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An effort to recall California State Senator Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) over his vote to pass the $52 Billion “Gas Tax” has amassed around 35,000 signatures, of the 63,952 needed in just three weeks. Now it looks as if it is starting to make the legislator sweat.
Recall campaign against @SenatorNewmanCA over gas tax has 35,000 of the 63,500 signatures needed, with months to go to make the ballot.
— Patrick McGreevy (@mcgreevy99) June 2, 2017
The Orange County Register (OCRegister) reports that Newman has now resorted to mud slinging as a line of defense. In a mailer sent out to constituents, Newman accused former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio, the leader of the recall effort, of having sexually harassed former aides, including the direct accusation that he masturbated in front of one of them. Claims which Newman, according to the OCRegister, has no clear evidence to support.
When asked by the OCRegister about the mailer against DeMaio, Newman said:
“I’m not pleased to be part of this kind of politics, but we are playing a game by their rules.”
“(They) can’t play dirty, cynical politics and then say, ‘You hurt my feelings.’”
The OCRegister does report that DeMaio was accused of harassment in 2014, but the district attorney investigated and found insufficient evidence to file charges against him. What did occur from this accusation however, was an investigation by the FBI into DeMaio’s accuser, Todd Bosnich. The FBI found Bosnich guilty of obstruction of justice for fabricating anonymous threatening emails that had appeared to come from DeMaio, explained the OCRegister.
“The victim is Mr. DeMaio, DeMaio’s campaign or the democratic process,” U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said in his ruling, reported the OCRegister.
Newman, who represents California’s 29th Senate District consisting of parts of Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties, was narrowly elected less than six months ago and has already found himself in the cross hairs of district Republicans and his constituents for his vote to pass California Gov. Jerry Brown’s “Gas Tax” which includes a 12-cent per gallon gas tax and a vehicle-registration fee hike of about $50 for the average car, with the money aimed at repairing roads statewide, explained the OCRegister.
Allies of Newman have rallied, including Gov. Brown, have rallied the troops and the funding to push back against DeMaio. The “Don’t sign the recall petition” campaign appears to have funded people to block recall signers from the petitions, snail mail attack ads like the misleading one against DeMaio, and other intimation tactics.
The “Don’t sign the recall petition” campaign has tried to play the “don’t waste taxpayer funds” card also, arguing that the cost to run recall election in the three counties represented would be about $3 million dollars. Though OCRegister reports that the number is likely closer to $2-million to $2.4-million range, based on the estimates of Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley.
If a successful recall is enacted, it could potentially put an end to the Democrat super majority (2/3 vote in legislature, California Prop 26) in Sacramento and alleviate the state from what is essentially the Democrats ability to pass any new tax with.
Alongside the recall of Newman, is a movement to repeal SB1 or the “Gas Tax” itself. It has been proposed by State Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) and will run as a voter initiative, but needs 365,880 signatures to be on the ballot.
Popular talk radio hosts Ken Chiampou and John Kobylt, of KFIAM640’s “John & Ken Show,” have said that it is time that legislators face consequences for their bad decisions.
“That’s the only thing that works, is to take one of their team members out, politically,” said Chiampou. “If there’s no consequence, no punishment, then they’re going to keep right on doing this crap.”