A federal lawsuit challenging petitions to recall three Nevada state senators in districts with significant Hispanic and African-American populations alleges the effort is an unconstitutional attempt to replace the legislators with Republicans in violation of the U.S. Voting Rights Act. The suit filed Monday in U.S. District Court also seeks to strike down Nevada’s recall laws, which do not require any cause or justification for a recall as long as the petition has signatures from 25 percent of voters in the previous election. Recall petitions were launched in August against Democratic Sens. Joyce Woodhouse of Henderson and Nicole Cannizzaro of Las Vegas, and Sen. Patricia Farley, a former Las Vegas Republican-turned-independent.
Senate Democrats have put forward another bill to boost the political prospects of embattled state Sen. Josh Newman, the target of a well-funded recall effort on the verge of qualifying for the ballot. The effort to oust Newman, D-Fullerton, began soon after his April 6 vote for a road-funding plan that will raise taxes on gas and diesel fuel and increase 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. Kicking him out would eliminate Democrats’ two-thirds edge in the Senate – and the ability to raise taxes and put constitutional amendments on the ballot without GOP support.
California Democrats started a new legislative push Monday to change recall election rules in an effort to protect one of their own after a court put an earlier attempt to slow the recall process on hold. A measure introduced Monday would help state Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton, who is facing a recall attempt backed by Republicans over his support for a gas tax increase. If they succeed in replacing Newman with a Republican, Democrats would lose their supermajority that allows them to raise taxes without GOP votes. Election officials in three counties reported Friday that they’ve verified enough signatures for the recall to proceed. State law gives Secretary of State Alex Padilla 10 days to certify them. Republicans are pushing to hold a recall election shortly after the gas tax rises Nov. 1.
A California law that aims to delay a recall election targeting a Democratic senator will remain on hold while judges determine whether it’s legal, a state appellate ruled Monday. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and several activists filed a lawsuit last month saying Democratic legislators violated the California constitution when they changed the state’s recall election law to draw out the process for removing lawmakers from office. The association, the California Republican Party and others are looking to remove Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, from office over his vote for a gas tax increase earlier this year. They challenged new recall rules that give people time to rescind their signature from recall petitions, among other changes. It would likely delay the recall into 2018 and possibly align it with the statewide primary when turnout is higher and potentially friendlier to Newman.
Less than a week has passed since Gov. Jim Justice switched his registration to the Republican Party, and one state Senate Democrat is already thinking about the path to a recall vote. Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, is drumming up support for a bill he wants to introduce in the next legislative session that would give citizens power to vote officials out of office during their term. “This isn’t a Republican-against-Democrat bill,” Ojeda said. “This is basically saying that any elected official in the state of West Virginia who is not living up to their promises and doing right by the people, the people should have a right to fire them. We always say that we work for you, the people. Well, if we work for the people, the people should have a right to fire us.”
Wisconsin: Democrats’ short-lived 2012 recall victory led to key evidence in partisan gerrymandering case | Capital Times
By most accounts, the 2011 and 2012 gubernatorial and Senate recall elections were a complete disaster for Wisconsin Democrats. Gov. Scott Walker’s historic victory boosted his fundraising and re-election prospects. The recall petition became a litmus test for party loyalty. And though Democrats recaptured the Senate majority in June 2012, they lost it five months later and have been shut out of state government ever since. But some Democrats see a silver lining in the recalls that has gone mostly unnoticed until now: The unearthing of key evidence in a potentially landmark legislative redistricting case now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
California: A new suit says lawmakers broke the law when they changed California’s recall election rules | Los Angeles Times
Republican activists and an anti-tax organization filed a lawsuit Thursday to scrap a new law that revised the rules for California’s recall elections, accusing Democrats of a blatant attempt to help an embattled state senator keep his job. The court challenge to the law, enacted as part of last month’s new state budget, comes after critics of state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) submitted some 85,000 voter signatures to force a special election on whether he should be removed from office. “For them to come in and try to pass a law undercutting a legitimate exercise of direct democracy, we feel that the court’s not going to like that very much,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn., one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
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.
California Democrats moved Monday to change the rules governing recall elections, potentially hampering the campaign to remove a Democratic state senator from office. Under the proposal, people who sign a recall petition would have 30 days to rescind their signatures after they have been submitted to election officials. It would also give lawmakers an additional 30 days to weigh in on how much a recall election would cost. It was introduced Monday as part of a budget bill in an effort to protect Democratic Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton, who is facing a recall effort over his vote to increase the gas tax. Democrats will lose their supermajority in the Senate if Newman is recalled.
California: Democrats seek a change in California recall elections, and it could help an embattled state senator | Los Angeles Times
State Senate Democrats introduced legislation Monday to change the rules governing recall elections to remove a lawmaker from office, potentially helping one of their own survive an effort now underway in Southern California. The proposal, contained in one of the bills enacting a new state budget, comes after backers of an effort to remove state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) from office have submitted more than 31,000 voter signatures to trigger a special election. “Recalls are designed to be extraordinary events in response to extraordinary circumstances – and it’s in the public’s overwhelming interest to ensure the security, integrity and legitimacy of the qualification process,” said Jonathan Underland, a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).