The petition to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom will now become official after clearing its final hurdle on Wednesday.
The state’s top election official confirmed that enough signatures remained after voters had been given a chance to withdraw support for the petition, and Newsom will be forced to face a recall election this year.
California Secretary of State Shirley Weber said only 43 signatures were withdrawn during a supplemental signature withdrawal period, leaving 1,719,900 verified signatures that still meet the threshold to initiate a recall election.
Newsom has faced handled the Coronavirus pandemic horridly, and has faced extreme criticism as a result. The state is often criticized for having a large homeless population, “unreasonable draconian lockdown measures,” high taxes, and being one of the least free states in the nation.
The rules, however, never seemed to apply to Newsom as his own businesses remained open even while others were forced closed and he was caught dining maskless at a Michelin-Star restaurant.
“It will be only the second time in California’s history that a campaign to recall a governor has made the ballot out of 55 attempts,” Bloomberg News reported. “In 2003, Gray Davis was removed and replaced by Hollywood superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican.”
Weber notified California Department of Finance Director Keely Martin Bosler, who is tasked with handling the next step in the recall process that the election was officially triggered via a letter. The Department of Finance will determine the cost of the election and whether it will be conducted as a special election and be part of the next scheduled gubernatorial election. The department’s cost estimates are due on Aug. 5.
“The Department of Finance, in consultation with county elections officials and the Secretary of State, must estimate the costs of the recall election and submit the estimate to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee by August 5, 2021,” the letter stated.
“The Department of Finance’s estimates must include the costs that would be incurred if the recall election is held as a special election and if it is consolidated with the next regularly scheduled election, and must include expenses for verifying signatures, printing ballots and voter information guides, and operating polling places. As required by law, the Department of Finance’s estimate of recall costs must be posted on the Secretary of State’s website and printed in the state voter information guide.”
The Joint Legislative Budget Committee will have 30 days to review and comment on the petition, after which Weber would be responsible for issuing the final certification as to the sufficiency of the number of votes to initiate a recall.
Also on Wednesday, a damming investigative report by CapRadio showed that Newsom had misled the public about his wildfire prevention efforts. The report concluded that Newsom overstated by 690 percent the number of acres treated with fuel breaks and prescribed burns.
Newsom said fire prevention work was conducted on 90,000 acres but the state’s own figures peg the number at 11,399, according to the report.
Newsom cannot run in the recall election. It could be held as early as August or as late as November this year.
Author: Marcus Orion