is a 90 day grace period, petitions could not have been taken out. 

Perhaps worth nothing that Price won office with over 53% of the vote, which is somewhat higher than Boudin (who got 50.8%).

UK: Scottish MP who traveled with COVID symptoms facing new recall threats after suspension recommendation

Following a recommendation of a 30-day suspension in parliament, there's a new push to recall MP Margaret Ferrier (a former SNP member), who pleaded guilty to violating COVID safety protocols in 2020, after refusing to self isolate, going to church and a bar and then taking a train from Glasgow to London despite having the coronavirus (though she had not yet tested positive). Due to UK law, having a suspension of 10 days or more makes the MP available for a recall effort. 

SNP seems to want a recall to get by-election on the ballot. Any petitioners would need 8100 signatures to get on the ballot. 

There's also some talk about recalling former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, though no suspension has been handed down (and presumably the Conservatives may not want to open that can of worms).