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State Sen. Josh Newman defends against Howard Jarvis group lawsuit

State Sen. Josh Newman (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
State Sen. Josh Newman (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

A court filing on behalf of state Sen. Josh Newman said that the California Legislature acted properly in adopting new rules for a recall campaign against him, and it charged a lawsuit challenging the rules is politically motivated.

Republican activists said they launched the recall because Newman, a Democrat from Fullerton, voted to raise gas taxes.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. filed a lawsuit alleging it was improper for the Legislature to retroactively require a recall campaign against Newman to go through additional steps, including a financial analysis of the election and a period during which people can remove their signatures from petitions.

"These newly enacted provisions may have upset HJTA's plan for a quick election, but they were nevertheless within the specific authority conferred on the Legislature to regulate recall elections," said the filing by Newman’s attorneys Monday in the state Court of Appeal.

Newman’s filing said the recall was launched “not because of anything he did in particular, but because his election in November 2016 was by the narrowest margin in the state, and was therefore considered the best prospect for 'breaking' the current (Democratic) supermajority in the California State Legislature.”

The taxpayer group now gets a chance to file its arguments in the case against the Legislature’s rule change.

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