Tuesday, October 31, 2023

California: Santa Ana City Council recall still on, though petitioners had old maps for district

The Santa Ana City recall of City Council member Jessie Lopez ran into new complications, with claims that the petitioners and city used old maps of the district, which Lopez supporters and the Registrar of Voters claim should have led to the recall being thrown out ahead of the November 14 vote. The City Council deadlocked, which will let keep the recall on track -- let's see what happens when they go to a judge.

Not the first hiccup in this recall. There were significant delays on scheduling this for the ballot, as Lopez's allies on the council had refused to set a date for the recall. As opposed to other states, this isn't a big deal, as the Registrar of Voters simply scheduled a date for the recall if the council can't get it together. 

Petitioners handed in 6617 signatures were either handed in, with 1333 knocked out (395 duplicates). So 5284 were validated and they needed 5274. Additionally, 129 people asked for their name to be removed under the signature strike law. 

There was also a petition outstanding against councilmember Thai Viet Phan.

Therecall efforts was led by the police union over a labor contract. The contract reportedly doesn't met the union pay-raise proposals. The recall chairman cited a 2021 rent control policy as the reason for the recall. The recall effort comes after progressives won four council seats in 2020. 

The union backed a 2020 recall vote against Council member Cecillia Iglesias, who was kicked out.

The election would cost between $230-$255,000, though new reporters are saying that it would cost between $607,000-$666,000.

California: San Luis Obispo County Supervisor facing petitions

San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson is facing petitions seemingly over an "attempt to privatize North County water" and claims of micromanagement and open government law violations.  Petitioners need about 7500 signatures to get on the ballot.

Update: The effort has been "terminated."

Monday, October 30, 2023

Oregon: John Day Mayor facing petitions

John Day Mayor Heather Rookstool is facing petitions over claims that she falsified documents violated public meeting laws and interfered with public records requests as part of an attempt to take over city manager duties. Petitioners have also filed a criminal complaint. Petitioners need 15% of turnout from the gubernatorial election in 90 days.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Virginia: Newport News considering charter amendment to adopt recalls

Newport News is once again looking at allowing a vote on a charter amendment to allow recalls in the city.

Last year, Newport News looked into the amendment and it had the support of Mayor McKinley Price is in favor of the recall law. The state legislature would need to approve it.

Under last year's proposed amendment, petitions would need 25% of turnout (at least 300 signatures for each district and 1000 for the  mayor). There would also be a one year grace period.

In 2019, Newport News Vice Mayor Tina Vick faced recall threats, though it seems not to have any legal backing to it.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

California: Petitions taken out against four Lamont School Board members

Petitions have been taken out against Lamont Elementary School Board Trustees Gilberto Lopez Jr., Pablo Trevino, Ernesto Garay and Evelyn Velasquez. The issue is complaints about leadership, specifically the decision to put an administrator on leave. 

Petitioners need more than 1200 signatures by December 4. 

Colorado: Mt. Crested Butte City Council makes the ballot

Signatures have been verified in the recall of Mt. Crested Butte City Council member Roman Kolodziej. Petitioners handed in 45 valids and needed 41.

The issue is changing bus routes by Mountain Express to an on-demand service (Kolodziej serves on the MTX board). A second recall petition, against MTX Dwayne Lehnertz was taken out, but failed to turn in signatures. 

Arizona: Signatures handed in against Cottonwood Mayor

Signatures have been turned in against Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski. Petitioners handed in 830 signatures and need 641 valids. There's seems to be a lot of conflicting issues online, so can't say what it is at the moment. Hopefully, we'll be able to update soon.

Update: The signatures failed

Michigan: Petitions taken out against three Eagle Township officials

 Eagle Township Supervisor Patti Schafer is facing a recall vote on Election Day over signing an non-disclosure agreement as part of a factory development . Petitioners needed about 450 signatures. 

There were also recall efforts against Treasurer Kathy Oberg and Trustee Richard Jones, though I'm not sure what happened with those (paywalls).

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Nevada: Incline Village General Improvement Trustees recall effort fails

The recall effort against  Incline Village General Improvement District Chair Matthew Dent and Trustee Sara Schmitz has failed, with too many signatures been knocked out. 

Three former board trustees lead the effort over the firing of a general manager for the district and a no vote on a $26 Million grant.

Petitioners needed 1801 signatures or 25% of turnout (and supposedly, only those who voted in the 2020 election can sign, though I'm not sure if that limiting provision preventing newer residents or people who didn't vote in that specific election actually holds up if challenged in court). Not sure how many were handed in, but they got 1762 for Dent and 1687 for Schmitz. 

Michigan: Signatures turned in against Ottawa County Commissioner

Petitioners have turned in over 3000 signatures in the recall against Ottawa County Commissioner Lucy Ebel over her vote to reverse the hiring of the county health officer. Ebel is a member of Ottawa Impact, a fundamentalist Christian group who have elected a number of officials in the county. Some of Ebel's supporters claim the recall is because of her Latino heritage, though the recall proponents deny this charge.

Petitions are still out against Ottawa County Commissioner Doug Zylstra (D) and Roger Bergman (R). The petitions has been pushed by the Ottawa Impact over the two commissioners opposition to a bill that claiming to protect "childhood innocence."  Zylstra noted that the bill lacked any specificity for staffers to follow. Petitioners would need 2620 signatures for Zylstra and 3717 for Bergman.

Wisconsin: Petitions filed against Raymond School Board Members

Petitions have been taken out against Raymond School Board Members Gwen Keller and Jannell Wise. The recall seems to be over the firing of a principal. The principal claims he was fired because he is gay.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

California: Signatures validated against Orange County School Board members -- election to be held March 5

The recall effort against Orange Unified School Board Members Madison Klovstad Miner (who helped flip majority control of the board) and Rick Ledesma has gotten to the ballot. The recall is over the firing of the school superintendent with no explanation. 

Petitioners needed 13,046 signatures to get on the ballot. They claim to have handed in more than 18,000. They handed in 15016 valids for Ledesma and 14736 for Miner. The election will likely be held on March 5. 

The school board members are part of a conservative 4-3 majority and the firing was over complaints about policies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and critical race theory. 

Texas: White Settlement proposition looks to change recall from political to malfeasance standard rules (Update: It passed)

White Settlement is voting for a proposition that would enact a charter rule change that would appear to turn the city from a political recall to malfeasance standard (or judicial recall) one, requiring that petitions include grounds of "incompetency, misconduct or malfeasance in office..." as well as creating a hearing and limiting how frequently a recall can take place. The Proposition is one of 21 that the city is voting on to change their government.

Update: The Proposition P passed 539-113. All the propositions passed by overwhelming margins. 

Oregon: Petitions taken out against six King City Councilors

Petitions have been taken out against six King City Mayor Jamie Fender and Councilors Katie Mohr, Laurie Petrie, Marc Manelis, Micah Paulsen and Smart Ocholi. One Councilor is not targeted.

The recall is over a decision to create a master plan and transportation plan after adding an 528 acre area to the city's boundaries.  Petitioners complained about potential traffic increases from the plan. The Election Officer tried to invalidate the petitions over claims that they petition is factually inaccurate, but the Secretary of State has pushed back and is calling for the election division to approve the petitions.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Oklahoma: Petitions taken out against Enid Commissioner

Petitions have been taken out against Enid City Commissioner Judd Blevins over claims that he was the state coordinator for a white nationalist group (Identity Evropa, which was renamed American Identity Movement). 

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Michigan: Petition language approved against two House members

Petitions have been approved against House members Betsy Coffia and Noah Arbit on the third attempt.

Eight Michigan House members have been targeted for recall. 

Petitions have been approved against House member Sharon MacDonell and Republican Representative Cam Cavitt have been approved. Cavitt's recall language was over his vote in favor of electing Representative Joe Tate as speaker. 

Previously, revised petitions were submitted against four Democratic Michigan House members, Jennifer Conlin and Reggie Miller.

Petition language was previously rejected in seven of eight filings, as well as Sharon MacDonell (D) and Jamie Churches (D) and Republican Donni Steele (R). 

The six Democrats are targeted over votes in favor of red flag laws to remove guns from people who are considered extreme risks (Coffia and MacDonell) and hate crimes legislation (Conlin, Miller and Churches). The petitions did not spell this out, which resulted in their rejection. Steele (R) is also facing a recall effort over her vote in favor of a bill requiring safe storage of guns when not in use.

While the petition language is over these bills and votes, most believe the recall is due to the fact that the Democrats have a narrow 56-54 majority in the House, leading petitioners to think they can gain control of the chamber with recalls. 

Recalls to flip a chamber are not unusual and have actually worked, though the longer term implications are frequently poor. Recalls in Washington in 1981, Michigan in 1983, California in 1995, Wisconsin in 1996, Wisconsin in 2011, 2012, Colorado in 2013 and attempts in Colorado and Nevada in 2019 all had this goal. In Michigan, California and Wisconsin (1996), recalls actually resulted in change of control, though only the Michigan one stuck (Democrats have been out of power in the Michigan Senate for nearly 40 years, ending this last election.

Michigan has also had four state legislative elections, in 1983, 2008 and 2011. Three of the four led to removal.

Two more Michigan House Representatives are facing recall efforts, bringing the total ongoing recall attempts to eight

Georgia: Petitions taken out against Newton County Board Chairman

Petitions have been filed against Newton County Board Commissioner Chairman Marcello Banes over claims that of misuse of county funds and a strained working relationship with another commissioner.

Petitioner needs 23,698 signatures (30% of registered voters) in 45 days. Georgia is a Malfeasance State, but no word on whether it has been approved yet.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Michigan: Delta County Commissioner recall makes the ballot

Petitioners have gotten enough signatures to get the the recall of Delta County Commissioner Dave Moyle on the ballot. 823 were handed in, and 671 were validated. They needed 666. The recall is over their votes to fire the County Administrator. 

Signatures have also been handed in against Delta County Commissioner Robert Barron, and though a copyist error (not including his full name in one spot and misspelling administrator) led to questions of whether to toss out them out. The County Attorney held that this wasn't a reason to invalidate the whole thing (based on a 2019 Supreme Court ruling).

Petitioners handed in 1235 and need 1001 valids.  Signatures were previously handed in against  Delta County Commissioner Dave Moyle. 823 were handed in and they need 666 valids. There is also a recall effort outstanding against Commissioners Robert Petersen

Petitioners will need 775 for Petersen.

Update: Signatures were handed in against Petersen.

Texas: Mineral Wells Councilmember recall makes the May 4 ballot

The recall of Mineral Wells Councilmember Jerrel Tomlin over a water rate hike to build a reservoir has made the ballot and will be held on May 4 (when the regular election for the position will be held, so he will only be kicked out for a short time). Petitioners handed in 571 signatures and needed 517.

New Mexico: Rio Arriba County Chair facing recall effort

Petitions are being taken out against Rio Arriba County Commission Chair Alex Naranjo over his decision to place a bronze statute of a Juan de Onate (a noted conquistador) at the county office complex. The decision led to complaints and a shot was fired (leading to an attempted murder charge)

New Mexico is Malfeasance Standard state, so the recall would need a statutorily delineated reason to get on the ballot. In this case, it is a claim that there is a violation of the Open Meetings Act. Petitioners would need over 1200 signatures to get on the ballot.  

Monday, October 16, 2023

UK: Recall may be started against Conservative MP

Another UK Minister of Parliament may soon face a recall effort, as a panel recommended that Conservative MP Peter Bone be suspended for six weeks for sexual misconduct and bullying his staff.  Bone has been in office since 2005 and was previously deputy leader of Commons.

As with other recalls in UK, a suspension of 10 days from Parliament leads to the ability to start a recall petition. If enough signatures are gathered, the official is automatically removed and a by-election is scheduled. 

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Passamaquoddy Chief at Sipayik removed -- fourth chief removed in seven years

Passamaquoddy Chief at Sipayik Rena Newell was recall, 175-142, in her first year in office. Petitioners handed in 185 signatures and needed 179 (50% of turnout). She is the fourth chief kicked out in seven years, as have two tribal councilors. The recall was over spending and campaign promises issues.

Michigan: Signatures handed in against second Delta County Commissioner

Signatures have been handed in against Delta County Commissioner Robert Barron, and  though a copyist error (not including his full name in one spot and misspelling administrator) led to questions of whether to toss out them out. The County Attorney held that this wasn't a reason to invalidate the whole thing (based on a 2019 Supreme Court ruling).

Petitioners handed in 1235 and need 1001 valids.  

Signatures were previously handed in against  Delta County Commissioner Dave Moyle. 823 were handed in and they need 666 valids. There is also a recall effort outstanding against Commissioners Robert Petersen. The recall is over their votes to fire the County Administrator. 

Petitioners will need 775 for Petersen.

UK: Column calls for expanding MP recall to include party-switching


Monday, October 9, 2023

UK: Labour wins big victory in MP replacement race

The replacement race in the successful recall of MP Margaret Ferrier (a former SNP member) has resulted in a resounding victory for Labour that is seen as a strong sign of their success in the next election. 

Labour's Michael Shanks won the by-election with 17,485 votes, more than double the SNP candidate (Katy Loudon). 

Ferrier did not contest the race. She had been ousted with a recall petition, where petitioners got 11,896 signatures and needed 8112.

Ferrier received a 30 day suspension from parliament started a recall petition under UK rules (a suspension of 10 days or more kicks the recall into gear). Ferrier plead 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). 

California: Petitions taken out against Ojai Valley Councilmember

Petitions have been taken out against Ojai Valley Councilmember Andrew Whitman (a first attempt was rejected due to a technical error). The issue seems to be an attempt to remove the mayor's majority on the council. Petitioners cite watershed contamination, homelessness and a violation of Open Meeting Act laws.

Petitioners need 332 signatures. 

Oregon: Recall of Brookings Mayor and Councilmembers makes the November 7 ballot

Signatures have been verified against Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog and city councilmembers Ed Schreiber and Michelle Morosky over reinstating the City Manager following her arrest for shoplifting. No word on how many they got, but petitioners needed over 400 signatures in 90 days. The election would be held on November 7.

Texas: Signatures handed in against Mineral Wells Councilmember

Signatures have been handed in against Mineral Wells Councilmember Jerrel Tomlin over a water rate hike to build a reservoir. Petitioners handed in 571 signatures and need 517.

Arizona: Sun City West Board members facing petitions

This is all behind a paywall, but the recall is targeting three members, include Recreation Center Sun City West Board President Timothy Hurley and Treasurer Dick Rhoades.

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Colorado: Three Englewood officials survive recall vote

All three Englewood officials facing a recall vote, Mayor Othoniel Sierra and Councilmembers Chelsea Nunnenkamp and Joe Anderson, appear to have survived, though the numbers are still being counted. Nunnenkamp is closest, with a 14 vote margin against the recall, 421-435 at the moment. Sierra is leading 465-654 and Anderson is up 734-988.

Councilmember Cheryl Wink has chosen to resign.

The recall effort was over a plan to allow multifamily development in a single-family zone. Wink is also facing complaints about attendance.

Anderson succeeded a former Councilmember Laurett Barrentine, who survived a recall vote but lost reelection. 

California: Signatures handed in against Orange County School Board members

Signatures have been handed in against Orange Unified School Board Members Madison Klovstad Miner (who helped flip majority control of the board) and Rick Ledesma over the firing of the school superintendent with no explanation. 

Petitioners need 13,046 signatures to get on the ballot. They claim to have handed in more than 18,000.

The school board members are part of a conservative 4-3 majority and the firing was over complaints about policies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and critical race theory. 

North Dakota: No charges in failed Fargo School Board members recall effort

There will be no charges for the failed 2021 recall effort against four Fargo School Board members, Seth Holden, Tracie Newman, Nikkie Gullickson and Jim Johnson. Many signatures were stricken due to error. The recall effort was over their support for hybrid learning initiatives to prevent the coronavirus pandemic. The petitioners cite other grievances, but the Facebook page is ND Parents Against Distance Learning.

Petitioners needed 4,144 signatures for each to get on the ballot. The failure rate was significant (Gullickson 4457 handed in, 3081 validated; Holden, 4451 -- 2996; Johnson 4514 -- 2879; Newman 4472-2910). The article notes that there cannot be another recall attempt throughout the rest of the term, though that seems off (I would imagine that you need an actual vote for the one attempt rule to count).

California: Shasta County Supervisor recall set for March 5

The recall election for Supervisor Kevin Crye has been set for March 5, 2024 (Primary Day).

The recall got the ballot after petitioners handed in 5104 signatures and 4929 were verified. They need 4151 valids to get on the ballot. Supervisors questioned the small rejection rate.  

The recall is over the vote to cancel a voting systems contract with Dominion Voting and requiring handcounting, which will cost the county millions. 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.

Supporters in Shasta County are asking that Governor Gavin Newsom not appoint a replacement if is ousted in a recall and instead allow the voters to choose. Presumably, this could be an issue in the election. As a reminder, in 2022, the state changed the law for local officials who lose a recall election. In that case (unless there is a local law from a charter city), the new law eliminates a replacement election and instead uses an automatic replacement model (with the governor or a specified body making the choice of replacements). The law also explains why there is such a long timeframe until the recall is held (it allows a longer timeframe to tie recalls to general election dates).

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Oregon: 40th State Rep. to face recall survives vote in blowout win

Oregon State Representative Paul Holvey (D) easily survived a recall vote, with the first batch of release votes showing him with 90% of the ballots. 10104-1122.

Holvey made the ballot after petitioners handed in a second batch of signatures following the invalidation of huge number of signatures.

The Holvey recall is not a partisan fight, rather it is being launch by one of the most powerful unions in the state, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555. Holvey is the Chair of the House Committee on Business and Labor.

The recall is over Holvey's failure to support a bill blocking cannabis employers from interfering with employee efforts to unionize. Holvey believed that it was preempted by federal law. Holvey was a former union representative and he notes that the state's largest union and others are backing Holvey in fighting the recall effort.

I discuss the recall and the lack of recalls at the state level here.

Michigan: Signature invalidation leads to failure of Flint Councilmember recall

The recall effort against Flint Council Vice President Ladel Lewi has failed after a bizarre twist, with petitioners missing out by 63 signatures. 1022 were handed in and 722 were validated. They needed 785. However, the clerk's office originally misplaced six pages, which led to a second count and the close numbers. 

Petitions were taken out against six Flint Councilmembers, Lewi,  Dennis Pfeiffer, Eva Worthing, Eric Mays and Judy Priestley (with two filed against Priestly). Herkenroder already announced that she is resigning her seat. No word on the other efforts.

The recall is over claims that Mays and another councilmember called a meeting that they others did not attend over the question of applying for a community grant program funding. Mays has also been charged with disorderly conduct for conduct at the council meetings that has apparently gone viral.

Nebraska: Recall Election against four Sargent School Board Members scheduled for December 12

The recall election against Sargent School Board members Martin RiddleLoyd Pointer, Laura Kipp and Tammera Moody has been scheduled for December 12. Petitioners needed 95 signatures (35% of the highest vote total of any candidate in the last election) and enough were verified.

The recalls are over the board's vote to not renew the contact of a principal. 

Washington: A look back at the 1970 Tacoma City Council recall


Maine: Sorrento voters apparently reject recall ordinance

Sorrento voters voted on a recall ordinance, though it may have been shot down. The issue was over the middle school library's decision to keep books with LGBTQ+ themes. The recall came after an earlier attempted to recall a Representative failed because the town did not have an ordinance.