Mike Bonin Escapes Recall After City Clerk Disqualifies Over 13,000 Signatures

Mike Bonin (Jason Kempin / Getty for Venice Family Clinic)
Jason Kempin / Getty for Venice Family Clinic

Controversial left-wing Los Angeles City Council member Mike Bonin appears to have escaped a recall election after the city clerk disqualified over 13,000 signatures, leaving proponents 1,350 short of the number needed.

Bonin faces a tough re-election on June 7 anyway, and the recall was organized so late in his term that it would have appeared on the same ballot, had it qualified. Moreover, he can only serve one more term in office — a third — under the city’s term limit rules.

In November, recall organizers said they had gathered over 39,000 signatures for Bonin’s recall. But the clerk disqualified so many that they ended with less than 26,000 valid signatures.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

Organizers of a bid to remove Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin from office have failed to secure enough valid signatures to trigger a recall election, city officials said Tuesday.

City Clerk Holly Wolcott, whose office has been reviewing recall petitions for several weeks, concluded that the Bonin recall group had 25,965 valid signatures, about 1,350 short of the number needed.

Recall Bonin 2021 is now the third such effort at City Hall to pursue a recall, only to fall short later on. Over the last six months, campaigns that sought to oust Councilmembers Nithya Raman and Kevin de Leóncollapsed or fizzled out.

Tuesday’s announcement delivered a huge boost to Bonin, who is runningin the June 7 election for a third and final term representing a coastal district stretching from Los Angeles International Airport north to Pacific Palisades. With the election 4½ months away, he has been rolling out endorsements from political allies and organized labor, including unions representing city firefighters, hotel workers and carpenters.

Bonin faced the recall because of perceptions that he had failed to deal with homelessness — or, worse, had encouraged it — in the 11th District, which includes the beach communities of the western side of the city.

At one point, Bonin proposed moving homeless people to “temporary” shelters at beach parking lots, which would have threatened one of the few public spaces that remained safe and open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Weeks later, emergency crews used one of the parking lots Bonin had wanted to devote to homeless shelters to battle a wildfire that was allegedly set by a homeless man and which threatened local homes.

Bonin was exultant Tuesday at the announcement that the recall effort had failed, calling it a victory for his “progressive” values:

Bonin’s opponents vowed to continue the political fight to remove him from office, one way or another.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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