Cd'A gets state's vote - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political

Cd'A gets state's vote

Officials expected to meet about recall lawsuit today

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Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - The Secretary of State's office said Tuesday the 75-day timeline for recall petitioners to gather signatures includes the time it takes the Kootenai County Clerk to certify them.

The letter sent by Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said that interpretation is the official position of the state's chief election officer and intended to help clarify a dispute between Kootenai County and the city of Coeur d'Alene in regard to how long signature collectors have to collect signatures in their attempt to oust four city officials.

"Though reasonable minds could differ, it is my interpretation that the 'certified signatures' can have only one meaning, i.e., signatures that have been certified by the County Clerk," the letter signed by Ysursa states.

The letter is the second one sent by the Secretary of State's office to the city and county.

The first letter, sent April 18, said Coeur d'Alene's interpretation of the timeline statute - which included the certification timeline in the 75-day window - was defensible. The second letter sent Tuesday said the city's interpretation is the state's official stance as well.

"This one says it's the interpretation of the office - that's the way it is," said Chief Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst, calling the letter "more forceful or definitive."

Both Coeur d'Alene and Kootenai County asked the Secretary of State's office to issue an official position after the first letter was sent, Hurst said.

Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh and Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes said Tuesday county officials will meet today to discuss whether the letter will affect a pending suit filed by the county. McHugh filed a suit in 1st District Court last week asking a judge to settle the timeline question.

"We're going to meet tomorrow morning and talk about it, but I'd say no," Kootenai County Clerk Cliff Hayes said when asked if the second letter would affect the pending suit.

The question centered around whether the 15 business days the county clerk is allowed to certify petition signatures be included or added to the 75-day window petitioners have to collect them.

At the beginning of April, the Secretary of State's office had said the 15-day certification time frame should be added on top of the 75-day signature gathering period. But it reversed its position after reviewing the statutes governing the recall process in light of Coeur d'Alene's interpretation that the 15 days be included.

Tuesday's letter reiterated that stance.

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  • paulkemp posted at 11:18 am on Wed, May 2, 2012.

    paulkemp Posts: 1

    On the subject of spelling errors, do you know what "pubic" means?

  • JonnyQPubic posted at 9:48 am on Wed, May 2, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    If you can't spell McEuen any and all comments you make about McEuen should be ignored/deleted.

  • I Carry posted at 8:31 am on Wed, May 2, 2012.

    I Carry Posts: 468

    I have been going door to door with the CDA Recall petition few a few days. I'm shocked by the response by about half of the home owners. Several have voiced "If I sign, they will have my name-I don't follow politics-(and the best one) I don't want to get involved."
    Voting is one of our rights from day one of our country. Thousands of our forefathers died to give us the right to vote. I can't see where the Decline to Sign movement will show up on your doorstep with a flaming bag of poo if you up and sign the Recall petition.
    What is the problem with a vote on McKuen? It's just a vote by the citizens on a park. The park is either going to pass or not, and interested parties can go their ways.
    Possibly, supporters of the park are wary of what citizens will do behind the voting booth curtains, and that's why the crys are so loud.
    We just need to vote!!!!

  • ancientemplar posted at 8:03 am on Wed, May 2, 2012.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1228

    Great example for a civics class at Cd'A High school. This is why we have three branches of govn't. The judicial branch to take the bias out of the executive branch and the clean up the ambiguous messes of the legislature. Notice how the SOS skirted the definitive answer? And we're supposed to accept this as the final interpretation. Horsepucky!

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 6:46 am on Wed, May 2, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    Thinking about it, Timberlake Fire Protection District and their recall should join this lawsuit too, this new interpretation effects them.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 6:29 am on Wed, May 2, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    34-1706. EXAMINATION AND CERTIFICATION OF SIGNATURES. All petitions with attached signature sheets shall be filed on the same day with the secretary of state, county clerk, or city clerk, as the case may be. The secretary of state or the city clerk shall promptly transmit the petitions and attached signature sheets to the county clerk. An examination to verify whether or not the petition signers are qualified electors shall be conducted by the county clerk as provided in section 34-1807, Idaho Code. This examination shall not exceed fifteen (15) business days from the date of receipt of the petitions.

    Since the Perfected Petitions must be turned into the city clerk within the 75 days and then "the City Clerk shall Promptly transmit the petitions and attached signature sheets to the county clerk." and only the can the county clerk can start "An examination to verify whether or not the petition signers are qualified electors shall be conducted by the county clerk as provided in section 34-1807, Idaho Code. "

    This is clear that the clock to deliver the petitions and the clock for the examination is clearly different and separated by a "Prompt" time.

    Besides, if the SoS and city were correct, then the Recall in Timberlake ire Protection District was "null and void ab initio in its entirety", because we went over the 75 day clock.
    So the court will have to either declare that recall election Illegal and re-doable and put those elected officials under undo burdens, or use it as precedence for the process.

    And since the "letter in Writing" that went to the petitioners tell the deadline, can not be changed without putting an undo burden on the petitioners, they have standing to sue the City, County and SoS for an expedited court interpretation.

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