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Speaker Sues Secretary of State in Attempt to Block Recall Campaign

TIMES STAFF WRITER

An attorney for GOP Assembly Speaker Doris Allen filed a lawsuit Wednesday in an attempt to block a recall effort against the embattled lawmaker, whom Republican colleagues accuse of being a traitor in cahoots with the Democrats.

The lawsuit contends that the recall petition circulated by Allen opponents does not contain the proper language prescribed by the state Elections Code and could mislead voters who sign.

“We believe they need to start all over with a proper and legal petition,” said Larry Goldenhersh, a Los Angeles attorney hired last week by Allen.

Goldenhersh filed the lawsuit against Secretary of State Bill Jones, whose office was responsible for reviewing the recall petition and approving it for circulation. The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, seeks to have the recall declared invalid.

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The attorney said Jones “breached his duty” by allowing the petition to be circulated even though it does not contain a “fundamental element” required by state elections law--a concrete demand for a recall and election to name a successor. Instead, the Allen recall petition says that her opponents “intend” to seek her recall and election of a successor.

“Voters could view it as a canvassing of their opinion as to whether they might consider sometime in the future bringing on a recall,” said Goldenhersh, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of two Orange County voters who believed they had been misled when they signed the petition.


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