Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Oregon: Brookings officials who lost recall votes try endrun around results by resigning and having allies appointed in their stead

Interesting attempt to end run the recall. Three Brookings officials, Mayor Ron Hedenskog and city councilmembers Ed Schreiber and Michelle Morosky, lost their recall votes, but now both Morosky and Hedenskog resigned prior to certification, which allowed the council to choose a new member. Many places bar this, by requiring a resignation in a set time (five days, usually), following the recall being scheduled for the ballot.

The recall was over the decision to reinstate the City Manager following her arrest for shoplifting. 

According to The Recall of Public Officers by Bird & Ryan, Councilmembers in Watts, California in 1925, where they resigned once the recall was filed and then effectively were able to chose their own replacements. 

Update: The new Council immediately fired the City Manager.

Louisiana: Signatures verified against Elton Mayor -- recall set for April

The recall effort against Elton Mayor Kesia Skinner-Lemoine has move forward, with the governor now in position to schedule the election. Petitioners handed in 252 signatures and got 249 valids. They needed 245 valids. The issue is a claim of election irregularities and fraud.

This recall effort is following the failure of the first attempt at recalling , which collapsed in spectacular fashion, with only one of the 322 signatures handed in approved. For some reason, the stories listed 276 signatures required at that time.

Petitioners needed 276 (40%). petitioners are giving it another chance and have taken out petitions.

Update: Recall set for April  -- Judge has once again rejected the attempt to toss out the election.

California: ACLU of Northern California comes out against Alameda County District Attorney recall effort

Here -- note they call the recall "undemocratic"

California: Alameda County Board of Supervisors passes state recall law; issue will now be voted on at the next election

By a 3-2 vote, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors has approved the attempt to change the recall laws and conform them with the state's laws for general cities and counties. However, this will result in a vote on the March ballot, and it is already gaining significant opposition. 
You have my take here, so the fun is now set to begin.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Michigan: Ottawa County Commissioner recall set for May 7

The recall against Ottawa County Commissioner Lucy Ebel will be on the ballot on May 7. Enough signatures have been validated. Petitioners turned in over 3000 signatures and had 2653 validated, though that was lowered to 2575. They need 2481.

The recall was 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.

Update: Christian Kleinjans has been nominated as the Democratic candidate. 

Massachusetts: Cambridge Charter Review Committee debating adding in recall provision, tied with increasing mayoral term

Cambridge's Charter Review Committee is considering adopting a recall provision, which they are tying to the decision to propose increasing the mayoral term to four years. They are debating how many signatures would be needed.

Michigan: Petitions taken out against three Ypsilanti officials

Petitions have been taken out against Ypsilanti Mayor Nicole Brown and Council members Jennifer Symanns and Desirae Simmons. over a vote to purchase a $3.7M building, A former Councilmember was the broker of the deal and may make $100,000 on it. 

Petitioners need about 2800 signatures. 

Monday, November 27, 2023

California: Alameda County Supervisors Playing with Fire with Recall Election Changes.

As our op-ed in today’s Recorder charges, Alameda County is playing with fire in the way it is attempting to change the county’s recall law.

The wholesale adoption of the controversial 2022 law used by the state for general cities and counties may be warranted (matter for another debate), but the fact that this is taking place at the exact moment that the county is facing what may be the most significant recall effort in its history against District Attorney Pamela Price means that voters will be suspicious of the intent behind these changes. This is a significant problem, as we discuss in this op-ed, as the voters are very happy to shoot down ballot measures. In this case, by not choosing a limited method to handle the recall changes, the county may be facing chaos when signatures are handed in. The county has also not been clear on how what will happen with the existing recall campaign (possibly the first real attempt since 1915), as the Warren Zevon rule for recalls means it is likely to be enmeshed in costs and increasingly complex litigation.

The op-ed deals with a few of the standout reasons for concern. But I want to take a dive through the memo prepared by the County Counsel and also touch on the FAQ page that they have apparently posted. The memo seems to hide the ball on what is being proposed, which may make a ballot measure failure that much more likely. Let’s jump right in:

Appointive (or Appointed) Officers: Why is this a focus?

The first thing to notice is the focus on “appointive” or “appointed” officers. The memo italicizes the word and it is the first actual part of the law mentioned. They are correct that it is unusual to have the recall law applied to non-elected appointive or appointed officers (think police chief, City Manager, Health Director). But that is only part of the story, and the reality makes the focus on appointive officers a real red-flag.

First, some history -- the first place to adopt a recall law against appointive officers was Alameda – the City, not the County – in 1906 (according to Bird & Ryan’s seminal The Recall of Public Officers, who called this a “revolutionary innovation.”). Other jurisdictions have the same type of provision on the books, including San Francisco. But it is not a regular feature of the recall. Among the 20 statewide recall laws, only Montana allows appointed official recalls, though it has strong limits.

Looking at the 1911 legislative discussion, it makes sense that California may not have wanted to wade into the fight. The big debate at the time was over judges, so it could be that they did not want to expand the fight to another controversial area. I don’t remember seeing it discussed during the legislative debates.

From a theoretical point of view, recalls against appointed officials may be unpopular because the targeted position is not supposed to be subject to public approval (hence no direct vote) and, more importantly, there is a simpler method of removal, namely that the appointing body has the removal power. Unlike Impeachment, which has arguably failed as a deterrent (at least on the national level), removal is simple and happens with regularity. So a recall could be either overkill or a step too far for the process.

But the question here is why should Alameda County focus on this provision now? Bird & Ryan note a City Manager recall in Long Beach in 1922. I don’t know of any other ones anywhere. I don’t even know of a significant threat of one. And not just in California – anywhere in the US. So highlighting this point of the law that has never been used in Alameda and rarely used anywhere else seems like a strange subject to focus on when vastly more important questions are at hand.

Unconstitutional Provisions:

The memo then mentions two unconstitutional provisions of the Alameda Charter. Section 62 holds that petition circulators have to be registered voters in the County. It also holds that voters have to vote for the recall in order to cast a ballot in a replacement race. As noted, these are both inoperative due to court rulings. It may be nice to clean up these provisions, but it is certainly not necessary. Unlike many other lawsuits, anyone suing to enforce these provisions will find themselves laughed out of court.  

Missing Procedures:

The next section focuses on the pre-circulation procedures. The memo notes that procedures are important for transparency purposes. “They provide notice to the public, identify the target of the recall, allow the target to answer the petition, give the elections official the opportunity to vet the form of the petition and allow the public time to challenge the form and content of the petition.”

Pre-circulation procedures were not used in the first recall laws in cities throughout the state (Bird & Ryan call this “the delightful informality with which anyone could start circulating a petition”) and were added in first by Oakland. Berkeley had previously put forth the innovation that petitioners should state, in 200 words, a reason for the recall Since then, these procedures have become standard in practically all recalls in the US, though frankly it is hard to say how much they are really needed. A good part of the procedures are hoop-jumping that delays, adds costs and frustrates the petition gatherers (Michigan is a prime example). As you’ll see below, some of these provisions feel clearly designed for barrier-creating purposes. For example, is spending money to publish notice in a newspaper needed these days?

The reality is that publication, alerting the officials and other parts of the law are an added expense. It certainly seems that the officials find out about the recall effort, and as the Price recall effort shows, the de facto notification process seems to have been very successful. Having these pre-signature gathering procedures may solve some problems for petitioners, who are prevented from going out with deficient petitions. But notification is not a huge problem when you are collecting the massive amount of signatures needed for a county-level recall. Any change in the notification process, especially after the petitioners have gathered over 70,000 (unverified) signatures can wait until a less fraught time.

Unfeasibility – the heart of the matter starts on page 4:

It is only on page four that we get to the heart of the matter, and why the law needs to changed, unfeasibility. Our op-ed deals with this at length, but the key parts are:

1)    There is no provision explaining how to replace the official if they are removed. California voters probably expect the one-day/two-step process that they used in the recall of Governor Newsom. This means, voters get to choose the replacement candidate. But, as mentioned, this provision would be eliminated. Instead, Voters will quickly discover that the state law for general officials uses an automatic replacement or by law model, which most likely will result in an appointed replacement rather than an elected one (admittedly, most states use this model). Not only is this not explained in the memo, the FAQ (designed specifically to clear up issues), avoids the issue and simply says that we should refer to Sections 8, 20 and 33 rather explain what those sections do (get rid of replacement elections).  

For a little history here, while the first recall laws just used a new election (like the type used in Wisconsin or the UK), Bird & Ryan claim that in 1910 no-so-sweet Modesto seems to have adopted the more familiar one-day/two-step process that California voters are familiar with. There was also differing views on whether the removed official should be allowed to run in the replacement race.

In the end, voters may not be happy to discover that they will not be able to select a replacement – this massive change alone is likely to jeopardize the ballot measure.

2)    The signature verification process must be completed in 10 days rather than the 30 days that the state allots. Additionally, there is no allowance to use the statistical sampling model (described here – note that it is not allowed for state level recalls, simply for local ones. This discrepancy was changed in 2017 to make state recall efforts take longer). This short time frame may turn out to be a significant problem and once again the Supervisors really need to deal with it.

3)    Change the time frame to actually hold the election. The county requires an election be held within 35-40 days. The state gives a more leisurely 88 day to 180 day limit. The extra days potentially allows the recall to be tied into a general election (in this case, possibly the presidential election) in order to save money. Legitimate issue here, though the elongated time frame may give voters a good complaint about overlong delays.

Two practical points to consider on the longer term political ramifications of these changes, both of which may be somewhat surprising.

1)    Using an automatic replacement model may seem to be a way to cut down on recalls, as the personal benefit of replacing the official may not be there. However, this does not appear to be the case. Oregon uses the automatic replacement model and it has the same number of recalls as California.

2)    The focus on tying a recall to a general election may seem like a good way to improve the odds for an elected official. This was definitely the motivation in 2017, when they made some changes in the law to try and unsuccessfully avoid a recall of State Senator Josh Newman. Theoretically, it makes sense. You would think (as I did) that the official should be more likely to lose a recall on a special election date – when the most motivated voters will come out – rather than a general election date. However, this is incorrect. My research shows that voters are slightly more likely to kick out an official on a general electionday than on a special election

Key provisions not discussed in the Memo:

The memo leaves out provisions of note, one of which will likely further inflame voters against the ballot measure.

1)    Signature Removal or Signature Strikes Laws: Adopting the state law would grant voters a signature strike law, allowing petition signers to remove their names from the petition in a counter-effort by the targeted official. Nothing wrong with this one, and, unlike the state-level recalls it doesn’t have a supplement slowing down period. This was adopted in 2017 and we have already seen it work once, so something to keep in mind for the Price and other recalls.

2)    Funding Disclosure: The state has a very detailed and quite onerous funder disclosure requirement. Petitioners need to be show signers a document that explains the big financial backers of the petition, and this has to be written in 14 point font with a 16 point headline (note that 8 and 11 point fonts are listed for other provisions). Again, this really feels like a way to discourage signatures (in some states, they have this printed on the petition, in what feels like a push to make it so that fewer signatures are able to be signed on each page of the petition).

3)    Supplemental Signature Gathering Period: The new law would remove the 10 day period to gather additional signatures if the signatures are handed in, but don’t meet the bar. California doesn’t have this law, though other places have it (or have a cure period, where they can repair signatures that were invalidated).

4)    Signature threshold changes: Most important point is right here, and left off the memo, though discussed in the FAQ. The county calculates how many signatures are needed to get on the ballot. The current law requires signatures of 15% of voter turnout for the position in the last election. The state law will change that to 10% of registered voters. As a practical matter this will raise the signature totals. For a putative Price recall, it would go up from 73k to 93K – though presumably the signatures would be handed in before then. But the change would almost certainly result in a lawsuit.

There’s no problem with increasing the signature requirement. 15% of turnout is lower than most places that have recall laws (25% of turnout is one that we often see used), so that should not in and of itself be controversial. The possible problem may be that the 10% number is tied to registered voters. A little awkwardness here – for years, I have said that using registered voters, rather than voter turnout, is the right way to go. This way, the recall is not tied to a variable number such as a low turnout in the last election. Theoretically sound. But in practice, I was wrong. In both the Los Angeles D.A. recall and in the New Orleans MayoralRecall we saw complaints and lawsuits over the rolls – specifically that there are too many voters who died or moved still listed as registered voters. As a result, this artificially increases the number of signatures needed (leading to lawsuits). California (unlike Louisiana) generally has a good system to check rolls, but I think in the interest of avoiding trouble, it is probably better to use the turnout in the last election numbers.

But the big problem here is that the memo does not explain how the changed signature threshold and other provisions will impact the Price recall. The FAQ is frankly unclear on this as well, suggesting that that it may impact and completely overturn the Price recall effort, which has already spent a significant effort collecting signatures under the existing law. In addition to guaranteeing further litigation, this change during an active recall is a major problem for petitioners who have already collected signatures under the existing law.

As we note in the op-ed, it is imperative to update the recall law in the face of a prominent recall. But this needs to be done with care, and should not be seen as a moment to try and avoid future recall efforts (something that the change will probably not impact anyway). By wholesale adopting the state’s local recall law, with the two potential poison pills of stripping voters of the power to replace candidates in an election and at the same time increasing the signature numbers, voters may well reject this ballot measure and chaos will ensue. The Supervisors should just deal with the absolutely necessary provisions in the least controversial manner (perhaps selective incorporation) and then revisit wide-spread changes at a later date when an active recall is not taking place.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Texas: Recall threatened against San Angelo Mayor

San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter has been threatened with a recall effort over claims that she is taking over power from the City Manager. 

The potential recall effort was announced by former San Angelo Development Corporation Vice Chair John Bariou (who, with his beard and red short, was noted as looking like Santa Claus). Petitioners need about 1803 signatures to get to the ballot.  

Oregon: Signatures submitted in the recall of John Day Mayor

139 Signatures have been handed in for the recall of John Day Mayor Heather Rookstool, which is "nearly 50" more than needed (not sure how many exactly are needed.

Rookstool is facing the recall 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. City employees seem to be leading the recall effort.

Michigan: Petitions filed against four Onaway Board of Education members

Petitions have been filed against Onaway Board of Education President James Rieger, VP Erin Chaskey, Secretary Lorrie Kowalski and Trustee John Palmer. The recall seems to be over complaints about negative comments during board meetings. Hopefully, we'll find out more soon.

Canada: Medicine Hat Mayor facing petitions

Medicine Hat Mayor Linnsie Clark is facing a recall effort over calls to change the utility rates. Petitioners need about 25,000 signatures by early December. 

Canada: British Columbia's Minister of Education facing petitions

Petitions have been taken out against British Columbia Minister of Education, MLA Rachna Singh (NDP), with the petition period running till January 29. 

The petition is over Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) teaching plans in public schools. Petitioners need 11,811.  The recall has an expense limit of $31,633.94.

30 recall petitions have been launched since 1995, five of which have led to signatures being turned in, but none met the threshold to make the ballot. MLA Paul Reitsma resigned in the face of a recall in 1999.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Oregon: Cottage Grove recall fails

The recall effort against Cottage Grove City Council Mike Fleck failed, as petitioners handed in 662 signatures and needed 654. Only 463 signatures were validated. The recall was over the city's homeless policy and a lack of responsiveness. 

No signatures were turned in against City Councilors John Stinnett and Chalice Savage.

I appeared with petitioner Michael Borke on a City Club of Eugene program on KLCC that should be available tomorrow. Well worth listening to for Michael's on-the-ground thoughts on why he launched a recall and the pros and cons of the effort.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

California: Signatures handed in against Calexico Mayor and Council member

Signatures have been handed in against Calexico Mayor Raul Urena and Council member Gilberto Manzanarez. Petitioners claim they handed in 5000 signatures and they need 4200. The issue is a claim of poor leadership, though stories note that Urena is Calexico's first transgendered mayor as the factor.

Louisiana: Signatures handed in for second attempt against Elton Mayor

Petitioners have handed in 252 signatures for the recall of Elton Mayor Elton Mayor Kesia Skinner-Lemoine, though one of the signers has since died. Petitioners need 245 valids. The issue is a claim of election irregularities and fraud.

This recall effort is following the failure of the first attempt at recalling , which collapsed in spectacular fashion, with only one of the 322 signatures handed in approved. For some reason, the stories listed 276 signatures required at that time.

Petitioners needed 276 (40%). petitioners are giving it another chance and have taken out petitions. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

California: Push to change Alameda's recall law continues; District Attorney goes all-in on anti-democracy slogan

Lots going on in Alameda, though I hope to have some detailed op-eds on these subjects. Alameda County Board of Supervisors has moved forward on their attempt to change the recall law and adopting the state law -- I should have an op-ed out soon on the subject and why this may be a bad idea. 

Petitioners claim that they have enough signatures.

Price's campaign effort is called "Protect the Win" and seems focused on the recall itself. Hopefully, I'll have more on why that's not usually a good strategy.

Michigan: Buchanan Mayor facing recall threats

There are recall threats against Buchanan Mayor Sean Denison after the indefinite suspension of the City Manager. This is the fourth City manager since 2020. Denison only became eligible for a recall this week. 

Ohio: Georgetown Village Council member kicked out in Election Day recall

Georgetown Village Council member Nancy Montgomery was kicked out on Election Day, 661-481. It's not clear what this recall was about, though it seems changing a sign's location was a part of it. Montgomery has a Facebook page discussing it. 

Brooklyn Barnhart replaced Montgomery.

California: LA Times op-ed on the lasting impact of the Gubernatorial recall of 2003

Here's an LA Times op-ed by Joe Mathews looking at the lasting impact of the Gray Davis/Arnold Schwarzenegger recall, focused on how it impacted 1) educational policy; 2) environmental and 3) democracy, especially the adoption of the top two. 

Colorado: Ebert Metropolitan District Treasurer recall makes the ballot

Signatures have been verified in the recall of Ebert Metropolitan District Treasurer Murray Hawthorne, with the petition claiming verbal abuse and physical intimidation. 

Michigan: Candidate jumps in to Delta County Commissioner recall race

 A replacement candidate has gotten on the ballot for the May recall of Delta County Commissioner Dave Moyle. Kelli Van Ginhoven is running as a Democrat in the race. 

Petitioners handed in 823 signatures to get the the on the ballot 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.

California: Petitions taken out against Sunol Glen School Board Members

Petitions have been taken out against Sunol Glen School Board Ryan Jergensen (though no word yet if petitions have been taken out against Linda Hurley).

The recall is after the board voted to limit the school to only flying US or California state flags. The school flew a pride flag during Pride Month. 

Petitioners need 245 signatures to get on the ballot.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Michigan: Language approved against Flint City Councilwoman

Petition language was finally approved against Flint City Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter. The recall is over Winfrey-Carter not voting for the budget. The petition was filed by former Councilmember Wantwaz Davis, who lost to Winfrey-Carter in 2017. Petitioners need 776 signatures to get on the ballot.

Michigan: Recall against Ottawa County Commissioner makes the ballot

Enough signatures have been validated so the recall against Ottawa County Commissioner Lucy Ebel has made the ballot. Petitioners turned in over 3000 signatures and had 2653 validated. They need 2481.

The recall was 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.

California: Santa Ana City Council survives recall vote

It looks like Santa Ana City City Council member Jessie Lopez has survived a recall vote, 2963-3821. There are still votes to be counted, but it does sound like Lopez won a convincing victory.

The recall 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.

Lopez's victory heads off a significant potential lawsuit. Lopez 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 kept the recall on track, but would certainly have led to a lawsuit.

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.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Nebraska: Dundy County Sheriff kicked out

Dundy County Sheriff Clinton J. Smith was kicked out in a recall vote, 712-63, though Smith has sued, claiming that it is a violation of the US Constitution (which seems to be part of the Constitutional Sheriff movement, claiming they are basically above the federal law). 

Smith previously sued the state for failing to certify him as a sheriff. He apparently refused to take the training and instead filled out an application that he was authorized to serve as a law enforcement officer in Colorado (which can be transferred to Nebraska). However, that lapsed in 2017. He also failed the physical fitness exam.

Nebraska: Second Crofton Councilmember survives recall vote

A second Crofton Councilmember, Larry Peitz, appears to have survived a recall vote, 107-132, with 48% turnout.

Crofton Councilmember James Murphy survived a recall vote earlier this year, 82-222. 

The recall is about the firing of the police chief as well as votes against hiring a special CPA firm or fixing roads and the claim that "he has no opinions on important matters."

A recall against Mayor Bob Evans failed. The recalls seem to be about a police chief and officer firing (or nonrenewal). The former police chief took out the petitions against Evans and Peitz.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Nebraska: Plattsmouth School Board member recall makes the ballot; Election may be January 9

Second time's seems to be the charm for the recall effort against Plattsmouth School Board Member Terri Cunningham-Swanson, as petitioners handed in 849 validated signatures. The recall has been tentatively set for January 9, 2024.

Petitioners previously failed in a recall effort earlier this year, handing in 749 signatures and 625 were validated. Neither article notes how many signatures are needed. 

The recall was over her support for a book ban policy. The school board has since overturned the removal of 51 of 52 books.  

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Michigan: Split decision in Webber Township recall -- tiebreaker brought out

Interesting results in Webber Township as Treasurer Kathryn Young lost her recall to Deborah Hanes after the vote was deadlocked 83-83-71. Clerk Pat Williams seems to have survived a recall vote, 98-97-42. Hopefully, we'll find out more.

Not sure what happened to the recall against Supervisor Ernie Wogatzke. 

The recall was over a host of issues, including claims of unlawful expenditures and nepotism. The lead petitioner is a former deputy clerk who claims she was pushed out of office by the three. There are also complaints about the independent auditors. 

Update: They had a three step process to break the tie:

The tiebreaker involved a three-step process:

  • Both candidates were asked to think of a number between one and fifteen. The correct number, seven, was guessed accurately by Hanes.
  • Following Hanes' success in the first stage, she was prompted to call heads or tails in a coin flip, which was won by Young.
  • Young was then invited to reach into a hat to pick out one of two folded pieces of paper. The paper she chose read "Not Elected," and Hanes was declared the winner.

Michigan: Redding Township officials lose recall vote

Redding Township Supervisor Bruce Scarbrough, Trustee Marlene McGlasan and Trustee Nancy Scarbrough all lost recall votes. Bruce Scarbrough lost to Michael Trzcienski 67-52, Nancy Scarbrough lost to Linda Ann Miller 59-55-8, and McGlasan lost to Louis Schreiner, 60-53. 

There was also a recall attempt against Supervisor Susan Brower, but that did not get to the ballot.

The lead petitioner complained about racist comments by a city employee, though he previously started a recall after he received a blight ordinance notice. 

Michigan: Pere Marquette officials ousted in recall

Pere Marquette Treasurer Karie Bleau (R) was kicked out in a recall vote, losing to Sarah Iteen 544-108.

There's no coverage of the recall vote against her husband Township Supervisor Jerry Bleau (R), who recently though not early enough for the recall to be cancelled. Presumably, Kelly Smith won that race. 

Karie Bleau faced a recall over complaints about lack of leadership, difficulty with employees and accounting practices. Jerry Bleau said that he believes the issue was clean-up of blight at a Recycling factory. The Bleaus are married. 

The Bleaus led a recall effort against Township Clerk Rachelle Enbody (R) and Trustee Ron Soberalski (D), which focused on about harassment and bullying for Enbody and billing errors with the water system. That recall did not get the signatures.

Colorado: Broomfield City Councilmember survives recall vote

Broomfield Councilmember Todd Cohen seems to be on the path to surviving his recall vote, with the latest vote of 2353-2757.

The recall is over his 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. 

Another councilmember, Heidi Henkel, was also targeted, but since she is up for reelection, it seems like there is no real effort against her.

The anti-recall group is citing a potential cost of $76,000 for the recall.

Ohio: Newton Falls Councilwoman ousted

Newton Falls Councilwoman Tesa Spletzer was ousted in a recall vote, losing with an 268-79. The replacement will be named by the council.

Speltzer was accused of misbehavior at council meetings and an amorphous list of misfeasance complaints.

Newton Falls was the site of a one of the more contested 2021 recalls, where Councilwoman Sandra Breymaier lost a recall after appealing to the state Supreme Court (and having the election canceled once). Councilman John Baryak lost a recall in 1993 and then survived one in 2019 (Baryak is named in the article as he hit his term limit). 

Michigan: Parma Township Supervisor ousted

Parma Township Supervisor Wendy Chamberlain was ousted in recall vote, losing to Bobbie Norman 433-181. The recall was over a vote on a gravel pit development.

Michigan: Wipe-out in Green Charter Township, as five ousted in recalls and two others resign

Five Green Charter Township officials were ousted in recall votes on election day and two others resigned earlier. The recall was over their support for a battery component manufacturing facility (which petitioners complained had ties to China).

Petitioners gave in about over 600 signatures and needed 458. Not sure how many were approved.  

No word in the article about the petitions against Supervisor James Chapman lost to Jason Kruse (740-498), Clerk Janet Clark was beaten by Corri Riebow (655-585), Treasurer Denise Macfarlane fell to Robert Henderson (656-582), Trustee Roger Carroll was kicked out by Kelly Cushway (707-527) and Trustee Dale Jernstadt was defeated by Jeff Thorne (758-471).

Trustees Gary Todd and James Leek resigned earlier. 

Additionally, support for the same project resulted in the ouster of Big Rapids Township Supervisor Bill Stanek.

Michigan: Split decision in Fremont Township, with 4 of 5 ousted, including 3 by write-in candidates

Four out of five Fremont Township members were ousted in recall votes, including three who lost against write-in candidates. Supervisor Jeffrey Furness lost to write-in Mark Kerward (222-175), Clerk Reta Gardner lost to write-in Sonya Francis (229-170), Treasurer Patti Shinn was ousted by write-in Jessica Onufrank (225-173), and Trustee Michael Noll was beaten by Kevin Bradley (230-167). Only Trustee Karen Kovach survived the vote, beating Debra Diane Allen, 140-253.

The recall was also about wind turbines (raising the maximum allowable height). 

Michigan: Four Speaker Township officials ousted in recall vote

Four Speaker Township members were ousted in recall votes yesterday, with Clerk Dawn Cubitt losing to Michelle Brown (250-183), Treasurer Tracy Sheldon falling to Rochelle Stevens (239-194), Trustee Thomas Murray being beaten by Fred Moss (255-177) and Trustee Charles Stanley defeated by Jeremie Risdon (256-179). 

The recall was over their support for wind turbines in the area.

Michigan: Three Sandusky School Board members ousted in recall vote

Three Sandusky School Board members, President Jason Trepkowski, Treasurer Daniel Gerstenberger and Trustee Jane Jacobson were all ousted in a recall vote. Trepkowski list to David Herberling (814-719), Gerstenberger lost to Katie Tovar (778-752) and Jacvson lost to Kelly Trowhill (872-646).

The recall was over the decision to rename the school mascot from the Redskins to the Wolves.

Michigan: Eagle Township supervisor ousted

Eagle Township Supervisor Patti Schafer was ousted in a recall vote, losing to Troy Stroud (72%-25%). The recall was over the board's signing an non-disclosure agreement as part of a factory development . 

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

Michigan: White River Supervisor ousted over support for solar project

White River Supervisor Mike Cockerill was ousted in a recall by Ron Bailey (491-151). The recall was over his support for a solar project. Cockerill also was attacked for having land that will be leased to the renewable project.

Michigan: Big Rapids Township recall Supervisor ousted in recall vote

Big Rapids Township Supervisor Bill Stanek was ousted in a recall vote, 444-391. The recall seems to be connected to the Green Township recalls over support for a battery component manufacturing facility. 

Oregon: Brookings Mayor and Councilmembers appear to lose recall votes

Early results are out for recalls against three Brookings Mayor Ron Hedenskog and city councilmembers Ed Schreiber and Michelle Morosky, with all three losing badly (though full results won't be known for sometime). Hedenskog is losing 71-29%, Schreiber 68.5-31.5%, and Morosky is down 70-30%. 

The recall is over the decision to reinstate the City Manager following her arrest for shoplifting. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

California: Alameda County recall effort claims 70K signatures

The recall effort against Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price is reporting that they are nearing the total needed to get on the ballot (73,195) with many months to go before signatures are due. Also, here's a look at the big funders for the recall effort, which has raised $500K already.

California: Alameda County Supervisors attempt to change recall laws, fail to do so

Lots going on in Alameda County, all of it seemingly surrounding the recall effort against District Attorney Pamela Price. I want to write a longer piece on the subject, but let's at least get started here.

The county Supervisors tried to push an ordinance that would align Alameda's laws with the new laws that the state adopted for local recalls, though it has since been tabled. The practical result of this would be to 1) get rid of the replacement race in any recall and 2) potentially raise the signature total for recalls, from 15% of turnout in the last election to 10% of registered voters and 3) potentially delay elections to general election dates (though not always).

The challenge here is that the proposal would have to have been approved by voters, and that may not be as easy as it seems (there's a reason that the proposal to change the state recall law went nowhere).

Sunday, November 5, 2023

California: Signatures handed in against Woodland School Board Member

Signatures have been turned in against Woodland School Board Member Emily McDonald over statements she made on transgender policy. Petitioners handed in 1349 signatures and needed 1078.

Oregon: Petitions handed in against Cottage Grove City Councilor

Signatures have been turned in against Cottage Grove City Council Mike Fleck, though no signatures were turned in against City Councilors John Stinnett and Chalice Savage over the city's homeless policy and a lack of responsiveness. Petitioners need 654 signatures and handed in eight more than needed.

I appeared with petitioner Michael Borke on a City Club of Eugene/KLCCprogram that should be available tomorrow. Well worth listening to for Michael's on-the-ground thoughts on why he launched a recall and the pros and cons of the effort.

Wisconsin: Assembly Speaker facing recall threats

Recall threats have been brought up against Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R), a figure that long-time readers of the blog are well-acquainted with. The threat is actually coming from the right, and Vos has pushed for the impeachment of Wisconsin's Election Commission Chair Meagan Wolfe as she has refused to push for the discredited claims of election fraud.

Vos almost lost in 2022 after refusing to back the election fraud claims. Former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, who has previously targeted Vos, has called for his recall if he didn't support the impeachment of Wolfe.

A recent court decision has held that the legislature does not have the power to impeach Wolfe.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Oregon: Lakeside Mayor and three councilors recall scheduled for November 28

The recall election of Lakeside Mayor Sherry Kinsey and councilors Karen Hurn, Kim Ritter and Jaci Smith is scheduled for November 28.

The recall is over money spent to boost local tourism. Apparently, the spent $23,250 on rebranding the city's logo and buying a $280,000 property. Petitioners needed 176 signatures.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Michigan: Elections to be held on November 7 against three Sandusky School Board members

Three Sandusky School Board members, President Jason Trepkowski, Treasurer Daniel Gerstenberger and Trustee Jane Jacobson will be facing a recall vote on November 7. The recall is over a decision to rename the school mascot from the Redskins to the Wolves.

David Hebering, Katherine Tovar and Kelly Trowhill are running against them.

Petitioners needed 749 signatures and handed in 1009 against Trepkowski (886 verified), 1029 for Jacobson (897) and 1008 for Gerstenberg (860).