Thursday, July 31, 2014

California: Salinas City School District Board of Trustee facing petitions

Salinas City School District Board of Trustee Janet Barnes if facing recall petitions over the demotion of a principal. That principal just landed a new job, though that won't stop the recall effort.

Nevada: Washoe County School District Trustees facing recalls

Washoe County School District Trustees are being threatened with a recalls over the firing of the school Superintendent. Petitioners need 25% of turnout, about 2000 signatures.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

California: Solano County Superior Court Judge facing petitions

Solano County Superior Court Judge Cynda Riggins-Unger is facing recall petitions over claims that she is rude to female litigants. Petitioners would need about 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

The attempt against Riggins-Unger follows an effort against another Soloano Judge, Daniel Healy. The Healy recall effort doesn't seem to have gone anywhere, but Healy is now just assigned criminal cases and no longer hears family law cases.

I've mentioned before how unusual it is for a recall of a judge to go anywhere, so I wouldn't expect anything from this. But even the act of taking petitions is unusual.

Wisconsin: Crandon mayor ousted

Crandon Mayor Rob Jaeger was kicked out of office on Tuesday, losing to Dennis Rosa 378-184 (67%). Petitioners claimed that Jaegar was trying to take over the city and fire employees. This was one that the City Council refused to schedule, but was forced onto the ballot by state law.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Michigan: Signatures handed in for Blackman Township recall

Over 1500 signatures have been turned in for the recall of Blackman Township trustees Betty Brockie and Mark Singer. Petitioners need 1254 valids to get on the ballot.

The issue was the trustees vote for almost $100,000 for other elected officials (which was alleged to be a possible open meeting law violation). Two other officials resigned over the vote, including Trustee Paula Clingerman, who was also facing petitions. The other official to resign, Treasurer Sherry Brockie, was to be on one of the receipents of the raise. One of the article captions notes that Betty Brockie is the mother-in-law of Sherry Brockie.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wisconsin: Frac Sand Mining recall scheduled in Cleveland

The recall of Cleveland Town Board Supervisor Joe Egloff has been set for August 12 (the same day as the statewide primary). The recall appears to be another of the frac sand mining recalls (Engloff opposes allowing mining to go on).

Kansas: Dennison Mayor resigns two weeks before recall vote

Dennison Mayor Audrey Oliverius resigned in the face of a August 5th recall vote over a violation of the Open Meeting laws. The violation occurred during a meeting on who to appoint to a vacant council seat. Petitioners needed 12 signatures for the recall, they got 29 (including three of the other four council members).   The recall vote will still take place due to the lateness of the resignation. The recall is for Oliverius' council seat. 

Texas: Signatures collected in recall of Hearne Councilwoman

Petitioners claim to have gotten enough signatures for Hearne councilmember Maxine Vaughn, with petitioners claiming they lost confidence in Vaughn (who has been on the council since 2009). No idea if there is any connection, but a resident was convicted of threatening Vaughn.

Ohio: City Council members now targeted in Richmond Heights recall

A second groups of recall have hit Richmond Heights. Mayor Miesha Wilson Headen has been targeted for a recall before, Now City Council President David Roche and members Eloise Henry and Donald O'Toole are also facing petitions. The council has been feuding with the mayor, especially since the firing of the city's Law Director.

New Jersey: Belleville councilwoman facing petitions

Belleville Councilwoman Marie Strumolo Burke is facing petitions over using a racial epithet on a answering machine for a fellow councilman several years ago. Burke has decided the voice was hers.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Michigan: Signature collection goes on in Comstock Township Supervisor recall

Comstock Township Supervisor Ann Nieuwenhuis is facing petitions after petitioners claim that Nieuwenhuis required them to pay for a $150 sign permit for his business (Semper Fitness) and refused to refund the money. It seems that the petition was rejected by the former zoning administrator, which Nieuwenhuis claims she has no power to accept or deny.

Petitioners need 1260 signatures, they claim to have 300-400, and need to have it by August 1 to get on the Election Day ballot. Petition language stays valid until October 11 (it was first approved on April 14).

Michigan: Jerome Township Clerk recall language approved

The recall attempt against Jerome Township Clerk Connie Methner over a failure to publish board meetings in a newspaper in a timely matter may be moving forward. Methner says that she will appeal the clarity hearing ruling in an attempt to stop the recall early in the process.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ohio: Signatures collected against Waynesfield Councilman

Waynesfield councilman Bill Motter is facing petitions over his proposal to bring back the Board of Public Affairs. The petitioner stated that she first wanted to recall a different councilman (Dick Hardin), but Ohio law gives him a one year grace period (Hardin was sworn in in January).

Petitioners needs 35 signatures (15% of turnout). She claims to have gotten 33 signatures.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Massachusetts: Lancaster Selectmen miss meeting, recall election delayed

Some more intrigue in the recall of two Lancaster Selectmen, Jean Syria and Susan Smiley. Both missed a selectmen meeting on Tuesday, which (due to a lack of quorum on the three member board) meant that the recall elections could not be scheduled (the signatures have to be accepted by the board first).
Syria claimed she was out of town for a family issue, and Smiley said thunderstorms stopped her from coming. There's more on how it will be difficult to schedule the next selectmen meeting.
Apologies to the two officials, but there is a long and sordid history of elected bodies preventing recalls of their own members, sometimes with an outright refusal to schedule the election (here's an op-ed I wrote on the subject), so feel free to remain suspicious.   

Texas: Lubbock recalls are not fading away as Councilman faces threat of second recall in two years

Councilman Victor Hernandez is facing recall petitions over what the petitioner claims is a failure to return phone calls. Hernandez claims that the issue was fight over the local Democratic Party leadership. The petitioner, Leo Flores, was voted vice chair in what Hernandez called a "premature" election, but then another election was held and Flores was defeated by a candidate supported by Hernandez.

This would be Hernandez's second recall -- he survived one in November, at the same time that he was running for reelection. Since he was reelected, he is eligible to face a recall on the new term (after six month, which just passed).

Michigan: Recall effort against Genesee County sheriff punted to state board

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell is facing another petition effort, over a complaint that it  with the last one rejected due to language issues. Petitioner would need 33,000 signatures. Now the County Election Board has decided it is up to the State Board of Canvassers to rule, a new change from the 2012 law.

Michigan Election Law MCL 168.959, petitions recalling U.S. Senator, members of congress, elected state officials and "county officials except county commissioners, shall be filed with the secretary of state."
While that was last edited in 1976, the law was updated in December 2012, which designates that it go to the Board of State Canvassers.

Oregon: Portland Mayor, Commissioner facing petitions

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick are facing petitions over their proposed monthly street fee for maintenance. Petitioners need 34,921 signatures for each by October 9.

Also worth checking out is Andrew Theen's look at the history of recalls in Portland. There have been only two successful recall removals in Portland history, Commissioner John Mann in 1932 and Commissioner J.E. Bennett in 1952. Portland's Mayor Sam Adams and Vera Katz both faced failed recall attempts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

West Virginia: Bridgeport mayor facing recall petitions after indictment

Bridgeport Mayor Mario Blount, a pharmacist who was indicted on federal charges for improper distribution of prescription painkillers, is now facing petitions. Petitioners would need to get 10% (617). Because this is West Virginia, petitioner would need to pay a filing fee of $6,000 to $7000 to get it on the ballot.

Ohio: Richmond Heights Mayor facing petitions

Richmond Heights mayor Miesha Headen is facing recall petitions over her alleged "inability to compromise, negotiate and work effectively with others." Header is blamed for a recent decision to fire the city' IT services outside manager and for firing 10 employees  Petitioners need 725 (25% of total).

 Headen's supporters have started counterfire efforts, looking for the recall of Councilman Donald O'Toole, Council President David Roche, and Councilwoman Eloise Henry These are some of the issues that have lead to the political turmoil in Richmond Heights:

Texas: Palestine mayor, councilman recall petitions started

The recall effort against Mayor Therrell Thomas and Councilman Steve Presley has begun, and two council members have signed the petitions.

Arizona: Recalled State Senator Russell Pearce takes job in Maricopa County Treasurer's office


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Article on the Initiative and Direct Democracy


Virginia: Court stops Loudoun County Supervisor recall trial

The recall trial effort against Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio has ended, with the County Commonwealth's Attorney filing a motion that there wasn't clear and convincing evidence to go forward with the rarely seen recall trial.

Petitioners had handed in 686 valid signatures. Delgaudio was accused of misusing his office for his nonprofit, Public Advocate of the United States, which campaigns against gay rights. He was previously censured by the Board of Supervisors.

California: San Marino Dog poop throwing mayor/City Councilman facing recall petitions

In one of the least surprising recall attempts of the year, San Marino City Councilman Dennis Kneier, who gained nation-wide infamy for throwing a bag of dog feces on his neighbor's property, is now facing petitions for his recall. Kneier resigned his mayoralty after the video of his behavior surfaced, but has kept his council seat. Petitioners would need 2,143 signatures (25% of registereds) in 90 days.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Colorado: State Senator recall victor faces November challenge


Michigan: Gaines Township recalls gain opponents

Republican opponents have announced against two Gaines Township officials, Democrat Clerk Mike Dowler is facing a fight against Republican Sherry Johnson and Treasurer Diane Hyrman is facing William Pittsley. Supervisor Chuck Melki is also facing a recall. Here's some of the details on the very odd, not necessarily connected, recalls.

Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal recall to take place this week


Massachusetts: Lancaster signatures handed in

Lancaster Chairman Jean M. Syria and Vice Chairman/Clerk Susan E. Smiley are both facing possible recalls, as petitioners handed in more than the 471 signatures needed. They collected them in 16 days. The issue appears to be the firing of the Town Administrator, but the official allegations include:

They allege that both selectmen violated the Open Meeting Law and selectmen's policies and procedures, limited or eliminated public comment at public meetings, terminated the town administrator's contract without cause, wasted public money on unnecessary legal services and limited the ability of municipal staff to get or be reimbursed for professional development. 
Ms. Syria's recall affidavit says she engaged in vendor harassment — using public money for town counsel to undermine and violate previously approved contracts, and made negative and unsubstantiated public comments about townspeople, accusing them of being homophobic. 
Ms. Smiley's recall affidavit says she engaged in misappropriation of public money of the Lancaster co-ed softball league, did not turn over all of the revenues to the town treasurer, failed to disclose how the money was spent and did not get the consent of the town to disburse any of that money. 

Colorado: Woodland Mayor facing recall petitions

Woodland Park Mayor David Turley is facing petitions after his arrest on allegation of sexual assault on a child (it was an alleged relationship between Turley and a 17-year old boy). Petitioners need 252 signatures in 60 days. Turley is in his second term.

Oregon: Attempt against Portland Mayor and City Commissioner

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick are facing a petitions for their support for a street fee. Petitioners need 34,921 to remove Novick. They need the signatures by October 9, 2014. No word yet on how many signatures are needed for the mayor.

The previous Portland Mayor also faced a recall attempt, which failed.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Idaho Eagle City Council President recall fails

The recall attempt against Eagle City Council President Mary McFarland, over claims of rude and disrespectful behavior and open meeting violations, failed. Petitioners needed 2459 signatures. They claim they got over 2000, but did not hand them in.

California: Modesto council member recall fails

The recall attempts against Modesto council members Jenny Kenoyer and David Cogdill Jr., failed, with petitioners unable to get the 3,300 signatures for Kenoyer or 3,100 for Cogdill.

The issue was a vote to amend Modesto's general plan to include Wood Colony, a farming community, which was opposed by a majority of Wood Colony residents.

The article does detail another failed recall attempt in Riverbank that is worth noting:

Riverbank voters, meanwhile, had every possible reason to recall Councilman Jesse James White and yet failed not once, but twice (2009 and 2010).
It didn’t seem to matter that the grand jury recommended White should resign because he wasn’t registered to vote when he applied to run for the council seat, or because of his arrest on drug charges during a probation search (to be on probation requires a previous conviction); the city had turned off the water to his apartment over a billing issue; and he missed numerous council meetings when the council needed to fill a vacant seat. The latter ultimately forced the city to spend $35,000 to hold a special election.
Each recall attempt fell several hundred votes shy. Of course, both came before White was convicted of two felonies (driving under the influence causing injury and resisting an Oakdale police officer) and pleaded no contest to misdemeanors (child endangerment and hit-and-run causing property damage). That likely would have been a game changer. He left the council when his term expired in 2012.

Oregon: Gold Hill city council members facing recall over medical marijuana vote

Four members of the Gold Hill City Council are facing recalls for their vote to allow medical marijuana dispensaries, which overturned a previously existing citywide moratorium. Petitioners handed in 63 signatures, they need somewhere in the neighborhood of 52 (unclear from the articles).

Since the vote, Breeze Botanicals opened.  The council members facing recalls are Margaret Dials, Lorraine Parks, Doug Reischman and Gus Wolf

Colorado: El Paso sheriff recall fails due to lack of signature buffer

The recall attempt against El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, who is facing investigation into claims of sexual improprieties, has failed.

Petitioners needed 44,387 signatures. They claim to have collected 48,000, but do not feel that is enough to get them over. Based on past experience, they are likely correct (the rule of thumb is 15-120% failure rate on signatures, and in Colorado, it seems to be a lot higher). However, the recall of State Senator Angela Giron saw an incredibly low signature failure rate, so there was a possibility of success (though they likely did not use the same technology that made the Giron recall such an outlier). Petitioners claimed that having the county check the signatures would have cost $20,000, and they didn't want to run up that expense.

Some details on the Maketa allegations:
An investigation by the El Paso County Board of Commissioners into Maketa's conduct began in mid-May after complaints were filed accusing him of sexual improprieties, creating a hostile work environment, discrimination and removing almost all oversight of the Sheriff's Office annual budget.

Nine claims seeking $3.9 million in damages have been filed, El Paso County spokesman Dave Rose said. In late May, the county commissioners also cast a unanimous vote of no confidence in the sheriff and called for Maketa's resignation. Maketa has said he will not resign and intends to complete his third and final term, which ends Jan. 13, 2015.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Texas: Palestine Mayor, councilman facing recall threats

Palestine Mayor Therrell Thomas and Councilman Steve Presley are facing recall threats if they don't resign by July 14. The issue appears to be the firing of the police chief in June by the City Manager.

Navajo Nation: President of Tiis Tsoh Sikaad Chapter removed

The results show that Perry Begay Sr. took the race 68 to 55 for Raymond Anderson. Former President Lester Begay, who was removed in May, got 48 votes.

Wisconsin: Cleveland Supervisor facing recall -- frac sand mining again at issue

First-term Cleveland Town Board Supervisor Joe Egloff is facing an August 12 recall after 95 signatures were handed in against him. Petitioners needed 52 signatures.

The recall is supposedly about open-meeting violations and economic development, though it sounds like Egloff's votes against a frac mine rezoning is the issue. Already, Wisconsin has had two separate fracking recalls:

Bridgeport, where both Board Chairman John Karnopp (207-116) and Supervisor Mike Steiner (223-102) survived recall votes (I just noticed this one had a decision, possibly due to the fact that there were three cities named Bridgeport facing recall issues at approximately the same time);  In December, Glenwood officials survived a frac sand recall vote.

Additionally, the mayor of Red Wing, Minnesota resigned in the face of recall threats after it was revealed that he was a lobbyist for frac sand companies. Fracking has also been mentioned as a cause for attempted recalls in Louisiana and New Mexico.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

California: Moreno Valley Recall scheduled for November

Here -- they are also discussing changing the city's election law to allow for citywide election of the mayor. Further fallout from their earlier recall of the mayor (the ex-Mayor Tom Owings is a big backer of the citywide election provision).

California: Salinas City Trustee facing recall

Salinas City Trustee Janet Barnes is facing a recall over her support for the district Superintendence (who was chosen by a 3-2 vote, and opposed by the Teachers Council). Barnes was appointed to the board in 2013. No word  on how many signatures are needed.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Washington: Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney facing petitions

Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe is facing a recall petition by a serial filer. The petition claims that Roe mishandled a 2009 assault case. 

Roe is up for re-election in November, which should kill the recall attempt -- he can;t be recalled within 6 months of the next election. Roe was also not serving in the prosecutor position when in 2009 (he was a deputy), under state law, he can't be brought up except for things that happened during his tenure.

Arizona: Golden Valley Fire district recall started

Interesting fight here -- Golden Valley Fire District Director Steve Robinson took out a recall against fellow director Rhonda Brooks, and the Fire Chief Tom O'Donohue was the first signer.

The petitioner claims that Brooks was trying to force O'Donohue out, as well alienating directors, filing complaints on open meeting violations, refusing to fulfill public records requests and disclosing confidential info. She also is accused of trying to cancel out-of-district contracts and stop an attempt to start an ambulance service by giving confidential info to a competitor.

Petitioners need 483 signatures by August 4 to get on the November ballot.

North Carolina: Morganton Mayor recall fails to get the signatures.

Omer is talking about the N.C. legislature passing House Bill 1158, which amended the city’s charter to change the city’s election method from a runoff to a plurality election and moves the election from October to the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The law also changed the time period a petitioner has to gather required signatures from one year to 30 days and a required 25 percent of registered voters’ signatures. The new bill became law June 19.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Arizona: Maricopa councilman recall fails

The attempt to recall Maricopa councilman Bridger Kimball, who was arrested for a DUI in 2012 (and pled guilty in 2013), failed, with petitioners not getting anywhere near the 850 signatures (they claim they got about 300). The effort was led by former councilman Leon Potter, who also dropped a bid for the mayoralty.

Idaho: Parma mayor resigns in face of recall

Parma Mayor Bob Flowers resigned following the filing of a recall petition against him on June 6. Four of the six city council members signed the petition, which would have needed 140 valids by August 20.

Flowers was previously mayor from 1998-2006. Petitioners claim a misuse of office and malfeasance. No word on specifics.

Michigan: Appeal denied in Benton Harbor recall fraud case

The charges against Reverend Edward Pinkney for altering signature dates on a Benton Harbor recall effort will stand. Pinkey is set to go on trial on July 21.

Trinidad and Tobago consider adopting recall law

Trinidad and Tobago's main opposition People's National Movement has announced its opposition to an attempt by the People's Partnership government to introduce a recall at the national level. The petitions would require 10%. The PNM seems to feel the recall is being pushed due to the coming elections.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Phillipines: Recall of Cagayan de Oro Mayor not likely to go forward due to costs

The recall attempt against Cagayan de Oro City mayor Oscar Moreno may not go forward because the city is claiming they don't have the money for it. The would need to first check out the 71.500 signatures. The law apparently requires them to budget for recalls, so unclear how whether this is just politics.

Minnesota: Duluth City Council member under fire

A recall campaign is starting against second-term Duluth City Councilor Sharla Gardner. Petitioners need 585 signatures (25% of turnout) to start the recall process. The precipitating issue seems to Gardner's support for a rerouting of traffic plan and the designation of different beach accesses.

I have been under the impression that Minnesota has not held a recall -- the state adopted a recall law in 1996, but there is a very high malfesance standard to meet to get it on the ballot. However, I was mistaken. Apparently, there are much easier local recall laws -- It appears that Duluth's traces back to 1912. The article notes the last Duluth recall:

If the campaign to oust Gardner proves successful, she will become the first Duluth City Councilor to be recalled since Thomas Agnew II, who was removed from office in 1978. Agnew, an attorney, also was disbarred a few years later.

California: Laguna Woods Board of Directors survives recall vote

I'm never sure how to classify recalls like these, but we'll keep tracking none-the-less:

A recall campaign in Laguna Woods Village (a community for 55 and over) retained the 11 member board of directers, with a 2,132 to 925 vote. There were also 195 abstentions, 19 blank ballot and 3 overvotes, turnout was 52.3%. From the write-up, it looks like there was just one vote (which wouldn't happen in a regular recall -- each candidate would be voted on separately), but that may just be in the interest of space.

The issue seems to be the management company that runs the village. Note this is not the first time there's been a recall there. Here's some coverage of a 2009 fight. And here's some of the more heated literature on this race.

Massachussetts: A not entirely accurate look at the Hanson recall

A follow-up on last week's Hanson recall of Selectman Stephen Amico, who lost the recall 1,175 to 449, and then ran and lost the replacement vote 1,183-417 (and the recall of James Egan in May).
The article cites the executive director of the Minnock Center for International Engagement at Bridgewater State University, who has a number of incorrect statements about recalls.

For one, there is a claim (not in a direct quote) that "it was unusual to see a recall election take place at the local level," and that (again, not a direct quote) "[T]ypically, recall campaigns are leveled against high-ranking state officials, like governors or state legislators who have committed some type of wrongdoing."
“It is usually over corruption or some type of malfeasance in office where somebody has clearly broken the law either personally or while in office."
Anyone who follows this blog knows these statements are incorrect. The vast, vast majority of recalls are of local officials (in fact, very few have been launched against state level officials), and most recalls are not about corruption, but instead just about local issues.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Arizona: Cave Creek recall proponent asks -- How Much Justice Can You Afford?

A great follow-up on the Cave Creek recalls, which were cancelled due to a court ruling. One of the petitioners, Janet Mohr, had this to say, which points to one of the issues with recall fights that go to the judiciary:
Could it have been won with about $20,000 paid to even a fairly adequate attorney? I think yes. Who in their right mind would spend $20,000 +/- for a job to sit on the Cave Creek council? 

Navajo Nation: Chapter President recalled

The Navajo Nation's Tiis Tsoh Sikaad Chapter, which recalled President Lester Begay on May 5, will vote on a replacement on July 8. 
Begay issued a 4-page press release on June 29, in which he denied the allegations and accusations made against him by chapter administrative assistant Paula Begay and her husband Gene Benally; vice president Arthur Yazzie and his wife Genevieve Yazzie; the chapter's community land-use planning committee president Patty Chee; former chapter presidents Albert Davis and Harrison LaMone; and former chapter vice president Perry Begay Sr.
In the press release, Lester Begay stated that Arthur Yazzie would "sabotage" projects he proposed to improve the community and that the recall petition was led by Genevieve Yazzie.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Michigan: Petition rejected against Marquette commissioners

A recall attempt against Marquette Commissioners Sarah Reynolds, Michael Coyne and Dave Campana over their votes for a boathouse for the Upper Peninsula Community Rowing Club was rejected on factual grounds.

California: Moreno Valley Councilwoman recall gets on the ballot

The recall against Moreno Valley Councilwoman Victoria Baca has enough signatures to make the ballot. Petitioners handed in 2817 valids, they needed 2547 (20% of registereds). This will be the second recall in Moreno Valley, as Mayor Tom Owings was ousted last month. Another member resigned last year under indictment. It sounds like the recall will probably be held on Election Day.

The recall comes after Baca and other council members had their homes raided by federal and local investigators. No charges have been filed, and the recall proponents instead cite to her opposition to sobriety checkpoints, her support of Owings and a vote to transfer library money to a road project.

This was the second recall attempt against Baca. The first failed to get enough signatures to bother handing in.

Wisconsin: Crandon recall set for July 29th

Crandon Mayor Rob Jaeger is facing a recall vote on July 29. This vote was scheduled after the city council refused to schedule the recall. Crandon recently changed the mayoral term from 2 to 4 years, so this is (unofficially, and not intentionally) part of the old theory that recalls should be used in conjunction with an expansion of the term length for elected officials.