A recall is brewing against freshman state Senator Josh Newman over his vote in favor of a massive tax increase pushed by Governor Jerry Brown and the liberal Democratic leadership of the state legislature. The package of gas tax and vehicle license tax increase – which have no expiration date – are projected to cost taxpayers more than $50 billion during the next 10 years.
San Diego talk radio host and former SD City Councilman Carl DeMaio is spearheading the effort and says there is interest from various political players and grassroots organizations. Newman is being targeted in part because of the narrowness of his victory last year – beating Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang by 2,498 votes – the beneficiary of extraordinary Democratic turnout.
The tax hike package passed with the bare two-thirds majority necessary in both the Senate and the Assembly; if any one of those legislators had voted “no” the tax hike package would have failed.
Newman is the author of the accompanying SCA 2, a state constitutional amendment that will be on the 2018 ballot and purports to guarantee all revenues raised by the tax package will only be used for transportation purposes. Critics point out that legislature has always found ways around past ballot measures that did the same thing.
Recalls are easier said than done, but Newman is a logical target – a newly-elected Democrat from a swing-district in an era of massive voter dissatisfaction.