In Hughson, California, the vote is overwhelming to recall 3 members of the city council

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August 25, 2010

HUGHSON, California: In idyllic Hughson, a peach-and-almond farming community of 4,000 nestled in Stanislaus County, voters went to the polls on Tuesday, August 24 and overwhelmingly voted to remove 3 of their city council members from office.[1]

The August 24 recall vote was the culmination of an effort launched in February 2010 by "Citizens for Better City Government" to recall Thom Crowder, Doug Humphreys and Ben Manley. In each of the 3 separate recall elections held on August 24, the vote to recall exceeded 85%.[2][3]

Recall organizers said that their effort to recall Crowder, Humphreys and Manley was motivated by a Stanislaus County civil grand jury report that found that the trio violated California's public meeting law and conspired to fire City Manager Joe Donabed.[4] After the August 24 vote, Josh Whitfield, a spokesperson for the recall group, said, "Tonight marks the end of corruption in Hughson. The voters have spoken. Corruption did not stand tonight and it will not stand tomorrow."[1]

The Hughson City Council has five members on it altogether. The two who were not subject to the recall vote were Matt Beekman and Mayor Ramon Bawanan. George Carr, Jeramy Young and Jill Silva were elected on August 24 to replace Crowder, Humphreys and Manley on the city council.

The lengthy lead-up to the recall vote on August 24 was marked by colorful rhetoric and remarks. One recall target, Thom Crowder, referred to those in favor of the recall as "contentious little rats."[5] He also referred to recall organizers as "pea brains" and "disingenuous scumbags" and said "I'm not afraid of these knuckleheads."[6]

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