Sacramento – Gun-rights advocates plan to target Assembly Speaker John A. Perez and four other Democratic lawmakers in a recall campaign to serve as retribution for California passing an assortment of gun control bills this year.
Political consultant Jennifer Kerns announced Thursday that the lawmakers they will attempt to unseat include AssemblywomanLorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, Sen. Norma Torres, D-Pomona, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva(D-Fullerton) and Perez, who terms out of his Los Angeles seat next year.
Kerns said the group is using a scoring system in which lawmakers are ranked on how they voted and how much money it would take to initiate a recall election. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, joined in the announcement on the west steps of the Capitol.
Kerns said Assembly members Brian Jones, R-Santee and Shannon Groves, R-Bakersfield have also joined the effort. She also said Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford, was part of the effort but Vidak’s office said he is not.
“Every single assemblyman and state senator swore an oath to uphold and defend the constitution,” said Donnelly, a Tea Party favorite running a low-funded campaign for governor next year. “When they violate that oath by trying to erase the second amendment, I think we have a duty for those who swore that oath to remove that threat.”
Kerns helped lead a successful recall in Colorado last month in which two Colorado Democratic legislators were replaced with Republican members due to their support of gun restrictions. Kerns said the Colorado efforts sparked calls for loosening restrictions in California, which has the toughest gun control laws in the country.
Kerns said Gov. Jerry Brown would not be a target, citing a $2 million price tag to gather enough signatures to put the recall of the governor on the state ballot.
“The legislators are the ones who passed these bills,” Kerns said.
The groups, which include Gun Owners of California, are counting on gun owners to buoy their efforts to break the Democrats control in the Legislature.
And, they said Colorado offered much hope. Gun-rights advocates won in Colorado, despite targeting districts with more Democrats than Republicans and being outspent 5 to 1.
Gov. Brown signed 11 gun control bills into law last month, including a ban on lead ammunition used by hunters. The lead ammunition bill was second to a detachable magazine ban proposed by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, on the group’s list of most hated bills.