Newsom challenges ballot recall, Jenner’s case reviewed – .

Newsom challenges ballot recall, Jenner’s case reviewed – .

The recall campaign targeting Gov. Gavin Newsom intensified on Friday in the state capital of California, with a courtroom confrontation to determine whether the governor can identify as a Democrat on the ballot and hopeful governor Caitlyn Jenner answering pointed questions at her first full-fledged press conference.
In Sacramento Superior Court, Newsom’s attorney argued that barring the governor from listing party affiliation on the ballot, a possibility after missing the legal deadline months ago to nominate himself Democrat, would deprive Californians of critical information in the September 14 vote. recall the election.

Lawyers for supporters of the recall, including Jenner’s legal advisor, criticized Newsom and said he was acting as if he was above the law, urging the judge to dismiss his request. The matter is now in the hands of Superior Court Judge James P. Arguelles who, after scattering lawyers on both sides with questions during the hour-long hearing on Friday morning, said he would render his decision Monday.

The case centers on a lawsuit by Newsom against California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, a Democratic colleague he appointed to the job in December, asking the court to require Weber to print his party preference on reminder ballots.

Weber had refused Newsom’s request to do so, saying the governor’s attorney did not make the request, as required by state law, when filing the governor’s official response to the recall early of 2020. Weber did not object to adding Newsom’s party affiliation if the judge ordered it.

Kevin Calia, the secretary of state’s outside lawyer, told the judge that allowing Newsom to include his party’s designation would give Californians a “more informed choice” when voting in the election.

Jenner, a former reality TV star, used the trial as a launching pad for her first press conference, during which she gave a brief opening statement and answered 11 minutes of questions from reporters disputing her lack of political experience and irregular voting record.

Jenner said she joined the trial as an intervener to keep the process transparent.

“I want people to see what’s going on here in Sacramento and what’s going on,” Jenner said. “And I just wanted to be a part of this lawsuit so that Shirley Weber wouldn’t bend – [so] she really does her job.

The Olympic gold medalist has peppered her remarks with sporting analogies and dismissed polls showing she was lagging behind in the race to replace Newsom, noting her family’s fame for reality TV had given her more notoriety than Newsom.

“I guarantee you I’m in the lead” when it comes to who should replace Newsom, Jenner said.

“I obviously have a huge advantage because of the name recognition, and I think people are learning more about me as we go through this process, about my political beliefs and how I would rule.” , she said.

Jenner said that from mid-August she will campaign by bus across the state, dismissing speculation that her recall race is more spectacular than substantial.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from athletics, it’s you have to work,” she said. ” We must train. You have to prepare yourself. You have to improve yourself with the problems. You have to understand the issues. Obviously I’m an underdog and I think that’s a good thing.

Jenner has said she has no intention of contacting former President Trump for approval, saying she should not be seen as a typical GOP candidate.

She described herself as having “conservative economic values” but noted that she was an “inclusive Republican” on social issues. The brevity of his press conference, however, made it difficult to push for more details.

Jenner said she had “no regrets” for her voting record, which shows that she did not vote in many elections.

“I voted when I needed it, depending on the issues,” she said.

Jenner’s first interaction with the Sacramento media body and Newsom’s court hearing a few blocks away gave a taste of what might lie ahead as California heads to the recall election. mid-September.

Until 2020, politicians facing a recall were not allowed to put their party’s designation on the ballot – and that included Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat who in 2003 became the only governor of California to be reminded of his duties.

But a new law, which Newsom signed in October 2019, stipulates that office holders must now request to have their party preference written on the ballot during the initial seven-day window to respond to a notice. reminder. If they do not, no party affiliation is indicated.

Although Newsom responded to this initial filing on February 28, 2020, it did not include its party preference. Newsom’s attorney, Thomas Willis, has been blamed for the error, saying when he filed the documents he was unaware the law had changed.

During Friday’s hearing, Willis argued that Newsom should be allowed to register his party affiliation under the legal doctrine of “substantial compliance”. Willis cited a California Supreme Court ruling that strict adherence to electoral procedures is not required in cases where there is a minor procedural error that does not affect the integrity of the electoral process.

Attorney Eric Early, who represents recall supporters Orrin Heatlie, Mike Netter and the California Patriot Coalition, argued that the deadline requirement was crystal clear and that Newsom, having enacted it, cannot claim ignorance .

“The governor of California must obey the law,” Early told the judge. “It might be a bitter pill for the governor to swallow, but he has to swallow it. “

The current recall effort is the sixth launched against Newsom since taking office in January 2019 and, like the others, has started slowly.

However, in a separate case, Arguelles gave supporters of the recall an additional five months in November to collect and submit 1.49 million California voters’ petition signatures, the number required by state law to qualify the recall. for the ballot. The judge did so after the recall campaign argued that the state’s COVID-19 closures and restrictions had limited the ability to circulate petitions.

Neither the governor nor the secretary of state has decided to appeal the ruling, a move some Democrats see as a mistake.

Counsel for recall supporters in that case was Bradley Benbrook of Sacramento, a former partner at a Sacramento law firm with Arguelles. Benbrook also represented Jenner at Friday’s hearing.

Times editor Julia Wick contributed to this report.


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