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Picture Shirley Weber in Prison
The Election Fraud Nobody Wants to Report

Picture Shirley Weber in Prison
The Election Fraud Nobody Wants to Report
August 31, 2021

Updated: 2021-09-04 1:45 pm

Updated: 2021-09-04 10:15 pm

Updated: 2021-09-04 11:55 pm

Updated: 2021-09-24 12:50 pm

Updated: 2021-09-24 6:05 pm

Newsom Stooge, Secretary of State

So, here we are. Another election. Another chance for corrupt public officials ("CPOs") to test their mettle.

All around the state, some voters, under the spell of the mania surrounding the 2020 general election, are nearly beside themselves with worry about "What's the best way to vote to make my ballot count?" and "How do we stop 'voter fraud' or 'election fraud'?" Of course, these voters don't have a clue. They listen to the opinions of others. They rarely look at the Secretary of State or their county registrar's web site. (If they do, they don't understand what they read.)

So while they fiddle and make themselves busy, California burns. The CPOs who run the state and local governing agencies might be bothered by the nitpicking at everything that they do. But ultimately, it's just a by-product of their ultimate goal -- complete and unequivocal control of the levers of power. As a result, the CPOs love it. It means the peons are keeping busy with useless activity. As someone famous once said, "Never underestimate the stupidity of the American voter."

Which brings me to the point of this article. The CPOs own you. While you're worrying and running around with your head cut off about trivial, inconsequential matters, the CPOs have rigged another election.

Unfortunately, when one writes about the law, you actually have to show the law -- in this case, the statutes -- that govern CPOs. Some statutes give CPOs a degree of discretion. Those statutes use the verb "may." Most statutes give CPOs mandatory ministerial duties -- they have no discretion. Those statutes use the verb "shall." Statutes can grant CPOs authority to act or can prohibit CPOs from acting. CPOs have no authority to act in ways that are not authorized by a statute. You don't have to be a lawyer to read statutes, they are written in plain English.

The Pareto Principle - the 80/20 Rule

This entire article is about voter information guides -- the state voter information guide ("SVIG") and the county voter information guide ("CVIG"). Many people who we had previously alerted regarding this election corruption have, at first, pooh-poohed the corruption because "Nobody reads the voter guides."

Having single-handedly defeated a local school bond measure and having assisted in many other local measure election battles, we agree, based on empirical evidence and our own surveys. The people who make that statement are correct. They don't read the voter guides and all the people in their political bubble don't read them either. Similarly, on the other side of the political spectrum, they don't read the voter guides either.

Voters who have already made up their mind how to vote on either a candidate or a measure, don't read the voter guides. That's where the Pareto Principle comes into play. While about 80 percent of the voters have likely made up their minds on how to vote based on other influences or predilections, there are about 20 percent of the people who have not made up their minds and can be persuaded. Those are the people who, if they wish to vote on a specific contest, will use the official voter guides as at least some of the material that they will use to make up their mind.

For any specific contest, no one knows who those persuadable voters are. In reality, no one knows who the 80 percent are either. That's why campaigns exist. Mostly, each campaign will be preaching to the choir, but they can't ignore the 20 percent of persuadables. Those are the people that typically decide election outcomes. Because no one can know with certainty which voters are voting which way, campaigns try to reach not only the decideds for their candidate or measure, but also to the persuadables. It's an art. It's marketing.

So, in an election where tens of millions of voters can vote, the better funded campaigns will reach out to as many voters beyond their decideds as they can.

Well, what if you could reach every potential voter at no or minimal cost? You'd jump on that opportunity, wouldn't you? That's where the voter guides come into play. At least 34 of the 46 recall replacement candidates recognized the huge opportunity, even at $100 per word. Since most of those candidates will not raise millions of dollars to run their campaign it was a no-brainer. Even for some of the candidates that could raise millions of dollars, the benefit of having their 1 to 250 word statement in the SVIG far outweighed the restriction that they would have to agree to voluntary campaign expenditure limits.

But what if you are Gavin Newsom? As the officer subject to recall, voluntary campaign expenditure limits do not apply. You can raise any amount from anyone. However, only those who agree to voluntary campaign expenditure limits can have their paid candidate statement printed in the SVIG. But you still want to have a very inexpensive candidate statement printed in an official voter guide.

That's where CPO Shirley Weber comes in. She instructs the CPO county registrars that they must print Newsom's candidate statement in the CVIG. While the SVIG allows a 250 word statement, ELEC 13307 allows a 200 to 400 word statement. The problem for CPO Weber is that ELEC 13307 allows only a local agency to increase the word count greater than 200. There is no local agency with authority over the office of governor. 200 words is not as good as 250 words, but it's infinitely better than zero words.

So CPO Weber directed the CPO county registrars to print up to 200 words. CPO Weber even lied to allay concerns of some unnamed CPO county registrars and told them directly that Newsom was not a "candidate" despite the officer subject to a recall being expressly included in the definition of candidate in the PRA. Her certification printed on the SVIG is, basically, perjury, in addition to the other felonies respecting unauthorized use of public funds which she has likely committed with respect to this election.

Glossary

In this article, we will refer to several documents. To make it easy for you to follow, we're going to refer to those documents with our own terms.

Statement and Answer
This is the language that was printed on every petition that contains the proponent's "statement" of the reasons for recall and the recall target's (Newsom's) answer to those reasons. The "statement" had to be submitted as part of the proponent's request to authorize the recall petition. The proponent's filed the recall petition on February 20, 2020 with CPO Alex Padilla, the Secretary of State at the time. Once CPO Padilla did his part in dragging out the process, CPO Padilla invited the recall target to file an "answer." After public review of both the "statement" and the "answer" CPO Padilla dragged out the process until he finally gave the go-ahead on June 10, 2020 to circulate (gather signatures for) the recall petition. After public review, CPO Weber, the newly appointed Secretary of State, had the Statement and Answer printed in the SVIG on page 7.
Proponent's Argument
CPO Weber formally invited the proponents to submit an additional argument sometime in June or early July 2021. Although requested, at the time of this writing, no one has provided us a copy of that letter. After public review, CPO Weber had the Proponent's Argument printed in the SVIG on page 8.
Governor's Argument
CPO Weber also formally invited the recall target ("Newsom") to submit an additional argument sometime in June or early July 2021. Although requested, at the time of this writing, no one has provided us a copy of that letter. The proponents didn't like the language in the Governor's Argument. During the public review, the proponents had a lawyer, who knows very little about election law, file an ill-fated writ of mandate (a lawsuit to get a judge to order a CPO to perform a mandatory ministerial duty) in Sacramento County Superior Court. Unsurprisingly, the judge ruled against the proponents. Even CPO Newsom has the right to free speech. Immediately, the lawyer filed the writ directly with the court of appeal. The appellate court filing was, almost immediately after it was filed, dismissed. After public review, interspersed with this courtroom yawn, CPO Weber had the Governor's Argument printed in the SVIG on page 9.
Governor's Statement
Candidates, including recall targets, have an opportunity to place a paid "statement" in a voter information guide. Of the 46 replacement candidates, 34 filed a statement and paid to have their statement printed in the SVIG. CPO Weber, again without any authority, set the filing deadline as July 16, 2021. CPO Newsom had his Governor's Statement printed in some, but not all, of the CVIGs. The transmittal letter was sent via e-mail on July 15, 2021 in the afternoon with this note: "The hard copy packet is scheduled to arrive at your office tomorrow via UPS." It's not clear yet whether CPO Newsom filed the Governor's Statement with only some counties, or whether he missed the filing deadline in some counties, or whether some CPO county registrars actually followed the law and rejected the filing.

These are the four documents that comprise the majority of the election fraud that CPO Weber and each CPO county registrar have perpetrated on the People of California.

Why haven't you heard about it? Surely, all of the people that you would suspect are most interested, the replacement candidates themselves, have been keeping tabs on the CPOs. You'd think their army of lawyers would have actually read the law. But no, they're just oblivious. Blowing the whistle on corruption is scary.

Overview / Executive Summary

In the sections below, you'll read the detailed analysis. Unlike the CPOs, the analysis will cite the specific statutes and the reasoning to show that those statutes apply. Right now, I'll give you the overview.

CPO Weber appears to be the ring-leader and the primary party who has committed crimes with respect to the Elections Code and the Government Code. These are real crimes -- felonies to be precise --- under penal statutes in the Elections Code, like ELEC 18002.

Weber sent a document to all the CPO county registrars titled Election Administration Guidance ("Guidance") You may have heard all you ever want to have heard about "guidance" over the last 18 months, but buck up -- live with it. Guidance is CPO code for: This isn't law, but we want it to appear as if it were law.

In section III on pages 10, 11, and 12, the Guidance directs the CPO county registrars to ignore the actual law and common sense to print several things under the "Content" heading. ¶ numbers refer to the paragraph number we've assigned to paragraphs of section III of the Guidance. That section is reproduced in full later in this article.

CPO Weber's Guidance directs the CPO county registrars to put the following in the CVIG:

  1. ¶ 1: "facsimile of the official ballot"
  2. ¶ 1: "notice of the polling place"
  3. ¶ 1: "estimated costs of the recall prepared by the Department of Finance (DOF)" "Estimated Costs to Administer the California Gubernatorial Recall Election"
  4. ¶ 1: "political party endorsements"
  5. ¶ 8: "must" "printed copy of the Statement of Reasons for recall that appeared on the notice of intent to recall that was filed by the proponents of the recall with the Secretary of State" ELEC 11325(a)
  6. ¶ 8: "must" "the Answer to the statement of reasons for recall that was filed by Governor Newsom" ELEC 11325(a)
  7. ¶ 9: "200-word statement with county elections officials to be sent to each voter, together with the county voter information guide." ELEC 11327, ELEC 13307.)
  8. ¶ 10: "'a list of all candidates for voter-nominated office' who will appear on the recall ballot and who have been endorsed by the party. If received by July 16, 2021" ELEC 13302(b)

Of the list of directives above, there is no statutory authority for any but directives #1 and #2 to be printed in a CVIG for a statewide election.

Of the list of directives above, directive #3 benefits Newsom because it reprints the statement required in the SVIG in every CVIG. All along, one of Newsom's arguments against the recall attempt has been its huge cost. The $276 million estimate is certainly a large number for an election where the taxpayers foot the bill. The extra cost of printing the statement a second time in more than 22 million CVIGs was paid by, you guessed it, the taxpayers.

Directive #4 didn't end up benefiting Newsom, but it could have. All along, Newsom has argued that it's a Republican recall. The California Republican Party had been debating whether or not to endorse a candidate. At the meeting in July where that decision took place, the delegates voted against any endorsement. Having the American Independent Party and the Libertarian Party make endorsements of Larry Elder and Jeff Hewitt, respectively, probably would have little effect on an undecided voter.

Directives #5 and #6, reprinting the same material in every CVIG, benefits Newsom. Newsom gets a second shot at making his argument to the voters without any personal cost. True, the proponents get the same freebie, until you consider directive #7 (discussed below). The extra cost of printing the Statement and Answer a second time in more than 22 million CVIGs was paid by, ta-da, the taxpayers. The statute cited specifies simply "voter information guide" in the singular, referencing neither the SVIG nor the CVIG. That's because, the previous statute, ELEC 11324, specifies the person who has the mandatory ministerial duty to create the voter information guide -- the "official responsible for preparing the ballot." As discussed in detail later, that's CPO Weber, not the CPO county registrars.

Directive #7 singularly benefits Newsom. ELEC 13307, by way of ELEC 11327, is a statute that directs CPO county registrars to print candidate statements for a "candidate for nonpartisan elective office in any local agency, including any city, county, city and county, or district." ELEC 11327 was needed for local officers subject to recall because the definition of candidate that governs the Elections Code, ELEC 305, does not include the officer subject to recall as a candidate. Every subsection of ELEC 13307 refers to a "local agency." In toto, "local agency" is used eleven times in ELEC 13307. State is never mentioned. What city, county, or district is Newsom an officer of? What "nonpartisan elective office" does Newsom hold? It's a pure fabrication. More importantly, for the offices covered by the PRA, it is preempted. The PRA expressly applies to all statewide offices. That means even if a lawyer could twist the words of ELEC 13307 to apply to Newsom, the PRA overrules it.

Furthermore, there is a substantive difference between the content allowed in the candidate statement permitted by the PRA for statewide candidates and the content permitted by ELEC 13307 for local candidates. ELEC 13308 further limits the statement allowed by ELEC 13307 to "a recitation of the candidate's own personal background and qualifications." The CPO county registrars who printed the Governor's Statement, which is just another argument, didn't apply any of the restrictions in either ELEC 13307 or ELEC 13308. To top it off, if you want to hit it out of the park, CPO Weber did not direct the CPO county registrars to have a public examination period for the CVIG materials. CPO Weber had no authority to do so, of course, but when you're making up law, what's one statute, more or less. The Governor's Statement, therefore, was just slipped into the system keeping the public in the entire state in the dark -- until they saw the Governor's Statement in the CVIG.

The total effect of directives #5, #6, and #7, along with the express prohibition in ¶ 11 of the Guidance to the extent the CPO county registrars carried out the directives, is that in addition to the "facsimile ballot" with the two questions, voters who look only at the CVIG will see the Statement and Answer followed by the Governor's Statement. Newsom gets two of his arguments printed serially without a single replacement candidate statement anywhere in sight. That's a tremendously one-sided presentation.

Directive #8, in effect, is a repeat of directive #4. What it does do, however, is add a deadline date for the submission of endorsements. The date is July 16, 2021, 60 days before the election. CPO Weber conveniently omits the actual deadline from the statute cited. ELEC 13302 sets the deadline as 83 days before the election. Unfortunately for CPO Weber, ELEC 11381 sets the deadlines for candidate filings in recall elections for state officers at "not less than 59 days" before the election. For this recall election, the date was set at 60 days, July 16, 2021. This directive further defies common sense, why would an endorsement statute for a statewide election require filing of and printing of endorsements with 58 separate CPO county registrars?

The one bit of truth in section III is in Guidance ¶ 12. When responding to inquiries from some CPO county registrars about printing replacement candidate statements in the CVIG, CPO Weber's answer was an emphatic "NO." The reason was because the replacement candidates are statewide candidates. Earlier in Guidance ¶ 10, CPO Weber was absolutely certain that "Newsom is not a candidate for voter-nominated office in this recall election." That is a lie. For the purposes of the PRA and candidate statements, a candidate is "An elected officer, including any elected officer who is the subject of a recall." GOV 82007(a)(3).

So much for CPO Weber's "certification" on the cover of the SVIG that the SVIG "has been correctly prepared in accordance with the law."

The bottom line on the Statement and Answer is that it is printed, exclusively, in the SVIG.

The bottom line on the Proponent's Argument and the Governor's Argument is that neither the PRA nor the Recall Rules give CPO Weber the authority to solicit those arguments, let alone print them in the SVIG. The arguments allowed by the Recall Rules are, exclusively, the Statement and Answer authorized by ELEC 11325.

The bottom line on the Governor's Statement is that it is printed, exclusively, in the SVIG, but only if Newsom had agreed to voluntary campaign expenditure limits. He did not. CPO Weber let Newsom have his cake and eat it too.

What the Government Code and the Elections Code Requires

Let's look at the ideal situation -- all the officials, with the statutory authority to do so, carry out their mandatory ministerial duties as directed by the statutes.

The only codes applicable to a governor recall election are the Political Reform Act ("PRA") of 1974 (enacted as an initiative statute by the voters) and Division 11 of the Elections Code (statutes that begin with 11xxx) ("Recall Rules") which addresses recall elections. Any reference to statutes in Chapter 1 of Division 9 (statutes that begin with 90xx) of the Elections Code (statewide Measures Submitted to the Voters), with respect to this discussion, are irrelevant because they are copies of statutes in the PRA.

So, what should the SVIG look like?

  1. Under the PRA, the recall election is a statewide election.
  2. The Secretary of State is the official that prepares the ballot, including each variation of the order of the list of replacement candidates.
  3. Under the PRA, the Secretary of State is the official that prepares the state voter information guide ("SVIG").
  4. Under the PRA, the person subject to recall is a candidate.
  5. Under the PRA, the person subject to recall is not subject to campaign contribution limits or voluntary campaign expenditure limits. GOV 85315(a)
  6. Under the PRA, any candidate may pay for a candidate statement in the SVIG with the condition that they agree to voluntary campaign expenditure limits.
  7. Under the PRA (after November 6, 2002), the Secretary of State is expressly prohibited from printing a candidate statement for any candidate who does NOT agree to voluntary campaign expenditure limits.
  8. Except for state senate and assembly candidates, courts of appeal candidates, and county judge candidates, the PRA is silent on CVIGs.
  9. Under the Recall Rules in statewide elections, the Secretary of State must print the statement by the state Director of Finance in the SVIG.
  10. Under the Recall Rules, the official preparing the ballots (CPO Weber) must prepare and print the SVIG.
  11. Neither under the PRA, nor under the Recall Rules, do the CPO county registrars have any authority or mandatory ministerial duty to include any materials in the CVIG for any statewide election.

What should the CVIG look like? There isn't one, unless a local election is consolidated with the statewide election. The CVIG is only for a facsimile ballot and other details about local voting procedures. Everything connected with the governor recall election is exclusively in the SVIG.

We suspect that the statement in item 3 in the above list will be the most contested. Let's address that. It involves the Recall Rules, specifically ELEC 11324. It is part of the Elections Code. The Elections Code has an entire division of statutes that define terms that apply to the entire Elections Code. "Elections official" is one of those terms. ELEC 320. It means the CPO county registrar. However, the Recall Rules redefine that term in ELEC 11002. That definition means, in general, a local agency official. In terms of this article, it means the CPO county registrar. The Recall Rules refer to "elections official" 81 times.

So, who is the "elections official" for the recall of state officer? There is no "state" elections official. Whenever the Recall Rules refer to the recall of a state officer, this is how the statute reads: "elections official or, in the case of the recall of a state officer, the Secretary of State." The language "in the case of the recall of a state officer, the Secretary of State" or slight variants is used 9 times in the Recall Rules. Of most significance for our purposes is its use in ELEC 11324.

ELEC 11324
Official preparing ballot must mail voter information guide. Emphasis is added to the important language.

(a) The official responsible for preparing the ballot shall, at least 10 days before the recall election, mail a voter information guide to each registered voter of the electoral jurisdiction of the officer sought to be recalled.

(b) In the case of a recall of a state officer, the official responsible for preparing the voter information guide pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include in the voter information guide the report of estimated costs of the recall prepared by the Department of Finance pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 11108.

Remember, "elections official" is used prodigiously throughout the Recall Rules. The Legislature understood the issue. It addressed it by description rather than by a term. In ELEC 11324, "elections official" was intentionally not used. An "elections official" is a term that ALWAYS refers to a local agency official. An "elections official" does NOT prepare or mail the voter information guide in a recall election. That mandatory ministerial duty is assigned to the "official responsible for preparing the ballot." "Voter information guide" is used in the singular -- only one -- and the term is not modified by either "state" or "county." The description for who prepares the voter information guide, and therefore which of the two types of voter information guides, is determined by who prepares the ballot. In the case of local agency recall elections, that may be the CPO county registrar. In the case of all statewide elections, it is the Secretary of State, i.e., CPO Weber. CPO Weber dictates every aspect of the ballot for a statewide recall election, including the questions, the list of replacement candidates, and the order in which those candidates are listed in various versions of the ballot. The CPO county registrars have no say or discretion with respect to the preparation of the ballot. They must follow CPO Weber's determinations.

Ah, but you object. You argue that the CPO county registrars "prepare" the ballots under ELEC 11324(a). The CPO county registrars determine all the printing specifications for the ballots, including design, how many columns, how many pages, the requirements of any ballot tabulation machines, etc. That's true. They do set up the ballot artwork for printing, each in their own inimitable way. If that's what "preparing the ballot" means, then ALL ballots are, in fact, prepared by "election officials" which always, regardless of the definition used, are local officials. Why then did the Legislature not use the term "elections official" in ELEC 11324? It had used that term 81 other times already in the Recall Rules. As we argue, the Legislature recognized that the Secretary of State has jurisdiction over certain elections, such as statewide offices and state legislative offices. Local officials, at most, have jurisdiction over elections within their own local jurisdictions.

Let's also look at the term "the voter information guide." With one exception, in relation to the cost estimate by the state Department of Finance, it is used 8 times in the Recall Rules in the singular exactly as quoted. There is no distinction in the Recall Rules between a SVIG and a CVIG, even though those are the only possibilities. Only the Secretary of State is charged with preparation of the SVIG. GOV 88000. If only the CPO county registrars are directed to include the materials specified in ELEC 11325 in the CVIG, then those materials cannot be included in the SVIG. The office of a governor is a state office, not within the jurisdiction of any CPO county registrar. The argument that the CPO county registrars "prepare" the ballots for a state office is absurd on its face and defies common sense. What do they do? Get together and meet to decide how the ballot for a state office recall election should be prepared? What would be the point of including the same materials in both a SVIG and a CVIG? Yet that's what CPO Weber has directed the CPO county registrars to do. But CPO Weber is adamant that the CPO county registrars cannot print the replacement candidate statements in the CVIG.

Ordinary Words and Terms

The Legislature writes all statutes using words with their ordinary meanings as defined in a contemporary American dictionary. When the Legislature wants to change the meaning of an ordinary word or a string of ordinary words, it redefines those words in either a formal definition or a detailed description. Those redefined words are called terms.

The difficulty for the public in reading statutes is understanding whether they are reading ordinary words or terms. Sometimes making the determination of whether something is an ordinary word or a term is not obvious. Terms may be defined in a hierarchy in which the terms defined in one place apply or do not apply to the statutory hierarchy. Terms can also be redefined at the very lowest level of the statutory hierarchy, the section, or even a paragraph within a section.

It's not that hard when you know the rules.

We've identified some of the important terms that are specially defined in the codes that are discussed in this article.

[LIST TERMS: like candidate, elections official, measure, statewide, etc.]

CPO Weber "Guidance" to the CPO County Registrars

(#added 2021-09-24 6:05 pm) We have been able to identify four different versions of the Guidance: July 2, 2021 (original), July 9, 2021 (Revision 1), July 12, 2021 (Revision 2), and July 16, 2021 (Revision 3). With respect to the subject of this article, there were substantive differences in each revision.

For ease of reference, here is the entirety of section III of the Guidance as revised on July 16, 2021. We have added ¶ numbers for reference purposes.

Seriously, the CPO county registrars produce CVIGs for nearly every election. They should, by now you would think, know all the statutes that give them mandatory ministerial duties. None of those laws have changed for the past several election cycles. Why would they need "guidance?"

III. County Voter Information Guides

Complete text of section III of CPO Weber's Guidance. We have added numbers in front of paragraphs for ease of reference in this article. Note that the "501 list" referred to in paragraph 12 is shorthand for the list of contributors indirectly required by GOV 84501

Preparation and Mailing

  1. Each county elections official, except as provided in Section 13305, is required to prepare and mail, at least 10 days before the recall election, a county voter information guide for the upcoming gubernatorial recall election. (Elec. Code, § 11324.) Counties are urged to mail county voter information guides earlier than E-10, and as early as is feasible.

  2. Note: Pursuant to Section 13305, county voter information guides do not need to be mailed to the following categories of voters: 1) permanent vote by mail voters, 2) voters in an all-mail ballot election conducted pursuant to Division 4 (commencing with Section 4000), and 3) voters in an all-mail precinct in which the election is conducted pursuant to Section 3005.

  3. Content

  4. As required by the Elections Code, each county's voter information guide shall contain a substantial facsimile of the official ballot, notice of the polling place, estimated costs of the recall prepared by the Department of Finance (DOF) [see below for specific text], political party endorsements, in addition to the other requirements. (Elec. Code, §§ 11324, 13263, 13300, 13302, 13303.)

  5. Text to be included in state and county voter information guides related to estimated costs of the recall is as follows, and is also found in CCROV #21090, issued July 9, 2021:

  6. Estimated Costs to Administer the California Gubernatorial Recall Election

    Pursuant to Elections Code section 11108(d), the Department of Finance, in consultation with the Secretary of State and county elections officials, has estimated the costs to administer the recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom to be $276 million.

  7. For more information relating to the costs of the recall election, please see the Secretary of State's website at: https://elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov/recalls/dept-financeletter.pdf

  8. Translations of the above text will be provided to county elections officials via email to county translations coordinators soon as they are available.

  9. Additionally, counties must mail separately or as part of the county voter information guide a printed copy of the Statement of Reasons for recall that appeared on the notice of intent to recall that was filed by the proponents of the recall with the Secretary of State, and the Answer to the statement of reasons for recall that was filed by Governor Newsom. (Elec. Code, § 11325(a).) Both the statement and answer shall be printed on the same page, or on facing pages of the document, and shall be of equal prominence. (Elec. Code, § 11325(b).) See CCROV #20182 issued July 2, 2021, for more information.

  10. Governor Newsom may file a 200-word statement with county elections officials to be sent to each voter, together with the county voter information guide. (Elec. Code, §§ 11327, 13307.) Moreover, pursuant to Section 13307(a)(1): "…The statement shall not include the party affiliation of the candidate, nor membership or activity in partisan political organizations." The Secretary of State will not translate the statement, as filed statements could vary between counties. Additionally, the Secretary of State will not reimburse for the costs of translations.

  11. A qualified political party may submit to county elections officials "a list of all candidates for voter-nominated office" who will appear on the recall ballot and who have been endorsed by the party. If received by July 16, 2021 (E-60), the county elections officials "shall print the names of the candidates for voter-nominated office" who were endorsed by that political party in the voter information portion of the county voter information guide." (Elec. Code, § 13302(b).) [Note: under Section 13302(b), words indicating a disapproval of the recall (e.g., "No on Recall") do not qualify as a candidate who has been endorsed by a party, and do not qualify as a "name" of a candidate. Additionally, Governor Gavin Newsom is not a candidate for voter-nominated office in this recall election, and as such his name cannot be printed as being endorsed by a political party in county voter information guides for this recall election.]

  12. County elections officials may, but are not required to, include with the county voter information guide an application for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Elec. Code, § 1605(b).) If a county elections official does not include an application for a vote-by-mail ballot with the county voter information guide, the county is not required to print a notice on the envelope that a vote-by-mail ballot application is enclosed. (See, Elec. Code, § 13315.)

  13. Although this section of the guidance document is intended to reflect what can be placed in county voter information guides, our office has received inquiries about whether county elections officials can print statements from replacement candidates in their county voter information guides. The answer is NO. Replacement candidates, as they are statewide candidates, cannot have candidate statements printed in county voter information guides. Likewise, county elections officials are not required to print a "501 list" in their county voter information guides of the replacement candidates who have accepted the voluntary spending limits. Instead, replacement candidate statements and 501 information will be provided in the state Official Voter Information Guide, as replacement candidates are running for a statewide office.

The important statutes from the Recall Rules that are not reprinted elsewhere are here.

ELEC 11325
Content of voter information guide for recall elections.

(a) With the voter information guide there shall be mailed, for each officer whose recall is sought, a printed copy of the following:

(1) The statement of reasons for recall that appeared on the notice of intent to recall that was filed by the proponents of the recall with the elections official or, in the case of a state officer, with the Secretary of State.

(2) The answer to the statement of reasons for recall that was filed by the officer whose recall is sought with the elections official or, in the case of a state officer, with the Secretary of State, if an answer was filed.

(b) The printed copies of the statement and the answer to that statement shall be mailed with the voter information guide either in a document separate from the voter information guide or as part of the voter information guide. Both the statement and answer shall be printed on the same page, or on facing pages of the document, and shall be of equal prominence.

(c) If the recall of more than one officer is sought, the statement and answer for each officer shall be printed together and shall be clearly distinguished from those of any other officer."

Statutes Governing the Recall of Statewide Elected Officials

There are two codes that cover this situation -- the Elections Code ("ELEC") and the Government Code ("GOV"). The Elections Code is the primary location for the operational statutes. However, Title 9 of the Government Code -- the Political Reform Act ("PRA") of 1974 (enacted as an initiative statute by the voters) is the law for statewide elections. The PRA, while primarily covering campaign finance, addresses specific details of the contents of the SVIG.

In terms of the scope of the PRA on the SVIG, there is a demarcation between statewide contests (statewide offices, United States Senator, and state propositions) and state offices that are defined by districts (state senate, state assembly, board of equalization, courts of appeal, and judges). We're only going to discuss the statewide contest issues, but we will use the district contests to demonstrate the primary difference.

The following are relevant statutes from the PRA. You can use the links to check out the entire statute at the Legislature's web site.

The legislature has very limited ability to change anything in the PRA without approval of the voters. However, with respect to the SVIG, the PRA made an exception. The exception to that limited ability is to "add to" (not change or remove) the chapter on the SVIG.

GOV 88001 (Title 9, Chapter 8)
authority for SVIG
There shall be a state ballot pamphlet which shall be prepared by the Secretary of State.
GOV 88001 (Title 9, Chapter 8)
(a) copy of state measure; (c) arguments and rebuttals; (d) measure analysis; (e) discretionary materials; (m) contributor lists. Compare with ELEC 9084 (Division 9, Chapter 8, Article 7)
The ballot pamphlet shall contain all of the following:

(a) A complete copy of each state measure.
...
(c) A copy of the arguments and rebuttals for and against each state measure.

(d) A copy of the analysis of each state measure.

(e) Tables of contents, indexes, art work, graphics, and other materials that the Secretary of State determines will make the ballot pamphlet easier to understand or more useful for the average voter.
...
(m) A written explanation of the top 10 contributor lists required by Section 84223, including a description of the Internet Web sites where those lists are available to the public.

The reason we're including these statutes from the PRA is that some objector might argue that a recall is like a measure. The PRA did not expressly address recall elections in the SVIG. It's primary focus was state measures which, according the PRA back in 1974, were extremely deceptive and incomprehensible. If an objector were to argue that a recall election is a measure election, then CPO Weber would have to provide all the materials that the PRA requires in the SVIG. She doesn't.

The Election Calendars

Our discussion of the election calendars focuses on two issues: public review of voter guide materials and the three unauthorized arguments -- the Proponent's Argument, the Governor's Argument, and the Governor's Statement.

Public Review

Public review of the SVIG is scheduled in the Secretary of State's published election calendar ("State Calendar"). That appears to be kosher. CPO Weber, however, has directed, without authorization, certain materials already discussed to be printed in the CVIGs. While some of those materials received public review for the State Calendar, neither the State Calendar nor any county calendar provided a public review period for its CVIG. Most importantly, of course, is the Governor's Statement. Not one of the 58 CPO county registrars produced a county election calendar that included public review of its CVIG.

(#added 2021-09-04 10:15 pm) ELEC 13313 assigns the CPO county registrars a mandatory ministerial duty to make "the material referred to in Section 13307 available for public examination in the elections official's office for a period of 10 calendar days." That would mean the CPO county registrars were required to have placed both the filing deadline for the Governor's Statement and the public examination period for the Governor's Statement in their county election calendars. It's no surprise that every one of the CPO county registrars failed to do this. Can you just imagine their pathetic excuses? -- "CPO Weber didn't tell us to do that in the Guidance." Never mind that the CPO county registrars and their CPO election deputies are grifting more than $100,000 (some much more) a year of your taxes and swore an oath to do the job of running fair and honest elections.

Several counties, including Los Angeles County, simply appropriated the State Calendar, without alteration, for its own county calendar. Other counties had abbreviated county election calendars, probably surmising correctly, that most of the State Calendar didn't apply to the county's role in the election.

But none, nada, zero CPO county registrars that provided any public review or even notice that it would print the Governor's Statement in the CVIG.

Proponent's Argument, Governor's Argument, and Governor's Statement

Of the 105 items, all with officious citations to statutes, in the State Calendar, not a single one even suggests an inkling of a Proponent's Argument or a Governor's Argument. The word "argument" does not appear anywhere in the 18 pages.

Item 6 on page 1 of the State Calendar states that candidate statements must be submitted between July 1 and July 16, 2021.

Item 17 on page 4, ultimately redacted because it was illegal on its face and found so by a judge thanks to a lawsuit by a quick-thinking replacement candidate Rhonda Furin (and you thought it was hot-shot Larry Elder, didn't you), set the deadline for candidate tax returns as July 16, 2021.

Item 21 on page 5, reminds candidates of the deadline for intention to accept voluntary expenditure limits on July 16, 2021.

Item 22 on page 5, reminds candidates of the deadline set in item 6 on July 16, 2021.

Item 29 on page 6, sets the public examination period for the SVIG between July 17 and August 6, 2021.

You get the picture?

So what's missing? Where is the period during which the proponents and the governor can submit the Proponent's Argument and the Governor's Argument? Trust us, it's not there. If it were there, it would stick out like a sore thumb, because there would be no citation to any statute in the right-most column of the State Calendar.

You know what else is missing? You're getting good at this. Where is the period during which CPO Newsom can submit the Governor's Statement to the CPO county registrars? Putatively, there was a statute, facially inapplicable as it was, that could have been placed in the right-most column.

This is the fraud. It's a basic denial of due process. If these were actually the rules of the game, they had to be publicly noticed in a place that the public would expect to get notice.

These were secret rules. Not even those participating in playing the secret rules game would have notice, unless they were given notice privately.

That's CPO Weber. Secret rules. Rules designed to tilt the election in favor of her benefactor.

No one raised these issues in court because no one knew about them until it was well past the time that a court would have been willing to interfere in an upcoming election.

The CPOs that participate in this have no morality. It's all about control and power. The peons, you voters, are just the window dressing for their self-serving schemes.

What About the Gray Davis Recall Election?

Someone who was really sharp would go back and look at how all this was handled in the only previous comparable election in California history.

Ok. What about it?

Gray Davis was recalled in an election on October 7, 2003. All the relevant statutes are substantially the same today as they were then. Subdivision (b) was added to ELEC 11324.

Kevin Shelley, a former state assembly member, was the newly elected Secretary of State. Within months after the recall election, we was embroiled in investigations of public corruption. Ultimately, he resigned in February 2005.

If you go back through the archives, you'll find that the SVIG for the Davis recall election also contains a Proponent's Argument and a Governor's Argument. (We found it, but we're not going to link to it. Do your own homework. Find it yourself.) October 7, 2003 SVIG There was no statutory authority for it then. There is no statutory authority for it now. While we'd be interested to locate a copy of the election calendar for the Davis recall election as well as copies of CVIGs, those documents will prove nothing other than that public corruption has been built into the fabric of California government for a very long time.

The bottom line is that just because a CPO got away with it in 2003, doesn't make it law. Shelley, or some other CPO in the Davis camp, may have been the architect of this fraud, but it's still fraud.

What About the Josh Newman Recall Election?
Added: 2021-09-04 11:55 pm

Besides CPO Gray Davis, we do have another rather recent recall election to compare. As you may recall, CPO Josh Newman was (and is now again) a state senator from Senate District 29. He was recalled after serving 17 months of his four-year term at a special election on June 5, 2018. The CPO legislature and CPO Gerry Brown worked overtime to change the recall rules and delay the election so that it was held on the same date as the primary election rather than an earlier, single-contest election. That's always a good way to confuse voters. But the plan didn't quite work out, despite millions of dollars being thrown into the election by each side.

Do you want to make a guess on what the election calendar, prepared by then Secretary of State CPO Alex Padilla, looked like? Let's not keep you in suspense, check it out: Special Recall Election Calendar, June 5, 2018

The calendar is five pages long, but everything relevant to this discussion is on page 1, along with the omissions which extend to page 2. Item #6 sets the period during which "candidates" may file statements for the CVIGs (three different counties were involved). The filing deadline was set as April 6, 2018 (E-60). The filing deadline for the all the primary elections, with which this special recall election was consolidated, was March 9, 2018 (E-88). Item #11 is a reminder of the April 6, 2018 deadline for candidate statements.

Then we have Item #12, which has been separated from the other candidate statements but has the same deadline for CPO Newman. While items #6 and #11 correctly refer to GOV 85601 and the 250-word limit, item #12 refers to ELEC 13307 (with no word limit cited) via ELEC 13327. At least CPO Padilla put it in the election calendar, unlike CPO Weber who put it in its Guidance. However, ELEC 13307 still provides no authority for a candidate statement for anyone other than a candidate for a non-partisan office running for an office of a local agency. (See Overview / Executive Summary, above.) Furthermore, the same definition of "candidate" in GOV 82007(a)(3) applies to a state senator ("elected officer") subject to recall.

Now let's get to what's missing. Item #12 cites ELEC 13307, which the CPO county registrars must make available for a 10-day public examination. It's not in the calendar, which one would expect. It should have started on April 7, 2018, the day after the filing deadline, and ended on April 16, 2018. One would expect to find that between items #16 and #17 on page 2 of the calendar. The public examination periods for the candidate statements for all the qualified candidates running in the primary election was March 10 to March 16, 2018. For local measures consolidated with the primary election, the three 10-day public examination periods would have ended on March 30, 2018 at the latest. So, all other public examination periods for material in the CVIGs had already ended by the filing deadline for recall candidate statements on April 6, 2018.

In the case of CPO Newman's recall election, there's also the federal law that requires ballots be sent to certain voters, like active-duty military members, very early. If anyone brings a court challenge to voter guide materials, CPO county counsel also invoke the federal law to prevent challengers from even being heard in court after the public examination period has ended. But hey, you believe in miracles don't you? The CPO county registrars didn't even have the ballot set for the consolidated recall election until April 6, 2018. Did CPO county counsel complain to CPO Padilla that the recall deadlines made it impossible for the CPO county registrars to comply with the federal law? Of course, not. The CPO county registrars just prayed for a miracle and made it happen. After all, CPO Newman was one of their boys. They can make miracles to help out one of their own. A big one-finger salute to the voters challenging CVIG materials.

State Voter Information Guide

Some statutes apply to specific kinds of elections. Others apply to the SVIG or CVIG in general.

ELEC 11108(d) provides for the printing of the State Department of Finance's estimate of the costs of the election. It applies only to statewide elections and is printed only in the SVIG.

CPO Weber also directed, without any statutory authority, the CPO county registrars to print the estimate of costs in the CVIG. Some counties, like Stanislaus, printed the estimate on page 7 and sited the statute that applies only to the state voter information guide. Two conclusions could be drawn from this. One, CPO Weber's guidance was presumed to be an order. Two, CPO county registrars didn't check the statute independently of the Guidance.

County Voter Information Guides

CPO county registrars are all over the map on what they call the printed material which they are required, with a few exceptions, to mail to every registered voter in their county. The statutes in Chapter 4 of Division 13 of the Elections Code (statutes that begin with 133xx) ("CVIG Rules"), refers to them as "county voter information guides" (CVIG"). Although not part of any actual statute, the title of the chapter is "State and County Voter Guides."

In the entirety of the CVIG Rules, the SVIG is referenced four times. There are no references to the content of the SVIG. That makes sense, because the PRA preempts the field (or more simply, "governs") with respect to the content of the SVIG.

Since one of the issues for this article is the Governor's Statement, let's examine what the CVIG directs the CPO county registrars with respect to candidate statements.

The content for the CVIG is described in detail in CVIG Rules. Nowhere in the CVIG Rules is there any instruction as to what goes in the CVIG in the case of a recall election. Likewise, nowhere in the PRA is there any instruction as to what goes in the SVIG in the case of a recall election. When you think about it, this is common sense. Recall elections are special situations authorized by the California Constitution. The Legislature has placed the entirety of the instructions for recall elections in its own separate area of Division 11 of the Elections Code ("Recall Rules").

All the instructions in the CVIG Rules refer to local elections. Other statutes, most notably, those in Division 9 of the Elections Code for local measure elections specify additional material that is printed in the CVIGs.

When Will the Voters Boot CPO Weber and Her CPO County Registrars?

Rather than fighting with CPO election officials at every election, just get rid of them. Eighteen are appointed by CPO county supervisors, but 40 of them are directly elected. Many will run for election in the 2022 primary election.

Maybe CPO Weber and her ring of CPO county registrars can use the Sergeant Schultz (Hogan's Heroes) defense: "I know nothing." That would be a perfect reason to demand her resignation or kick her out of office next year. Just don't replace her with the queen of corruption, CPO Weber's former assembly colleague in adjacent AD-79, Lorena Gonzalez. If, in the unlikely scenario that CPO Newsom loses the recall, the new governor should get rid of CPO Weber, by any means necessary.

Proponent's Petition
Added: 2021-09-04 1:45 pm

The issue of the petition for writ of mandate that the proponents filed in Sacramento County Superior Court and then the emergency petition filed in the Third District Court of Appeal has been raised. We mentioned this briefly in the Glossary section under Governor's Argument. We're going to go into a little more depth on this.

A writ must include an argument in support of the petition when it is filed. Back on August 4, 2021 (or so) we saw a story about the filing. The story had a link to the proponents' petition. The main thrust of the petition and the argument was that CPO Newsom used language in the Governor's Argument that the proponents' believed did not conform to the law. In almost every other aspect, the petition conceded all the issues raised in this article.

The issue before the court was the SVIG. There was no mention of CVIGs and the Governor's Statement. The issue had to be raised within twenty days after the SVIG was submitted for public review.

The petition did not challenge the statutory authority for CPO Weber to place the Proponent's Argument and the Governor's Argument in the SVIG. It challenged only the language used by CPO Newsom. The trial court held, on August 5, 2021, that CPO Newsom could use hyperbole in the Governor's Argument. In part that holding relied on the Governor's Argument being made by CPO Newsom as an individual.

It's a fact of our legal system that courts only address issues raised by the parties. The proponents' lawyer did not raise the issue of CPO Weber's authority. It was like the lawyer was already beyond that. CPO Weber's authority should have been challenged at the time it solicited the arguments, which was weeks earlier.

We have never talked to the lawyer. We're not sure that the lawyer has ever read our alerts to the proponents on August 6 and August 7, 2021. The proponents themselves admit that they don't understand the law. What the proponents do say is that we challenged it and the courts threw it out. Our contention from the time that we first learned of it was that the challenge to the language was not a winning argument and that it needed to be a challenge to CPO Weber's authority, despite the fact that the proponents had, basically, acquiesced or consented to its authority by filing their own Proponent's Argument.

The proponents honestly believe they did everything they could. Cognitive dissonance may explain why they may not be discerning the difference between arguing about the language and arguing about authority.

There was no public review period for the Governor's Statement in any county. It was not the subject of any petition. No county provided notice that there would be materials related to the recall election in the CVIGs. Even after speaking with the proponents it's not clear whether they even knew that CPO Newsom had submitted the Governor's Statement to most of the CPO county registrars. The proponents had no reason to know that because there was no public notice about it anywhere. The only reason we know about it is because, when we asked, we were pointed to CPO Weber's guidance to the CPO county registrars.

This was all planned. It did not happen by accident. The proponents went after the "red meat" offered by CPO Newsom in the Governor's Argument. That was a mistake.

So, What's the Remedy?

Based on oodles of California court opinions, no court will do anything to stop this recall election. It's going to happen, regardless of the massive corruption by the CPOs.

Courts are fond of deferring to the "will of the voters." But what happens when the will of the voters is subverted and intentionally channeled by public corruption? Is it really the will of the voters or the will of the CPOs who intentionally biased the materials to favor a particular outcome?

We're not talking about technical errors or mistakes by well-meaning people. We're talking about completely making up stuff for which their is no authority.

If the recall succeeds, everyone will likely ignore the corruption. The attention span of people is quite limited. The consequences of not holding anyone accountable for this massive fraud will be that the CPOs will continue to do whatever the hell they want, because they continue to get away with their corruption. It's not a question of getting new laws passed. The laws exist. They have criminal penalties. They're just not being enforced by federal, state, or local prosecutors.

A new governor could appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate and prosecute. I guarantee you the your Attorney General, CPO Rob Bonta, and every single one of your CPO county district attorneys (yes, that includes you, Mike Hestrin, and you, Todd Spitzer) will all sit on their hands. Prosecuting public corruption is like Russian roulette, you don't know which chamber holds the bullet that ruins your day.

If the recall fails, there is a remedy. Division 16 of the Elections Code. It's much too complicated to deal with in this article, but it is their for any election. Of course, there are also the mostly impossible to win tactics like recounts, or the newest darling of many, an audit. All of those remedies require massive amounts of money and time. Against uncooperative CPOs, it's a guaranteed loser. What's left is what's been in place in 1850, Division 16.

So, as in the Queen's Gambit, "Check!" Your move.

Epilog:
Election Results

Added 2021-09-24 12:50 pm

Was anyone surprised by the election results? The defeat of the recall election was called within hours of the polls closing. The deniers (optimists) hang their hat on the likelihood that the margin of defeat will narrow by the time all the votes are counted. They're playing horseshoes, not politics.

How did Newsom defeat the recall? By outspending the proponents by, some claim, as much as 11 to 1. Besides the other advantages outlined in this article, CPO Weber and the CPO county registrars did not require that Newsom agree to voluntary campaign expenditure limits ($10,000,000). They printed his candidate statement, all by itself, in the CVIGs in direct violation of the PRA.

The "free" (you paid for it) Governor's Argument and other items printed in each of the CVIGs are likely "contributions" (the definition of that term is pages long in the PRA) by CPO Weber and the CPO county registrars under the PRA. Did CPO Weber and the CPO county registrars report those massive contributions? Will the CPO Fair Political Practices Commission ("FPPC") sanction them?

Is Newsom's de facto request to have his paid candidate statement printed in any voter guide an implicit agreement to the voluntary campaign expenditure limits? This situation has never occurred before, but wouldn't it be interesting to test the limits of corruption in this state? Why not round up Newsom and all his cronies and dump that problem on the CPO FPPC?

In addition to the PRA contribution sanctions, the use of public moneys (your money) "for any purpose not authorized by law" is a felony-level crime. Penal Code 424(a)(2). Will the CPO Attorney General prosecute CPO Weber? Will the CPO county district attorneys prosecute the CPO county registrars?

Nothing will happen unless the People, who have been completely hoodwinked, and all the so-called "election integrity" watchdogs, including the replacement candidates, force the issue. There was a window of opportunity before the election. There is a much more limited window of opportunity after the election. The high-profile individuals have already moved on, unless you shame them into backing up their talk with action.

We've been asked, in at least one case, directly why don't we take this on. Our answer is that we are neither a public figure nor anyone who will directly benefit from taking action. Why should we spend our time and money on any of this when those who spent millions and have a direct stake in achieving sanctions do nothing? If you haven't lived long enough to gather the empirical evidence that, in our corrupt justice system, the wealthy and the powerful are treated differently than regular People, then we're surprised you've gotten this far in the article. It's easy for the corrupt purported watchdogs of the law to squash and silence the lowly People.

Some will say "What's the point? The election's over." Again, maybe you haven't been paying attention over the last 160 years. In this country, the power is not taken by direct confrontation, it's taken by increments. With every, seemingly little, encroachment you permit, those in power get bolder and bolder until, suddenly and all at once, you're sitting in a pot of boiling water. How much more power are you willing to cede before you say "Enough!"

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