LOS ANGELES, California — Opponents of 11th District City Council Member Mike Bonin said Wednesday that they have gathered more than enough signatures to compel a recall election of the left-wing, second-term West Side incumbent.
The recall effort was launched earlier this year after homelessness spilled onto the Venice Beach boardwalk, and as Bonin proposed resettling homeless people from the rest of the city on the parking lots near Will Rogers State Beach further north.
The issue exploded anew in May when firefighters use one of the parking lots Bonin had proposed to use for “temporary” homeless shelters to battle a dangerous wildfire that was allegedly set near the Pacific Palisades by a homeless man.
Though local authorities cleaned up the tent encampments on Venice Beach — thanks in part to the prodding of L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva — the frustration with Bonin continued, and volunteers gathered signatures in the area for months.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
A group looking to oust Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin said Wednesday it has submitted more than 39,000 signatures in support of its recall measure — a number proponents believe is enough to qualify for the ballot.
Under the city’s election rules, the Recall Bonin 2021 campaign must turn in more than 27,000 valid signatures from registered voters in Bonin’s coastal district, which stretches from Los Angeles International Airport north to Pacific Palisades. The city clerk will determine in the coming weeks whether those petitions have enough signatures to trigger a special recall election.
Katrina Schmitt, a recall proponent who lives in Venice, said the large number of signatures shows that voters in Bonin’s district have run out of patience with homelessness, crime and a lack of responsiveness from the councilman’s office. To have so many signatures, she said, “sends a strong message about what we want.”
Bonin reacted — as he often does — with an irate thread on Twitter:
The leaders of the recall are people who oppose homeless housing in their neighborhood, and people who are angry that I refuse to criminalize homelessness.
They’re exploiting legitimate frustration about our crisis, and misleading people about what causes it and what ends it.
— Mike Bonin (@mikebonin) November 11, 2021
Bonin’s spokesman, Graham Caso, called supporters of the recall effort “liars, frauds, and bigots” in a tweet earlier this year:
People who signed the recall paperwork have literally proposed the creation of internment camps as a solution to homelessness. Their money comes from Trump-aligned conservative mega-donors. This is a coalition of liars, frauds, and bigots trying to stifle progress.
— David Graham-Caso (@dgrahamcaso) August 10, 2021
The effort is supported by the small contingent of conservative voters in the district, but also has some Democratic support.
A recall election could occur in May 2022. Regardless, Bonin faces a tough re-election race for a third term in June 2022.
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.