The length California politicians will go to disenfranchise voters has reached a point of all-time absurdity. Before turning to AB 1495, which passed the Assembly yesterday, a bit of context.
In January, Gavin Newsom installed his crony Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate. At the time, I wrote a legal memo explaining that this was unconstitutional and Newsom had to let voters pick the new Senator.
Newsom ignored it, but a month later I obtained a formal 10-page opinion from the Legislative Counsel’s Office reaching the same conclusion: the Constitution required Newsom to set an election for a Senator to complete Kamala’s term.
I made it clear to Newsom I was prepared to file a lawsuit, and this seemed to get his attention; after all, we’d already beaten him in court once. The Speaker of the Assembly asked me for a copy of the Legislative Counsel opinion.
We now know what happened next. A scheme was concocted to bail out Newsom and Padilla with AB 1495. The bill acknowledges I was right: it sets an election for a Senator to fill the remainder of Kamala’s term. But there’s a catch.
The special election won’t take place right away. Instead, this vote for who will be our Senator through January 2023 is scheduled for November 2022. You read that correctly: we’ll be electing someone to serve for a month.
Here’s the truly crazy part: Padilla will at the same time be running for reelection. So on your November 2022 ballot you’ll see what looks like a printing error: a race for the same Senate seat will appear twice. One vote will be for the last month of Kamala’s term, the other for a new six-year term.
Padilla will ask you to vote for him twice, to try to make up for him assuming office without any vote at all. The point, of course, is to let him serve as long as possible before facing voters.
To make matters worse, Newsom is now trying to push Dianne Feinstein out the door, making way for our other Senate seat to fall prey to the same corrupt shenanigans.
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