Recall Supporters Aiming To Oust Councilwoman Pearce Submit 9,462 Petition Signatures; 6,363 Valid Would Trigger Election; City Clerk Will Now Count/Verify How Many Sigs Are Valid 2nd Dist. Registered Voters
|(May 10, 2018, 8:15 a.m.) -- As FLASHED yesterday on LBREPORT.com's front page, the City Clerk's office tells LBREPORT.com that proponents of a recall of 2nd dist. Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce submitted [number by proponents] 9,462 recall-petition signatures at 4:06 p.m. on Wednesday May 9. Recall supporter Lauren Boland live-streamed VIDEO as Ian Patton, an experienced LB political consultant and representative of the proponents, delivered the boxload of petitions to the City Clerk's window on filing deadline day.
The City Clerk's office tells LBREPORT.com that 6,363 signatures of registered 2nd dist. voters are necessary to trigger a recall election.
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On Facebook, ("Recall Jeannine Pearce from Long Beach City Council"), recall representative Patton wrote: "Accountability has been restored in the 2nd District. Now we just need to get her out" and supporters celebrated with the hashtag #timesupJeannine.
Recall opponents ("Neighbors United to Oppose the Costly and Misleading Recall") said they were "sure hundreds, maybe even thousands of [proponents] signatures aren't valid and claimed proponents had used "misleading methods" to collect them.
The City Clerk's office will now begin a raw count of the signatures (estimated to take three days to a week.) If City Clerk's office determines that a sufficient number of raw signatures were submitted, it will proceed to determine if a sufficient number of the petition signers were 2nd dist. registered voters.
If the City Clerk determines that a sufficient number of 2nd dist. registered voter signatures were submitted (and assuming no successful challenge to the process), a recall election will be scheduled in which 2nd district voters will decide whether incumbent Pearce (elected in June 2016) stays or goes...and if she goes who will replace her (the latter process not begun yet.)
In 2016, three candidates (Eric Gray, Joen Garnica, and Jeannine Pearce) entered the race to succeed outgoing 2nd dist. Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal. Pearce and Gray advanced to a June 2016 runoff. Pearce had Lowenthal's endorsement plus campaign support from organized labor and a number of self-described "progressive" policy advocacy groups. Her runoff opponent, Eric Gray, was supported by much of LB's establishment and business community. In a hard fought runoff, Pearce prevailed with 51.45% of the vote.
Pearce's recall problems began after a June, 2017 2 a.m.-hour chain of events involving Pearce and her then-former Chief of Staff. Pearce wasn't arrested or criminally charged (DUI or domestic violence) but the circumstances brought to light a Council office relationship (that included some type of exit or settlement agreement on terms not publicly disclosed between City and her former Chief of Staff) that angered residents who questioned Pearce's fitness to remain in office.
The recall effort gained support from hotel and business interests already at odds with Pearce on policy matters coupled with property owners distrustful (in part because of her visible political alliances) of her 2016 election campaign-recited opposition to rent control.
Among the first financial contributors to Pearce recall was Robert Fox, an outspoken opponent of rent control who led grassroots efforts by LB's "Council of Neighborhood Organizations" (CONO) in opposition to city-staff sought Land Use Element density increases. Mr. Fox was the largest ($1,000) of the first three financial contributors to the recall effort (on Aug. 28, 2017.) On Jan. 11, 2018, Fox filed a notice of intent to run for Mayor, challenging incumbent Mayor Robert Garcia, but on Jan. 12 (hours before the filing deadline) declined to file required paperwork after a meeting with Garcia.
Mr. Fox quickly became the center of speculation over his possible entry as a recall-election replacement candidate seeking to succeed Pearce if the recall qualifies for the ballot. In early March, Councilwoman Pearce further fueled the density issue with a motion supporting 2nd district Land Use Element maps allowing height/density increases opposed by a number of neighborhood residents.
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