Sunday, December 17, 2017

Taiwan: New Power Party Chairman survives recall vote

Huag Kuo-chang survived the recall vote, as 48693 voted to remove him. 15000 short of the total needed. 21748 voted against, and petitioners needed 63888 total to win (1/4 the total eligible voters in the constituency. Kuo-chang's support for gay  rights issues was the precipitating factor in the recall.

California: Kinderhook Township Clerk facing recall threats

Clerk Cynthia Carpenter is facing a recall petition filed by the Michael Exelby, who Carpenter beat in an August 2016 Republican primary 138-126. This is his second attempt (the first was rejected over vagueness). The issue appears to be how the township pays for mileage. Petitioners would need 125 signatures.

Friday, December 15, 2017

California: Julian-Suyamaca Fire Protection District Chairman facing recall for vote in favor of consolidation

Following a vote to consolidate the volunteer fire department with the San Diego County Fire Authority, Chairman Jack Shelver, the only vote in favor of consolidation, is facing a recall effort.

Montana: District Court Judge kills Pondera County Sheriff recall

The recall against Sheriff Carl Suta, scheduled for December 19, has been stopped by a district court judge who claimed that the petition is too vague and the petitioner didn't have personal knowledge of the allegations. Petitioners claimed abuse of power and Suta plead no contest to domestic abuse and got one year of probation.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Taiwan: Recall against New Power Party lawmaker scheduled for tomorrow

Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang is facing a recall vote tomorrow.

Massachusetts: Chelmsford School Board president facing recall threats

School Board Member John Moses is facing a recall threat led by the mother of the teacher's union president. The union president was placed on leave for a week and a half after an altercation with a field representative and administrators. Moses is accused of leaking information on social media.

Arizona: Kingman Mayor and five Councilmembers facing recall effort over firing of city manager

Mayor Monica Gates and Councilmembers Jen Miles, Vickie Kress, Jamie Scott Stehly, Travis Lingenfelter and David Wayt are all facing recall threats following the firing of the city manager. Petitions are due April 10. The need 2683 signatures for Gates and 1305 for each of the other five.

Massachusetts: Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates proposes recall charter amendment

The proposed amendment would require 1000 signatures and must have 25 signatures from each town in the county and no more than 25% from one single community. The ordinance is expected to be on the agenda next month. The issue that seems to be bringing the recall forward is comments from County Commissioner Ron Beaty after picking a fight over a parking space, proposing to kill great white sharks and criticizing the #Me Too movement over sexual harassment.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Texas: Garland Councilmember resigns in face of recall

Councilmember Anita Goebel resigned in the face of a recall, though she also called for Mayor Douglas Athas to quit as well following a vote to allow the demolition of an armory.

Maryland: Bowie Councilmember facing December 19 recall vote

Councilwoman Diane Polangin is up on a December 19 vote.

California: Recall of state Senator to cost $931,000 on regular primary ballot; $2.67 as special election

State officials claim that the recall of state Senator Josh Newman (D) will cost $931,000 if it takes place contemporaneous with the June primary and $2.67 million as a special election.

Louisana: Lafayette City Marshall recall attempt fails; Lead petitioner jailed for bad checks from 1997

The recall attempt against City Marshall Brian Pope failed. Petitioners needed 27400 signatures and claimed they were missing 3800, though it sounds like they didn't hand any in. At the same time, Pope appears to have arrested one of the recall organizers, Steven Wilkerson, over a 20-year old warrant for bouncing less than $200 in bad checks in 1997 (the offense has a two year statute of limitations).

Pope is facing seven perjury and malfeasance charges with a trial set for February 20. Pope is alleged to have used public resources to support his candidate in the 2015 Lafayette Parish Sheriff Election (the candidate lost).

Pope also paid himself with court fees -- receiving $120,000 last year (on top of his $75,000 salary).  He apparently sought the opinion of the Attorney General's office on the fee dispute, but did not respond to the AG's office's attempt to contact him.

Wilkerson noted that he had been through multiple background checks (he is an army veteran and a law enforcement official) and the bad checks never came up.

Michigan: Algonac Mayor facing petitions

Mayor Eileen Tesch is facing petitions after a FOIA request showed that the mayor called the sheriff's deputies, allegedly to have a signature gatherers removed petitioners seeking the recall of two councilmembers, Irene Bird and Joe Nugent. Both Bird and Nugent resigned before the November recall vote.

Petitioners need about 350 signatures.

Texas: Alice Councilwoman voted out in November running in replacement race

Councilwoman Elida Garza is running for the seat in the January 20 replacement race.

Malawi: Government puts forward recall law

Here

California: Newport Beach Council recall falls just short

The effort to recall Councilman Scott Peotter appears to have failed, though petitioners are asking for a recount. Petitioners handed in 10696 signatures, they needed 8445. The registrar threw out 2357 of them, leaving 8339 signatures. 205 of the signers asked to have their signatures revoked, which apparently is the difference. Peotter had submitted 1783 signature-withdrawal requests.

Peotter was targeted over his support of a condo project and his vote to decline the city's share of the state gas tax.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Alaska: Complaints against Homer City Council found without merit

Petitioners, who pushed for the recall of Council members David Lewis, Catriona Reynolds and Donna Aderhold, claimed that the council members violated the city's ethic code when they voted to certify the recall election. The complaint was found to be without merit.

California: Governor may push recall vote for state Senator to June 5 primary

Thanks to the changes in the recall law, Governor Brown may push the recall against Senator Josh Newman (D) to the June 5 primary date. The Secretary of State did not certify the voter signatures 180 days before the primary, so it can be pushed to that date instead of a special election date.


Michigan: One Saugatuck Trustee recall petition approved, three others rejected as unclear

Trustee Roy McIlwaine is facing petitions, while the commission is now hearing the recall petitions for Clerk Brad Rudich, Lori Babinski and Trustee Douglas Lane. The issue was a vote to fire the township manager and fire code issues.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Nevada: National Republican Group gave $160,000 to Senator Farley recall effort

The Republican State Leadership Committee has donated $160,000 for failed recall attempt of state Senator Patricia Farley (I). The petitioners reported that they got less than a third of the 7107 signatures needed to get on the ballot, which would work out to be more than $60 a signature. However, the Farley recall committee donated $25,000 to the recall of Senator Nicole Cannizzaro (D) and nearly $28,000 to the recall of Senator Joyce Woodhouse (D). Both of those recalls are now in the signature verifying stages.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee donated a $1 million to defend against the recalls.

Michigan: Language submitted for third time in Saugatuck Township recall

Petitions were submitted for the third time against Treasurer Lori Babinski, Clerk Brad Rudich and Trustee Douglas Lane over a vote to reprimand the Township Manager in a closed session. A fire captain asked the board to remove the Town Manager for his interpersonal skills/anger management, but the board voted to reprimand.

The language for the petitions were rejected twice before.

North Dakota: New England Councilman facing recall effort

Councilman Tom Gorek is facing a recall effort over animal regulations that were passed by the council. Petitioner would need 30 signatures to get on the ballot.

San Francisco: Cannabis regulation leads to threats of recall against San Francisco mayor

Mayor Ed Lee, who was targeted for a failed recall campaign in the past, is now facing threats from a conservative group called the "Chinese Tea Party" over the law laying out cannabis regulation in the city.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Massachusetts: Sherborn votes down recall law

A petition to put in place a political recall law was defeated, though there is no word on the vote total (it was opposed by Selectmen beforehand). A second vote, on a malfeasance standard recall requiring a violation of state ethics code, felony conviction or missing more than 1/3rd of meetings was beaten 81-28. However, there was discussion on revisiting recalls in the future.

Michigan: Adams Township Board targeted in recall effort

The entire Adams Township Board, including Supervisor Fred Fowler, Clerk Michelle Ginolfi, Treasurer Patricia Williams and Trustees Duane Chase and Larry Mayhew, are facing petitions from someone who was ordered to remove junk cars from his driveway or face a fine. Petitioner would need 204 signatures for each.

Florida: Madeira Beach City Commission recalls move to next step, with other commissioners facing potential efforts

The recalls against Commissioners John Douthirt and Nancy Oakley over the anti development stance are moving to the written defense stage. Mayor Maggu Black, who is facing her own recall effort, is debating whether to help recall commissioners Nancy Hodges and Terry Lister. Petitioner would need about 496 signatures.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Michigan: Signatures to be handed in against Wayne Councilman over move to change city elections to even years

About 1400 signatures are scheduled to be turned in against Councilman Chris Sander, with petitioners needing 1183 valids. Signatures were also collected against three other officials, Mayor Susan Rowe and councilmembers Ryan Gabriel and Anthony Miller, though petitioners claim they don't have enough to get those on the ballot.

The issue was a vote to extend their time in office as municipal elections were moved to even years.

California: Three San Juan Capistrano council members facing recall efforts

Mayor Kerry Ferguson and Councilmembers Derek Reeve and Pam Patterson are all facing recall petitions, though all are in the last year of their terms.

Ferguson and Reeve are facing recall threats over a commercial development project. Patterson is facing a recall over an "illegal referendum" to overturn the approval of a different development project which ended in a settlement that may cost the city $1 million.

Petitioners need 38444 signatures to get each recall on the ballot.

Texas: Signature requirement met in Garland Councilwoman recall

Councilwoman Anita Goebel may be facing a recall vote as officials claim that enough valid signatures were handed in to get a recall on the ballot over a vote to take down an armory building and replace it with a skate park. Goebel's term runs out in May, which is when the recall would be set to take place.

Massachusetts: Three Stoughton Selectmen kicked out

Chairman David "Spanky" Sousa (55% against)  and Selectman Robert Cohn (52.4 % against) and Peter Brown (52.5) were all kicked out in a recall today. Christine Howe, Stephen Cavy and Rick Hill replace each of them respectively. Turn out was a little under 20%.

The issue was a claimed failure to evaluate the contract of the former town manager, who is suing the town for wrongful termination and behaving disrespectfully.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Taiwan: NPP lawmaker facing December 16th vote

This is the recall against Huang Guo-Chang -- interestingly, Taiwan law bans poll numbers being released after the 6th, activities have to be limited and there is no social media campaigning allowed.

Florida: Nearly 8600 Riviera Beach City Council recall signatures thrown out over date claims

This one is pretty crazy. About 8600 signatures were tossed out in the recall attempt against Riviera Beach City Council members Terence Davis (2880 handed in), Lynne Hubbard (2857 handed in) and Dawn Pardo (2870 signatures in). Only two total signatures were allowed for the recall, which was over a vote to fire the city manager. The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections did not respond to reporters, but sent a note to a signer and petitioner that some of the petitions were signed outside of the the 30 day window -- though it seems like that is only 17 signatures.

Michigan: Albion recall leader previous jailed for threatening to poison water supply

The leader of the recall effort against Mayor Garrett Brown has had numerous issues with the law, including threatening to poison the water supply due to an unfavorable ruling in a child custody dispute, which led to a 30 month prison sentence. The recall is over the City Manager's resignation (which was then rescinded).

Sunday, December 3, 2017

California: Adelato Mayor Pro Tem facing recall threats following arrest on bribery/arson charges

Mayor Pro Tem Jermaine Wright is facing ouster threats -- including a potential recall -- after he was arrested for allegedly accepting bribes and "asking an undercover FBI to burn down his restaurant so he collect insurance payments."

City officials are first looking to declare the seat vacant because he hasn't shown up in 60 days.  However, there is also talk of a recall, which would need more than 2000 signatures.

Nevada: Recall effort against state Senators still tied up with questions of signature verification

The recall effort against Senator Nicole Cannizzaro has now taken a turn as the Secretary of State has called on Clark County Registrar of Voters to verify the 1273 signatures that ask to be removed from the recall petitions before deciding how to move forward. Democrats have criticized the "improvised interpretation" and blamed the fact a partisan bias on the part of the Republican Secretary of State.

California: Los Angeles Councilman recall effort back to stage one

The effort to recall Councilman Mike Bonin over a traffic reconfiguration has to be restarted after the paid advertisement failed to include a signed affidavit that all the facts contained in the recall are true. Petitioners now have to restart the effort.

California: Napa Valley School District recall fails

The recall effort against seven school board members failed, with no signatures handed in.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Wisconsin: Onalaska School District board member kicked out in recall

School Board member Jake Speed lost his recall 1408-95, with former board member Deanna Verdon replacing him. Speed was censured by the board members for being confrontational, and he claimed the school district spent illegally spent $3500 on attorney's fees, while claiming that he filed complaints with the FBI and the DA.

He won office challenging the validity of the nomination papers of incumbents, who were tossed out, leaving him as the only name on the ballot. Speed was the La Crosse Tea Party founder.

Texas: Garland City Council group hands in signatures

1025 signatures were handed in against Councilwoman Anita Goebel over her vote to tear down a former Texas Air National Guard Armory to make a park. Petitioners need 800 signatures.

Tennessee: Etowah City Commissioner recall effort ended

The recall effort against City Commissioner Roby Helm ended. The recall was over claims he had harassing and bullying behavior.

Washington: State Supreme Court denies motion to reconsider whether Black Diamond Councilwoman recall had enough signatures

The Supreme Court had previously struck down one of four of the charges in the recall effort against Councilwoman Pat Pepper, which King County Election then held that petitioners needed to recollect signatures (they handed in 639, they needed 366).

California: Appellate Court rejects Santa Clara Judges attempt to stop recall for June ballot

An appellate court rejected the attempt by Judge Aaron Persky to block the signature drive (the decision has no comment). Petitioners claim they already have 76,000 signatures and should get to 90,000. They need 58,634 by January 16.

Texas: Governor allows Alice to hold special replacement elections for two council seats on January 20

This is from the empty seats following the removal of Council members Elida Garza and Yolanda Sosa Moran.

Wisconsin: St. Francis Mayor facing petitions over industrial barrel reconditioning plant

Mayor CoryAnn St. Marie-Carls is facing a second petition in two years. The issue is health and smell concerns from an industrial barrel reconditioning plant. Petitioners need 1154 signatures to get on the ballot.

Michigan: Algonac Mayor facing recall attempt -- third against member of the council this year

Mayor Eileen Tesch is facing a recall attempt over a claim that she called the police to prevent signature gathering on recall efforts against council members Irene Bird and Joe Nugent (both of whom resigned rather than face a recall vote). Tesch was not able to face a recall effort until recently, as she just started her second year (there is a one year grace period).

Tesch was already facing challenges for the removal of a city manager and a change in the planning commission.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Massachusetts: Stoughton Recall expecting low turnout

The recall of Selectman David Sousa, Robert Cohn and Peter Brown may have low turnout of 10%, with only 168 absentee ballot requests out there.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Arizona: 2016 recall discovered -- Nutrioso Fire District Board Chairman removed

This one was from 2016, but I seemed to have missed it. Fire Board Chief Leo Witkowski was kicked out, losing to David Jones (a former board member). The issue was violations of the open meeting act. Jones won 161-74-1.

California: Dublin School Board member facing recall effort after confrontation with councilman

School Board Member Dan Cunningham is facing a recall effort after he agreed to take it outside with a parent and had a "scuffle" with Councilman Arun Goel after Goel claimed that he was a bully. Petitioners would need a little under 8000 signatures.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Alaska: Municipal League pass resolution calling for stricter recall lawsuit

The Alaska Municipal League passed a resolution asking the state legislature to make it clear what allegations are required to get a recall on the ballot. Homer City Council members Donna Aderhold, who survived a recall vote this summer, drew up the resolution.

Tennessee: Recall petitions approved against Etowah City Commissioner

Petitions have been approved in a recall against City Commissioner Roby Helm, which appears to be part of a dispute around the locate of a new City Hall.The petitioners filed a $1.2 million defamation suit against Helm over Facebook comments that he posted, but withdrew it in a week. Petitions would need between 250-300 signatures to get on the ballot.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Nevada: Oral Arguments in Democratic recall challenge indefinitely postponed

The lawsuit, which basically claims that recall elections are illegal under the Constitution and federal Voting Rights Act, has been indefinitely postponed until a separate lawsuit challenging the number of signatures in the recall of state Senator Joyce Woodhouse is decided.

Massachusetts: Sherborn Selectman take no action on recall provision to be voted on December 6 Special Fall Town Meeting

There are two provisions that can be voted on, one of which would require 200 or 300 signatures (depending on which article is adopted). One of the recalls provisions requires a statement of grounds the other requires one of three specific provisions to allow a recall to go forward.

California: No signatures handed in Redding City Council members

No signatures were handed in against Councilmembers Kristen Schreder and Francie Sullivan. The recall threat was over raises for city employees. Each councilmembers need more than 9800 valid signatures.

Alabama: Greenwood Mayor recall petition withdrawn

A petition to recall Mayor Phyllis Bowman has been withdrawn. A Circuit Judge had granted an injunction that stalled the recall effort even though petitioners have handed in enough signatures. The recall was over Bowman ordering employees to work the day of a hurricane and disciplining the town clerk for giving workers the day off.

Nebraska: Two Sutherland Trustees kicked out

Board Trustees John Lutz (280-215) and Ray Ravenscroft (267-230) both lost a recall vote yesterday. The issue was claims of personal profit, open meeting law violations, financial expenditures and scheduling meetings at inconvenient times.  There were also a resignation of village employees and two trustees.

Maryland: New attempt pushed against Bowie City Council member

Councilmember Diane Polangin will be facing a recall on December 19 over a decision to allow an old Marketplace shopping center to put apartments in a revitalization plan. There were attempts to get recalls against Mayor G. Frederick Robinson and Councilman Jimmy Marcos (and Polangin) earlier in the year.

Petitioners handed in over 3000 signatures and needed about 2700.

Wisconsin: Replacement chosen for Eleva-Strum School Board member

Joshua Stendhal was elected to replace Eleva-Strum School District Board President Lois Havenor, who resigned after signatures were handed in for removal. Stendhal beat Kristen Amundson Husby (427-338).

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Michigan: Signatures handed in against Fraser "ex-mayor"

Ex-Mayor Joe Nichols, who was kicked out by tribunal hearing in February but is appealing the ouster, is also facing recall. Petitioners handed in 1782 signatures. They need 1782

Friday, November 17, 2017

Michigan: Recall effort against Four Wayne County officials

Mayor Susan Rowe and Councilmembers Chris Sanders, Ryan Gabriel and Anthony Miller are all facing recall efforts. Petitioners need a little under 1200 signatures with the issue claims that Sanders tried to get non-residents to submit critical comments against the City Manager.

New Mexico: Las Vegas Council member facing recall effort

Councilwoman Barbara Perea-Casey is facing a recall effort over claims that she is fighting the mayor too much in meeting. New Mexico is generally a Malfeasance Standard/Judicial Recall state, so it is possible they need a showing of cause (that is probably much higher than the nebulous fighting with the mayor) to be able to get on the ballot.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

California: Editorial opposing recall effort against two Redding Council members

Here -- signatures are due on November 21

Colorado: Petitions taken out against Estes Park Mayor and Trustee

Petitions were taken out against Mayor Todd Jirsa and trustee Cody Walker, though no word on the issue or the amount of signatures needed.

California: Signatures handed in against Oxnard Mayor and 3 council members

68,000 total signatures were handed in against Mayor Tim Flynn and council members Carmen Ramirez, Bert Perello and Oscar Madrigal. Petitioners need about 12,000 per (which equals 48,000) The recall is over a 5% raise in wastewater rates. Petitioner would need about 12,000 signatures to get to the ballot.

Michigan: Jackson Councilman recalled, wins Mayoral race instead

Councilman Derek Dobies was replaced in a recall vote by Colleen Sullivan, the candidate who came the closest to his views in a replacement race. The recall was over Dobies vote in favor of an anti-discrimination ordinance.

Dobies did not run in the recall race, and instead ran for Mayor, which he won, defeating the incumbent.

Nevada: Signatures handed in against Democratic State Senator

Petitioners handed in 16,875 signatures were handed in to start a recall of state Senator Nicole Cannizzaro (D). Petitioners need 14,975 valids. At the same time, Senator Joyce Woodhouse (D), who had signatures handed in last week, is challenging the validity of 5576 signatures over eligibility claims.

Here is my previous discussion on Nevada law and the challenges that might occur.

Oregon: Petitions taken out against three Ashland Parks and Recreation Committee members

Commissioners Michael Gardiner, Jim Lewis and Rick Landt are facing petitions following the firing of the Ashland Senior Center staff and a modification of the senior services.

Washington: Black Diamond Council member files bill to force City to pay for her legal defense of recall effort

Councilmember Pat Pepper proposed a resolution to get the city to pay for her legal expenses in the recall effort. King County Elections canceled the December special election following the Washington Supreme Court ruling tossing out one of the 4 charges. They also required that petitioners handed in a new set of 366 valid signatures.  This is going to go some more rounds.

California: Signatures handed in against newly appointed Rancho Santa Fe School District Board member

Signatures were handed in against board member Jon Yonemitsu, who was recently appointed to fill a vacancy, is facing a recall effort. Petitioners need 65 signatures to get the petitions going. Petitioners claim to have handed in double that amount. The recall is estimated to cost between $50,000-$100,000.

Michigan: Second petitions will be submitted against Kalkaska Village President

The first attempt against village President Jeff Sieting failed due to a misspelling of his name.

Nebraska: Broken Bow School Board member survives recall vote

School Board Member JB Atkins survived a recall vote 537-826. The issue was budget cuts and funding. A separate recall was started against member Carl French, but that was found to have begun too late for the ballot.

Florida: Petitions handed in against three Riviera Beach Councilmembers

Petitioners have handed in over 3,000 signatures each against Council members Terence Davis, Lynne Hubbard and Dawn Pardo over their vote to fire the city manager. The city manager was on the job for six months and was fired without a discussion. They had also fired the previous city manager.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Colorado: Two Custer County Commissioners ousted, one survives

Commissioner Bob Kattnig (54-46%) and Donna Hood (55-45%) were both ousted in a recall vote on Election Day, though Jay Printz (48-52%) survived. Kattnig had previously been targeted last year. The recall was over claims of holding closed door sessions and secret meetings, though other coverage claims that it is over "gross mismanagement" and building codes.

The three were Republicans, though the recall appears to be heavily supported by a conservative group.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Nevada: GOP fails to hand in signatures against Independent state Senator

The recall effort against State Senator Patricia Farley (Independent) has failed, with petitioners turning in 2056 signatures -- they need 7342 to get on the ballot. Among the three recalls against state senators started by the GOP, Farley had by far the least signatures needed. We are still waiting on the signatures to be handed in against State Senator Nicole Cannizzaro (they need 14975).

Georgia: Push to recall Secretary of State

Secretary of State Brian Kemp with a recall effort following the high profile election data breaches and a server wipe. Petitioners would need 778,677 signatures by December 15, and it would also need to overcome Georgia's strict Malfeasance Standard law. A recall would lead to a gubernatorial replacement selection, so the recall backers are claiming that partisanship should not be a driver.

India: Further calls for recall power

Here

Michigan: Kalkaska Village President recall denied due to misspelling

The recall effort of Village President Jeff Sieting was rejected by the Election Commission due to a misspelling of Sieting's name.

Montana: Pondera County Sheriff recall granted temporary injunction

Here

Texas: Odessa Councilwoman recall abandoned

The recall effort against Councilwoman Barbara Graff has been abandoned due to the difficulty in getting 2000 signatures (they claimed to have gotten 800). The issue was the firing of the City Manager. No word on the recalls of the other two councilmembers.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Montana: Pondera County Sheriff sues to stop recall

Sheriff Carl Suta is arguing that the recall doesn't meet Montana law for incompetence, among other reasons (and also that the explanation is 251 words long when it should be only 200).

Ohio: Richmond Heights voters change city law to comport with state recall laws

The vote was with 62.4 % of the vote in favor.

Alaska: Cordova Councilor kicked out

City Councilor Josh Hallquist was kicked out in a special election 217-99 over the issue of claims of defamation of character, threatening business people and using foul and disrespectful language.

Idaho: Star Mayor and City Council member survive recall vote

Mayor Chad Bell (61% in favor) and Councilmember Kevin Nielson (60%) both survived a recall vote over an apartment complex.

Florida: Bradenton Beach Mayor, who lost a recall, then regain position in a card draw, loses reelection race

Mayor William Shearon's incredible mayoral run seems to be at an end. Shearon lost a recall race in May 2015, then ran again in November against his replacement Jack Clarke. They tied, resulting a card draw to decide the winner -- Shearon won. Now he's lost the seat again to John Chappie (who got nearly 60 % of the vote).

Texas: Denton voters refuse bill looking to increase percentage of signatures needed to get on the ballot

With nearly 60% of the vote against, Denton voters shot down an attempt to increase the number of signatures need to get a recall to the ballot from 25% to 35%. Denton recently had a recall against Councilman Joey Hawkins. The recall tightening was the only one of the five ballot initiatives to have failed on Election Day.

Nebraska: Recall effort against Bellevue Councilman abandoned

The effort against Councilman Pat Shannon is being abandoned, with petitioners not getting anywhere near the 6600 signatures needed to get on the ballot.

Michigan: Flint mayor easily survives recall vote

Mayor Karen Weaver grabbed 53 percent of the vote in the 18-person field, outpacing her nearest challenger (Councilman Scott Kincaid, who gave up running for reelection) by almost 3000 votes. Kincaid got about 32% of the vote. The issue was a trash collection contract.

Governing Magazine on why state legislative recalls are rare

Here

Monday, November 6, 2017

Nevada: State Senate Recall gets enough valid signatures

The recall against State Senator Joyce Woodhouse (D) has gotten 15444 valids out of 17502 handed in. Petitioners need 15201. However, the Democrats still have a "decline to sign" campaign gathering signatures for removal -- that has a drop-dead date of November 13 to be handed in. The Democrats will presumably be going through the signatures more carefully -- especially trying to weed out any signers who didn't vote in the election last time. The County just did a random sampling of 5% rather than goes through each one. With a small margin for error, this one is going to go for some rounds before we get to the ballot.

The Democrats also have an odd lawsuit that essentially challenges the entire recall law. Nevada's court has a history of being anti-Recall, so maybe there is a chance of that working, but it would seem to be a longshot based on the rest of the country.

South Carolina: Editorial on the Lieutenant Governor's call for a recall law

Here

California: Petitions filed against Calaveras School Board Trustees

Petitions have been started against President Sherri Reusche and trustee Dennis Dunnigan over questions about educational programs. Petitioners would need 833 signatures for Dunning and 830 for Reusche.

Idaho: Western Elmore County Recreation District recall set for November 7

President Art Nelson and Vice President Judy Mayne will be facing a vote on November 7 over the cancellation of a contract to build a recreation center.

Colorado: Rockvale recall set for January 16

The recall of Mayor Dan Schlaak and Trustees Jaylene Lee, Garth Leonard and Linda Grueschow is set for January 16. A former Trustee, Karyn Miller, who is one of the petition leaders complained about the process for getting the petitions approved, describing it as "pull-your-hair-out-crazy."

Issues include the firing of the Town Clerk, violations of the Sunshine Law and misuse of town funds, specifically about a two-day trucking event called "MudFest."

One trustee, Heather Criner, who failed to document the ticket sales resigned on the October 25 meeting rather than face a recall.

Michigan: Full state Appeals Court to hear Townsend selectmen recall appeal

One justice on the state Appeals Court issued an injunction to prevent the recall of Selectman Cindy King on June 19, which was upheld by one judge on the state's highest court (Supreme Judicial Court). The recall of Selectman Gordon Clark was also enjoined. The full panel of the Appeals Court will now be hearing the case.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Michigan: New Language submitted in Albion mayoral recall

A recall effort against Mayor Garrett Brown has been resubmitted -- the original was rejected. The original petition seemed to be about a negative evaluation for the city manager which ed to her letter of resignation, which was then rescinded. The lead petitioners, Chad Baase, lost in the mayoral race last year.

Alaska: Unalaska Mayor petitions approved

Petitions have been approved against Mayor Frank Kelty over an attempt to sole-source a land-use agreement at the Unalaska Marine Center. Petitioners need 168 signatures in 60 days.

California: Newport Beach Councilman turns in signature-withdrawals

Councilman Scott Peotter has handed in 1783 signature-withdrawal signatures over the past few weeks (withdrawals can be handed in incrementally but must come in before the actual signatures for the recall). Petitioners handed in 10688 signatures -- they need 8445 verifieds. Petitioners have reportedly raised $80,000 and Peotter has raised $40,000.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Nevada: A look at the use of the recall in the state

Thanks to GOP efforts against three state Senators, the Silver State is now in the recall spotlight. I’ve written a bit on the history of using recalls to flip a legislative chamber, but I want to focus on Nevada’s peculiar use of the recall and the likelihood of the success in just getting on the ballot.

Nevada is not a big user of recalls – the state has only seen two recalls get to the ballot since 2011, a Storey County Sheriff this year and a Las Vegas Councilman in 2012. Both of those officials survived the vote. There were also at least 17 other attempts to recall an official that failed since 2012.

In 2009, there were two recalls both in the same city, with a split result (one official winning, and one losing). Ballotpedia also notes a 1980 recall. This article notes that there have been 150 attempted recalls since 1993 – that number is presumably coming from the Secretary of State’s office, so that is presumably the amount of times that someone has taken out a petition against an elected official. Most of the time that is both the beginning and the end of the process, as no signatures are handed in to force a recall. A survey of recalls in the 1970s suggested that there were 12 local recalls in Nevada during that decade, which is still more than in the last decade.

No state legislator is reported to have ever faced a recall since the state first adopted the recall in 1912, though there  was an intramural 2015 attempt against three Republican Assemblymembers (including the Speaker) and a state Senator over gun control issues, as well as threats against Governors. The current recall attempts are against Senator Joyce Woodhouse (D), 14412 signatures needed, 17465 turned in; Senator Patricia Farley (Nonpartisan), which needs 7100 signatures, and Senator Nicole Cannizzaro (D) which needs 14108.

The Blocker: Nevada Supreme Court’s Active Rulings Limiting Recalls

Nevada’s Supreme Court has been very active in limiting the recall. This year, the Court ruled that judges are exempt from recalls (in what I consider a very poorly reasoned decision). In 2010, the unanimously ruled that the signatures had to be from people who actually voted in that last election. Being a registered voter is not enough. The voter actually had to be shown that he or she actually cast a ballot in the previous race (the original baseline was actually for a Supreme Court race). This decision overturned a 2009 Nevada law that opened up the signature line to be any registered voter.

Outside of that unusual provision, the rest of Nevada's recall law is standard -- you get 90 days to collect the signatures, and you need 25% of the total turnout when the position was last up for a vote. That means it is all of the voters who came out to vote, not just those who voted for the Senate seat position. This distinction does matter, as there are real drop-offs for down ballot elections (this sites quotes a paper noting a 15% drop-off). So the 25% is harder than many states, like Wisconsin, that require 25% of turnout for that specific race. However, other states (NJ – which also rarely has recalls make the ballot) require the signatures of 25% of registered voters. This is a higher standard than Nevada, though NJ doesn’t require the signers to have actually cast a ballot in the last election.

Ballot Access News' Richard Winger noted that the Nevada's Supreme Court decision arguably violated federal law. Richard (who really knows this area) argues that the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore and elsewhere have held that past votes cannot be used to bar signing petitions or from voting. Since the Nevada decision was not appealed to the federal courts, only a future decision would decide this point.

Signature Failure Rate Comparisons:

The signature failure rates -- meaning signatures tossed out for not conforming to the rules for whatever reason -- vary greatly from state to state. But there does seem to be some intrastate conformity. So in California, 15% failure is not unusual, same with Michigan. But in Arizona and Colorado, we frequently see 40% reject rates. Why this happens is not clear -- could be the law, could be attempts to protect incumbents, or it could be that the county clerks take a much harsher line on signature issues. But it does seem to be a pattern. In Colorado in 2013 we saw a recall that reversed this trend, as petitioners managed to limit the failure rate to 6%, but as a rule, it is a major issue.

It is not clear if Nevada has a high signature failure rate or not. At one point I did assume that it does – one recall had a 38% failure rate – but other recalls suggest that it may not high at all (the Storey County Sheriff's recall petitions had about an 18% failure rate). In that case, the cushion that petitioners have in the state Senate recalls may be enough to clear the bar. Of course, we can expect the Senators’ backers to go through every signature to make sure that they voted last time.

The attempted 2015 recalls against Assembly Speaker John Hambrick and two assembly members, Chris Edwards and Stephen Silberkraus all failed to garner enough signatures – and the requirement for a Hambrick recall on the ballot was low enough (4116) that it would seem to  have been a reasonable bet (obviously, the Senate and Assembly districts have different population sizes). However, that was an intraparty battle, so it may simply have been very difficult to get the signatures. In this case, you have supporters in one entire party that may be excited to sign.

Choosing the Replacement:

Generally, the recall is basically a new election. All the candidates run, and whoever gets the most votes wins (the First Past the Post system). Arizona and Michigan have this type of recall law (Wisconsin has a similar one, but also includes a party primary).

There is one wrinkle that doesn’t really affect the Senate races. If no one enters the race, there is a "for" or "against" recall vote with just the elected official on the ballot. If the official loses, then the replacement is chosen in the "manner provided by law." For the Nevada state legislature, that 
would be a special election, In this case, the elected official who was just removed in the recall vote would probably be able to run again in the replacement special election. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Washington: Black Diamond Councilmember recall approved by State Supreme Court

The recall against Councilmember Pat Pepper has been approved over Open Meeting Act violations, refusals to attend meeting and approve minutes and a failure to enact a 2017 budget.

California: Recall effort being discussed against Santa Barbara County Supervisor

Supervisor Joan Hartmann is hearing recall threats over a vote to develop Camp 4, a parcel of land the Santa Ynez Valley Band of Chumash Indians are looking to for housing and a cultural center.

Minnesota: Tracy Councilman attempts to approve recall election date, but rejected by Mayor; Recall set for February 13

The City Council set the recall of City Councilman Troy Peterson for February 13, but only after Peterson attempted to push a motion to set it himself. The Mayor did not want Peterson to vote on the motion, so he abstained. The petition was signed by 130 registereds and claimed that Peterson overstepped his authority and bullied a former city administrator.

Minnesota's recall law has generally shot down all recalls, but this one does seem to be moving forward.

Virginia: Recall effort started against Charlottesville City Council

Petitions have been taken out against the entire City Council, including Mayor Mike Signer, Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, Councilors Kristin Szakos, Kathy Galvin and Bob Fenwick. Two of them are out regardless at the end of the year, as Fenwick lost his primary race and Szakos is not running again.

New Jersey: Mahwah Mayor facing petitions

The second recall effort against Mayor William Laforet has started over his backing (and then moving away from) an ordinance banning non-NJ residents from township parks. NJ Attorney General filed a suit claiming the effort was aimed at Orthodox Jews.

Laforet faced a recall effort in 2015 over opening of an ice rink. Petitioners need about 4100 signatures to get the recall on the ballot.

California: Los Angeles Councilmember facing recall effort over road diet plan

Petitioners are set to start the recall effort against Councilman Mike Bonin over his road diet plan -- the DOT's removal of 9.4 miles of traffic lanes to prevent pedestrian deaths. Bonin announced in July that lanes would be restored and the plan ended in Vistia del Mar.

Petitioners need 27,000 signatures and claim to have raised over $100,000. Since he was just elected, they cannot start gathering until October. One of the petitioners is Mike Ryavec, who lost to Bonin in the last election in 2017.

Nevada: Signatures handed in against first State Senator

Petitioners handed in 17465 signatures against Senator Joyce Woodhouse (D), they need 14412 -- the Registrar is going to do a hand count, than a random sampling of 5% of signatures to verify that the voters voted in 2016. Presumably Woodhouse's supporters will sample the other 95%.

Democrats have collected 789 declined-to-sign signatures, so that may lower the signature total.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Nebraska: Broken Bow Board of Ed recall request denied by district court judge

A Custer County District Court Judge reject a push to force the Board of Elections to set a recall for Chairman Carl French, with the judge holding that the recall was filed too late. Petitioners handed in 518 valids (they needed 454), but there was a question of the filing of the deadline.

Washington: State Supreme Court okays Yakima County Clerk recall effort

After saying they were dropping the recall effort, a Supreme Court decision has revived the recall attempt against Clerk Janelle Riddle (as well as one against Black Diamond Councilwoman Patricia Pepper). Petitioners need nearly 11000 signatures.

California: Over 10,000 signatures handed in against Newport Beach Councilman

Over 10,688 signatures have been handed in against Councilman Scott Peotter, petitioners need 8445. The issue was Peotter's vote over a condominium project.
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