Sunday, October 19, 2014

California: Salinas School Board recall raising funds

Money is flowing into the campaign to recall Salinas School Board member Janet Barnes, with $7980 raised. Barnes' counter-recall has raised $1,539. One of the donors was the school principal who was reassigned by the board. Among the complaints are that Barnes was appointed, and ignored a conflict of interest by reassigning principals that she served under as a teacher.

Petitioner needs 2,291 signatures by October 28. The recall campaign is supposedly paying between $3 (and now $5) per signature.

Colorado: Students pushing Jeffco school board recall over AP US History changes

Jeffco students are looking to organize recalls against the three member school board majority,  Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk,  over changes to AP US History (the changes state that the instructional material presents positive aspects of US history).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayor refuses to sign recall election order

Serious, and expected, shenanigans in Falls River. Mayor Will Flanagan's refused to sign an order allowing his recall to move forward on December 16, claiming it is a violation of his ethical obligation (and of the "canons of ethics of public employee"). The Corporation Counsel said that the recall will be moving forward regardless.

Colorado: Two Pueblo City Council members resign; one still facing recall threats from trash haulers

Facing recall threats, Pueblo City Council President Sandy Daff resigned, following her ally Councilman Chris Kaufman. Councilwoman Ami Nawrocki is still facing a recall (signatures due on October 24). The issue was that three were creating city policy in private, with a major focus on trash collections. Trash haulers were the leaders of the recall effort.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Maryland: Mount Airy Town council shoots down expansion of recall

Mount Airy Town Council voted down an expansion of the recall law (currently it requires seven grounds), though the  town council is also debating an ordinace that will remove it from an oversight role in recall.

However, a change to the ordinance that would eliminate the Town Council’s major role in the recall election will be determined at next month’s meeting Nov. 3.

Non-Recall Op-ed on the NYC Mayor and his wife's Chief of Staff

This ran in the Week

South Carolina: Editorial opposes recall law


Friday, October 3, 2014

Louisiana: Mansfield Mayor facing petitions

Mansfield Mayor Curtis McCoy is being hit with petitions in an effort led by a business owner who apparently does not live in the city. Petitioner claims to have 250 signatures, though they will need 3,016 (33.3% of registereds) in 180 days.

There is a laundry list of issues, including McCoy's purchase of properties that were up for sale due to unpaid taxes. McCoy claims the issue is a 2009 City vote forcing Atkins to remove a mobile home and a shutdown her other business earlier this year.

Colorado: Center School Board members facing petitions

More recalls in Center, as School Board members Phillip Varoz and James Sanchez are now facing petitions over their push to remove the Superintendent.

Florida: Recall attempt against Miami-Dade mayor ends

The effort to recall Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez put on hold, though petitioners are claiming that recent budgetary moves were a concession to them.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Louisana: Second Gonzales Councilman facing December 6 recall

Councilman Timothy Vessel is now joining Gary Lacombe in facing a December 6th recall vote. Petitioners handed in 2188 signatures. Here's some earlier discussion of these recalls.

Georgia: Calls to recall Chatam County Commissioner over boycott calls

Chatham County Commissioner Yusuf Shabazz is facing calls for censure after he pushed for boycotts of convenience stores where someone was shot to death by Savannah police after being arrested on outstanding warrants. In the link article, a columnist calls for Shabazz to face a recall. However, Georgia is much more difficult than this article suggests -- as malfeasance state, petitioners would have to show wrongdoing, and a call for boycott is not likely to meet that standard. It is doubtful that the courts will allow this one to go forward. Here's the steps that the columnist notes:

The next step is up to a judge. The Georgia Recall Act lists five grounds for removing a public official (malfeasance, violating the oath of office, misconduct, failure to perform duties as prescribed by law or misappropriating funds or property). The judge would decide whether one of those standards is met and if the recall could go forward.
If so, the chairman would have to convince at least 30 percent of the registered voters in the 5th District to sign a recall petition. In 2012, this district had 13,360 registered voters. Thirty percent means 4,006 signatures. Once that requirement is met, a special election would be scheduled.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

California: San Diego looks to reform recall law

Following last year's debacle with the San Diego Mayoral recall threats, the City Council to make some basic changes in the law. It will increase the amount of time for signature gathering to 99 days (with no bizarre supplemental period) and call for a recall between 90-180 days (versus the current 60-90 days).

Massachusetts: Two Winchendon Selectmen facing recall threats

Two Winchendon Selectmen, Keith Barrows and Robert O'Keefe, are facing recall threats over their support for the Town Manager, who survived a vote to fire him (the vote was 3-2 to fire, but they needed 4 votes). A former Selectmen Larry Sordoni is leading the charge, claiming the Manager has mismanaged town finances.

Petitioners would need 314 signatures (5% of the registered voters); and then would need 940 signatures (15%) to get on the ballot. They would then need at least 1254 votes total (for and against) to make the vote legal. Since the re-election is in May and there is a 6 months grace period at the end of a term when no recall can be held, petitioners have only two months to get on the ballot.

Idaho: Mica Kidd Island Fire District recall proceeds, despite no illegal executive session

Mica Kidd Island Fire District  Commissioner Chris Shelton is facing a recall in November, thought the reason behind it -- an illegal executive session -- was found not to have been illegal by the DA's office (there was sufficient notice).

South Carolina: New political party proposes recall law

This is the American Party.

California: Sunnyvale Councilman recall doesn't get to the ballot

The recall effort against Sunnyvale Councilman Pat Meyering failed, despite the support of four former mayors. Petitioners only got 4,530 of 8,284 signature. Meyering faces complaints about a belligerent attitude.

Michigan: New Buffalo mayor facing petitions over support for removal of City Manager

Petitions have been filed against New Buffalo Mayor Pete Weber over his support for the removal of the City Manager. Petitions are being reviewed for clarity/factualness.

Nevada: Washoe County School Board targeted for recalls

 Washoe County School District Board members are facing recall threats over a $500,000 buyout of a School Superintendent Pedro Martinez The board is accused of holding illegal meetings. The board claims they started the procedure to get rid of Martinez, after incorrectly hearing that he was not a CPA.

The recall would not start until after the November general election. Trustees Barbara Clark, Barbara McLaury, Lisa Ruggerio, John Mayer, Howard Rosenberg and Logan Carlson all are being threatened (the last board member is not running for reelection).

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Massachusetts: Fall River Mayoral recall moving forward

The recall against Mayor Will Flanagan is now moving forward, with certification of 3,947 signatures. chugs along,

Michigan: Cottrellville Township trustee up for recall in November

Cottrellville Township Trustee Michael Zoran is up for a recall on November 4. His opponent, Matt Kovalcik, is running as a non-partisan candidate because Zoran is automatically put on the ballot as a Republican.

This second statement seems incorrect:

Ethan Flick, political science instructor at St. Clair County Community College, agreed the ballot will be confusing for voters.
"There will be a lot of voters that will circle Zoran thinking that they are circling him to remove him when, in fact, they are voting for him to stay," Flick said. 
Flick said the rationale behind the recall reform legislation was to stop election officials from being removed for baseless reasons. He said the changes in the law pushes toward recalling officials only for "legitimate wrongdoing." 
It took two attempts to get the recall of Zoran on the ballot because the first language filed did not meet new guidelines set by the recall legislation.
The factualness/clarity requirement that was enshrined in Michigan law did not establish a malfeasance standard. Michigan still operates under a political recall law, where officials can be recalled for their political actions.

I also question the first statement -- the vote would be pretty basic. Vote for one guy or the other. Don't think voters will have too many problems adapting to that.

Ohio: Ohio University Student Senate President facing recall

Ohio University Student Senate President Megan Marzec is facing a recall for having students arrested during a student senate meeting. Marzec poured a fake bucket of blood over her head in a video denouncing Israel.

Petitioners need 300 signatures.

Michigan: New law strips Gaines Township officials of election powers during recall

I've discussed in the past how election officials can throw up roadblocks to recalls -- occasionally killing them outright. Michigan's relatively new recall law attempts to change that, and we are now seeing this new law come into effect -- until their November recalls, Gaines Township Clerk Mike Dowler, Supervisor Chuck Melki and Treasurer Diane Hyrman are losing their election duties (Here's a look at what these three recall are about).

Eric Dresden has been doing a great job covering these three recalls -- worth checking out his coverage of this latest development. Eric notes:

Michigan Election Law 167.965 states when there is a recall of an officer with election duties, an impartial public officer must be put into the position.
In a letter Melki sent to Dowler dated Aug. 12, Melki said it was his opinion that Dowler should step away from the election process and that the election commission should step away as well.
I could see this being used as a tactic to remove an official from running an election, but that is probably a risk worth taking.

Just for more fun with the recall, the city is investigating one of the petitioners against Melki for campaign finance violations -- due to her work as a poll worker.

Nebraska: Fremont Mayor, Council members hit with petitions

Fremont Mayor Scott Getzschman (in his first full term) and Councilman Larry Johnson are both facing recall efforts, with petitioner promising to also take out petitions against Council members Kevin Eairleywine, Mike Kuhns and Jennifer Bixby. The other four councilmember seats are up for election in November.
The lead petitioner is LaVern Kucera, who lost a race for primary races for Mayor in 2012 (got 5.6% of the vote in a five person race) and for the city council in 2014 (29.8% in a three person race). He claims that he has a group called the Indispensables, and the issue is a council vote to hold a special election (which lost) asking voters to repeal the housing portion of an illegal immigrant ordinance. 
Petitioner need 35% of turnout in 30 days -- 3526 for the mayor, 783 signatures for the councilman.