Friday, May 29, 2015

Missouri: Editorial opposes Webster Grove Councilman recall attempt

Councilman Greg Mueller is facing threat for the defeat of a proposed tax increase (which was knocked out by 58% of the voters). An article criticizes the prime backer of the recall for claiming that Mueller was responsible for the measure's failure.

UK: Scottish Secretary facing recall threats over leak

Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael is facing a recall threat for authorizing a leak of a memo claiming that the Scottish National Party Leader preferred David Cameron's election and then denying it. Carmichael is facing calls to resign or face a recall.

California: Attempt to recall Contra Costa Supervisor dropped

The Sheriff Associations' attempt to recall Supervisor Karen Mitchoff has been dropped.

Canada: MLA Dalton recall ends in failure, with petitioners blaming Liberal party harassment

Organizers of the MLA Marc Dalton recall are blaming the Liberal party for harassing petitioners, though I assume the Liberal party members would claim that they were exercising free speech to inform possible signers of the other side.

Arizona: Central Arizona College Governing Board facing petitions

Petitions have been filed against Central Arizona College Governing Board members Gladys Christensen, Rita Nader, Rick Gibson and Jack Yarrington after they voted to approve a $105 million budget, including a 45% increase in property taxes (nearly 85 cents).

Petitioners need 2200 signatures against Christensen, 1326 aainst Nader, 2859 against Gibson and 3678 against Yarrington.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Missouri: 2200 signatures collected in Ferguson Mayor recall

Petitioners are claiming that they have enough signatures to get a recall against Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III on the ballot, collecting about 2200. They need 1828, which gives them about a 17% cushion (I believe they have more time to boost that total). Signature rejection rates differ, usually from state. In some states, a 10-15% cushion seems to be sufficient. In others, we've seen 40% failures. I have never seen stats for Missouri, so this could be anywhere on the map.

None of the articles that I've seen mention the question of whether a court might toss out a recall if Knowles challenges it. See here for much more details on this angle. There is strong reason to think that the recall may not be upheld by a court.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Maine: Fight with Somerset County Registrar leads to discussion of recall

Somerset County Registrar of Deeds Diane Godin, who was reelected in November, is in a big fight with the county government, and refuses to authorize her name on official documents (she's been replaced by the Deputy Registrar, who ran against her in the election). Godin is accused of being rude, intimidating employees and not showing up to work. The Commissioners reduced her hours (cutting her salary to a fraction) and there is some debate over whether the county can use a surcharge account without her authorization. There does seem to be some discussion of a recall effort.

Idaho: Settlement reach in criminal charges against Bonner County Clerk

Bonner County Clerk Ann Dutson-Sater, who faced felony perjury charges as part of the failed Lake Pend Oreille school district member Steve Youngdahl recall (over Youngdahl's push to arm teachers), has settled for what is a downgrade to misdemeanor charges. Dutson-Sater allowed an organizer to state that he witnessed all recall petition signatures when he only saw a majority of them. Dutson-Sater (the only Democrat in Bonner County) lost election in November.

Duston-Sater was sentenced to a year probation and a 100 hours of community service.

Minnesota: Editorial in favor of the Willmar recall process

Don't see this everyday, though since Minnesota is a malfeasance standard state, there is little chance of the recall getting to the ballot.

Ohio: Petitions taken out against Cleveland Mayor

Petitions have finally been taken out against Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Petitioners need more than 12,000 signatures in 30 days, plus they get 20 more days if they fail the first attempt.

Washington: Petitions taken out against Port of Vancouver commissioner

Two Port of Vancouver commissioners Jerry Oliver and Brian Wolfe are facing potential recalls over a claim that they violated the open meeting law in a discussion over a nation's largest rail-to-marine oil transfer terminal. This is following a series of articles claiming that the board improperly used close door meetings. Petitioners need 35% of turnout.

Washington has a Judicial recall or "malfeasance standard" where petitioners have to get approval from a Superior Court Judge

Missouri:Webster Groves City Council facing petitions

Webster Groves City Councilman Greg Mueller is being threatened with a recall over his opposition to two school district propositions. Petitioners need 423 signatures by August 25. The election would cost between $12-15K.

New Mexico: Judge tosses out Las Cruces recall effort

Looks like the recall against Las Cruces City Councilors Gill Sorg, Olga Pedroza and Nathan Small, may be coming to an end. Judge Mary Rosner upheld the city clerk's decision to throw out petitions in the face of fraud allegations (757 people requested that their names be removed from the petitions),

The issue was a minimum wage law -- small business owners opposed to the law were seen as the primary backers of the recall effort.

Op-ed in the Orange County Register on Recall of Judges

Here's the op-ed I wrote on the recall of judges in California and nationwide, jumping off from the attempt against Judge M. Marc Kelly.

Here's a couple of key paragraph on the historical data:

The recall of judges in California is so rare that it is not clear when voters last used the device. The most comprehensive book on the early use of the recall, which was written in 1930, notes that four municipal judges and three justices of the peace were recalled and removed. And there has been virtually no mention of a recall of a judge in the state since.
The lack of recalls against judges is not just a California issue. Perhaps the last time the U.S. saw recalls against judges were in Wisconsin, and the subject matter should prove of interest to Kelly’s opponents. In both cases, lower court judges had made incredibly inappropriate comments from the bench against sexual assault victims. In 1977, Judge Archie Simonson was tossed out by voters after both handing down extremely lenient sentencing for a rapist and making negative comments about women and rape victims from the bench. This was followed in 1982 when Judge William Reinecke survived a recall vote after making wildly offensive comments about a 5-year-old sexual assault victim.
Why have recalls against judges not taken off? This hesitation dates back to the modern-day origins of the device. The original adopters had many issues with allowing the recall to be used against judges. The major concern, which is echoed today, is that making judges subject to the quick anger of voters may result in misguided rulings and gun-shy judges.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

California: Football coaching staff changes lead to recall against Kingsburg Board of Ed members

All five of the Kingsburg Joint Union High School District Board, Rick Jackson, Brent Lunde, Johnie Thomsen, Steve Nagle and Mike Serpa. The prime mover seems to be a recent decision to reorganize the football coaching staff.

Wisconsin: Franklin Alderman facing petitions

Not clear why -- but Janet Adams is facing petitions. Here's an op-ed opposing it.

Michigan: Benton Charter Township officials facing petitions

Benton Charter Township Treasurer Debbie Boothby and Township Clerk Carolyn Phillips are both facing petitions for "making decisions behind the taxpayer's back," inclding appointing a township supervisor. Petitioners need 781 signatures. The article is not clear if the language was approved.

Ohio: East Cleveland recall failed again

Another effort (the fourth) against East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton has failed. Petitioners need to handed in 559 valids. They handed in 801 signatures, but only 426 were verified. The claim is that he has mismanaged the city and opposition to his position of annexing the city to Cleveland.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Florida: Bradenton Beach Mayor kicked out

After much drama and lawsuits, Bradenton Beach Mayor William Searon lost to Vice Mayor Jack Clarke (he just resigned to run). Shearon was recalled 182-174, and then lost the replacement race 185-172.

Arizona: South Tucson Mayor ousted

Mayor Paul Diaz lost to Robert Larribas by 59 votes out of 342 cast. Diaz was accused of supporting a proposal to open a residential drug facility across from an elementary school.

California: Errors made in Contra Costa petitions require revisions

Petitions against Contra Costa Supervisor Karen Mitchoff have to be correct, as one the signers is not registered in Mitchoff's district and italics were incorrectly used. Petitioners will have to refile to restart the clock. They need 11,477 in 160 days.

Arizona: More criticism of Superintendent of Education

A longer look at the Dianne Douglas recall proposal.

Arizona: Golden Valley Fire District Board of Directors member loses recall race

Golden Valley Fire District Director Rhoda Brooks was kicked out 414-795 (65.22% against). Earlene Mahar beat her. Turnout was under 21%. Brooks has had a contentious relations with other members of the board and the fire chief.

California: Yuba County Supervisor sends in concise response to recall

This is from Andy Vasquez, and he provides a very quick and concise statement:

"Don't be fooled! If you sign this petition, you're supporting large marijuana growers."

Canada: Protesters call for recall/resignation of NDP MLA

A 10th Grader is organizing an protest of 26-year old NDP MLA Deborah Drever, over what he claims is "maturity" and "forethought" issues. Drever appeared on an album cover of metal band Gatekrasho in a offensive picture and some other offensive photos (smoking pot, flipping off the Canadian flag) on Facebook.