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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Recalling Smith - Some facts

Mayor Sam was feeling under the weather and asked me to post something for today. Well he sure did stir up the hornets nest yesterday with his post on an attempt to recall Councilman Greig Smith. (and I just think that photo is so cool I had to find a reason to post it again)

Indeed Smith has had some pretty high profile run-ins up in CD 12. Whether they warrant his removal from office is a decision for the voters to decide however, here at the Sister City I thought it appropriate to discuss the process that would need to occur.

First and foremost is the clock. It is running out. California Government Code Section 11007 states that a recall petition may not be commenced if the term of the target of the recall expires within 6 months. In Short, a petition to recall Smith would need to be filed by early fall.

The notice to recall would need to be served on Councilman Smith and he has 7 days to reply. Then the fun begins.

The mountain to climb is getting valid signatures. The law states that 10% of all registered voters sign the petition. In CD12 that is roughly 20,000 people. These are verified signatures, so more would need to be gathered to cushion any rejected signatures. This is the point when most recall petitions go down in flames.

It simply isn't easy to get that many signatures. Candidates running for county committee have found it difficult to get 40 signatures, getting 25-30,000 will take an army. The deadline for filing the signatures is 160 days.

So, pulling out the calendar, here is the timeline:

- A petition to recall Councilman Smith (or any other even numbered Council District for that matter) must be filed no later than September 5, 2oo6 or it would presumably be dismissed.

- Assuming the signatures were gathered in 160 days as required that would put the filing deadline for turning in the signatures somewhere around the 15 or so of February, 2007. The election officials would then have 30 days to count signatures, or until March 15, 2007.

- The Los Angeles Municipal Election is March 6, 2007.

So you can already see what the problem would be here.

Presumably the recall election would take place after the General election, and you would still need to find a candidate to run. With a special election in April or May of 2007. It would seem to this old dead Councilman to be easier to simply run an opponent in the 2007 election. But then again, the folks up there in the North Valley have done stranger.

Now this could change of course. If the process began tomorrow with paid signature gatherers hitting the streets next weekend we could see a special election late fall or early winter. But my money is on this one going the way of the Dodo Bird.

Your thoughts?


Anonymous Anonymous said:

It is a really cool picture CJ, Someone posted it in the elevator at City Hall yesterday. It was hilarious! I can't wait for the buttons!

As for the merits, you are entirely right. This, like most recalls will probably go down but the bigger question is will this attempt to recall Smith hurt him in the election in March?

Right now he is unopposed. Will people see Smith as someone who is vulnerable?

I heard rumor of a police officer that was interested in running. Smith runs as the cop/councilman (illegally but what does he care?)

Might get interesting.

June 21, 2006 7:14 AM  

Blogger PhilKrakover said:

This is about as effective as the effort to recll Councilman Villaraigosa. Ultimately no (zero, nada, nil) signatures were ever even filed.

Stop wasting space here and talk about something more topical.

June 21, 2006 7:17 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It is educational to learn the process, but your point is well taken John.

I agree with anon 7:14 - I don't think Smithy will come out of this unscathed. Don't know if it will take him out but it will hurt him.

Maybe he should figure out he has a problem inside his office?

June 21, 2006 7:28 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

What's up with the Sheriff's dept. using flying drones to spy on us from the skies?

I'd love to see one of those remote control toys get some radio interference and crash into someone's house and cause a multi-million dollar law suit!

June 21, 2006 7:31 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I saw a petition circulating in CD 1 to recall Reyes. I couldn't sign it, b/c I live in CD 13...What's up with City Council?

June 21, 2006 7:42 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where's Elesio when you need him?

June 21, 2006 8:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Aaah, yes!

Eliseo Villanueva, recall specialist par non.

He's the man that single handidly got Antonio Villaraigosa out of the City Council; what a guy.

Nice going Eliseo; how about working on getting Jack Weiss out of the Council as well?

The City Attorney's office will be open in a couple of years, and you could propel him there.

Or, is your buddy Lauro gonna try again to get more than 15% of the vote?

June 21, 2006 8:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


"Whether they warrant his removal from office is a decision for the voters to decide however..."

Oxymoron!. Whoever this pathetic poster is, at least we know he's a product of LAUSD.

June 21, 2006 9:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hahahaha, Oxymoron indeed! Councilman John is a moron the size of an ox! Hahaha.

June 21, 2006 9:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Hasn't Mitch been out of City Hall for this week so far?

June 21, 2006 9:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


June 21, 2006 9:48 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Councilman John, I wonder if you are John E.

If indeed John is your real name, weren't YOU tied with Eliseo? Off the books?

Breaking all campaign finance laws in the process, I remind you.

June 21, 2006 10:09 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wasn't there a guy that had a web site asking for signatures on Antonio as well in the valley? Was it Hal?

This just goes to show how people in this city are speaking out against our electeds and whether they fail or succeed they are getting their message out there.

June 21, 2006 10:15 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mitch is out of town and has been for the past few days. I can confirm that, as his e-mail is set to vacation response.

Like it or not Grieg has the infrastructure of an office holder. He has not done anything illegal or actionable. To some, he is just annoying, but that is just everyday politics.

If the recall guys have a couple of hundred thousand to burn, sure you could make some trouble, but this is small potatoes and lots of rhetoric. There are no big league players to replace Smith.

With Alger recently being handed his head on a platter, it is obvious that he doesn't possess the skills or the fundraising ability to displace an incumbent Councilmember now or in 2011.

June 21, 2006 12:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

ahhh nice to see the CD12 Staff posting. Alger finished 2nd in a 4 - way race.

Handed his head on a platter? He lost by less just over 700 votes, about 2 votes per precinct.

He had little money (because of the lopsided district) NO union support (because he was running against a union bosses wife, was getting hit with negative attacks and was a virtual unknown when he started, in and out of the party ... all that and he barely lost. If you call that "getting his head handed to him" your in wishfull thinking land.

Quite the oppisite. Alger has proven that he has viability, but he needs to find the right seat to go for, not a right wing republican seat when he is a moderate democrat.

He's got guts for trying though. Showed us all he's got heart.

June 21, 2006 1:41 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

9:22 am Anon: "Whether they warrant his removal from office is a decision for the voters to decide however..."

Oxymoron!. Whoever this pathetic poster is, at least we know he's a product of LAUSD.


Oxymoron - A rhetorical figure in which contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist.

The sentence may have been repetitive, (saying the same thing twice) but if you plan on insulting Councilman John's grammer at least be intelligent enough to verify yours.

June 21, 2006 1:52 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

So a few nutballs get a burr up their butt about the politician they don't like and announce a half-assed highly unlikely recall campaign and you give it credence by running with it on an apparently slow news day. Great. Just proves that if you are small in numbers the best approach is to yell louder.

June 21, 2006 2:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


1 - Alger lost by 925 votes. Please reference www.ss.ca.gov to fact check.

2- It can be said that Lowenthal took about 4,800 female votes away from Shaw. In fact...Alger was closer to 3rd place than he was to 1st.

And its not like Alger didn't have the better (although false) ballot title. I know some people at Alarcon's staff...and Alger was fired after only 2-3 months...and wasn't working for him when he was running/filing his papers.

June 21, 2006 2:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mitch you dismiss your constituents are nutballs?

June 21, 2006 2:48 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Did you miss the two posts saying Mitchell wasn't even at City Hall this week and has been out of town?

June 21, 2006 2:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

1:52 PM--

"...but if you plan on insulting Councilman John's grammer at least be intelligent enough to verify yours."

You, deride others for questioning intelligence? "Grammer"? Looks like you shot yourself in the foot.

June 21, 2006 3:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

nice try

uh, city hall is not the only place mitch has net access

June 21, 2006 3:50 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


But apparently he's out of town...why would he be logging in out of town? Do you log onto here when you're out of town?

June 21, 2006 3:53 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey Mayor Sam

Why havent you posted anything about the Mayor's comprimise plan over LAUSD? Its been on Dailynews and LA Times websites since this morning.

The Mayor just hit another home run.

June 21, 2006 4:13 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If you do not like Smith, run a candidate against him. Don't waste taxpayer time and money on a recall. If you want serious change in the district run a viable candidates. So far candidates mention on the site to take on Smith are sub-par in stature and experience.

June 21, 2006 4:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey Bunker

There was no way to broker a new era in LAUSD without the song and dance, the public microscope was needed to put pressure on the establishment.

This is big news, all sides are happy and the Mayor takes on a true challange by taking control of the worst performing schools in the district and proving whether or not he's up for the job.

You can try and downplay all you want, but the bottom line is that the Mayor just accomplished a major campaign promise and forced the school districts hand.

June 21, 2006 4:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Get a grip man. When Julie Korenstein almost cries during a press conference, you know the establishment has been shaken and beaten. CTA, UTLA, and the Mayor are now joining forces to promote this education plan.

If you really think he could have done this without getting a lot of press coverage, u simply dont understand how important education is to the average citizen.

June 21, 2006 5:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mitch the Bitch has no juice.

June 21, 2006 7:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

2:46 and others, What is your obsession with Jim Alger?

Why is it that you must bash him with FALSE "facts?" Senator Alarcon NEVER fired him, he worked from February through July and left the office 2 days before he filed to run for office so once again you are WRONG.

How do I know this? Because I asked the Senator personally and reviewed his work records while looking into this allegation for a potential story. If a candidate for public office would have been fired by a Legislator, we would have printed that.

For the record, the story I got was that Senator Alarcon "fought" to keep Jim on but in the end he left. There are many rumors and plenty of innuendo, but that is what the FACTS bore out.

So unless you are accusing a California State Senator of filing fraudulent paperwork and a massive conspiracy involving the Senate Rules Committee, the Senate Personnel Office and a now former candidate for the California State Assembly why don't you do us all a favor and zip it already.

To say that Lowenthal pulled the women away from Shaw is possible but she could have easily pulled the Jewish vote from Gold so that argument doesn't hold water. Shaw had the first ballot position and that tends to be a help as well.

But the bigger point is that Jim Alger made a strong and respectable showing, lost a good fight and you feel the need to kick him anyway in a thread that has nothing to do with him.

How sad.

June 21, 2006 9:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Don't even waste your font. This idiot has been trying to sell that story for over 8 months and noone bought it.

They just want a distraction. If you were Smith, you'ld want one too!

June 22, 2006 1:25 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

9:12 -
"If a candidate for public office would have been fired by a Legislator, we would have printed that."

So that means "we" is the people who run this blog?

"why don't you do us all a favor and zip it already."

"Alger made a strong and respectable showing, lost a good fight and you feel the need to kick him anyway"

So that means that the people who run this blog are Alger backers?

What are you, a news blog or a Jim Alger support blog? You can't be both. So stop pretending.

June 22, 2006 7:49 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Alger was closer to third place than he was to first. And it is NOTORIOUSLY known that women will vote for women over men, no matter their religion.

And I'm sure you've talked to Alarcon about Alger...thats like asking Montanez about Guzman.

June 22, 2006 12:22 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

7:49 am, I work for a newspaper. Not this blog.

June 22, 2006 9:10 PM  

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