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The group opposing the recall of three Fullerton city councilmen said Tuesday it filed reports showing it raised $62,000 in its apparently unsuccessful campaign to block a recall election.

The deadline for filing the reports is 5 p.m. Tuesday, and they won’t be officially available from the city clerk until Wednesday, officials said.

But Fullerton Planning Commissioner Larry Bennett, chairman of Protect Fullerton-Recall No, stated in a news release that contributions were received from more than 130 donors.

The Fullerton recall effort, launched by developer Tony Bushala, has pitted two groups of Republicans against each other.

More than 17,000 signatures were turned in earlier this month on each of three petitions to recall Councilmen Don Bankhead, Pat McKinley and Richard Jones, who was mayor at the time of Thomas’ death.

The county Registrar of Voters office must verify the authenticity of at least 10,554 signatures on each petition to force an election. Recall campaigners turned in 61 percent more than required to compensate for invalid names.

Initially, Bushala tied the recall to the death in July of severely mentally ill transient Kelly Thomas, who died of suffocation and head injuries after being beaten by Fullerton police.

But later in the campaign, Bushala widened the effort to include other issues, including a long-standing water tax, redevelopment and pensions.

Fullerton School District Trustee Chris Thompson, who is being paid by Bushala to manage the recall campaign, said earlier this month, “When you’re trying to recall three popularly elected councilmen, it would be foolish not to address all issues.”

The anti-recall campaign has accused Bushala of financing the recall in a “power play to take over City Hall.”


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