UPDATE: Councilmember James Johnson Responds to End of Recall Effort

7:56pm | In response to the announcement that the Committee to Recall James Johnson has suspended signature-gathering efforts, Councilmember Johnson released the following statement:

“I appreciate the outpouring of support from residents throughout all parts of the 7th District over the last three months,” Councilmember Johnson said.  “I am proud that the residents did not let these baseless attacks distract us from continuing to make progress for the District and the City, in areas such as air quality, infrastructure improvements, and public safety.  I remain as focused as ever on making Long Beach the best possible city.”

According to the press release from Councilmember Johnson's office, those seeking a recall had only submitted 27 of the 5,241 signatures from 7th District residents necessary to qualify for a special election.

1:41pm | According to a press release issued by the Committee to Recall James Johnson, the committee has suspended signature-gathering efforts, due to lack of financing. The press release is included below.

Months ago, community activist from across Long Beach formed a committee to discuss and plan reactions to the growing dominance and anti-neighborhood policies of the Political Machine in Long Beach. Committee members did an exhaustive research phase that involved contacting activist and community stakeholders from across Long Beach. In that initial phase, the activist steering committee received assurances for monetary support from several sources regarding the initial plans to recall what many considered the poster boy of the Long Beach Political Machine and the icon of unresponsive elected officials, Long Beach 7th District Councilman James Johnson.

Based on the monetary assurances from trustworthy and creditable sources of financial backing, the Committee to Recall James Johnson was born to further the goals of the 7th District residents who wished to Recall their do-nothing puppet councilman. In dealing with the reality of the 7th District logistics and the timing of the recall effort, the Committee to Recall James Johnson planned, in conjunction with its financial backers, to collect recall signatures using legal paid petition gathers. The Committee to Recall James Johnson, as well as the financial backers more than understood what former Speaker of the California Assembly Jesse Unruh meant when he stated “Money is the mother’s milk of politics” and everyone was aware that it was that “milk” that would make this Recall successful-as it had made the Political Machine in Long Beach.

Unfortunately, after the Committee to Recall James Johnson fulfilled all of its obligations to those financial backers-including: assembling a cohesive committee of committed recall experts; obtaining professional legal counsel; filing the recall petition and public notices; and obtaining bids from established signature gathering companies; all the financial backers went back on their word to contribute the money they had promised to bring the recall effort to an election. The Committee to Recall James Johnson is therefore forced to suspend the current petition gathering efforts.
Anonymous E-mail Vows Group of Activists Going After So-called 'Long Beach Political Machine'

While the Committee to Recall James Johnson is disappointed that those who promised funding for months ultimately refused to honor those promises, we are proud of the accomplishments of the Committee to Recall James Johnson. We have established a core of well-connected community activists who understand the recall process, have city-wide connections and contacts that can assist any well-funded efforts to recall a local elected official. We have highlighted the establishment of the Political Machine in Long Beach and have seen some council members start to show some independence. We brought a focus to the continued problems of West Long Beach’s quality of life issues. We have made all of Long Beach aware of the many conflict-of-interests of Councilman James Johnson, his broken campaign promises, his self-aggrandizing and his personal political agenda. We also have reminded all of our local elected officials that the ultimate power of our democracy is with the people who elected them. The small changes we have seen make our efforts, our personal expenditures and our many sacrifices well worth the enormous endeavor we and our fellow citizens who were brave enough to stand with us have undertook.

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