An original virus denier, Darrell Issa must believe forcing people to go physically to polling places amid the coronavirus would help him somehow. Issa on Thursday, May 21 sued to halt California Governor Gavin Newsom’s order requiring all registered voters receive absentee ballots.
Issa, a Vista Republican conducting a carpetbagger campaign — he lives in the 49th District — to return to Congress, argued that the move has forced him to “reevaluate his electoral strategy in order to campaign in the 50th Congressional District.”
That “re-evaluation” meant that it was increasing the cost of running a campaign for Issa, once the wealthiest member of Congress, according to the filing.
Previously, Issa registered to run for office based under the electoral system established by the California Legislature,” the suit says. “Now, he must develop a new strategy to reflect that he is no longer running under an electoral system established under California law.”
Issa claims the Democratic governor’s Covid-19 safeguard to deter crowding at voting sites exposes local elections — including the congressional district he’s hoping to win-to post-election lawsuits. In the federal lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of California, Issa casts the executive order as an unconstitutional maneuver that rips local control from county election officials.
The conservative group Judicial Watch filed a challenge in Sacramento’s U.S. District Court to block Newsom’s executive order on behalf of plaintiffs that include Issa, a Republican former congressman vying this year to return to the House to represent a San Diego-area district.
The matter has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Morrison England Jr., who was appointed by George W. Bush in 2002. Issa is asking the judge to enjoin Newsom’s emergency order on the grounds it violates federal and state law.
The lawsuit comes two weeks after Newsom issued an emergency declaration and ordered the state’s 58 counties to send vote-by-mail ballots to all registered voters for the presidential election, according to Courthouse News.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla fired back that the lawsuit was “un-American, immoral, and a threat to the health of every Californian.”
“Exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to justify voter suppression is despicable, even for Judicial Watch’s pathetically low standards,” Padilla said in a statement.
California Republicans have also objected to Newsom’s vote-by-mail order, saying he has improperly wielded his executive authority in enacting a sweeping elections change by fiat, according to Politico.
Issa’s lawsuit comes as the popularity of early and absentee voting continues to grow in the Golden State, and even if successful it stands little chance of impacting voters’ preference.
A record 9.6 million people voted in the March primary, including 72 percent by mail. According to state officials, 13 of 15 counties that sent every registered voter a ballot in the mail exceeded the statewide turnout and 75 percent of voters received a ballot in the mail.
President Trump, who Issa as supported with great vigor, has claimed without evidence that voting by mail leads to voter fraud even though he voted via absentee ballot in Florida this year. “You get thousands and thousands of people sitting in somebody’s living room, signing ballots all over the place,” he said last month, according to The New York Times.
Nevada and Michigan are among several states planning to increase mail-in voting for the November election. Trump has threatened to cut the states’ funding.
Issa was narrowly re-elected to California’s 49th District in North County San Diego and southern Orange County in 2016 and decided to retire in 2019 after saying he could not win the district that he lives in again due to changing demographics. The 49th district flipped to Democratic Rep. Mike Levin in 2018.
For those who haven’t been watching the race between Issa and Ammar Campa Najjar, the longtime East County resident and former Obama Administration Labor Department spokesman, who lost narrowly to former Rep. Duncan Hunter, Issa vociferously called coronavirus a Democratic Party hoax while thousands of Americans died earlier this year.
Issa said in a fundraising letter district voters received in mid-March: “I won’t ignore the true threats to our national security because of moronic doomsday scenarios. Make no mistake, the left is manufaturing crisis after crisis, in an attempt to whip the American people into a frenzy. From wild fires (sic), to sea level rise and even the outbreak of viruses, we’ve lived through all of these disasters before.”
Issa, by the way, underlined “make no mistake” for emphasis as he seemed to discredit the affects of climate change on sea level rise and wildfires, too, while appearing to mock these serious challenges to our children’s future.