Democrats are pushing late-blooming bills to significantly improve state Sen. Josh Newman’s odds of surviving an effort by the state GOP and others to recall him from office. The proposed changes, which became public Monday morning, would add months to the existing timeline of certifying a recall election for the ballot. The measure would virtually assure that any recall election would be held at the regularly scheduled June 5, 2018 legislative primary election. Regular election turnout historically is much higher than turnout for special elections, which helps Democrats. The effort to recall Newman, D-Fullerton, began soon after his April 6 vote for a road-funding plan that will raise taxes on gas and diesel and vehicle fees by billions of dollars. Newman, who represents an area that has long had Republican representation, won election last fall by just 2,498 votes.
Republican lawmakers and other recall supporters denounced Monday’s legislation as an abuse of power.
“Dems know the gas tax is toxic & Newman will likely lose. They control everything & need to rig the system to protect their political power,” Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes of Yucca Valley said on Twitter.
Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego councilman and talk radio host who initiated the recall effort, called the move legally suspect and threatened a lawsuit if legislative Democrats and Gov. Jerry Brown move ahead with the measure.