New California Senator Josh Newman might have his job on the ropes over the gas tax hike, the Republican party announced Tuesday. The whole ado is over the controversial transportation bill.
The $52 billion transportation package would raise taxes on gas and car registration. The newly elected Fullerton Assemblyman was considered the “swing vote,” for the controversial bill, and now the state’s conservatives want him outside from the legislature.
It would take a petition with 63,953 signatures to trigger a recall election, according to California law. California districts have created a petition with 85,000 signatures to have a recall election in Assemblyman Josh Newman’s seat. Newman was awarded the seat on April 6, but it was a narrow victory against Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang. The seat only open because Republican Bob Huff had termed out in November 2016. Now, Republicans want him out, and it appears the have the voices and the mobilization to do so.
At this point, under the law, the signatures need to verified for accuracy. It they check out, a recall election will be schedule for November 1, which for Republicans would be the optimum time, because that would be shortly after the gas tax goes into effect. Carl Demaio is a conservative talk show in San Diego leading the effort.
“The overwhelming number of signatures we collected in just six weeks demonstrates a real rebellion is brewing in California against the out-of-control tax raisers in the state legislature,” DeMaio told the Washington Free Beacon.
The conservative community hopes to repeal the unpopular legislation, as well as the assemblyman.
“This recall against the state senator who cast the deciding vote to approve the car and gas taxes is just the start,” he said. “We intend to place a repeal of the car and gas tax hikes on the ballot for the November 2018 election which we believe will significantly impact legislative races.”
Although, Newman insists that he wasn’t the most crucial vote. The most crucial vote should have bene Republican Senator Anthony Cannella of Modesto. Modesto allegedly voted for the bill, in exchange for receiving $500 million of the money to go to projects in his district.
“It reeks of political cynicism and desperation,” Newman said.
Republican consultant Dave Gilliard successfully worked on recall measures for Gray Davis in 2003, and Doris Allen in 1995. He thinks this one is a necessity as well.
“Perfect timing for a recall,” he said in the OC Register. “Newman’s one vote attacks the pocketbooks of middle-class families in his district who are already being squeezed economically. They should not have to wait 3 more years to have their voices heard.”
The chairman of the Republican party in California, Jim Brulte thinks it is a testament to how fed up Californians are with liberal politics
“The speed with which voters signed the petitions is a testament to the anger they feel towards these tax increases and a fear of what liberal Josh Newman might decide to tax next,” he said.
But, some think the entire recall is just a blatant political strategy move, that won’t solve anything, even if it is enacted.
“The recall petition is a costly power grab by out-of-district special interests that won’t save taxpayers a dime and won’t solve any problem voters care about,” said Mike Roth, a spokesman for the campaign against the recall.
To help with the timing of a potential recall election, on Tuesday, Governor Brown signed a bill which changes the rules about recall elections. Under the new regulations, a voter can withdraw their name from the petition up to 30 days of when it has been submitted to officials. This political move lengthens the amount of time it would take to process a recall election, and mainly ensures that recall elections are at the most politically convenient time—during the June primary.
If the recall election is held in June, with other elections, the voter turnout will be higher. Since California is an overwhelmingly blue state, this will help Newman’s chances to retain the seat.
Brulte called Brown’s new bill a “clear abuse of power,” and the Republican Party will continue to distribute petitions to gain the recall.
“The Democrats’ attempt to quell the movement by retroactively changing the rules is pure political gamesmanship and completely undermines our democratic process,” Brulte said.
But the Democrats are pledged to stand behind their man.
““If we cross that bridge, he’ll have more than plenty of resources needed to protect him,” Democratic Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon told the Sacramento Bee.
At this point, the state is now engaged in verifying the signatures on the petition.