The ongoing saga that is the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election, scheduled for September 14, has just had an unusual and somewhat entertaining skirmish that was lost by sitting Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who will now not be allowed to have his party affiliation “Democrat” printed by his name on the recall ballot.
Newsom’s legal team appeared at a court hearing on July 12, seeking forgiveness for oversight by the governor’s attorney regarding a required filing with election officials. In the last-minute case filed against Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Newsom argued that the election statute included an unnecessarily early deadline for officials subject to recall to request their party affiliation appear on the ballot.
Newsom’s excuse for not making the required filing on time was that his lawyer forgot to do it.
The California Patriot Coalition opposed Newsom’s request for a waiver of the statutory deadline. The Coalition is a leading proponent of the effort to recall Newsom and has stated:
We have filed a Motion to Intervene in CA Governor Gavin Newsom’s lawsuit filed last week against his hand-picked Secretary of State Shirley Weber. Newsom is asking for the Court to allow him to place a “D” next to his name on the recall election ballot, even though Newsom blew the deadline for requiring the Secretary of State to do so by 16 months. We note that the deadline blown by Newsom is contained in a statute that Newsom himself signed into law.
The people of California have been on the receiving end of scores of outrageous orders and laws issued and signed by Newsom in his self-perceived role as King of California. Throughout his time in office, he has acted above the law as if he is not subject to California’s Constitution, the State Legislature, and the will of the great people of California.
Newsom understands the power of having the Democrat designation printed by his name on the ballot and wished to rely on the willingness of many California voters to vote Democratic no matter who the people are that are running for a particular office. If he had been willing to stand on his record and name, it seems doubtful that his lawyer’s mistake would have meant very much to him.
An attorney opposing Newsom’s request on behalf of recall supporters stated, “At base, this comes down to whether the governor of California has to follow the unambiguous law and it just so happens, a law that he signed.”
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge James Arguelles ruled that the law “unambiguously precludes party information from appearing on a recall ballot where the elected officer fails timely to make the designation.”
Whether we see overconfidence, old-fashioned hubris, or just simple incompetence at play, it is clear that Gavin Newsom may not be taking his recall election as seriously as the situation warrants.