A second effort to remove troubled Sheboygan Mayor Bob Ryan is now underway as one alderman suggests putting the issue to a vote. Alderman Kevin Mati Chek has notified the State he intends to circulate recall petitions against Mayor Ryan.

Ryan, an admitted alcoholic, is under fire for a couple of incidents involving alcohol. The most recent occurred last month, when Elkhart Lake police say he instigated a disturbance at a bar there.

In all, Wisconsin voters recalled nine state senators, three Democrats and six Republicans, forcing them to stand for new elections. So far, one incumbent D has been re-elected and four of six Rs have kept their seats, with two GOP senators defeated. The last two districts vote today, with two incumbent Democrats on the ballot against Republican challengers.

SagatuckA a letter from the Michigan ACLU reminded officials in Sagatuck this week that public streets are a public forum where restrictions on free speech are prohibited. The letter comes after two people collecting signatures to recall Gov. Rick Snyder were allegedly told they could not approach or speak to pedestrians on a public sidewalk:

To tell petitioners that they may not speak to pedestrians in Saugatuck is not only incorrect and unconstitutional, it sends a confusing message to residents about their rights.

Complaints from volunteers who say they were stopped from collecting signatures on a petition to recall Gov. Rick Snyder have prompted American Civil Liberties Union officials to write a letter to the city.

Meanwhile, the letter brought strong criticism from City Manager Kirk Harrier, who called the ACLU’s version of the incident false.

The powers that be at the Genesee County Parks Department don’t seem to be familiar with the freedom of speech guaranteed under the First Amendment. Fortunately for Michiganders, the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is.

NE FlagNebraskans’ petition rights have survived another legislative session. With the deadline to make it out of committee passed, no more legislation concerning the initiative process is pending.

MiamiIt’s the greatest municipal recall in US history, and the most significant recall election since California voters ousted former governor Gray Davis in 2003. An astounding 88 percent of voters said Tuesday that they wanted to recall Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez from office. According to the New York Times, voters were angry that the Republican mayor of America’s ninth most populous county raised taxes and increased the salaries of his aids at the height of the recession.

City officials and activists can’t seem to agree on the rules governing a move to recall the elected officials who voted for a $2.50-a-week user fee in Parkersburg. The city claims the deadline to submit petitons passed last week while supporters of the recall effort don’t believe the law contains a deadline:

City Attorney Joe Santer insisted Parkersburg’s charter stipulates that groups seeking to exercise the recall option have 30 days after declaring their intent to do so to gather the necessary signatures. He said the 30-day recall window expired Feb. 14.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe members are currently circulating a recall petition against tribal President Rodney Bordeaux, citing mismanagement of tribal affairs. While Bordeaux defends himself, the Rapid City Journal reports that tribal officials are hampering signature collection efforts:

As new research from shows, electoral recall is being used more frequently by citizens looking to hold government officials accountable. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is the latest recall target.


JindalThe person listed as vice-chair of a committee formed to recall Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal says her husband - the committee’s chair - put her name on the application without permission. Joyce DeCarlo Ceasar says she wants nothing to do with the recall effort initiated by her husband Wednesday.

When asked, state officials indicated that the petitions had already been distributed listing the chair and vice chair, despite Mrs. Ceasar’s objections.

RecallWhile Citizens in Charge works primarily on the rights of initiative and referendum, there is a third process that is important in ensuring citizen control of government. Citizens in eighteen states have the power of recall, whereby elected official can be removed from office before the expiration of their term. When citizens are dissatisfied with their elected officials, they can petition to have a recall election put on the ballot. Removal can be for malfeasance or in many jurisdictions for any action the recall language specifies.

That question will be decided by New Jersey’s highest court - which heard oral arguments in the case Tuesday - and many think the issue will eventually go to the United States Supreme Court.

Several years ago while myself and several other Wisconsin activists were working on the recall of a City of Milwaukee Alderman, the recall effort was going on during a regularly scheduled election so we told the group collecting signatures to stand just outside of the polling locations and approach the voters as they were going in to vote. This seemed like a simple and easy way to gather signatures because all of those going in to vote were residents of the district of the alderman that we were attempting to recall.

The Saginaw News has a piece in which Saginaw Valley State University political science professor Robert W. Lane and several Saginaw-area officials claim Michiganders’ ability to recall elected officials is too powerful and should be weakened.