SACRAMENTO (Mercury News)– Over impassioned objections from GOP lawmakers, California Democrats on June 15 used a budget maneuver to help out a freshman colleague, Sen. Josh Newman, who faces an ugly recall battle in Southern California after voting for increasing the state’s gas tax less than six months after he was elected.
Slipped into a budget-related bill on a veteran’s cemetery was a provision to add new requirements for qualifying a recall petition for the ballot. Such changes would almost certainly delay a Newman recall to a general election.
General elections typically have better turnouts than special elections and favor Democrats.
Republicans are furious about the move, which bypasses the lengthy process through which policy bills are typically vetted. That it appeared in a bill establishing a new location of a new Southern California veteran’s cemetery made it more offensive to opponents.
“It’s just flat out wrong,” said Assemblyman Devon Mathis, a Republican from Visalia, in an interview. “I’m a combat veteran, and I didn’t get blown up twice in Iraq to come home and see this happen.”