Today I will heading down to ARCO at 519 S. Harbor Blvd here in Fullerton to participate in the recall effort of CA State Senator Josh Newman. I will be there while KFI640’s John & Ken Show as well as KOGO600’s Carl DeMaio live broadcast while attempting to collect the required signatures. Many people will likely show up both for and against the recall and each will have their own reasons and their own beliefs. But why am I supporting the recall of Senator Newman?
I’ve been asked in various outlets and in person how I could support removing an official who was duly elected.
I’ve been asked if its fair to recall Senator Newman simply because he voted to our raise taxes.
I’ve been asked if there’s even a legal case to recall Senator Josh Newman.
I’ve also been accused of being used in a game of partisan bickering and political grandstanding. Being told that I’m nothing more than a tool of a party that lost all power when Newman beat Ling Ling Change thereby securing the Super-Majority for the Democratic Party.
I’ve also been yelled at quite a bit both online and off for my support of this contentious effort.
Obviously anything with a partisan angle or flair will allow people to adorn their blinders and lock arms with their tribe. For most the very answers to the above questions will depend on whom you ask being that (D)s will say that there is no case or justification for a recall whilst (R)s will clearly state the opposite.
None of that matters to me. As I have never been a member of a political party I am unaffected by tribal political grandstanding. Therefore I am going to answer these questions from the perspective of somebody who voted for Newman and yet is supporting his removal from office.
Let us clear one thing up first and foremost ; this isn’t anything new and yes it is perfectly legal to remove somebody for office in California for any reason. Before some armchair political Googlestorians try to claim that this is absurd we’ll go over a really quick history.
Here’s why it’s totally legal according to the California Secretary of State:
In 1911, as part of the Progressive reform movement in California, the initiative, referendum, and recall were added to the State Constitution.
A politician can be recalled for any reason in this state ever since that change to the CA Constitution. Senator Newman, during our interview, claimed that he was surprised that he was being recalled for a single vote as recalls are typically used for corruption. However a quick history of CA shows that recall attempts have happened since nearly the moment the recall was added to the CA Constitution (with an odd 80-year gap) and for varying reasons.
Since 1913 there have been 162 recall attempts in California with 28 of those being attempted against State Senators. It is true that the first major recall was over corruption charges which is where Newman’s answer on his situation obviously falls. Yet, the second recall to take place in California was launched by an interest group against a senator due to his voting record. Sound familiar?
Why does this history matter? Because it is both historically consistent and fair to want to recall a politician when voters feel they have been betrayed by their elected officials.
This is where I stand with Senator Newman. I voted for Newman because he touts himself as more fiscally conservative than the average (D)s. He spoke like an honest broker and he seemed genuine. His vote to raise taxes when nothing has been done to change the corrupt culture and lax spending habits in Sacramento speaks against that premise. His actions defy his words.
There has been no movement in Sacramento, despite the hundreds of bills introduced in this this session of the legislature alone, to address the habits and malfeasance that got us into our current manufactured crisis. The (D) Super-Majority has had countless bills and votes on nearly all topics imaginable except better and more accountable government with regards to our infrastructure.
Are the (R)s using a recall as a pretext to take away the Super-Majority in the California Senate and stop the (D)s from continually raising taxes? You’d have to ask the (R)s but I’d reckon the answer is yes. Are the (R)s upset that their flawed incumbent candidate lost and do they want another bite at the apple? See previous answer.
I’m not an (R) so these concerns matter little to me and do not change my reasoning. I voted for Newman because I believed him when he said he wasn’t just another part of the partisan political machine. I believed him when he intimated that he would try to do right by his constituents. Not only did I vote for him, I rallied people I knew to vote for him as well. While it’s certainly true that the voters I drove to him didn’t sway the election it is also true that if enough people like me had voted otherwise he wouldn’t be our Senator. I believe had Newman been forthright about his loyalties we wouldn’t be in this mess.
For context here is what Josh Newman the candidate submitted to BallotPedia. These following sentiments are why many of us voted for him:
“I am, first and foremost, not a politician. Nor do I ever intend to become one. What I do aspire to is public service, of the kind I was proud to have contributed as a member of the United States Armed Forces, though this time in a different capacity: as the representative and advocate for the citizens in my state senate district. In a district as geographically expansive and demographically diverse as ours, no single person can be exactly in step with every constituent all the time.
“What I can promise, though, is honesty, integrity, open-mindedness, and responsiveness, all the time. I’m not a party loyalist, and I don’t owe any lobby or special interest anything as I seek this office, so that what you see with me is what you’ll get: a smart, practical and principled person who knows exactly who he works for: you and the other residents of the 29th Senate District.”
Raising taxes on the middle class and working poor because Sacramento plays the role of pickpocket while doing nothing beforehand to make sure the money is being spent correctly is what a politician does. It is not smart, honest, practical or principled to not care where the last $100Billion dollars went while reaching for $50Billion more. It is not smart, honest, practical or principled to neglect to address accountability in Sacramento. It is not smart, honest, practical or principled to put a hollow bill in front of voters to hold you to account because you cannot be bothered to demand better bills before you signal “Aye”.
Senator Newman was not working for District 29 when he voted with Kevin de Leon to pass Jerry Brown’s regressive car and gas taxes. Had Senator Newman been working for District 29 he would have demanded a halt to Brown’s High Speed Rail Boondoggle. Had Senator Newman been working for District 29 he would have demanded an audit to know where all of our money goes before handing more of it over to his politician friends. He would have done something, anything to prove that we weren’t just being robbed yet again. Senator Newman did none of these things.
The only thing Senator Newman did manage go do is to co-author a bill to place an Amendment on the ballot next year that doesn’t even legally do what he claims. He has “assurances” from the same people who have made a living out of lying to all Californians.
That is why it is fair for somebody like myself to want to recall Senator Newman. He betrayed my trust and voted against both my family and my interests when he voted to further pick our pockets simply to fund Sacramento’s graft. If I have no faith in an elected official it is my right afforded by the California State Constitution to want to see said official removed from office.
That is why I’ll be at ARCO supporting the recall effort today. I support the recall because I don’t believe Senator Newman represents me or my district and I demand better. Only time will tell if enough voters in Senate District 29 agree with me that we deserve better.