Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton. Photo: Sen. Newman’s office

Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, filed legal complaints with the state and with prosecutors in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties seeking an investigation of the efforts to have him recalled.

Newman, who cast the vote that gave the bill to increase the gas tax and vehicle registration fee the two-thirds majority needed for passage, is the target of a recall campaign that he claims is illegal because signatories to the petitions to recall him are being told it will “stop the car tax.”

Democrats in the Legislature have included a provision in the state budget that would make it tougher to mount recalls in the future. Republicans have cried foul, claiming it’s an attempt to save Newman from losing his seat.

Newman argues that some of his constituents have said they would like their names removed from the petitions because they thought they were opposing the gas tax, not to oust Newman.

“It is of utmost importance to the electoral process that voters be provided with accurate, straightforward information when signing a petition,” Newman’s attorney, Richard Rios, wrote in a letter to local prosecutors.

“In the current effort to collect signatures to recall Senator Newman, there is clear and substantial evidence that the recall petition circulators have provided voters with false and misleading information in violation of” the law, Rios wrote.

“I request that you immediately investigate these violations to ensure the integrity of the recall process.”

Former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio, one of the chief backers of the recall, ridiculed Newman’s attempts to quash another election.

“State Senator Josh Newman is a liar and a bully who is being recalled from office because he cast the deciding vote to increase car and gas tax hikes — a point we spell out specifically in the recall petition that everyone is signing,” DeMaio said.

“Newman’s false claims in this complaint are part of his larger effort to bully his constituents to stop the recall against him.”

In April, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the bill that raises the gas tax and increases vehicle registration fees. 

–City News Service

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