Council Votes 7-1 (Supernaw Dissenting) To Oppose Recall Of Gov. Newsom; Again, Councilwoman Mungo Vanishes Before Vote, Reappears Thereafter
|On Aug. 24, 2021, the Long Beach City Council voted 7-1 (Supernaw dissenting, Mungo vanished on vote) to oppose the recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom.
For the second time, Councilwoman Stacy Mungo (the Council's only nominal Republican) vanished on the vote, leaving before the Council vote on the item and reappearing thereafter. She also vanished a week earlier on the initial Council vote on the item, absent before the vote and walking in shortly thereafter.
A Council resolution puts the City of Long Beach on record -- and potentially enables the use of City taxpayer resources -- to oppose the Newsom recall.
LB's Municipal Code section 2.03.050 specifies that "Except when a conflict of interest exists and abstention is required by State law, every member of the Council who is present when a roll is called shall vote for or against the question, unless excused by a majority of the members present, prior to the calling of the roll on such question." It's a matter of speculation why Councilwoman Mungo wasn't present when the roll was called on both August 17 and 24 but her absence means she has no recorded vote record on the Council's anti-recall measure.
Two of Mungo's CD 5 constituents came to the Council to oppose the agendized item. Gary Levy compared the Council action to putting a thumb on the scale, said it "stinks of corruption" and questioned the propriety of having city employees take a position on an election matter by framing it as a ballot measure. Mr. Levy asked City Attorney Parkin to comment on its propriety. Mr. Parkin (whose office drafted the resolution for Council approval) said nothing. Mr. Jared McKnight said the Council resolution's supporters were wrong to frame their voted action as a position on a ballot measure when is actually an election decision for voters.
The Long Beach Area Republican Party was invisible and inaudible at the podium with its president, Ben Goldberg, now an OC resident, failing to appear. (Mr. Goldberg supports Larry Elder in the recall election, but if voters vote "no" on recalling Gov. Newsom (as the Council resolution urges them to do), Mr. Elder and other recall candidates will be out. Mr. Goldberg, a former LB Mayoral appointee to LB's Parks/Recreation Commision, continued his unbroken record spanning over a decade of never having testified at any Long Beach Council meeting on any topic (including City Hall spending, public safety, land use) supported any Mayor or some Council incumbents.
The Long Beach City Council is nominally non-partisan but (since Beverly O'Neill's political embrace of Bill Clinton) has become highly politicized. Seven of LB's nine Councilmembers are Dems (and elected with Dem-allied campaign contributions) and Mayor Robert Garcia actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton, then Kamala Harris and eventually Joe Biden with post-election lockstep support for actions by Biden...and Newsom.
Casting the sole dissenting vote on Aug. 24, Councilman Daryl Supernaw didn't speak. He made his position clear on the initial Aug. 17 vote, saying at that time that he'd taken an oath of office three times as a Councilmember to uphold the constitution of the state of CA, noted the recall process is specified in the CA constitution and said "I believe that supporting this resolution would be a clear violation of my oath of office. Therefore I'll be voting in opposition."
The Richardson-Allen-Zendejas-Saro August 17 agendizing memo's asserted that "Although cities cannot take positions in candidate elections, the recall is a ballot measure, not a candidate election [and] It is within the City’s legal rights to take a position on a ballot measure that will impact our residents." (By drafting the resolution for Council approval he has given tacit approval to that reasoning.)
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The City Attorney drafted resolution approved by the Council on Aug. 24, visible in full here, is transcribed below for readers' convenience.
Aug. 25: Vote tally corrected to 7-1 (not 6-1), noting Price voted for the anti-recall resolution.
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