Russ Moon and Dave Langford recall, Rainier, Oregon (2011)
A question about whether to recall Russ Moon and Dave Langford from their positions as city councilors in Rainier in Columbia County, Oregon appeared on mail-in ballots between November 28 and December 13, 2011. Moon and Langford were recalled from their seats. The recall effort was launched in October 2011. Both Moon and Langford had served on the city council since 2006.
Don Puckett was chief petitioner in the recall effort. Puckett said that "I'm being the pawn for someone else, because there are prominent citizens that want a recall but are afraid of retaliation." Recall organizers accuse Moon and Langford of making "back-door agreements" and publicly ridiculing city employees and other council members.
The recall petition said Langford "is rude in public meetings; for example, calling people ignorant, telling them to ‘shut up', accusing city employees of misconduct, thereby opening up the city, as well as himself to liability issues. He does not follow policies and procedures and makes back-door agreements with various agencies without council support."
The recall petition said "Mr. Moon has runoff the (previous) city manager and cost the city compensation due to acting on his own. As a councilman, he must work as part of a team, not a rogue individual."
Councilmen Scott Cooper and Bill Vilardi supported the recall effort.
According to Moon, "Puckett openly admits that he has never witnessed any of the behavior or actions in the recall. The accusations are false, malicious and unfounded." Councilmen Mike Avent and Phil Butcher said the recall has been divisive.
Path to the ballot
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown investigated a criminal complaint against chief petitioner Don Puckett. The complaint, received on November 10, 2011, alleged that Puckett violated a state statute that says, "A person may not knowingly make a false statement, oath or affidavit when a statement, oath or affidavit is required under the election laws." In December 2011, the Secretary of State's office ruled that the complaint was unfounded, and the investigation was closed.
- The Daily News Online, "Elections officials set timetable for Rainier council recall vote," November 21, 2011
- TDN.com, "Rainier voters oust two councilmen in recall election," December 13, 2011
- The Daily News Online, "Rainier man starts recall petition against two City Council members," October 28, 2011
- The Daily News Online, "Rainier council recall petition appears to have necessary signatures," November 7, 2011
- The Daily News Online, "Oregon investigating complaint against Rainier recall advocate," November 23, 2011
- The Daily News Online, "Oregon Secretary of State rules complaint against Rainier petitioner unfounded," December 6, 2011