Here's the Dem side the story (from the Fresno Bee):
To recap: Democrat Newman very narrowly won an Orange County-centered state Senate seat last year, one that had been in Republican hands for as long as anyone can remember. After besting the Democratic Party’s preferred candidate in the June primary election, he edged a Republican assemblywoman, Ling Ling Chang, in the November runoff.
Newman’s win embarrassed Republicans and restored the two-thirds Democratic “supermajority” in the Senate. And after Newman voted to raise gasoline taxes for highway maintenance, the GOP launched a drive to recall him, assuming that a special election’s ultra-low voter turnout would make it difficult for Newman to survive.
His vote for the unpopular gas tax was the recall signature drive’s misleading rationale, alleging that he was the decisive factor in approval, even though it was the vote of one Republican senator that actually did the deed. Newman was singled out only because his win last year sealed the Democratic supermajority and his district’s conservative leanings would make him vulnerable.
In brief, Newman did nothing to warrant being recalled[....]