Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don Bankhead Recalled Twice?

Last Friday night, at the Downtown Fullerton Art Walk, I got talking to Jim McCann, my friend Casey's dad, and a long-time resident of Fulllerton. We were talking about the current Fullerton City Council recall effort, spear-headed by Tony Bushala and his Friends for Fullerton's Future bloggers. I said, while I applauded their efforts to get those guys (Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Pat McKinley) out, I had mixed feelings about using the Kelly Thomas death as a lightning rod to do it.

Anyway, in the midst of our conversation, Jim mentioned a bit of local history I'd never heard before. In the summer of 1994, Mayor Pro-Tem Don Bankhead and two other council members were successfully recalled! Why had I never heard of this? I'd read Don Bankhead's bio on the city of Fullerton web site, and it never mentioned a recall!

This is what the city web site says:

"The most senior member of the Fullerton City Council, Mayor Pro Tem Bankhead was elected to his first four-year Council term in 1988, and re-elected in 1992. He left the Council briefly in the summer of 1994, and was re-elected to a four-year term in November of that year, and again in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010."

All it says is "He left the Council briefly in the summer of 1994." It doesn't say he was recalled, so I looked it up and, sure enough, the dude was recalled. Here's a quote from a June 1994 issue of The Los Angeles Times:

"Three City Council members, ousted from office in a recall election over a controversial utility tax they passed, stepped down from office Tuesday and handed over their seats to their replacements. Peter Godfrey, Conrad DeWitte and Jan M. Flory were inaugurated Tuesday night, a week after they won office in a special recall election to fill the unexpired terms of Mayor A.B. (Buck) Catlin, Councilman Don Bankhead and Councilwoman Molly McClanahan."

Don Bankhead, the longest-running Fullerton City Councilman could become the only Fullerton City Councilman to be recalled twice. To quote an old political slogan, "Let's turn the rascals out!"



  1. Yep, I was well aware of this already, and it always amazed me how someone who had been recalled once could continue to be re-elected for over a decade after the fact.

  2. I don't understand how people like this are in commanding positions of office. But I guess if we understood that then we would know a lot more about how politics actually work.