CA Senate bill changes recall rules as Newsom faces ousting

S.B. 663 would give recall subjects like Newsom access to the names and information of those who sign petitions calling for their removal from office, though the bill would not impact the current recall against the governor.

It would also extend the time period by which voters can remove their names from recall petitions to 45 days after the petition is filed; current law states that voters can only remove names one day prior to filing.

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“This is more legislation written by the insiders to protect the insiders,” Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox said in a Wednesday statement. “California politicians play by their own set of rules and then, when they don’t like the rules, change them.”

He added that political “insiders must not be allowed to intimidate regular Californians who are holding them accountable.”

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Kevin Faulconer, another Republican gubernatorial candidate and former San Diego mayor, took issue with the bill’s threat to privacy among recall voters. 

“Every Californian has a right to privacy,” he said. “Gavin Newsom’s allies sponsored this bill, which would give future recall signers’ names and contact information to political operatives – enabling intimidation and harassment.”

He added that “recalls are an important constitutional right in California.”

State Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, who was recalled in 2018 after he voted in favor of the California Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, or S.B. 1, which aimed to increased the state’s gas tax by 12 cents per gallon, authored the new recall legislation.

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“I was recalled because, frankly, those who wanted to break the Democratic supermajority at that time correctly saw an opportunity in the passage of S.B.-1 to do exactly that, and eventually succeeded in so doing despite every effort to point out the lack of integrity in this action and the slippery slope, by way of the cynical manipulation of constitutional loopholes and voter sentiment it seems to represent,” a statement on Newman’s 2020 campaign website reads.

Newman did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News. 

California lobbyist and chairman of the anti-Newsom-recall effort “Stop the Steal California” Don Perata issued a Monday statement requesting the Recall Gavin Newsom Committee release all of its petitions to the public. 

“We have been contacted by countless voters who can’t recall whether they specifically signed the recall petition,” Perata wrote. “If they did, many of them told us they weren’t told the cost or the timing of the recall. They now want to remove their signatures.”

He continued: “California law says that voters have right to remove their signatures.”

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