Monday, August 19, 2013 – 09:00 a.m.

The recall to clean out San Bernardino city government has now devolved into a cocktail party joke!

The man conducting the orchestra, known as the recall campaign, Rialto Real Estate Broker Scott Beard, orginially set out to remove, let see, the mayor, all seven city council members and the city attorney.

Now the recall focuses on just Council Members Wendy McCammack, Chas Kelley, John Valdivia and City Attorney Jim Penman. A Superior Court Judge will decide on Thursday, whether or not the recall signature verification process will proceed. If the answer is yes, and enough signatures are valid, the recall will be placed on the November ballot.

Otherwise, the choices are either a special election, or no election.

Non-recall targets, Council Members Virginia Marquez, Robert Jenkins and Fred Shorett face regular reelection in November, while Mayor Pat Morris is not running for a third term.

Councilmember Rikke Van Johnson, interestingly, remains untouched. It’s plausible he could be the mayoral candidate, pushed by some, behind the scenes.

Regardless of the above train wreck, McCammack, Kelley and Valdivia have strong bases of support in their respective Wards. The most tenuous recall target is Penman. Two years ago, Penman was nearly beaten by an outsider, former San Bernardino County Public Defender David McKenna. But, don’t count Penman out. He’s a proven survivor.

Marquez, Jenkins and Shorett face no serious challengers with any resources.

What’s even more comical is the fact that eleven candidates are running to replace Morris. Three of the field consist of McCammack, Kelley and Van Johnson.

Odds makers would place McCammack and Kelley as the two likely to make a February runoff election.

Just to illustrate how much of a keystone cop scenario the situation is, imagine this.

Let’s say hypothetically that McCammack and Kelley are recalled in November. The two would vacate their seats immediately, and be replaced by the challenger receiving the highest number of votes. A plurality is allowed.

Then for argument sake, let’s assume McCammack and Kelley make the mayoral runoff. Whichever one wins would become mayor in March. The new mayor could not be challenged, by recall, for at least six months.

The recall, so far, has done nothing but to embarass the city even further than the bankruptcy already has.

Hopefully, the whole mess is not driven by an alleged takeover and sale of the city-owned water operations.

You really can’t make this stuff up!

Only in San Bernardino…….