Thursday, November 28, 2013

Colorado: Additional coverage of the resignation

Here's my comments in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Arizona: Rejection of Yucca Valley signatures leads to lawsuit

An attempt to recall Yucca Valley Town Councilmen George Huntington and Robert Lombardo is leading to a possible lawsuit against the town. The town claimed that the signatures handed in didn't meet the target. On further review, they allowed some additional signatures but not enough to have the recall move forward.

The petition to recall Huntington yielded 2,294 valid signatures and the petition to recall Lombardo had 2,310 valid signatures. Each petition needed 2,461 valid signatures to trigger an election.
Of the 2,722 signatures verified on the petition against Huntington, 428 were deemed invalid by the Registrar of Voters. The county found 410 invalid signatures out of 2,720 against Lombardo.

Florida: Doral Mayor subject to recall threats

Doral Mayor Luigi Boria is facing recall threats, though the reasons aren't clear from the story. Boria has already set up a PAC to solicit donations to fight the recall.

Doral has had some scandals in recent years, and the bizarre end to this recall attempt from April has to rank up there. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Colorado: State Senator Hudak Resigns before petitions handed in

Big news out of Colorado, as State Senator Evie Hudak resigned today before petitions were handed in rather than face a possible recall campaign. Hudak is the third state Senator to resign, making this only the second time in history that one state will lose three state Senators to recalls in one year (California in 1995 was the first -- in Wisconsin, the recall losses were staggered in 2011 and 2012). As discussed below, Hudak's resignation allows the Democrats to fill the seat and keep their 18-17 Senate majority.

A couple of key points here:

1) Resignations in the face of recalls are nothing new (just scroll to the post right below for one example). In 2012, 26 officials resigned rather than face a recall. There have been at least two state Senators who resigned in the face of recalls, Michigan's David Serotkin in 1983 and Wisconsin's Pam Galloway in 2012. However...

2) Colorado's law is very different than other states. It requires that the resigning official be replaced by a member of the same party. From a recall point of view, there are other state's that allow appointment rather than election for the replacement official, but Colorado may be the only one that mandates that the official serve in the same party. Since the replacement is up for reelection in 2014, and since the law prevents the recall from being held until the official is in office for one year, the replacement likely cannot face a recall until the 2014 elections. (Edit: David Nir at the Daily Kos points out that the seat is up in 2016. Sorry for the error). (Edit to the edit -- the seat is up in 2014 due to the replacement law -- I will have a longer post on this point soon).

3) Hudak's resignation shows the power of the gun rights forces on a few different fronts. The fact that she is resigning before signatures were handed in points out that she must have felt that there was an excellent chance that the petitioners met the standard (she would have had 5 days to resign after the signatures were handed in and still short-circuit the recall).

4) Hudak clearly thought that the voters would not have objected to flipping the Senate from Democratic control to Republican. If past recalls are any indication, she is right. We've seen it done in 1983, 1995 and 2012.

5) The sheer amount of signatures collected shows real strength. Petitioners needed about 18900 signatures. This is more than twice the amount needed for the Senate President Morse recall, and 5,000 more than required for the Angela Giron recall. Only one of the Wisconsin state Senate recalls required more than the 18000 (and Wisconsin's recall law is much looser).

6) In the past, Colorado recall petitions had the signatures struck down at a high rate. The Giron recall was a striking exception, due to the use of new technology. Are we seeing the same thing in place with Hudak -- and might this new technology make it easier and more cost-effective for initiatives and recalls to make the ballot?

7) As I mentioned before, these recalls were symbolic from the gun control forces point of view (that should not be thought of in the sense of meaningless -- many recalls are symbolic and it does not detract from their importance). Even if the recall has succeeded and the Republicans gained control of the Senate, there was little chance that the legislation would be enacted changing the gun laws. In that sense, a resignation may be even more powerful than a recall vote, especially since a Hudak victory would have at this point changed the narrative for the gun rights groups. Gun rights supporters can now claim to have effectively scared a Senator out of a seat after beating two others based solely on the gun control issue.

8) It should be noted that having a resignation occur the day before Thanksgiving is designed specifically to minimize coverage of the move. The signatures were due on December 3, and then there would have been further delays in checking them and possible lawsuits. It is possible that Republicans could have claimed that the replacement vote should not be short-circuited (it has never been tested before), but the law does read clearly on this front. Hudak had weeks to decide to resign. The day before Thanksgiving is chosen for a reason.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Arizona: Parker Councilwoman resigns after petitions handed in

Parker Town Councilwoman Christine Boatwright, who was facing recall petitions, resigned after 103 signatures were handed in (petitioners need 59 valids). She was elected in 05, and won two reelection races. Boatwright confronted two other council members (at least one of whom was assisting with the recall) over their comments on the Police Chief (who is on leave and under investigation.

Colorado: Hudak anti-recall campaign raises $120K, pro-recall campaign raises $64K

New campaign finance reports show that the group backing Colorado Senator Evie Hudak (Democracy Defense Fund) has taken in about $120,000 in the last month. The money has come from unions and the NEA Fund for Children and Education.

The pro-recall group, Recall Hudak Too, raised $64,600.

Michigan: Benton Harbor commissioner now a recall target

Commissioner Trenton Bowens is facing a recall over a vote to add a city income tax. The Clarity hearing is set for December.

Think Progress article opposing recalls

Here's a Think Progress by Josh Israel highlighting the negatives of recalls (I'm quoted in the piece). Rick Hasen notes the unusual ideological match-up.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Colorado: More on the attempted Green Mountain recalls

Here's a deeper look at the problems that are leading to recall efforts against five officials in Green Mountain.

India: More discussion of adding recall law

Some more discussion about adding recalls in India, this time by former Lok Ayuktha Santosh Hegde.

Ohio: Great look at the state's Recall laws

Just a really good piece here in the Dayton Daily News. There is some events reminiscent of recent recalls in Onaway and San Bernardino (where an official loses a recall and wins reelection or another office on the same ballot):

Moraine and Centerville have each seen mayors go through public recall elections since 2000. Moraine’s case became a near-soap opera, as Bob Rosencrans was recalled in 2007 and replaced as mayor by Sonny Johnson. A separate 2008 recall aimed at knocking Rosencrans out of his council seat was nixed because of problems with the validity of signatures on those petitions. Then in 2008, Johnson himself was recalled, with Rosencrans being re-elected mayor in 2009. 
In Centerville, residents unhappy that the city council allowed an auto repair shop to expand in their neighborhood gathered almost 1,000 valid signatures to trigger a recall election against Mayor Sally Beals in 2003. 
“The year they had the (recall) election was the same year she was going to be on ballot anyway in November,” Cave said. “I thought that was a waste of taxpayers’ time and money. She won the recall rather handily, but she got voted out at the general election. The whole thing was bizarre.”

New Jersey: Vineland Mayor facing petitions

Mayor Ruben Bermudez is now facing petitions, with criticism of his recent decision to fire the City Solicitor, and replace him a local attorney who quit after a few days. Council members claim Bermudez doesn'tfully communicate with them. Bermudez claims he is being targeted by a "Good Old Boy network."

Petitioners need 9,444 in 160 days.

Texas: Expanded use of the recall in the state

This is jumping off from the Lubbock recalls. Here's a stat from the Texas Municipal League:
Yet, between 2003 and 2008 only 12 cities reported recall elections, according to a league survey. And of 28 officials targeted, only 12 were removed. 
That number has already been surpassed in the last year alone.

Friday, November 22, 2013

California: Commerce City Council recalls, interpretation battle with City Attorney leads to firing of Interim City Clerk

The recall battle against four Commerce City council members has led to the firing of the Interim City Clerk 
The issue was a disagreement between the clerk and  Commerce City Attorney Eddie Olivo over the publication of the recall notice against three council members. The same issue seems to have resulted in the firing of the previous City Clerk. 

The particulars sound very bad for the City Attorney. The petitioners took out ads in Eastern Group Publications, but the City Attorney ruled that the newspaper didn't meet the legal requirement of a "newspaper of general circulation." However, a separate group of petitioners did the same thing against a councilwoman who is an opponent of the three city council members, and....
In direct contrast to Olivo’s statement, the city “accepted” the legal notices of recall for Denise Robles that were filed with the same EGP paper.

Colorado: Peak to Peak School board to hold recall of two members

A charter school parent group claims to have submitted enough signatures to get a recall of  board president Thomas Willetto and board member Greg Richards on the ballot. The issue is the firing of the long-time principal.  Petitioners will need 66% of the vote and turnout must top 30%.

Louisiana: Sorrento Mayor facing petitions

Sorrento Mayor Mike Lambert is facing petitions over the issue of a canceled police department insurance. Petitioners need 348 signatures (1/3 of registereds) in 180 days to get on the ballot.

Alaska: State set to decide on whether Rep. Lindsey Holmes recall can go forward

The attempt to recall Alaska Rep. Lindsey Holmes (who flipped parties from Democrat to Republican after winning her fourth term) is now being reviewed by the state to see if it meets the malfeasance standard. Petitioners handed in more than 1000 signatures -- they need 808. If certified, they then have to get 2,020 signatures to get on the ballot (25% of turnout).

The article notes past attempts to recall Alaska officials (there has never been a state-level recall in Alaska). Former Senate President Ben Stevens in 2005, Rep. Kyle Johansen, who walked out of the Republican caucus (and gave up his Majority Leader position) during a dispute. Stevens didn't run for reelection and Johansen got slaughtered in his reelection bid.

Apparently, petitions were approved for a recall of Senator Scott Ogan (a Republican) in 2004, who resigned before anything happened. Ogan was accused of using his legislative position to assist a company that employed him as a consultant.

In US History, only one state legislative recall has occurred in a "judicial recall" or malfeasance standard state -- that recall was in 1981, Washington State Senator Peter Von Reichbauer. Von Reichbauer (who won the vote) also went from a D to an R, which flipped control of the chamber. I researched the recall and while there was an administrative dispute on whether the recall should be allowed, there didn't appear to be a lawsuit.

Canada: Op-eds in favor of adopting the recall

Here and Here

Arizona: Five Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District members resign

Five members of the Pine Strawberry Water Improvement District resigned, with four of them facing recall  petitions. The five members were Ray Pugel, Gary Lovetro, Ron Calderon, Richard Dickinson and Michael Claxton, and all but Claxton were facing recalls. The two remaining members of the board can't act without a quorum, though one of them, Sam Schwalm may also be facing petitions (Schwalm is associated with the pro-recall forces).
Because the board no longer has enough members to make appointments, it is unclear if they have to hold a special election or whether the county can run the district until the next election.
The issue was an increase in water rates, board spending decisions, an outage last year and turbidity in the water.
The petitioners are pushing to continue to get signatures as a show of force.r new elections.”

Arizona: Guest editorial looks at Cave Creek recall


Wisconsin: Scott Walker op-ed and discussion of a possible presidential race

I've been talking about this for a while, but more evidence that Walker is looking at 2016.

Michigan: Onaway City Commissioner won't ask for recount in one vote loss

Onaway City Commissioner Jessie Horrocks, who lost the recall by one vote, but was elected in the same race to a new two year term starting in January, will not be looking for a recount. Horrocks first requested one, but noted that she would only be out for two council meetings.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wisconsin: Petition filed to temporarily stop recall investigation

A filing by unnamed petitioners is asking the Wisconsin Court of Appeals to temporarily halt the investigation into campaign finance and spending issues in the 2012 recalls. The investigation is in at least five counties and is looking at the behavior of conservative groups opposed to the recall.
The filings, called petitions for supervisory writs, are requests that higher courts review how the investigation is being conducted.
Strang (The attorney for the petitioners) is seeking to stay the investigation and also has filed motions suggesting the matter be sent to the state Supreme Court. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Colorado: El Paso County Clerk staffer investigated for alleged voter fraud

El Paso County Clerk former staffer Alissa Vander Veen is being investigated for voter fraud in the state Senate recall.

Vander Veen was chief deputy and communications manager with the Clerk’s office for years, before taking a job in the spring with Challenger Homes, a Colorado Springs-based home building company. A longtime Colorado Springs political insider, she apparently moved out of El Paso to Pueblo in November of last year, but voted in the Colorado Springs special election.

Arizona: Signatures handed in for Sunnyside School Board recalls

Petitions were handed in calling for the recall of Sunnyside Unified School District board President Louie Gonzales (about 2200 signatures, 1962 were found eligible) and board member Bobby Garcia (2100, 1899 found eligible). Petitioners need 1,345 verified to get on the ballot. The issue is support for a Superintendent who has faced ethical/financial issues.

In turn, Gonzales and Garcia have targeted the other two board members for recalls, though no word on if that is going anywhere.

California: Petitions handed in against Salinas City Councilman

Petitions were handed in against Salinas City Councilman Jose Castañeda, who has refused to resign his seat on the Alisal Union School Board. The City Council members have sued to force him off the school board, and a judge held against him and slapped down a $5000 fine on top of the ruling.

Petitioners handed in 1,737 signatures. They need 1,449.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Wisconsin: Sole Democratic victor in 2012 recalls running for LT Governor

State Senator John Lehman, who beat Van Wanggaard in the only Democratic victory in the 2012 recalls, announced that he will be running for Lieutenant Governor in 2014. Lehman, who lost to Wanggaard in 2010, may have good reason to jump into the race. 1. His name recognition is probably at its highest (due to the recall) and more importantly 2. His district was basically blown up in the redistricting/gerrymandering. It is now very Republican.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Louisiana: Port Allen Mayor kicked out in recall vote

Port Allen Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter was kicked out of office, 1,452-1,102 (57% against)  in the Parish's first recall ever. 

 Slaughter was accused of wasting $2500 for a trip to attend the inaugration, hiring her brother-in-law as (non-salaried) chief of staff, getting into a fight with and trying to fire the CFO, being sued by three council members, creating a mass exodus of employees, an a veto of the council's budget that may result in the Fire Department shutting down. Not a bad list for someone who was elected last November.   On the other side, Slaughter's supporters claimed a strong racial animus was behind the recall. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Parks and Recreations Star loses recall

Not a real world recall, but they still star of the show lost her recall election. BTW, Indiana is one of the few states that does not allow for recalls on the local level.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Texas: Petitions handed in for recall of Alice City Council member

Alice City Council member Frank Hinojosa is facing petitions for calling for the possible firing of the City Manager. Petitioners need only 10 signatures, and handed in 15.

Maryland: Annapolis City Councilman facing petitions over plan to change the political system

Alderman Ross Arnett, who just won reelection last week, is facing recall threats over his proposal to change the form of government. Arnett's plan would strip the mayor of some power, turning him into more of a city council member. This was after a Republican Mike Pantelides defeated the incumbent Democrat, Josh Cohen for the seat (though Arnett mentions this was an idea he had proposed in the past). 

Petitioners would need 30% of registered voters. A replacement would be filled by either of special election or by appointment (depending on how much time is left).

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wisconsin: Assembly adopts constitutional amendment to move to a malfeasance standard

Wisconsin's Assembly voted to adopt a constitutional amendment changing the recall laws to a malfeasance standard for state and local officials. It is unclear if the Senate would pass the bill. Even if it goes through, it has to be passed by a second legislative session before it can go up for a constitutional vote.

Oregon: Two Lowell Councilors recall set for December 10

City councilors Pam Bryant and Gary Reese look to be facing a recall on December 10 (they both have a year left on their term). The issue seems to be their decision not to hold public interviews with 13 candidates who applied for a vacant position on the council.

New Mexico: Two Tucumcari Commissioners will be up for recall on January 2

Tucumcari Commissioners Dora Salinas-McTigue and Jimmy Sandoval will be the first recall votes of 2014, with an election scheduled for January 2. This was over the firing of the City Manager. The manager was since reinstated, though the two commissioners voted against him both times. Petitioner needed 65 signatures.

Nebraska: Petitions taken out against Bushnell Trustee

Bushnell Trustees Tim Nolting is facing petitions over allegations of "bullying" a board member to vote and over an lawsuit. Can't find out any other info due to the site's paywall.

New Mexico: Investment decisions lead to recall threats against Bernalillo Treasurer

Bernalillo County Treasurer Manny Ortiz is dealing with both a no confidence vote and now a recall Ortiz is facing criticism for putting $70 million in bonds, that the city can't easily access. They've already lost $800,000 for early removal penalties. Petitioners need 45,596 signatures -- and they have to all be from people who voted in November 2012 election.

Arizona: Discussion of recall against Cave Creek Vice Mayor

Vice Mayor Adam Trenk is the subject of this article.

California: Petitions submitted for recall of three Dinuba officials


Massachusetts: Lawrence Mayor loses race, demands recount

Lawrence mayor William Lantigua has been the source of numerous recall petitions. He lost his reelection run by a hair and is asking for a recount.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Louisiana: Big turnout in Port Allen mayoral recall

The vote is for Saturda to remove Mayor Deedy Slaughter but 41% of voters (1,655) have already cast ballots. This tops the 2012 presidential election early voter turnout (1,434). 

Colorado: Hudak outraises recall supporters, and starts aggressive anti-recall campaign

Senator Evie Hudak appears to be heavily outraising supporters of her recall, at least in the early going. Hudak has raised $50,428 since Oct. 23 to ($30,000 coming from Environmental Majority). The pro-recall forces have $23,296. What's is particularly interesting is the discussion of an "aggressive street campaign" and robocalls to discourage signers.

The robocall is accused of sounding like a police alert (if you click on the link, you'll hear why). The script of the robocall is something else:
"This is a community alert for Arvada and Westminster from the Democracy Defense fund," a female announcer declares at the beginning of the recorded message. "Paid signature-gatherers who have not gone through a criminal background check could be in Westminster and Arvada this week asking for signatures in a recall petition."

Michigan: ex-Troy Mayor loses City Council race

Janice Daniels, who was ousted as Troy Mayor in a recall last year, came in fourth in a race for three council seats.

Wisconsin: Walker appears not to back recall reform bill

Here -- though I'm not clear if Walker is actually opposed (or even neutral) on the bill.

Colorado: Daily Show covers the John Morse/Angela Giron recalls

Here -- I'm a big fan of the show, but this is not a good piece (both from a reporting and from a humor standpoint -- and I would imagine that the show would normally nail such a story).. Were the interviews done in Denver, as this report claims? In which case, there is a very strong reason those people didn't vote in the recall -- they couldn't.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Michigan: Firing of City Manager leads to recall threats in South Lyon

South Lyon Mayor Tedd Wallace and Council members Joe Ryzyi, Erin Kopkowski and Bev Dixson are being threatened with recalls over their firing of the City Manager in October. So far, it is just a Facebook page, but the recall is being "explored." Three council members who voted against the firing won reelection in November.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

California: Recall threat against California assembly members called out as "publicity stunt"

One of the backers is Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who is talking about a run for Governor. This article criticises Donnelly, and notes that the recall threat (over the assembly members support for gun control legislation) "early on targeted only lawmakers with Spanish surnames." 

Wisconsin: Glenwood Mayor and two City Council members uo for recall vote on December 17

The recall against Glenwood City mayor Mayor John Larson and city council members Nancy Hover and Dave Graese is set for December 17th, with a general election date on January 14 (if there are more than two candidates). The issue is a potential sand-fracking operation.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Michigan: Two Onaway Commissioners facing recalls in May

After having three recalls take place on Tuesday, there will be two more recall votes against Onaway Commissioners over the elimination of its one man police department. Commissioners Ron Horrocks and Bernie Schmeltzer will be facing a recall on May 6th, 2014.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

California: San Bernardino City Attorney, Councilwoman lose, One Councilman survives

Another crazy result in the bankrupt city of San Bernardino. 26 year veteran City Attorney Jim Penman lost his position with about 60% against (6601-4447), as did Councilwoman Wendy McCammack (1256-944">Councilman John Valdivia survived a recall (364-609).

However, McCammack was also running for Mayor. In that race, she came in first, and will advance to a runoff. Second time that happened in one night! She did only get 24.6% in the mayor's race.

Michigan: Split vote in Onaway, with recalled city official winning a full term

Fascinating result in the Onaway recall.  Mayor Gary Wregglesworth (144-107) and City Commissioner Chuck Abshagen (134-115) survived their recall race. City Commissioner Jessie Horrocks lost bin a squeaker to Roger Marsh (114-112). However, Horrocks and Abshagen were also on the ballot for a new term starting in January. Both of them won (Abshagen 131, Horrocks, 105).  So, despite being recalled, Horrocks will restart in office in January. 

Idaho: Teton School District Trustee easily triumphs in recall

Teton School District trustee Nancy Arnold won her recall by an overwhelming margin 84-266. The issue appeared to be her refusal to support a four day school week.

Colorado: Lochbuie Trustee survives recall, second trustee resigns

Lochbuie Board of Trustee member Candace Veldhuizen survived 48-52 (363 votes for removal, 391 against). A second Trustee, Leon Sanders, resigned days before the recall vote.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Texas: Lubbock Councilman survives recall vote

Councilman Victor Hernandez survived his recall vote yesterday, with 58% (911-647) of the voters casting ballots to keep him in office.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Texas: Split result in Cibolo recalls

Councilwoman Karen Hale lost 115-85, ll; Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Liparoto went down to defeat, 137-135 vote.  Councilman Ron Pedde seems to have survived by one vote (76-75), and Councilman Larry Carlton had an even better answer, by a 192-168 vote


Michigan: Split decision in Hesperia School Board recalls

A split result in the Hesperia recall over the firing of a wrestling coach. Matthew Joppich survived the recall vote with 567 votes.

However, Micheal Anderson came in third with 540 votes. He loses his seat.

California: Moreno Valley Councilman pleads guilty to $2.36 million bribe

Marcelo Co, who was facing recall petitions before he resigned, pleaded guilty to bribery charges.

Wisconsin: Walker replaces head of the GAB

Scott Walker has withdrawn the nomination Judge David Deininger, who has served as head of the GAB. Deininger is a former Republican Assemblyman. Walker is planning to replace him with Harold Froehlich, an 81-year-old former Republican congressman who worked as an Outagamie County circuit judge for 30 years. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald was asking for a return to a more partisan board of elections after the recall votes.

15 officials facing recall votes on Tuesday

Looks like a relatively quiet Election Day for Recalls -- by my count, 15 officials are facing a recall votes on Tuesday (I'm still looking if there are others out there), plus at least one jurisdiction is holding a vote on a ballot provision to adopt the recall. Last year on Election Day, there were 22 recalls. In 2011, there were 26.  

The reasons for the recall span the spectrum. By far the most notable ones are in the bankrupt city of San Bernardino, where 3 officials are going before the voters -- there were attempts against 10 officials in all. Other notable recalls are in Hesperia (firing of a high school coach) and Cibolo (Walmart).



Teton School District

2 Onaway City Council members
2 Hesperia School Board members

Lubbock City Councilman
4 Cibolo City Council members

Ballot Provision:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Nebraska: Central City School Board recall makes the ballot

The recall of Central City School Board Kent Malm over the vote to fire a football coach is a go. Petitioners needed 489, they handed in 586. Two other board members faced petitions, but due to a failure to specifically state on the petitions whether the gatherers were volunteer or paid, the signatures were tossed out.

Michigan: Onaway recall on Tuesday, with officials running in recall and general election

An interesting vote on Tuesday for Onaway City commissioners Chuck Abshagen and Jessie Horrocks.The two are running in both the recall and the general election. If they lose the recall, but win the general election race, they will be bounced immediately, and come back into office on in January. The issue was a vote to eliminate the Onaway police department.

California: San Bernardino recall head spent reported $146,210 on recall campaign

One of the leaders of the San Bernardino recall, Scott Beard, has put at least $146,210 in the 2013 election. The report is only up to October 19, so presumably, he will be spending thousands more before Tuesday's election.

The article is worth it just for the quote about Artie Samish.

Signs vandalized in Colorado River Indian Tribe Recall

The anti-recall campaign signs are being vandalized ahead of the November 6th election.

New Jersey: Two Bogota Council members facing petitions

Two Bogota council members,  Mayor Patrick McHale and Council President Antero “Tito” Jackson, are facing recall petitions brought by two fellow members, Jorge Nunez and Evaristo Burdiez, Jr. All four are Democrats. Petitioners are claiming that the issue was a vote to approve high end apartments on a vacant land, with a claim of a too big tax break. The story notes that the fight is part of a long running battle between old guard and newer Hispanic residents. Petitioners will need 1,100 signatures (25% of registereds).

The two petitioners are also backing Republican challengers to two other council members facing election on Tuesday.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Michigan: Good look at the Hesperia school board recall

This one is over the firing of wrestling coach Doug Baird. Two school board members who voted to not renew Baird's contract as wrestling coach, Micheal Anderson and Matt Joppich, are facing the voters next Tuesday.

Baird was apparently a very successful coach (401-42, state title in 08, 4 runner-ups). However, he receive two reprimands, one over alleged marijuana use by wrestlers on an overnight trip, the other alleging a failure to investigate an inappropriate touching claim.

Petitioners got 600 signatures, they needed 315. A third board member, Jeff Thome, challenged the recall wording, and the delay was enough to kill the recall for the November ballot.

This is the second recall that I know of over a coach's firing this year. There's another attempt in Nebraska.

Michigan: Investigation into recall attempt against Benton Harbor mayor leads to no action

An investigation into the failed recall attempt against Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower is ending with no action. Petitioners had handed in signatures in  October, 2012, but 251 were thrown out. There were allegations of fraud, but they only seem to say some of the signers were not in the city limit and others were duplicates.

Canada: Proposed recall law for Ontario Parliament

Randy Hillier, a "maverick" member of opposition Progressive Conservative party in the Ontario parliament (which is the province, not the national government of Canada), is proposing adding a recall. The recall would require signatures of25% of voters in 60 days (similar to Wisconsin's law). The story notes that about 50,000 votes are cast in each riding, so they would need about 12,500 signatures on average. The law also would not allow recalls in the first and last year of a scheduled term.

Idaho: Mellen Water District faces petitions

Mellen Subdivision Water District board members chairwoman Angelena Morrison, Tiffany Belt, Norma Meyers, Davis French and Sarah Miller, are facing recall petitions brought by four previous members of the board. A tax hike is part of the issue of the recall, though that is only a small part of the story.

The four former board members, Bart Eben, Ron Hazuka, Janet Donahue and Art Vagt, were previously investigated for not holding actual elections.

There is also this very odd claim:
Meanwhile, the recall petitions argue that a conflict of interest exists between Morrison and Kane, stating that both are friends. However, a copy of the recall petition obtained by the Mountain Home News shows that Hazuka, a former board member, and Donahue, who served as the former board secretary and treasurer, live at the same address within the district.

Venezuela: President Maduro challenges opposition to recall him

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro challenged the opposition to recall him. You may remember that his predecessor Hugo Chavez faced a recal in 2004, which Chavez won with 59.1% in his favor.

Here's some useful details on Venezuela's presidential recall law:

Article 72 of the constitution states that, “All magistrates and other offices filled by popular vote are subject to revocation. Once half of the term of office to which an official has been elected has elapsed, a number of voters constituting at least 20% of the voters registered in the pertinent circumscription may extend a petition for the calling of a referendum to revoke such official's mandate.”
Should a majority vote to recall the person, with at least as many voting in favour of the recall as originally voted in favour of the person, and with at least 25% of registered voters participating in the recall election, the person will be removed their position. Only one such petition for recall may be filed per term.