John Chiang obviously is not worried about hanging around with Josh Newman in Fullerton on Friday.
Currently the California state treasurer, Chiang is running for governor. Currently a state senator, Newman (D-Brea) is fighting a recall campaign mounted against him by some pretty heavy conservative hitters.
Newman "cast a key vote imposing a new $5.2 billion annual gas and car tax on already overburdened taxpayers," says Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
In that capacity, Coupal wrote an Orange County Register op/ed piece that chastises "Sacramento politicians" for apparently derailing "what appears to be a successful grassroots effort to recall state Sen. Josh Newman."
This was done through a Senate bill attached to the state budget that is raising the bar when it comes to average Californians' "constitutional right to recall elected officials," according to Coupal.
County voter registrars previously checked a sample of petition signatures collected to make sure they were valid. The new legislation requires each petition signature be verified, ensuring the process will take longer.
There's more, according to Coupal:
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Second, and more disturbing, is the provision buried deep in the text that states, “Notwithstanding any other law, the Secretary of State shall not certify the sufficiency of the signatures [on the recall petitions] until the Legislative Joint Budget Committee has 30 days to review and comment on the estimate [of recall costs] submitted by the Department of Finance.”
Here’s the kicker. The Department of Finance is part of the governor’s office and the bill does not require the governor’s office to prepare that analysis under any time limit. Gov. Brown, who has already come out against the recall, can simply delay that report indefinitely, which, in turn, would hold up certification of the recall effort and the ultimate election.
"Members of the California Legislature apparently believe they have the power to change outcomes they don’t like," Coupal writes earlier in his piece. "This is like awarding the NBA Championship to Cleveland by retroactively mandating that all of Golden State’s three point baskets be counted as only two."
A member of the California Legislature besides Newman who is scheduled to meet with Chiang is Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton). The three are set to participate in a higher education discussion with Fullerton College President Greg Schulz, Cal State Fullerton Interim Provost Anil Puri and student trustees Taylor Gaetji and Andrew Washington.
The hour-long event starts at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Fullerton College Building 200, Room 227.