This is Essential Politics for August 2017. Find our daily look at California political and government news over here.
Democrats in the California Legislature pushed again Monday to revamp the rules covering recall elections, their second attempt to potentially delay an effort aimed at removing an Orange County state senator.
The new legislation comes on the heels of an appeals court temporarily blocking a law enacted in June. It was introduced just days after local elections officials reported more than enough signatures for a recall election against state Sen. Josh Newman (D-Fullerton) this fall.
The proposal, written as a budget-related "trailer bill," would ban elections officials from verifying voter signatures on recall petitions through a random sampling process. It would, instead, require every signature to be validated.
And like the law placed in limbo by an appeals court, it would create a new time period for voters to remove their signatures from the Newman recall petition.
Democrats have insisted many of those voters were told they were signing a petition to repeal a gas-tax increase slated to take effect in November.
"It remains in the overwhelming public interest to safeguard the integrity of California's recall process and to ensure that recall petitions are not being signed under false and fraudulent pretenses – which is what clearly and blatantly occurred in the 29th Senate District," said Jonathan Underland, a spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).