OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Posts Tagged ‘Fullerton Recall’

Elected, Recalled, Elected, Recalled, Elected Again? Don Bankhead Pulls Papers for Fullerton City Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on July 19, 2012

Don Bankhead

Confirming rumors that have been swirling around Fullerton, recalled City Councilman Don Bankhead pulled papers to run for the council in November.

Bankhead is only the second person in U.S. history to have been recalled twice from the same office, and he’s the only person west of the Appalachian Mountains to have achieved this ignominious distinction.

First elected to the Fullerton City Council in 1988, Bankhead ran unsuccessfully for Orange County Sheriff in 1990, was re-elected to the council in 1992, was recalled in June 1994, was elected to the council in November 1994, was re-elected in 1998, ran unsuccessfully for Assembly in 2000, was re-elected to the council in 2002, 2006, and 2010, and then recalled in June 2012.

In other words, Bankhead was on the Council from 1988 until being recalled in June 1994, returned to the Council in November 1994, staying until being recalled in June 2012, and he now seeks to return to the Council in November 2012.

Bankhead wants his council career to be 1988-1994, 1994-2012, 2012-some abstract time in the future.

So far, Barry Levinson, Vivian “Kitty” Jaramillo, Matthew Hakim, Bruce Whitaker, Jane Rands, Bankhead, Travis Kiger, and Jennifer Fitzgerald have pulled papers (in that order).  Whitaker and Kiger are the two incumbents.  Whitaker was elected in the November 2010 general election to fill a two-year seat left vacant when Councilman Shawn Nelson was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, while Kiger was elected in the recall last month. Levinson, Hakim, and Rands all lost bids for council seats in the recall. Jaramillo ran in 2006.  Fitzgerald has not run for the council before.

Can Bankhead win again?  It usually takes about 20% of the vote to win a Fullerton Council seat in a November general election.  In June, 34% of the vote was against the recall.  How much of the anti-recall vote was just a general opposition to recall as opposed to votes in support of Bankhead (considering the three recalls had nearly identical votes)?  How much of that percentage will translate into the general election considering that turnout in November elections is higher than in June elections?  Will a large field of candidates work in Bankhead’s favor, splitting the anti-Bankhead vote?  Only time will tell, but clearly, things are still going to be interesting in the City of Fullerton.

(Now, roll my standard Fullerton disclaimer: In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002, but he was not a target of the 1994 recall that removed Bankhead.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and was not a target of the 2012 recall that removed Bankhead, but he was one of the organizers of the 1994 recall.)

Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Only Two Men Recalled Two Times

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 8, 2012

Twice-Recalled Mayor James W. Holley III of Portsmouth, Virginia, and Twice-Recalled Councilman Don Bankhead of Fullerton, California

The Double Recall Club: Mayor James W. Holley III of Portsmouth, Virginia (1984-1987, 2008-2010) and Councilman Don Bankhead of Fullerton, California (1988-1994, 1994-2012)

On Tuesday, Fullerton voters recalled Councilmen Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Pat McKinley by a 65%-35% margin.

For Bankhead, however, this was not his first recall.  First elected to the Fullerton City Council in 1988, Bankhead was recalled in June 1994 over a utility tax and vacated his seat upon the election of his successor in October of that year (back then, recall elections and replacement elections were held on separate dates, as opposed to today’s model where the recall replacement candidates appear on the same ballot as the recall itself).

Then, Bankhead won election to the Council for a new term in November 1994, just five months after he was initially recalled and just weeks after he vacated office.

So Bankhead’s city council career is 1988-1994 (recalled) and 1994-2012 (recalled).

Many have wondered if Bankhead’s the first politician ever recalled twice from office.

As it turns out, Bankhead is only the second elected official in American history to be recalled twice, and he only missed being first by two years.

The first elected official in American history to be recalled twice is former Mayor James W. Holley III of Portsmouth, Virginia.  (Portsmouth has a population of 95,000 and is in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area adjacent to Norfolk Naval Shipyard.)

Holley was first elected to the Portsmouth City Council in 1968, serving until 1984 when he was elected Mayor (they have a directly-elected mayor, like Anaheim, Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Santa Ana, and Westminster, but unlike Fullerton, which has the mayor’s post rotate among the councilmembers).

Holley was Mayor from 1984 until he was recalled in 1987 due to his involvement in an expense account scandal and his bizarre involvement in sending obscenity-filled hate mail to other Portsmouth leaders.

In 2008, Portsmouth voters returned Holley to the Mayor’s post, but a recall petition was launched in 2009 due to allegations from his mayoral assistant that Holley used her to run personal errands on city time, including shopping for his family and cancelling his subscription to Playboy.

Funded largely by Portsmouth resident Robert Marcus, the recall appeared on the July 2010 ballot, when voters removed Holley by a 2-1 margin.

Wisconsin State Senator Jim Holperin appears to be the sole member of a club that Holley and Bankhead would much rather have joined.  Holperin was subjected to recall elections twice but managed to defeat the recalls both times, once in 1990 and once in 2011.

The exclusive double recall club now consists of Portsmouth Mayor James W. Holley III and Fullerton Councilman James D. “Don” Bankhead.

(Here’s my standard Fullerton recall disclosure [although it’s much less relevant now that the Fullerton recall election is over]: In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002, but he was not a target of the 1994 recall.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and is not a target of the 2012 recall, but he was one of the organizers of the 1994 recall.)

Posted in Fullerton, National | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Recalls in Retrospect

Posted by Chris Nguyen on May 29, 2012

Recalls, 1995-2010

Local recalls in California, 1995-2010

There has been much talk about the chances of the Fullerton recalls passing in the press, on other blogs, and even a little here and here on this blog.  (It is recalls, plural, by the way, since it’s technically three recalls in Fullerton on next week’s ballot, one each regarding Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Pat McKinley.)

I found an interesting study of local election data from California State University, Sacramento.

(All recalls in this post refer to recalls that qualified for the ballot.  Recalls that failed to qualify for the ballot are excluded because they are not relevant.)

According to the CSUS study, in an average year in California, there are 16 local recalls, of which 66% result in the officeholder being recalled from office.  Specifically, there are 2 county-level recalls, 7 city-level recalls, and 7 school district-level recalls in an average year.

The CSUS data shows that from 1995-2010, there were 256 local recalls, of which 175 recalled the elected official and 81 officeholders hung on to defeat the recall election (a 68% removal rate). Specifically, there were:

  • 35 county-level recalls, in which 24 resulted in the recall of the official and 11 officeholders hung on (a 69% removal rate)
  • 116 city-level recalls, in which 80 resulted in the recall of the official and 36 officeholders hung on (a 69% removal rate)
  • 105 school district-level recalls, in which 65 resulted in the recall of the official and 40 officeholders hung on (a 62% removal rate)

Outside the timeframe of the study, 9 out of 9 city councilmembers subject to recall elections were recalled in 2011.  This bumps city-level recalls to a 71% removal rate for 1995-2011.  4 out of 4 school board members defeated their recall elections in 2011, dropping the school district-level recalls to a 60% removal rate for 1995-2011.  There were no county-level recalls that qualified for the ballot  in California in 2011.  The overall rate for all local California recalls for 1995-2011 remains at 68%, the same rate as for 1995-2010.

Narrowing it down to even years (i.e. regular election years):

  • 8 out of 16 county-level recalls succeeded (a 50% removal rate)
  • 55 out of 79 city-level recalls succeeded (a 70% removal rate)
  • 32 out of 43 school district-level recalls succeeded (a 74% removal rate)

The above numbers are statewide.  Looking closer to home, no Orange County recall has failed since 1996.

  • 2010: Capistrano Unified School District
    Mike Winsten was recalled 61.4%-38.6% and replaced with John Alpay.
    Ken Maddox was recalled 61.3%-38.7% and replaced with Gary Pritchard.
  • 2010: Mission Viejo
    Lance McLean was recalled by a 50.1%-49.9% and replaced with Dave Leckness.
  • 2008: Capistrano Unified School District
    Marlene Draper was recalled 69.3%-30.7% and replaced with Sue Palazzo.
    Sheila Benecke was recalled 69.4%-30.6% and replaced with Ken Maddox, who would ironically be recalled himself in 2010.
  • 2003: Santa Ana Unified School District
    Nativo Lopez was recalled 69.3%-30.7% and replaced with Rob Richardson.
  • 2001: Orange Unified School District
    Martin Jacobson was recalled 51.5%-48.5% and replaced with Melissa Taylor Smith.
    Maureen Aschoff was recalled 50.9%-49.1% and replaced with John Ortega.
    Linda Davis was recalled 51.3%-48.7% and replaced with Kathy Moffat.
  • 1996: Dana Point
    Karen Lloreda defeated a recall effort by a 50.6%-49.4% margin.
    Harold Kaufman defeated a recall effort.
  • 1995: Cypress
    Cecilia Age, Gail Kerry, and Walter Bowman defeated their recalls by a 2-1 margin.
  • Not a local recall per se, but in 1995 in Orange County:
    Assemblywoman Doris Allen was recalled 65.2%-34.8% and replaced with Scott Baugh.

Outside the timeframe of the study:

  • In 1994, the voters of Fullerton recalled Councilmembers Don Bankhead, Buck Catlin, and Molly McClanahan, by 52%-48% margins but left the then-elected City Clerk Anne York in office.  Five months after the recall, Bankhead won a new election to the council where he has remained ever since and is now subject to a recall election next week.  If recalled next week, Bankhead would likely be the first person since the inception of the recall ever to be recalled from the same office twice.
  • In 1989, the voters of Fountain Valley recalled Councilman Fred Voss by a 2-1 margin after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for solicitation after he offered $20 to a prostitute, who was actually an undercover police officer.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002, but he was not a target of the 1994 recall.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and is not a target of the 2012 recall, but he was one of the organizers of the 1994 recall.)

Posted in California, Capistrano Unified School District, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Mission Viejo, Orange County, Orange Unified School District, Santa Ana Unified School District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

NOCCC’s Meet the Candidates Night: Central Committee, City Councils (Yorba Linda, Placentia, Fullerton, Anaheim), 3rd Supervisorial District, CD-45

Posted by Chris Nguyen on April 13, 2012

North Orange County Conservative CoalitionThe North Orange County Conservative Coalition held a meet the candidates night last night in Anaheim Hills.  By my quick crowd estimate, I believe 75-100 people were present.

Desare’ Ferraro organized the meeting which was guest emceed by Orange County Register writer Brian Calle.  Calle also brought the students from the “Mass Media Ethics” course he teaches at Cal State Fullerton.

Deborah Pauly and John Webb were crowd pleasers.  Todd Spitzer sent a video camera to film Pauly.

I was shocked to see John Leos speak.

Here’s a run down of the remarks by various candidates (please note that I am paraphrasing what the candidates said; I haven’t run a fact-check on the numerical data several of them asserted; also, I was attempting to write as fast as candidates spoke, so apologies to any candidates for incorrect transcriptions; please feel free to comment below with corrections).

Central Committee

Oddly, candidates for the Republican Party Central Committee did not get a chance to speak.  They were only introduced by Calle, stood as a group at the front, and then sat back down.

The Central Committee candidates present were:

55th District

  • Jim Domen
  • Desare’ Ferraro
  • Connie Lanzisera
  • Robert Lauten
  • Brenda McCune (our OC Political blogger)
  • Dennis R. White

65th District

  • Greg Sebourn
  • Pat Shuff

68th District

  • James Brownfield
  • Deborah Pauly
  • Nick Wilson

There was a 12th candidate present, but I did not catch the candidate’s name, and the candidate failed to sign in on the NOCCC’s candidate sign-in sheet.

Yorba Linda City Council

After the Central Committee mass introduction, the first speakers were candidate for the Yorba Linda City Council.

Incumbent Councilwoman Nancy Rikel spoke first.  She spoke of her successful efforts on Measure B (any major zoning change that exceeds housing densities in Yorba Linda’s current zoning and/or General Plan must be approved by a majority vote), her battles against eminent domain, and her efforts to pass an ethics measure.  In response to a question from the audience, she described the process to determine Yorba Linda’s police contract.

Candidate Jim Domen spoke second.  He spoke of his co-founding of NOCCC.  He also described how he became President of his homeowners association.  He felt it was analogous to government: before his presidency, the HOA kept raising dues, similarly to the government raising taxes; during his presidency, he opposed raising dues and used his business experience to cut spending, as government should cut spending instead of raising taxes.  He also spoke of his background as a Yorba Linda native and his international business and economics education.  In response to a question from the audience, he stated that he supported doing price comparisons between different police agencies in determining the Yorba Linda police contract.

Placentia City Council

Incumbent Councilman Jeremy Yamaguchi (currently serving as Mayor) made a joke about his council service giving him gray hair (he’s 23), and then spoke of his record fighting for fiscally conservative policies, protection of private property, reduction of business regulations, and holding the line against unions.  He noted his battle against a strange proposal to regulate Placentia garage sales and against borrowing money for a parking structure for the Placentia train station for a train that doesn’t yet exist.  In response to a question from the audience, he stated the only Councilmember to not vote for forming an Economic Development Commission was Connie Underhill, who he noted had been on the Placentia City Council for nearly his entire life.

Fullerton Recall Candidates

Greg Sebourn, who is running in the race to replace Don Bankhead, spoke of the illegal water fee that spiked residents water bills by 10%, which went to the general fund.  He stated that 80% of the general fund goes to employee pensions, salaries, and benefits.

Barry Levinson, who is running in the race to replace Pat McKinley, spoke of how ill-prepared recall targets Bankhead, McKinley, and Dick Jones seem at meetings; it seems to him that the trio don’t even read their council agendas before showing up to meetings.  He spoke of a Stanford study that found Fullerton’s unfunded pension liability is $500 million.  He spoke of Fullerton being targetted by a dozen lawsuits that could cost the city $100 million, thanks to McKinley (police chief until shortly before he ran for Council) and the Fullerton Police Department.  He noted those two figures totaled $600 million, while Fullerton’s general fund is $65 million.

Rick Alvarez, who is running in the race to replace Don Bankhead, spoke of his family’s immigrant background.  He said he is running as a uniter not a divider.  He also noted he is a Planning Commissioner and Traffic Commissioner.

Anaheim City Council

Brian Chuchua spoke of his opposition to the plan to permit the GardenWalk Hotel to retain $158 million (80%) of the transient occupancy tax (TOT) the hotel collects while the City does not allow any other hotel to do the same.  He stated the transient occupancy tax is 43% of Anaheim’s general fund.  He said he was removed as an Anaheim Chamber Ambassador due to this position on this issue.  In response to a question from the audience, he said he is opposed to the high-speed rail project.

I was shocked by who spoke next.

John Leos opened with, “Talk about walking into the lion’s den.”  He noted that his family immigrated to Anaheim 100 years ago.  He graduated from Canyon High School (author’s note: Emami and I are also Canyon grads), which is literally a block away from the site of the NOCCC meeting.  He stated he is a labor union member, and labor is very divided on the $158 million GardenWalk Hotel TOT plan, but that Leos himself opposed the plan.

Third District Supervisor

While being filmed by a representative of the Todd Spitzer campaign, Deborah Pauly spoke to the NOCCC.  She stated the Board of Supervisors needs “at least one limited government fiscal conservative who represents the people.”  She then noted the cameraman, stared straight into the camera and declared her opponent to be a “retread, big government, special interest career politician.”  She pointed to Spitzer’s brochure which has the word integrity right under his picture and stated his consultant believed Spitzer has an intergrity problem.  She stated Spitzer waves around a flyer showing he got an “A” rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association during his tenure in the Assembly, but she stated Spitzer sent a $1000 check to to get their endorsement, but the check was refused, as the HJTA “cannot be bought.”  She then showed a letter from HJTA endorsing her, not Spitzer, for the Third Supervisorial District seat.  She noted in December 2001 that Spitzer not only voted for 3%@50, but he actually made the motion to pass 3%@50 during his previous stint as Supervisor.  She disputed his statements that no one understood the costs of 3%@50 at the time, as she pointed to a November 2001 actuarial report that was in the Board of Supervisors agenda that she stated warned about the costs of implementing 3%@50.

In response to a question from the audience about the well-known video of her speaking in Yorba Linda, Pauly said she was not speaking about “peaceful moderate Muslims” but of two specific men from the Muslim brotherhood, including Malik Ali.

In response to a question from the audience, she noted that Supervisors John Moorlach and Shawn Nelson had not endorsed either candidate in the Third Supervisorial District and that Supervisors Pat Bates and Janet Nguyen endorsed Spitzer because “apparently, they like money.”

In response to a bizarre question from the audience about the Republican Party equalizing funding for candidates to stop multimillionaire candidates (author’s note: I think the audience member mistakenly thought the $1 million Spitzer warchest was Spitzer’s personal wealth rather than the fact that Spitzer raised all of that money and is not independently wealthy), Pauly stated Scott Baugh was “falling all over” himself to endorse Spitzer.  Pauly noted that voters don’t like the feeling of being purchased in an election.  She praised the Stop Special Interest Money Now ballot initiative.

In response to a question from the audience, Pauly stated she has not decided on Laura’s Law, as there needs to be a balance between helping people with great need and the potential to abuse the law with false mental health allegations.

Spitzer’s cameraman spoke next, stating he’s a volunteer.  He spoke of Spitzer helping his family on a crime issue.  He stated that he (the cameraman not Spitzer) is a Coptic Christian and that the Muslim Brotherhood is in Egypt not the United States.  He stated Spitzer was speaking at the Mission Viejo Tea Party on Monday (a Tea Party Patriot organizer in the audience shouted out it was a false tea party) and invited NOCCC to attend.  The cameraman also invited the audience to attend Spitzer’s open house on Tuesday.

In response to a question from the audience, the cameraman could not confirm or deny if Spitzer would serve a full four-year term.

In response to a question from the audience, the cameraman stated Spitzer was not present due to a scheduling conflict with a long-scheduled open coffee in Irvine.

45th Congressional District

John Webb spoke of his goal of changing the tax structure, restraining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and supporting energy independence to ensure “no more wars for oil.”

In response to a question from the audience, Webb said he is personally opposed to the California Air Resources Board, calling it a bad idea from the 1960s when “we smoked dope.”  He, however, stated he was for states’ rights, implying Congress should not interfere with CARB.

In response to a question from the audience, Webb stated that if elected, he would be the sole member of Congress from Orange County who has combat experience.  He cited his military record, his record as a robbery/homicide detective, and his business record.  He stated President Barack Obama has committed impeachable offenses.

In response to a question from the audience, he stated the differences between himself and incumbent Congressman John Campbell is that Campbell voted fro TARP, Cash for Clunkers, and Sarbanes-Oxley expansion while Webb would have voted against those actions.  Webb also stated Campbell was one of only two Congressmen to vote against the STOCK Act.  Webb also said he heard a rumor that Campbell introduced legislation to control the type of bait used in Montana.

In response to a question from the audience, Webb said he would do not just town hall meetings but would go to voters’ homes.

In response to a question from the audience, Webb said he would fly on commercial airlines between Washington, DC and Orange County if elected, very likely on Southwest Airlines.

U.S. Senate

Robert Lauten spoke about wanting to revive the Glass-Steagall Act, to declare U.S. debt fictional, to implement a Hamiltonian economic system, and wanting to abolish the Federal Reserve.  He also accused “State Treasurer Richard Citron” of causing the 1994 Orange County bankruptcy (author’s note: for the record, it was County Treasurer-Tax Collector Robert Citron).

The audience looked at Lauten like he was completely nuts.

Wrap Up

All of the above was done in 90 minutes.  The program was slated for 60 minutes and was running on schedule until the Third Supervisorial District and 45th Congressional District ran over time and took up nearly half the program.

(Disclaimer related to Fullerton recall section above: In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and is not a target of the recall.)

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, 45th Congressional District, Anaheim, Fullerton, Placentia, Republican Central Committee, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Will the Fullerton Recall Succeed?

Posted by OC Insider on April 5, 2012

In OC Republican circles, the group consensus seems to be that the success of the Fullerton recall is a foregone conclusion. But is it?

Tony Bushala, the Fullerton developer and owner of the Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog, has spent at least $173,000 ($20K of it from his brother George) to qualify the recall against Fullerton councilmembers Don Bankhead, Dick Jones and Pat McKinley. Due to the timing of when Bushala turned in the signatures, the recall and replacement special elections will be consolidated with the June 5 primary.

Bushala has formed a new committee, Fullerton Residents for Reform, which will be the funding vehicle through which he pays for mail supporting his chosen candidates.

It’s easy to understand why people think the recall is a foregone conclusion: Bushala is a multi-millionaire who is completely focused on the recall, is willing to spend huge sums on it, and the recall targets are old and tired. Plus, there seems to be grass roots support for the recall.

On the other hand, there may be some wishful thinking by recall supporters. Generally speaking, it’s unlikely voters will recall local elected officials like councilmembers, especially ones they’ve been returning to office for years, unless they a) believe there is something seriously wrong with their city and b) voting for a recall will solve the problem(s).

Fullerton is a great and desirable place to live, and I’d be surprised is a majority of voters there think the city is in bad shape, let alone the train wreck recall supporters make it out to be. Plus, leading indicators of a genuine grass-roots campaign are missing. Many of those who show up for recall events or to harangue the council are from outside Fullerton, and outside Orange County. Grass roots would show up in the form of Fullerton residents making donations, small or large, to the recall campaign, yet a review of the campaign finance disclosures show only two Fullerton donors whose last name isn’t Bushala.

Look at it another way. Their genuine outrage at the tragic and senseless killing of Kelly Thomas aside, Bushala and his group took advantage of that situation to basically get a do-over of the 2010 council elections. The primary issues cited by recall supporters are the Kelly Thomas killing and a decades-old 10% water surcharge that turns out to be illegal.

The District Attorney is prosecuting two Fullerton policemen for murdering Thomas and the city’s movement to end the 10% water surcharge let a lot of the air out of those issues. As far as most voters who pay attention to city government see it, those issues are more or less being resolved, weakening the case that the solution is recalling Bankhead, McKinley and Jones.

Recalls are hard to win. In 2001, three Orange Unified School District trustees (one of whom was under house arrest) were recalled, but only after years of controversy and district actions generated wide-spread parent dissatisfaction. Parents organized and teamed with the teachers union to qualify a recall. Even so, the three trustees were recalled by very narrow margins, even though they didn’t work very hard to save their seats.

There are some similarities between the Fullerton recall and the 2010 recall of Mission Viejo Councilman Lance MacLean. In Mission Viejo in 2009, a vocal group of council critics initiated a recall against MacLean in 2009, in hopes of replacing him with one of themselves. Their signature gathering met with slow going and ultimately one of the recall leaders spent thousands of dollars to hire professional circulators to get it on the ballot. The recall election was held in February 2010. MacLean, who only campaigned actively to against his recall in the last few weeks, was recalled by a paper-thin margin of 19 votes out of 14,721 cast. And even that was rendered moot when recall leader Dale Tyler was defeated in the replacement election by Dave Leckness.

The Fullerton recall campaign leaders may have made a major strategic error by submitting their signatures almost a month before the February 16 deadline. If they had waited until that date, the recall/replacement elections would have been a stand-alone special election, probably in July, in which the low-turnout would tilt the odds in favor of the recall. Instead, the recall has been consolidated with the June primary, in which voter turn-out is expected to be in the mid-40 percent. Turn-out in a stand-alone special election would be half that.

The OUSD and Mission Viejo recalls were stand-alone special elections, in which voter turn-out was 21% and 23.9%, respectively. In both cases, the recalls only narrowly succeeded against politically inept incumbents who only sluggishly contested their recalls.

Which is another similarity with the Fullerton recall, one that argues in favor of its success. Dick Jones, Don Bankhead or Pat McKinley don’t appear to be working very hard to save their seats. Jones’ council term ends this December, so he may not care one way or another. Fullerton voters recalled Bankhead in October 1994, and then voted him back on the council a few weeks later, so he’s probably adopting a que sera, sera attitude toward the whole business.

Even if all three councilmembers are recalled, there’s no guarantee they will be replaced by recall supporters. Their best shot is in the Dick Jones seat, where Friends for Fullerton Future blogger and close Bushala ally Travis Kiger is running. Kiger has some big advantages: he can use his planning commissioner title, and he is the only replacement candidate in that seat who paid for a candidate statement in the sample ballot. If Jones is recalled, Kiger is almost certain to replace him.

A number of candidates who ran and lost for Fullerton Council in 2010 are running in the other two replacement elections. Running in the Bankhead seat is Greg Sebourn, a Bushala ally who finished a fairly distant fourth in the 2010 council election. Also running is a Rick Alvarez, who is more or less the establishment candidate. We’ll see if Alvarez can run a strong campaign, and whether Sebourn will run a better campaign than in 2010.

In the McKinley seat, the replacement candidates include Doug Chaffee, Barry Levinson and Matthew Rowe. Chaffee is a Democrat and establishment-type who fell only 90 votes short of being elected to the council in 2010. Levinson is more of Tea Party-type who finished 5th in 2010 with 10.6% of the vote. Rowe is a young-ish, conservative Iraq War veteran.

Even if voters support all three recalls, recall supporters may win only one of the seats. With the exception of Chaffee and Levinson, none of the replacement candidates have shown much ability to raise or loan themselves meaningful campaign warchests. At the end of the day, the election prospects of Kiger, Sebourn and either Levinson or Rowe will largely depend on how money Tony Bushala spends on their behalf through his Fullerton Residents for Reform independent expenditure committee.

All in all, it’s premature to conclude the recalls of Bankhead, Jones and McKinley are sure things. Odds of a successful recall are probably, at this moment, about 50-50.

Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »

Filing Recap: OC Dems’ Worst-Case Scenario Thanks to OCGOP Coups; AD-72 in Disarray; Spitzer, Pauly, & Rocco; Fullerton Recall Lineup Set; State Senate Races

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 12, 2012

Whole Lot of Candidates

Robert Hammond, Tom Daly, Michele Martinez, Julio Perez, Paco Barragan, Long Pham, Troy Edgar, Travis Allen, Joe Dovinh, Allan Mansoor, Leslie Daigle, Robert Rush, Albert Ayala, Todd Spitzer, Deborah Pauly, Janet Nguyen, and Steve Rocco. Not pictured for space considerations: Matt Harper, Tyler Diep, Bob Huff, Greg Diamond, Mimi Walters, Steve Young, and the 13 Fullerton Recall Candidates

Friday was such a busy candidate filing day that we still haven’t finished all our coverage of candidate filing action here on OC Political, but for those of you who weren’t reading over the weekend, here’s a quick rundown/annotated table of contents of what we’ve covered so far:

The big news that dominated our coverage was the AD-69/AD-72/OCBE chaos:

  • OC Democrats’ Worst-Case Scenario Comes True: Coups Benefit Republicans in AD-69 & AD-74
    Republicans had long feared an all-Republican battle between Assemblyman Allan Mansoor and Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, which would eat up Republican human and financial resources in both June and November.  There were further fears that Democrats would cast their votes for Daigle to oust the more conservative Mansoor.  These fears proved unfounded when Democrat Robert Rush qualified for the ballot.
    However, the scenario Republicans feared in AD-74 became the scenario Democrats face in AD-69.  Republican Robert Hammond pulled out of the AD-69 race, leaving four Democrats to face only each other in a bloody intra-party battle in June.  Then the top two of those four will face each other again in a bloody intra-party battle in November.  AD-69 will eat up Democratic human and financial resources in November when they could have been spending their time, energy, and money battling Republicans.
    (Prop 14 made this possible by eliminating traditional primaries, and requiring the top two candidates from the June primary to advance to the November general election, even if they’re from the same party, even if someone broke 50% in June, and even if there were only two candidates in June.)
  • Hammond Enters OCBE Race & Withdraws from AD-69, Producing OC Democrats’ Worst-Case Scenario
    Republican Robert Hammond withdrew from the AD-69 race to enter the race for Orange County Board of Education, Trustee Area 1.  It was Hammond’s withdrawal from AD-69 that left Democrats in a bloody intra-party war in November, locking up Democratic resources to attack Democrats instead of Republicans.  OCBE 1 is held by conservative Republican Long Pham, who made all this possible by vacating his seat to run for AD-72.
  • AD-72: Five Candidates (Two Democrats, Three Republicans) Running
    The Republicans in the AD-72 race are OCBE Trustee Long Pham, Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar, and Huntington Beach Businessman Travis Allen.  The Democrats are Garden Grove Planning Commissioner Joe Dovinh and 89-year-old Tea Party Democrat Albert Ayala.
  • Matt Harper opts out of 72 AD race
    Not among the candidates was Huntington Beach Councilman Matt Harper who announced his withdrawal on the final day of filing.  Just five weeks ago, the Republican line-up in AD-72 was expected to be Harper, Long Pham, and Westminster Councilman Tyler Diep.  Now Harper and Diep are out, replaced by Troy Edgar and Travis Allen.
  • Bizarre Travis Allen Strategy in AD-72: Alienate Non-Huntington Beach Voters and Declare Los Alamitos to Be “Foreign”
    With Matt Harper out and Travis Allen jumping in the race in the final days of filing, Allen certainly made a splash, with a pair of bizarre press releases that attacked Harper for endorsing “Foreign Candidate” Troy Edgar.

After all the AD-69/AD-72/OCBE chaos, how could we forget the legendary Spitzer-Pauly showdown?  And Steve Rocco!

  • Board of Supervisors: Two Crazy Races on the Docket
    The well-anticipated fiery battle for the Third Supervisorial District is proceeding as expected, with former Assemblyman/Supervisor Todd Spitzer and Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly facing off.  I don’t think Supervisor Janet Nguyen will object to being known as the boring candidate in her race, as her sole challenger is convicted ketchup thief Steve Rocco.  (For the record, I am not related to Supervisor Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)

Wait, there’s more!  The Fullerton Recall!

  • Battle for Fullerton: The Field is Set
    Thirteen candidates have filed for the three seats up for recall. Rick Alvarez (R), Janes Rands (G), Greg Sebourn (R), and Paula Williams (D) have filed to replace Don Bankhead.  Dorothy A. Birsic (R), Glenn P. Georgieff (D), Matthew Hakim (D), Travis Kiger (R), and Roberta Reid (NPP) have filed to replace Dick Jones.  Doug Chaffee (D), Barry Levinson (R), Sean Paden (R), and Matthew Rowe (NPP) have filed to replace Pat McKinley.

Still more…

We’re still not done with our candidate filing coverage, but at least, now, dear reader, you’re caught up.

I give South OC the award for most boring region in the 2012 Primary.  Things are much more interesting in the North OC and Central OC campaigns.  Fear not, South OC, I anticipate fun from you in the 2014 Primary to replace termed-out Supervisor Pat Bates unless Senator Mimi Walters decides to ruin it all by entering and clearing the field for herself, assuming Assemblywoman Diane Harkey continues on her path to the Board of Equalization.

Posted in 1st Supervisorial District, 29th Senate District, 37th Senate District, 3rd Supervisorial District, 69th Assembly District, 72nd Assembly District, 74th Assembly District, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Orange County Board of Education, Rossmoor, Santa Ana, Seal Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Battle for Fullerton: The Field is Set

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 10, 2012

Fullerton City Council Meeting(UPDATED SUNDAY 3/11 7:40 PM with most of the missing ballot designations.)

I realize I promised a post before midnight; I hope you’ll forgive five minutes delay.

In the Fullerton recall, voters will decide whether or not to recall City Councilmen Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Pat McKinley.  Each man’s recall is technically a separate race.  (I explained the logistics of the election in this post, as some of you may have read.)  Since each recall is technically a separate race, candidates had to pick one seat to run for.  (The Elections Code prevents them from running for more than one of the three seats at a time.)

So here’s a look at the candidates…

Running for Bankhead’s seat:

  • Rick Alvarez (R)Ballot Designation Not Yet Released by County Registrar or City Clerk Businessowner/Planning Commissioner
    A Fullerton Transportation & Circulation Commissioner, Alvarez originally pulled papers for all three seats.
  • Jane Rands (G) – Systems Engineer
    The Chair of the Fullerton Bicycle Users Subcommittee and Treasurer of the Green Party of Orange County, Rands originally pulled papers for all three seats.  She ran for the State Assembly in 2010.
  • Greg Sebourn (R) – Businessman/Educator
    The Chair of the Fullerton Citizen’s Infrastructure Review Commission and Assemblyman Chris Norby’s Alternate on the Republican Central Committee, Sebourn originally pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.
  • Paula Williams (D) – Public Employee
    Williams only pulled papers for this seat.

Running for Jones’s seat:

  • Dorothy A. Birsic (R) – Ballot Designation Not Yet Released by County Registrar or City Clerk
    Birsic only pulled papers for this seat.
  • Glenn P. Georgieff (D) – IT Specialist
    A former Fullerton Library Trustee, Georgieff only pulled papers this seat.
  • Matthew Hakim (D)Ballot Designation Not Yet Released by County Registrar or City Clerk Musician, Artist
    Hakim only pulled papers for this seat.
  • Travis Kiger (R) – Fullerton Planning Commissioner
    A Fullerton Planning Commissioner and blogger at Friends for Fullerton’s Future, Kiger only pulled papers for this seat.
  • Roberta J. Reid (NPP) – Student
    Reid originally pulled papers for all three seats.

Running for McKinley’s seat:

  • Doug Chaffee (D) – Business Attorney
    A former Fullerton Planning Commissioner, Chaffee pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.
  • Barry Levinson (R)Ballot Designation Not Yet Released by County Registrar or City Clerk Parks and Recreation Commissioner/Auditor
    A Fullerton Parks & Recreation Commissioner, Levinson pulled papers for all three seats. He ran for the City Council in 2010.
  • Sean Paden (R)Ballot Designation Not Yet Released by County Registrar or City Clerk Construction Attorney
    Paden only pulled papers for this seat.
  • Matthew Rowe (NPP) – Aerospace Project Manager
    Rowe orignally pulled papers for all three seats.

Tune in to OC Political after 6:00 AM for the wackiness of Central Committee and the partisan offices.

(As you might note, I’ve played it straight, reporting just the facts on this post, rather than doing any analysis.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and is not a target of the recall.)

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Battle for Fullerton: Thirteen Pull Papers for Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on March 8, 2012

Fullerton City Council MeetingThe Fullerton recall elections will be on the same day as the June 5 Primary.  Fullerton voters will decide whether or not to recall Republican City Councilmen Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Pat McKinley.  I blogged about the recall here last week.

Here’s an update on the Fullerton Council candidates (thus far) in the recall replacement elections…

  • Richard Albarran: Registered as No Party Preference (Decline-to-State in the pre-Prop 14 parlance), Albarran pulled papers for all three seats.
  • Rick Alvarez: A Republican Fullerton Transportation & Circulation Commissioner, Alvarez pulled papers for all three seats.
  • Douglas Chaffee: A Democrat and former Fullerton Planning Commissioner, Chaffee pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.
  • David De Leon: A Republican, De Leon pulled papers for all three seats.
  • Glenn Georgieff: A Democrat and former Fullerton Library Trustee, Georgieff filed papers for Jones’s seat.
  • Matthew Hakim: A Democrat, Hakim pulled papers for Jones’s seat.
  • Travis Kiger: A Republican Fullerton Planning Commissioner and blogger at Friends for Fullerton’s Future, Kiger pulled papers for Jones’s seat.
  • Barry Levinson: A Republican Fullerton Parks & Recreation Commissioner, Levinson pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.
  • Jane Rands: The Chair of the Fullerton Bicycle Users Subcommittee and Treasurer of the Green Party of Orange County, Rands has filed papers for Bankhead’s seat.  She ran for the State Assembly in 2010.
  • Roberta Reid: A student registered as No Party Preference, Reid has filed for Jones’s seat.
  • Matthew Rowe: Registered as No Party Preference, Rowe has pulled papers for all thre seats.
  • Greg Sebourn: The Chair of the Fullerton Citizen’s Infrastructure Review Commission and Assemblyman Chris Norby’s Alternate on the Republican Central Committee, Sebourn pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.
  • Paula Williams: A Democrat, Williams pulled papers for Bankhead’s seat.

In a nutshell, here’s what it looks like…

9 possible candidates for Bankhead’s seat:

  • Richard Albarran (NPP)
  • Rick Alvarez (R)
  • Douglas Chaffee (D)
  • David De Leon (R)
  • Barry Levinson (R)
  • Jane Rands (G)
  • Matthew Rowe (NPP)
  • Greg Sebourn (R)
  • Paula Williams (D)

11 possible candidates for Jones’s seat:

  • Richard Albarran (NPP)
  • Rick Alvarez (R)
  • Douglas Chaffee (D)
  • David De Leon (R)
  • Glenn Georgieff (D)
  • Matthew Hakim (D)
  • Travis Kiger (R)
  • Barry Levinson (R)
  • Roberta Reid (NPP)
  • Matthew Rowe (NPP)
  • Greg Sebourn (R)

7 possible candidates for McKinley’s seat:

  • Richard Albarran (NPP)
  • Rick Alvarez (R)
  • Douglas Chaffee (D)
  • David De Leon (R)
  • Barry Levinson (R)
  • Matthew Rowe (NPP)
  • Greg Sebourn (R)

Candidate filing for the Fullerton Recall ends on March 9, the same deadline as most other offices on the June Primary ballot.

(As you might note, I’ve played it straight, reporting just the facts on this post, rather than doing any analysis.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and is not a target of the recall.)

Posted in Fullerton | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Battle for Fullerton: Rands, Reid, Kiger, Sebourn, Georgieff, and Anonymous Candidate Pull Papers for Council

Posted by Chris Nguyen on February 27, 2012

Fullerton City Council MeetingOn Tuesday, the Fullerton City Council voted to consolidate the recall elections with the June 5 Primary.  Fullerton voters will decide whether or not to recall Republican City Councilmen Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Pat McKinley.

Fullerton’s voters will also vote on replacements for each councilman should one, two, or all three of the recalls succeed.  (Remember, the recalls are not an all-or-nothing proposition.  The recalls of Bankhead, Jones, and McKinley are technically three separate elections, so it is possible that rather than all three surviving or all three being recalled, one could survive with two recalled or two could survive with the other recalled.)  Most people do expect an all-or-nothing result since the recalls seek to remove the three for the same reason, but that doesn’t necessarily have to happen.

In November, the other two councilmembers, Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva and Republican Bruce Whitaker, are up for election.  If his recall fails, Jones is up for election in November.  If his recall succeeds, Jones’s replacement is up for election in November.

If their respective recalls fail, Bankhead and McKinley are each up for re-election in 2014; if their respective recalls succeed, their respective replacements are each up for re-election in 2014.

Now, here’s a look at the Fullerton Council candidates (thus far) in the recall replacement elections…

Wednesday, February 22 was the first day Fullertonians could pull papers to run in the recall replacement elections.  On that day, two candidates pulled papers:

  • Jane Rands: The Chair of the Fullerton Bicycle Users Subcommittee and Treasurer of the Green Party of Orange County, Rands pulled papers for all three seats.  She ran for the State Assembly in 2010.
  • Roberta Reid: Registered as No Party Preference (Decline-to-State in the pre-Prop 14 parlance), Reid pulled papers for all three seats (but filed for Jones’s seat the following day).

On Thursday, February 23, two more candidates pulled papers to run:

  • Travis Kiger: A Republican Fullerton Planning Commissioner and blogger at Friends for Fullerton’s Future, Kiger pulled papers for Jones’s seat.
  • Greg Sebourn: The Chair of the Fullerton Citizen’s Infrastructure Review Commission and Assemblyman Chris Norby’s Alternate on the Republican Central Committee, Sebourn pulled papers for all three seats.  He ran for the City Council in 2010.

On Friday, February 24, one candidate pulled papers:

  • Glenn Georgieff: A Democrat and former Fullerton Library Trustee, Georgieff pulled papers for Jones’s seat.

Oddly, the candidate filing log notes, “In addition, one person has pulled papers for all three seats, but has not yet provided contact information.” (The bolding is in the original log and was not added by me.)  This anonymous candidate will need to reveal himself/herself by the close of filing, of course.

In a nutshell for those keeping track, all six candidates (Rands, Reid, Kiger, Sebourn, Georgieff, and the anonymous candidate) pulled papers for Jones’s seat (and Reid already filed for that seat).  Rands, Reid, Sebourn, and the anonymous candidate also pulled papers for Bankhead and McKinley’s seats (Kiger and Georgieff did not; and of course, Reid has filed for the Jones seat).

To reiterate for those keeping partisan scores of the councilmembers and candidates, Rands is a Green, Reid is a No Party Preference, Georgieff and Quirk-Silva are Democrats, while the rest (Bankhead, Jones, Kiger, McKinley, Sebourn, and Whitaker) are Republicans.  Remember, Councilmembers Quirk-Silva and Whitaker are not recall targets.

Candidate filing for the Fullerton Recall ends on March 9, the same deadline as most other offices on the June Primary ballot.

(As you might note, I’ve played it straight, reporting just the facts on this post, rather than doing any analysis.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should note my day job is working in the Fullerton office of Assemblyman Chris Norby, who served on the Fullerton City Council from 1984-2002.  One of my co-workers in the office is Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was elected in 2010 and is not a target of the recall.)

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