The Daily Brew: Where things stand with the recall effort against Newsom

Welcome to the Thursday, March 25, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Some updates on the recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom 
  2. New Mexico voters to decide early childhood education funding measure
  3. What’s the Tea?

Some updates on the recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom 

On March 17, the signature filing deadline passed for the recall effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). I recently wrote about the arguments for and against the recall and the signature requirements for a successful recall. I want to follow up with where signature verification stands, news about an opposition campaign, and more.

On March 19, the California Secretary of State’s office released a signature verification update. The office had processed 1,454,710 signatures and deemed 1,188,073 valid through March 11. Another 380,060 signatures remained unprocessed. At least 1,495,709 signatures must be deemed valid to trigger a recall election.

Recall organizers said they turned in more than 2.1 million signatures by the March 17 deadline. At the current verification rate of about 82%, that would amount to 1.722 million valid signatures, which would be enough to trigger a recall election.

On March 15, Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom—the official opposition committee for the recall—filed a statement of organization. The California Democratic Party has contributed $550,000 to the committee. Recall organizers reported raising $1.6 million throughout 2020—the most recent total available on the California Secretary of State website.

A recall election would present voters with two questions. The first would ask whether Newsom should be recalled. The second would ask who should succeed Newsom if he is recalled. A majority vote is required on the first question. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election without needing a majority. 

Here’s a look at recent polls about the recall:

Several individuals have announced campaigns or received media mentions as possible candidates if the recall makes the ballot. Among those are 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox (R), former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R), former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell (R), and former state Sen. John Moorlach (R).

Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. The only successful recall campaign was in 2003 when voters recalled then-Gov. Gray Davis (D). Out of 135 candidates, Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) was elected as Davis’ replacement with 48.6% of the vote.

Read on 

New Mexico voters to decide early childhood education funding measure

Earlier this week, we looked at two of the 10 measures already certified for the 2022 ballot. Here’s another—this time, out of New Mexico.

The measure would allocate 1.25% of the five-year average of year-end market values of the money in the Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF) to early childhood education and the public school permanent fund. Let’s unpack that a bit:

  • Revenue in the LGPF comes from leases and royalties on non-renewable natural resources, such as oil and gas, and returns on invested capital. It is currently valued at more than $20 billion.
  • Of the total increased allocation, 60% would go towards early childhood education and 40% would go toward the public school permanent fund. 
  • The amendment defines early childhood education as “nonsectarian and nondenominational education for children until they are eligible for kindergarten.” 
  • The Legislative Finance Committee estimated that the additional allocation would be about $245.7 million in fiscal year 2023.

The amendment would also provide that the allocation would not occur if the balance of the LGPF drops below $17 billion. 

The measure will appear on the ballot in November 2022 unless a special election is called for an earlier date.

In New Mexico, both chambers of the state legislature need to approve a constitutional amendment by a simple majority during one legislative session to refer the amendment to the ballot. 

Similar amendments were introduced during the last six legislative sessions but did not pass both chambers of the state legislature. The Albuquerque Journal wrote earlier this year that “new leadership in the Senate – with broad changes in the chamber’s makeup – is giving supporters renewed hope that this is the year the proposal will pass the full Legislature.” Former state Senate Finance Chair John Arthur Smith (D) opposed similar amendments. Smith sought re-election last year and lost in the primary.

On Feb. 12, the state House voted 44-23 to pass this amendment. On March 18, the state Senate passed an amended version of it 26-16 and the House concurred. Votes in both chambers were largely along party lines, with most Democrats supporting and most Republicans opposing. In addition to being approved by a majority of voters, the amendment would also have to be approved by Congress because the LGPF was established by federal law, and early childhood education is not specified.

Read on 

Thursday Trivia

Yesterday’s Brew went over the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 population estimates and how they compare to 2010. According to that data, which state is projected to have the largest increase in population?

  1. Arizona
  2. Utah
  3. West Virginia
  4. Ohio

Read on