With the California gubernatorial recall election only one week away, Republican front-runner Larry Elder spent his long Labor Day weekend on the campaign trail slamming Gavin Newsom’s feckless leadership.
On Monday morning, Elder spoke at a pro-recall rally. The candidate rallied in one of the last remaining Republican strongholds in the state, California’s 25th Congressional District, which was a fact not lost on U.S. Representative Mike Garcia (R-Calif.) who introduced Elder to the crowd. Garcia pointed out that even though the 25th only has “roughly 30% Republican registration,” it’s solid Republican leadership that’s made all the difference during Newsom’s harsh pandemic lockdowns. In the district, Republicans lead on every level from the local school boards to the city council seats to state representatives to its Republican member of Congress. “That’s no coincidence,” said Garcia, who believes real leadership is what California will have in a Governor Larry Elder.
Elder wasted no time slamming his opponent’s hypocrisies and failures of leadership: “Gavin Newsom shut down this state while ignoring science at that French Laundry restaurant,” he said. “Sitting up there incurring a wine tab of, I’ve heard, at least $12,000, maybe more, with the very people [who] drafted the mandates that he was not following by not wearing masks and not engaging in social distancing.”
While Californians found their children locked out of their own schools, Newsom’s children were attending private schools in person. Newsom’s failures with California’s school kids started long before the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“Before the pandemic, seventy-five percent of black boys could not read at state levels of proficiency. Even worse, half of all black boys could not read at state levels of proficiency; and those levels are already low. The math scores are even worse,” said Elder. “Half of all third graders in government schools cannot read at state levels of proficiency. Again, the math scores are even worse.”
“I went to Crenshaw High School. Only two percent of kids in Crenshaw High School are math proficient,” he explained. “Now, who sends their kid to a school where only two percent of the kids are math proficient if they have a choice?”
With polls showing most minority parents want the ability to send their children to the school of their choice, Elder pledged to champion school choice immediately as governor. That’s a policy that won’t be favored by California’s teachers’ unions because school choice “breaks the tie, that stranglehold that the Democrats have had over black and brown voters.”
“There was a study that looked at where public school teachers put their own school-age kids,” said Elder. Forty-four percent of Philadelphia’s public school teachers with school-age kids have their own kids in private school. Thirty-nine percent of Chicago’s public school teachers have their own school-age kids in private school. An L.A. district public school teacher is twice as likely to have his or her own kids in private school compared to a family without a public school teacher in it.”
“That is the equivalent of opening up a restaurant, putting up a sign saying, ‘Come on and eat the food. I sure won’t,'” he declared. They’re getting ripped off. You are getting ripped off. You’re being betrayed by the very party that you’ve shown such loyalty to and I’m going to break that tie.”
Elder lamented the record number of businesses closed for good or leaving California due to high taxes, high cost of living, and Newsom’s handling of the pandemic lockdowns.
“Nearly a third of all small businesses are now gone forever because of the way [Newsom] shut down this state,” he lamented. “There’s a new report [on] the rate at which businesses are leaving California. It’s twice the rate at which they’ve left the last three years. More businesses have left the first six months of this year than left all of last year.”
As a former small business owner, Elder recognized that when businesses leave, they take middle-class jobs and taxes with them. The report cited high taxes and the high cost of living in the once-Golden state as the top reasons given when businesses relocate.
“The top one percent of homeowners pay half of all the state income taxes, so when millionaires and billionaires leave they’re taking their taxes with them,” the candidate said. “Meanwhile, we have all these ongoing obligations and unfunded pension liabilities which is why we are at a competitive [dis]advantage against states like Arizona, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida.”
Elder also slammed Newsom and his Democratic cronies for California’s rising homelessness, high crime rates, failing energy and forestry management, and water shortages among other pressing issues in the country’s most populous state. “Crime is up dramatically in every major city in California. During the coronavirus, [Newsom] oversaw the release of 20,000 convicted felons many of whom were violent offenders released early. What could possibly go wrong?”
“Just the other day, Barbara Boxer the former senator in Oakland got mugged,” he said. “Her cell phone was taken. A few months before that a mentally ill homeless guy attacked Governor Gavin Newsom. Had he not had his security detail with him, he might’ve been harmed. How many of us can walk around the inner city with a security detail?”
“Then we have this ridiculous defund the police movement. Just three or four days before Barbara Boxer was mugged, the Oakland police chief complained about money being diverted from his department because of the defund the police movement. We have this smear, this defamation, this lie that the police are engaging in systemic racism; that they’re pulling over black people and using deadly force just because they’re black. It is not true.”
As Elder spoke, Democratic politicians from outside of California were busy running ads against Elder while stumping for Newsom, including Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Nancy Pelosi, and Elizabeth Warren.
“[Elizabeth Warren] cut a commercial for [Newsom],” said Elder. “She said nothing about the rising cost of living; nothing about how the schools are shut down; nothing about how [Newsom] ignored science and then slammed down the economy to the point where only half of our jobs are now recovered at two-thirds the national average.”
“She said nothing about the rise of homelessness; nothing about poor fire management; nothing about the fact that we’re running out of water; nothing about rolling brownouts,” he continued. “She said it’s a Republican takeover, a Trump takeover. This is not a Republican takeover. This is a takeover from Californians who are absolutely fed up.”
While Elder acknowledged California’s problems “can be solved, not overnight, but over time,” he said they can be solved and he’s ready to work on solving them. California is a “great state, beautiful people, great natural resources,” said Elder, “the only thing it needs is great leadership.”
California voters have through Election Day September 14, 2021, to have their ballots mailed and postmarked or returned to any official drop box or voting location. Polls close at 8:00 p.m. PST.