SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Senator Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa) and Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) are targeting the California recall process as outdated and undemocratic.
Berman and Glazer announced Wednesday a series of what they hope will be bipartisan hearings on improving the state’s recall laws. They say they want to keep elected officials accountable, but they also want to prevent political gamesmanship of the rules.READ MORE: 1 Dead, 5 Hospitalized After Violent Night In Stockton
“I think yesterday’s election highlighted the fundamentally undemocratic nature of California’s recall process,” Berman said Wednesday. “California law should not allow an elected official to be recalled and replaced by someone else who receives far fewer votes.”
Right now, a governor’s recall election qualifies for the ballot if supporters gather signatures equaling 12% of the turnout in the prior gubernatorial election. Of the 19 states that allow recalls, only Montana makes it easier, with a 10% threshold.READ MORE: Coast Guard: 1,200-Foot Ship Dragged California Oil Pipeline
“We’re simply saying that accountability is good and that it needs to be maintained, but that we need to look for ways to modernize it and understand how it’s been manipulated,” said Glazer.
Aside from signature requirements, the other issues they want examined include the grounds for removing an elected official and the process of succession if a governor is recalled. But it may be hard to get Republicans on board who say the recall process isn’t the problem, rather blaming Democrats for prompting one in the first place.MORE NEWS: Sacramento Non-Profit Aims To Help Single Moms During Holidays
“Democrats have continued to put politics into this process in ways that will benefit their agenda. We’re seeing it again and it’s frustrating but not surprising,” Ellie Hockenbury, California Republican Party communications director told CBS13. “I think that the way to make sure they’re not being recalled is to make sure they’re doing a good job for their constituents.”