The concluding four weeks of the 2017 Session started this past week and the fun has started. This week concluded with a great surprise. Assemblyman Brian Dahle was selected to replace Assemblyman Chad Mayes as the Assembly Republican Caucus Leader yesterday afternoon on a unanimous vote, making it a total eclipse (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Eclipse — August 20, 2017 august 20, 2017 john moorlach).
Another big story was Senate Bill 117, a “supposed” budget trailer bill, which counteracted the very recent State Appellate Court ruling that the original budget trailer bill extending the recall process retroactively to assist one State Senator may not have been constitutional. This bill went into print at 4 a.m. on Monday morning, as bills need to be in print at least 72 hours now. 4 a.m.? The nonsense in Sacramento gets more creative with every passing week.
SB 117 received the necessary votes in both chambers yesterday morning and was immediately signed by the Governor. Immediately? That should tell you something. The Assembly version of this bill was heard Tuesday afternoon by the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, on which I serve. My last observation had to do with the naming of the bill. I wondered if it should be “The Senator Josh Newman Act?” That’s how blatant this manipulation of voter intent has been.
During yesterday morning’s Session, Sen. Newman complimented me on the title I recommended while we were both leaving the Senate Floor to attend our respective brief Caucus meetings. To engage in the frivolity of his compliment, I coyly stated that I should have been thinking a little quicker at the time and referred to it as “The Sen. Josh Newman Recall Protection Act.” All to say, he did not react very well to this humorous banter. Wow! Talk about hitting a nerve.
The website of the LA Timespicks up on this topic with some of my Floor Comments in opposition to the bill. What were my concerns?
1. Assemblymembers will now get a free ride. If it takes two years to recall a state legislator or statewide officer, Assemblymembers have nothing to fear. Why should Senators and statewide officeholders be the only individuals subject to recall?
2. The original recall provisions were approved in 1911 with SCA 13. It has worked well for more than 100 years! Why change the law now?
3. Why use a budget trailer bill? The Department of Finance (DOF) is not a subject matter expert on recall law, and proved it during my questioning in the Budget Committee meeting. Shouldn’t the monopoly party be honest and use an urgency bill?
4. It should not take the DOF 30 days to calculate the costs of a recall. They were already allocating $500,000 for Sen. Newman’s recall in the second bill on the Supplemental File, with SB 113. Consequently, it should not take more than 3 hours to calculate the cost in the future. You have to love lame stalling techniques.
5. After 30 days to calculate the estimated costs, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee is allocated another 30 days to review the DOF’s numbers. Really? We passed the $500,000 number in less than a week. This new policy is shameful, unconscionable and more than frustrating.
6. As for claims that those who signed the petitions were deceived, that is also semantically incorrect. You need a ballot measure to reverse the gas tax. And you need a recall to protect the successful passage of that proposition, as a super majority can immediately vote in a new gas tax (as this week has proven).
This was political gamesmanship at its obviously worst and a new lawsuit opposing this charade was filed this morning. And, it all started with one vote. An “aye” vote on SB 1 has consequences (see MOORLACH UPDATE — Do You Recall? — July 10, 2017 july 10, 2017 john moorlach).
Another effort by Democrats to revamp California’s recall elections is signed by Gov. Jerry Brown
|John Myers http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-a-second-effort-by-
Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed a second version of new rules governing California recall elections, one passed hours earlier by Democrats seeking to stop the removal of an Orange County state senator.
The bill, introduced in the Legislature just three days ago, would impose new waiting periods before a special recall election is held. Democrats insist the change is needed so voters who sign a recall petition have time to remove their names from the list if they change their minds.
But the law would also apply to the current effort at a recall election for state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), whom Republicans hope to remove from office after his springtime vote for a $52-billion transportation plan. That law will raise gas taxes and vehicle fees. The additional time for signature tallies and fiscal analysis of election costs would likely delay any special election in the Newman effort until 2018.
“I’m real frustrated by the gamesmanship,” said state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) during Thursday’s Senate debate on the bill. On the verification of election costs, Moorlach said, “Some of this stuff could be done in three hours.”
Democrats repeated their criticism of the GOP-funded effort to gather signatures in Newman’s district, claiming voters were told they were signing petitions to repeal the new gas taxes.
“Let’s protect that democratic right of the person who learns they’ve been deceived,” said state Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel).
Brown signed the first effort to change the recall election rules in June, but that legislation was initially blocked by a state appeals court. Opponents of Newman have already turned in more than enough signatures to force a recall election. Absent the law signed by the governor on Thursday, that election could have been held as soon as the end of October.
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