The effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom hit an important milestone this weekend. A spokesman for the “Recall Gavin 2020” campaign says they have gathered 1,509,000 signatures — enough to place the issue on the ballot for an election to be held within 80 days of the secretary of state certifying the validity of the signatures.
The ballot will ask two questions; should Newsom be recalled and who should replace him. As for the former question, Recall Gavin 2020 has a succinct answer: “Unaffordable housing. Record homelessness. Rising crime. Failing schools. Independent contractors thrown out of work. Exploding pension debt. And now, a locked down population while the prisons are emptied. Hold Gavin Newsom accountable. Gavin Newsom must go.”
As for the latter question, the 2003 recall of Gray Davis 135 candidates qualified for the ballot. Expect at least that many this time around.
Organizers are aiming for 2 million signatures by mid-March due to the verification process and the campaign is seeking a comfortable margin. The group noted there was a 25% disqualification rate among signatures collected last time.
“We’re not there yet. We wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the milestone along the way. But our job is not done. We’re working as hard as today as we were yesterday, and we’re going to work harder tomorrow,” Economy told Fox News. “And if it wasn’t for this amazing group of volunteers that have dedicated so much of their lives, we wouldn’t have gotten to this point.”
Indeed, this was a true grass roots movement that sprung from the efforts of a few civic minded citizens in northern California back in June. From there, it has grown into a multi-million dollar campaign with all the tools of a modern campaign.
We will hear a lot from Newsom partisans about “right wing billionaires” funding the recall. This is true — but no more so than left wing billionaires funding Newsom. That won’t be a deciding factor.The fact is, this recall will put the response to the pandemic in sharp relief and the divide between right and left — freedom vs. lockdowns — will decide it.
Timing and increased discontent with Newsom’s leadership — both, coincidentally, byproducts of the COVID-19 pandemic. After earning rave reviews early in the pandemic, Newsom is now under heavy fire, even from allies, for his handling of the coronavirus. He went back and forth over the legislature’s proposed vaccination rules and has struggled to convince teachers and administrators to reopen schools. California has also changed its vaccine distribution plan several times since vaccines became available, catching some providers unprepared, and currently ranks 39th among the 50 states in terms of percentage of doses administered. And his policy on lockdowns has pleased no one: Conservatives have accused him of strangling the economy with restrictions on businesses, while public-health experts have criticized his decision last month to lift regional stay-at-home orders as premature.
It’s clear from the school reopening issue that the left only relies on “science” when it fits their political agenda. Newsom was originally praised for following the playbook on lockdowns — even though some of his rules were silly and gave little thought to the economic damage that was being done to ordinary people with small businesses.
Will he pay for his incompetent management? The polls say probably not as the governor maintains an approval rating above 50 percent. But people are not going to forget Newsom’s dismal record of disaster after disaster.