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Nearly 85,000 signatures have been submitted on a petition to recall State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) the California Republican Party announced on Tuesday.
Launched by Carl DeMaio, a Republican talk radio host (note: DeMaio's show airs on AM 600 KOGO, an affiliate with iHeartMedia), thanked supporters on his blog saying they've "sent an unmistakable message" to Sacramento politicians.
While we can celebrate, we are NOT done. We will continue to collect signatures in the Recall effort, file a challenge to the illegal changes to the recall process recently made by Sacramento politicians, and prepare for the statewide initiative phase of the campaign.
The campaign needed at least 63,593 certified signatures by mid-October to force the recall in Senate District 29. Jim Brulte, the chairman of the California Republican Party said collecting so many signatures so quickly means the voters are ready for a change.
“Voters in Senate District 29 have made their opposition to Newman’s vote on the gas tax and car tax increases very clear. 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."
The announcement comes as Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Tuesday that would change the rules governing recall elections. The bill allows voters to withdraw their signature from a recall petition 30 days after it has been submitted to officials. It also ensures that most recall elections will be held during the June primary.
Brulte says the new law is a "clear abuse of power."
“It is a clear abuse of power for the same legislators who voted for a wildly unpopular gas tax to now change the rules applying to recall elections in order to protect their colleague form the voters of his community,” stated Brulte. “The Democrats’ attempt to quell the movement by retroactively changing the rules is pure political gamesmanship and completely undermines our democratic process."
The new rules will likely help Newman to defeat the recall effort thanks to higher voter turnout during regularly scheduled elections.