BARSTOW The Secretary of State gave approval Thursday for a recall petition against state Sen. Roy Ashburn to move forward.
Ashburn represents Barstow and the rest of the 18th Senate District in the state legislature and was one of six Republicans in the legislature who voted to pass the state budget in February.

Recall proponent Michael Moore, of Bakersfield, had already submitted two versions of the recall petition to the state, both of which were sent back for revisions, before receiving approval on the third version Thursday.

The petition cited as reasons for the recall attempt a failure to deal with major state problems until they reached crisis proportions and the fact that Ashburn voted to enact significant tax increases in the state's budget after pledging to his supporters that he would not increase taxes.

In his response, Ashburn wrote, "Without that budget, California would have faced financial disaster with thousands of workers suddenly unemployed. ... Recall proponents say that I should be removed from office because of an inability to provide decisions yet they say I should go because I made a decision."

Moore stated via email that the recall proponents plan to begin collecting signatures immediately to gather the 42,376 approved signatures from Ashburn's constituents that would be needed in order to place a recall election on the ballot.

According to the secretary's office, the last state legislator recall attempt that qualified for the ballot was against Sen. Jeffrey Dunham in 2008. The last one to go to the ballot and succeed was against Assemblywoman Doris Allen in 1995.

The proponents have until Sept. 30, 2009 to collect the required signatures.

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