Recall effort stymied by Sacramento

Members of the California Legislature apparently believe they have the power to change outcomes they don’t like. This is like awarding the NBA Championship to Cleveland by retroactively mandating that all of Golden State’s three point baskets be counted as only two.

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While basketball is not on the minds of lawmakers, they are working to interfere with something of much greater value to average Californians, their constitutional right to recall elected officials. The Sacramento politicians think they have found a way to derail what appears to be a successful grassroots effort to recall state Sen. Josh Newman, who cast a key vote imposing a new $5.2 billion annual gas and car tax on already overburdened taxpayers.

The power of recall is a powerful tool of direct democracy. The secretary of state’s website says, “Recall is the power of the voters to remove elected officials before their terms expire. It has been a fundamental part of our governmental system since 1911 and has been used by voters to express their dissatisfaction with their elected representatives.”

In the 29th Senate District, covering parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, voters have been busy exercising their right to recall their tax-raising representative Josh Newman. Much to the surprise of Sacramento insiders, it looks like the campaign will succeed in gathering enough signatures to force the senator to be held accountable in a special election — already the secretary of state has instructed county registrars to begin counting the signatures. The chance that the recall of one of their own will be successful has lawmakers panicking. Their solution is to surreptitiously change the recall rules that have been in place for over a century.

500px-Capitol_Building_MG_1600_Sans_watermarkWith little notice, the Legislature amended Senate Bill 96, as it was about to pass in connection with the state budget on June 15, for the purpose of changing the rules governing the current recall effort. The purpose of the bill is shamelessly transparent: “It is the Legislature’s intent that the changes made by this act in the Elections Code apply retroactively to recalls that are pending at any stage at the time of the act’s enactment… .”

Their end game is delay. They want to delay the ultimate vote on ousting Newman for as long as possible, despite the constitutional guarantee to have the vote as quickly as possible — between 60 days and 180 days from the recall petitions having been certified.

Here’s how they do it: First, they try to delay the petition review process by requiring the county Registrars of Voters to check the validity of every signature submitted. Normally, the registrars are permitted to check a random sample of the signatures, saving both time and money.

Second, and more disturbing, is the provision buried deep in the text that states, “Notwithstanding any other law, the Secretary of State shall not certify the sufficiency of the signatures [on the recall petitions] until the Legislative Joint Budget Committee has 30 days to review and comment on the estimate [of recall costs] submitted by the Department of Finance.”

Here’s the kicker. The Department of Finance is part of the governor’s office and the bill does not require the governor’s office to prepare that analysis under any time limit. Gov. Brown, who has already come out against the recall, can simply delay that report indefinitely, which, in turn, would hold up certification of the recall effort and the ultimate election.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that those in power in Sacramento will stop at nothing to retain their power and influence, putting their own interests ahead of those of average Californians. But lawmakers who disrespect voters should be wary. Polls show that nearly 60 percent of Californians oppose the new gas tax. The higher taxes will kick in just before the beginning of next year’s election season. Voters are very likely to remember who is responsible and choose to retire multiple representatives, not just a single senator, in the regularly scheduled 2018 election.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

This piece was originally published by the Orange County Register


  1. What we need to do first is RECALL “moonbeam” Brown, NOW!!! Then burn his clown portrait that hangs in the state capital. Talk about obstructionists!!

  2. Time to just ignore the assholes and physically remove the corruption starting with bald head pecker nose brown

  3. Time to ignore the assholes and just physically remove the corruption and start with he bald head peckernose

  4. Joan Brophy says

    How about a campaign to remove all that are in power now.

  5. This is why my East Coast friends refer to this state as the Left Coast.
    It all about keeping the power. We should throw all the bums out but it will not happen – sadly.

  6. Andrew Kessel says

    Democrats in this state seem to think that they own certain segments of the population. When you are ripping $$ out of people’s hands without a vote to for b.s reasons, that affects everyone. Gay, Hispanic, black, white, male, female, transgender, whatever…being broke affects everyone. Keep insulting Carl DeMaio and his volunteers, Dems, I will support them more.

  7. Unbelievable. Are you sure we are still part of the United States or have we suddenly become our own country with dictators?

  8. Tony Favero says

    In my neighborhood in the Bay Area….we now have beggars and homeless people in growing numbers. Yes, high taxes, bad roads, bad schools, growing welfare rolls., California is turning into a 3rd world state. While traveling the Midwest, I saw gasoline at $1.83/gal…but guess what? All the roads there are excellent. Time to stop the democrats from pilfering the petrol taxes to fund all the social programs.
    This is what happens when you elect one party to run amok…is there any difference between Sacramento and Cuba? They are starting to look similar from where I sit. Comrade Brown is now the new Fidel Castro…..Viva Fidel (Brown).

    • Bruce Jacobson says

      Their is no difference between us and Cuba, 100% socialism and the government telling you how you are to live your life. We are a Banana
      Republic and it is only a matter of time until California is bankrupt as their is NO money to fund CALPERS!

    • I also live in the bay area and you are spot on.

  9. Carla Virga says

    Our only hope is the federal government exposing and rescuing Californians from the Communists and their useful idiots who have seized our state using massive voter fraud and sanctuary cities. A bonus would be the arrests and convictions of every lawbreaking legislator committing treason by aiding and harboring foreign invaders (aka illegal immigrants).

  10. Carla Virga says

    “California Appears to Invite Voter Fraud”
    “Five counties alone [Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Solano, San Mateo] account for nearly one million more registered voters than citizens of voting age!”

  11. Dr. Trent Saxton says

    In case you hadn’t noticed, those “Boomers” with any brains are leaving Kalifornia by the droves for better retirement conditions elsewhere. They are taking a big chunk of money, jobs, brain-trust, with them. Kalifornia looks nice, has great weather, but it is not the place to raise a family anymore or start a business. You can always visit for a few weeks but you don’t have to put up with all the craziness found in every sector of Kalifornia. Let the illegals own the state and pay the taxes and follow the stupid laws…LOLOLOLOL. Build Utopia, and they have come…illegally.

    • Bruce Jacobson says

      Sorry to disagree. Those illegals don’t pay taxes, you support them.
      There is a known case in California where Mr. and Mrs. Illegal immigrant filed a tax return with 8 dependent children. Little or nothing paid in to the system with this many dependents and after the “child care” credit was applied to the tax return, the happy couple received a refund of $24,000!!! Folks you do not need a PH.D. in Political Science
      to figure this out. And one newly elected person can not make a difference. The walls to Sacramento are like A P[RISON WALL, YOU SIMPLY CAN NOY GAIN ENTRY!

  12. Victoria Smith says

    This is what happens when folks put their trust (by electing and reelecting those who have proven their lust for their own power and wealth, i.e., Jerry Brown and all his ilk) in men, whose hearts are inherently wicked, who can know it! Start electing those who have put their faith and trust in the One True God, who is infallible and just.

  13. Bruce Jacobson says

    The corruption in Sacramento is shameful. They really believe they can side step the law and do anything they want. Tax the citizens on everything from gas to water.
    They are for the most part arrogant obstructionists to promote their own agenda. Now lets name a portion of the 134 freeway, the “Barrack Obama Freeway”. We do nothing for our homeless vets and we focus on sucking up to Obama, Sick!

  14. retiredxlr8r says

    California is no longer a state!
    Brown and his brown shirts are basically removing the state from the rest of the world based on their perceived importance and strength within the world community, all because “they” know best about the environment, “they” know best about compassion, aka welfare, and “they” know best about how the world should run.
    Guess what? California is flat broke and for all purposes could file bankruptcy today! Brown is destroying valuable farmland with a high speed rail that is going no where and losing money fast. Brown also wants to destroy the eco-system through much of the delta with ‘twin tunnels” to divert water around the delta, which will result in another costly endeavor providing no additional water. Let’s not forget the Orville Dam that fell apart during a winter storm and Brown didn’t have the money but he went to the Feds with his hat in hand and those funds you can bet will be spent on California’s retirement debt, and not the Dam. And her diversity is such that nobody like anyone very much at all, every one is living in their own world and everyone else better stay out. College students are lazy and will seed further school loans to stay in college it’s easier than working for a living. Then they will go after the taxpayer, you know, the one who didn’t go to college because he wasn’t a minority, wasn’t an illegal, his tax payments will go to satisfy the incompetent student who can’t pay his own bills and still lives in his parents house.
    Doomed! There is no back door, there is no escape, California, because of diversity and debt will collapse and we can all thank Brown and his Brown Shirts.

  15. So goes CA so goes the country. Driving CA into the ground is the beginning of the end of the whole damned country. That is what the communist demorats want. Do not forget RINO’S like Paul Ryan that want the same thing. Total and complete destruction of the US is the agenda. With support from most of the mainstream media. And of course our great public school system that is more interested in cultural enlightenment than to understand 2+2. To understand a balanced budget would be incomprehensible. Just what the communist want along with FREE EVERYTHING. I feel we are doomed. I thank God that I do not have many years left on this earth. The coming collapse is going to be like nothing ever before. When the barbarians take over devastation will be the norm. Sacramento and DC will regret the coming Armageddon. Rome did the same things we are doing.

  16. This is the kind of thing that you see in a one party state. The party in power throws all pretense aside and does what they want. If you think about it a gas tax is the most regressive tax that you can possibly have against the poor. People have to drive so they are forced to take the increase go on with life. If the democrats really were interested in policies that helped the poor and working class person they would not have made a tax like this. But because they know they have a monopoly of power in this state, they can show their true colors. And those true colors i think is something that is true on both sides of the isle. They want power, they want money and they want control the rest is simply marketing.

  17. THE CAPTIVE says

    Have they ever tarred and feathered dishonest and crafty elected officials for not performing as the public wants? The Lib-leftists ARE begging for it and then run the rascals out of town too!

  18. Paint Brush says

    The “Lib-leftists” are really Communists hell bent on destroying our culture, our governing process, our educational system and our morality in order to create the needed environment to take over and control the people. The bill to aborted the recall process is just another tentacle of that commie octopus trying to grab another part of our rights. Expose the corrupt communists who have control over our state legislature wherever and whenever you can.

  19. The concept of “public service” doesn’t exist in the Democrat party.

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