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March 22, 2012

Bill allowing recalls approved by Senate committee

The Birmingham News reports: A Senate committee today approved a bill aimed at giving Alabama voters the ability to recall public officials if enough people are displeased with their performance. ...

The Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections Committee approved the bill but only after committee members agreed that it would not move on the Senate floor without additional work. ...

The bill by Bedford is a proposed constitutional amendment that if approved by voters would authorize the Alabama Legislature to write a general law addressing the recall of elected state officials.

Bedford's bill provides guidelines that a recall vote could be set if voters, in a number equal to 25 percent of the total votes cast for an office, sign a petition filed with the Secretary of State. A recall also couldn't be done the first year following an election. -- Read the whole story --> Alabama Senate committee approves bill that would allow recall of public officials |

September 20, 2006

9th Circuit holds that recall petitions may be English-only

The Los Angeles Times reports: Recall petitions need to be printed only in English, even when some voters are not proficient in the language, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The federal Voting Rights Act requires ballots and other government-produced election material to be published in other languages if more than 5% of the voters speak a different language.

But in a case involving the Santa Ana Unified School District, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the requirement did not apply to recall petitions written and circulated by citizens.

The court reversed a decision last year by a 9th Circuit panel that said petitions to recall Santa Ana school board Trustee Nativo V. Lopez in 2003 should have been printed in Spanish as well as English. Lopez was recalled by a large margin. -- Ruling Against Santa Ana's English-Only Recall Petitions Is Reversed - Los Angeles Times

January 11, 2006

Louisiana: petition to recall Gov. Blanco

The Advocate reports: A St. Martin Parish voter Tuesday officially launched a drive to recall Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

Kat Landry, a 51-year-old Republican, filled out recall papers with the Secretary of State’s Office.

That started a 180-day period in which Landry must collect nearly 1 million voters’ signatures to force an election to oust Louisiana’s highest elected official.

Many frustrated voters, in print and on radio talk shows, have called for the Lafayette Democrat’s recall because of her response to two devastating hurricanes that she acknowledged have overwhelmed state resources.

But Landry has a high hill to climb. Recall petitions must be signed by at least one-third of the state’s 2.8 million voters to force an election in which voters would decide to either fire Blanco or keep her for the rest of her term. She has already announced intentions to seek a second term in fall 2007. --
Petition to recall governor started

December 7, 2005

Washington: Spokane Mayor recalled

The Los Angeles Times reports: Voters in Spokane removed Mayor James E. West from office Tuesday, capping a tawdry seven-month spectacle in which West fought to keep his job amid charges by several young men that he had pursued them sexually with offers of city jobs and internships.

Ballot counts released just after the polls closed Tuesday night indicated that voters favored ousting West by a margin of about 2 to 1 in the extraordinary recall election.

The Republican mayor, 54, must vacate the office by Dec. 16, when election results are certified. ...

West's troubles included a city-commissioned report that concluded he had broken state law by storing hundreds of images of naked young men on his city-owned laptop, as well as allegations by one City Council member that he told her he had masturbated in his City Hall office. -- Voters Oust Spokane Mayor After 7 Months of Scandal - Los Angeles Times

October 6, 2005

Spokane: Mayor recall ready for balloting

AP reports: A petition to recall Mayor Jim West, who is accused of a sex scandal, collected more than enough signatures to set a special vote-by-mail election in December, a county elections official said Thursday.

West, who is accused of using his office to set up dates with young men, told The Associated Press he will fight the recall attempt by touting the progress Spokane has made under his leadership. -- Recall of Spokane Mayor Heads to Ballot

August 27, 2005

Washington State: Mayor West seeks to block release of his computer info

AP reports: Lawyers for Mayor Jim West, the subject of a recall petition drive over a City Hall sex scandal, have asked a court to block the release of copies of potentially embarrassing contents of computer hard drives.

In a sworn affidavit filed Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court to support the request for a temporary restraining order, West said his city-owned computer's hard drive may contain information relating to "personal social contacts" from his use of the device outside City Hall. ...

West's lawyers want to block release of the city computer drives by the city attorney's office to media seeking to review their contents under the state's Public Records Act.

"I believe the information on the city computer disk is private, not subject to public disclosure, and is exempt from disclosure," West said in his affidavit.

Spokane's computer and e-mail policy states that City Hall computers are for public uses and that state or federal laws may make their data available to citizens. -- AP Wire | 08/26/2005 | Spokane mayor seeks to block computer info

August 25, 2005

Washington State: Supreme Court allows mayor recall to proceed

AP reports: The Washington State Supreme Court yesterday affirmed a judge's ruling that a recall petition against Spokane Mayor Jim West can proceed.

Just hours after lawyers for West argued that the petition by Shannon Sullivan was factually and legally insufficient, the high court affirmed a lower-court ruling that the document bearing a single abuse-of-office allegation could proceed to signature gathering.

Sullivan filed her recall petition in May, shortly after The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane published a series of articles detailing how West a conservative Republican, former state senator and longtime gay-rights opponent had been meeting men online for sex.

Her petition alleges that West used his elected office for personal gain specifically, that West wrote a recommendation letter to help someone he believed to be an 18-year-old man get a City Hall internship. The teen turned out to be a computer forensics expert hired by The Spokesman-Review. ...

Spokane County Elections Supervisor Paul Brandt said it would be very difficult to get the required 12,600 valid signatures in time for an election this fall.

Brandt said the elections office would have to receive the signed petitions no later than tomorrow, because it will need four weeks to verify them and take other steps necessary to get the recall on the Nov. 8 ballot. -- Court upholds recall petition of Jim West

Looks like West got at least part of what he wanted. As Edward Bennett Williams used to say, "A delay is as good as an acquittal, but it doesn't last as long."

July 12, 2005

Washington State: Mayor West does not oppose fast appeal

The Seattle Times reports: Lawyers for Mayor James West say they do not oppose a quick review by the state Supreme Court about whether a recall effort can be fast-tracked in time for the November election.

But West who is embroiled in a sex scandal that includes allegations he offered jobs for sex wants enough time to present briefs and oral arguments, attorneys William Etter and Carl Oreskovich said yesterday in a motion to the Supreme Court.

"Even if the Supreme Court were to issue a decision this summer, it is highly unlikely that 12,600 signatures could be gathered, canvassed and verified in time for the general election on November 8, 2005," the motion said. -- Spokane mayor does not oppose fast review of recall effort

June 28, 2005

Washington State: recall proponents will push for speedy appeal

The Spokesman-Review reports: The Spokane woman who is leading the effort to recall Spokane Mayor Jim West said today she would fight Wests appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Shannon Sullivan also said she would ask the court, which is scheduled to take its summer recess beginning this weekend and not return to hear cases until Sept. 13, to expedite the appeal decision if necessary.

Sullivans press conference today followed Wests Monday announcement that he plans to challenge a Superior Court judges ruling that there is sufficient evidence for a vote to recall him.

Sullivan appeared at the conference with attorneys Mark D. Hodgson and Brant Stevens, who said they will provide legal counsel to Sullivan free of charge although they will not be representing her. Hodgson said he believed the mayor had intentionally delayed the filing of the appeal to coincide with the recess in order to sustain his position, and by extension his financial situation. -- Sullivan will seek to expedite appeal

June 15, 2005

Washington State: Mayor could delay recall petitions by appealing

The Post-Intelligencer reports: It may be months before recall petitions can be circulated by opponents of Spokane Mayor James E. West, who contend he abused his office by offering internships to men he met in a gay Internet chat room.

Should West appeal the move, state election law could delay signature-gathering until at least the fall, and an election until next year, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Even said.

Spokane resident Shannon Sullivan filed recall paperwork after a series of articles in The Spokesman-Review last month alleged that West used his city-owned computer to enter a gay chat room and offer City Hall jobs and perks to men he met there. -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Court schedule could delay Spokane mayor recall effort

June 14, 2005

Washington State: recall petition for mayor OK'd by judge

AP reports: A recall petition against Mayor James West over a homosexual sex scandal can proceed to the signature-gathering phase, a visiting judge ruled yesterday.

Benton County Superior Court Judge Craig Matheson threw out two of the recall charges made against West by Shannon Sullivan, a Spokane resident, but said the allegation that West improperly offered city jobs to prospective dates should be put before voters.

"That to my mind is an improper use of the office," Matheson ruled. -- Activists can collect signatures for recall