Paperwork blunder causes Newsom to sue his own Sec of State for ‘not smoothing over mistake’

Embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a recall election and the pressure may be getting the best of him.

It’s bad enough that the Democrat faces the possibility of being replaced, but he now finds himself in the embarrassing position of having to sue the elections chief whom he appointed over a paperwork blunder.

Turns out, Newsom — more likely, his staff — failed to designate his party affiliation when filing required paperwork last year, which means he will not be listed on the ballot as a Democrat. A mistake that could prove fatal to his chances of retaining office.

The “good faith mistake” was reportedly found by Newsom’s lawyers this month and they appealed to California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, who turned them down.

In order to fix the issue, Newsom has sued Weber, who is also a Democrat, for “not smoothing over a filing mistake he made 16 months ago,” Courthouse News reported.

Filed in Sacramento County Superior Court on Monday, the litigation news source said the lawsuit “warns Weber’s decision stands to cause confusion and upend a law intended to provide voters with more information that he signed less than two years ago.”

“To apply that deadline here would also lead to absurd results,” the lawsuit states. “The voters would be deprived of the very information the Legislature has deemed important for them to receive, all because the Governor’s counsel inadvertently failed to file a form about the Governor’s ballot designation at least sixteen months before the recall election has been called and long before it became clear that the recall would even qualify for the ballot.”

Weber’s office said Tuesday in a statement on Newsom’s lawsuit: “The Secretary of State’s office has a ministerial duty to accept timely filed documents. Acceptance of filings beyond a deadline requires judicial resolution.”

The recall was assured when more than 1.7 million signatures were collected, which is 225,000 more than needed to trigger a recall. Newsom’s heavy-handed pandemic response frustrated Californians to no end, and he didn’t help his cause when he got busted at a restaurant in violation of his own restrictions. The date for the election hasn’t been set, and while it was expected to be in November, California Democrats are looking to take advantage of Newsom’s improved polling numbers to push it up earlier.

Among the challengers are GOP candidates Kevin Faulconer, the former mayor of San Diego, and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner.

California Assembly Republicans wasted no time capitalizing on the blunder, tweeting that Newsom “has failed at basically everything since being governor; he can’t even fill out his campaign paperwork properly.”

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:

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Tom Tillison

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