After spending $276 million on a recall attempt that accomplished nothing, the state's top elections official, Shirley Weber, is on a rhetorical warpath urging the legislature to change the lopsided rules.
California Democrats aren’t just spiking the football over Gavin Newsom’s blowout, runaway win in Tuesday’s recall election, they’re also making moves to ensure that future windmill-chasing efforts do not make it that far again. As seen below, Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Kevin Mullin had the itchy Twitter finger Tuesday night, declaring some 12 minutes after networks called the race that it was “A $276 million waste just to reaffirm 2018’s results with an election coming in 2022.”
A $276 million waste just to reaffirm 2018’s results with an election coming in 2022. The CA recall process must be reformed including elevating the Lt. Guv in the event of a recall. But to avoid partisan power grabs the Governor/LG should be a ticket of the same party (like NY).— Kevin Mullin (@kevinmullin) September 15, 2021
And while votes are still being tallied, the percentages have not really changed. The nearly 30-point win for Newsom remains intact, at 64%-36% according to the latest totals from the Secretary of State’s office.
I'm working to ensure every vote in this election is counted, and that the results reflect the will of the people. But our recall rules make that an uphill climb -- and going forward, we must level the playing field. https://t.co/weMvpigkMd— Shirley Weber, PhD (@DrWeber4CA) September 16, 2021
That same Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber, is ditching her normal diplomatic tone now that this frivolous recall election is over.
"If the state of California is going to spend nearly $300 million to have a special election, it better be worth having, “ Weber complained to CNN. "The recall process as currently designed, which hasn't been revised in a century, makes those goals difficult — if not impossible — to achieve."
She further made the rounds to Politico, saying, “I think the public is kind of waking up because before recalls didn’t happen very often, and when they did, someone did something really egregious.”
Your crazy Republican uncle will tell you Newsom did do something egregious, namely, the infamous French Laundry dinner. This reporter would tell you that the success of the recall signature-gathering effort had more to do with a judge granting the recall movement four extra months to collect signatures. After all, these same people have tried to recall Newsom five other times since his 2019 swearing in as governor.
Weber does not have the power to change the recall rules, only to enforce them. But the legislature has the power to change the recall rules, and they’re already at it. “The Democrats who head the Legislature’s election committees are launching a series of hearings,” according to Politico. “Another state senator has promised to introduce constitutional amendments that would raise the required number of signatures and dictate that, when a governor is recalled, the lieutenant governor steps in.”
The Newsom recall effort was largely funded by a tiny handful of Republican donors, which is true of many of the recalls we’re seeing. Surely political consultants are enjoying the recall-happy phenomenon of nonstop election season revenue, but each of these recall whims that gets enough signatures will ultimately cost taxpayers more money. “Evidently it’s something California is now into,” Weber told Politico, “and we can see the expense of it.”
Weber’s advice has no bearing on the Recall Chesa Boudin and Recall the SF School Board efforts, as those are City and County of San Francisco affairs. But are California voters getting recall fatigue? Signs point to yes. The Los Angeles Times just reported that the Recall George Gascón effort just failed to get enough signatures. But those attempting to recall the now-Los Angeles district attorney will, sigh, start another signature campaign and just try again.
Image: @DrWeber4CA via Twitter