Ebene Magazine – Opinion: Recalls from petition signers should remain anonymous

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The editorial team works independently of the UT newsroom, however, adheres to similar ethical standards. We base our editorials and memos on reporting, interviews and rigorous debates, and we strive for accuracy, fairness and courtesy in our section. Disagree? Let us know.

The Editorial Board of the San Diego Union-Tribune has long been an advocate for government transparency. We have also defended individual privacy. Senator Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, has brought these values ​​into conflict with Senate Bill 663. His bill would allow recall campaign targets to find out who signed recall requests and target audiences to try to get signers to remove their signatures – a change from allowing election officials to only access the names of petition signers. to validate their signatures now. Newman says the change would allow recall targets to respond to false or misleading allegations against them.

That argument may be substantive, but overall it doesn’t hold up and Newman’s reputation for doing it is shaky. He was vigorously recalled by voters in his district in 2018, not on false or misleading allegations, but because he voted to increase the state gasoline tax. He responded with a bitter shame for falling victim to political « abuse » but still managed to regain his Senate seat in 2020.

Newman’s bill was first approved by a Senate committee on April 12th. But this week, luckily, he withdrew his legislation, saying Republicans falsely said it was a hyper-political attempt to thwart Governor Gavin Newsom’s recall when it didn’t. They didn’t come into effect until next year when they come into effect. However, the main criticism of the bill, whether from Newsom recall supporters or others, was that it would open petition signers to harassment.

In times of doxing and toxic social media trolling and hate campaigns, that concern is justified. If Newman revives his bill in the 2022 legislature, we hope his colleagues choose not to hasten the political harassment. Signature recalls are a referendum on the politician, not ordinary people.

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Editorials

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comment

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comment

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comment

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The fact that George Floyd’s friend Daunte Wright knew how closely the suffering of these communities is linked

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