As the California State Legislature enters the final two months of the legislative session, there are a lot of lessons California Democrats can learn from the recent recall of California State Senator Josh Newman.

There is no question that California State Senator Josh Newman was angry about getting recalled this past June, but if he wants to find the true culprit he should focus his attention not on Republicans, but instead on the people who misled him for their political gain.

Newman said in a bitter floor speech that blamed Republicans for his loss that he was surprised by how lopsided the vote to recall him was. But he shouldn’t have been – anyone paying attention would have known how out of touch he was for the district he represented.

Newman ran as a moderate in 2016. That, coupled with a historically large turnout favorable to Democrats, propelled him to a very narrow victory. And it didn’t take long before his ambitious colleagues persuaded him to vote for the $52-billion gas and car tax.

In his ear was Democratic leadership, especially Kevin de Leon, the leader of the Senate at the time. Unfortunately for Newman, the bad votes he took were more about de Leon padding his liberal stats for a run at U.S. Senate, than protecting the vulnerable legislators in his caucus.

If Newman had stopped with the gas tax, maybe he would have survived the recall. But he followed that bad vote by supporting a $400-billion single payer health care bill. The bill had no shot of becoming law and was passed only because of de Leon’s ambitions and those of Senate Appropriations Chairman Ricardo Lara, who is also making a run at statewide office. Worse yet, Newman had abstained in committee and his vote wasn’t needed on the floor, but that wasn’t good enough for de Leon and Lara.

When it came to cap-and-trade, another big legacy bill for the left, Newman voted “Yes” as well, even though it would negatively impact his voters.

It’s a shame. Had Newman decided to represent voters in his district and not the Sacramento establishment, he might still be in office. But instead he followed the bad advice of a few politicians who were only looking out for themselves.

With thousands of votes left in the final month of this legislative year, California Democrats should remember Josh Newman.