Last week, organizers turned in over 39,000 signatures for the recall of Los Angeles Councilman Mike Bonin. This was well over the threshold of 27,000 signatures needed to get his recall on the ballot. This was a homespun effort by residents tired of Bonin’s failed policies on homelessness, and rising crime from the vagrant camps.
This has Councilman Bonin concerned enough to push back against the recall. He’s already trying to characterize it as some dark money operation funded by outsiders. Those who’ve paid attention to his tenure, from his inauguration at Google to working with major foundations like United Way, know who’s the David and who’s the Goliath here.
Fortunately, the recall effort is homespun enough to invoke a volunteer reaction. Twitter’s Allan Parsons pulled through Bonin’s new anti-recall PAC financials and created a wonderful spreadsheet of where Bonin’s money and support come’s from.
“Turns out, they took in just north of $30k from 19 contributors. Their biggest contributor who donated over TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS…. you’ll never guess… a PAC! (Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters PAC).
19% of the @stop_recalls money came from individual contributors. 81% came from PACs/Committees.
But where outside of CD11 does all that money come from? Well, it comes from: Sacramento, San Pedro, Redondo, Concord, and LA City.”
His findings gathered enough attention to provoke a response from @stop_recalls : “It’s true! We have both donors and employees!” Seems odd that they would omit “volunteers.” It seems to imply they have none, and the Bonin camp is purely a paid organization.
But it gets better. In a striking expose of LA’s “pay to play” politics, Parsons also pointed out “The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters usually gives around $1,500 to campaigns / ballot measure committees. This time around? $25,000 (huge jump from $1500). What’s going on in CD11 that they need @mikebonin to remain in office?”
The response: “Bonin promised thousands of LAX airport construction jobs to the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, and in return for the $25k they put in his pockets, they get his gratitude and secure all of those jobs.”
This political support goes beyond cash. Jesse Zwick, his campaign spokesman, also made Bonin’s Stop the Recall commercial. He’s a professional filmmaker and the son of Edward Zwick, who produced some major films like Traffic (2000). Such professional production values didn’t stop them from “accidentally” doxxing the address of the organizers in the commercial. This led to vandalism of the organizer’s home.
But the title of the article is “what’s next?” The purpose of all this is to point out who’s behind which political camps. The Newsom recall taught us that it’s not enough to get the signatures on the ballot, you also have to prepare for the election fight, and get people to vote him out.
The recall people successfully completed part one. Now we have to gear up for part two – getting to the voters, telling them the truth about the recall campaign and Bonin’s dishonest attempts to stop it.