Group files paperwork to raise funds for possible Stothert recall effort

Group files paperwork to raise funds for possible Stothert recall effort
Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert JULIA NAGY/THE WORLD-HERALD

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert could face a recall effort.

The Coalition to Recall Stothert filed paperwork April 11 with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission to raise funds for a possible recall petition, according to the group’s statement of organization.

The group also requested information from the Douglas County Election Commission about the recall petition process. If organizers decide to file and their petition is accepted, they would have 30 days after picking up the petitions to gather 34,818 local voters’ signatures, Election Commissioner Brian Kruse said.

Backers of the possible recall say they don’t expect to file until this summer. The group’s week-old Facebook page had about 400 followers as of Tuesday afternoon. The page lists a rally scheduled for June.

Heather Aliano, a spokeswoman for the group, said it is recruiting volunteers and getting support from people angry about potholescity trash contract changes and Stothert’s interactions with critics.

“We are just getting off the ground,” Aliano said.

Stothert declined to comment about the group or its efforts.

City Council member Brinker Harding, a fellow Republican, said he had not heard a reason worthy of using the recall process against Stothert. Stothert’s predecessor, Jim Suttle, survived a 2011 recall election after the city raised taxes. Stothert later beat him in the 2013 general election.

Nebraska Democratic Party officials say they’ll probably offer Stothert’s opponents help.

“We haven’t done any organizing on it yet,” said Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party.

Some of the petition’s organizers live outside Omaha, including the group’s treasurer, Eric Scott, who lives south of Harrison Street, in Sarpy County.

He has criticized Stothert online in recent weeks, motivated, he says, by Stothert’s responses to him on Facebook.

Case law allows any registered Nebraska voter to be the principal circulator of a petition drive, Kruse said. But only registered voters in the political subdivision of a recall target can sign the petition — in this case, Omaha.

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