With enough signatures filed to force a recall election for Sen. Josh Newman the governor must call for the election from 60 to 80 days from when the recall is certified by the Secretary of State. Here’s a prediction that the recall will fall on Halloween, Tuesday October 31.

Democrats in the legislature hoped to push off the recall election until next June when a larger voter turnout would consider a number of issues on the state primary ballot, including an expected competitive governor’s race. The bill passed by the legislature and signed by the governor to delay the recall was put on hold last week by an Appellate Court judge, throwing a wrench in that plan.

The Democrats still scored on behalf of Newman when the Fair Political Practices Commission decided to overturn a long-standing rule that elected officials could give no more than $4,400 from their campaign committees to a colleague facing recall. The decision came after an attorney for the Democratic senatorial caucus first appealed to a friendly commissioner who did not inform the commission or the public about the contact as expected by commission standards.

The decision by the commission to allow larger donations from elected officials opened the commission to questions about its objectivity, not a good position for an ethics commission.

Since the legislative majority has been looking for ways to tip the scales toward Newman in a recall, the maneuvering is probably not done yet. Depending on how quickly Secretary of State Alex Padilla certifies the election—he has ten days—the legislature back from recess today could cook up a new scheme.

If that doesn’t occur and the election goes forward according to schedule I’m betting on the October 31 date.

The recall, according to proponents, is all about Sen. Newman’s vote on the gas tax. No one is fooled that it is also about a Republican attempt to reduce the Democratic supermajority below the two-thirds threshold in which the Democrats, if they stay together, would continue to have a free hand to pass all kinds of measures without need of a Republican vote. But the gas tax is the focus of the recall effort and that tax, which passed and was signed in April, goes into effect November 1.

The governor who pushed the tax would likely want to call the election before the tax is collected. No need to remind voters why they may have reason to be cross with Sen. Newman. Halloween may also keep voters occupied on other matters and away from the polls.

Calling the election for Halloween would be appropriate in one way. This whole process from the beginning, from the move to recall the senator for his vote, to the maneuvers in the legislature and before a state commission to protect Newman, to court action all adds up to a scary time for the democratic process.