The Great Orange County Rebellion against California Governor Gavin Newsom has begun.
Big crowds are starting together on the corner of Main and PCH in #HuntingtonBeach to protest #coronavirus closures. @ocregister #virus #covid19 #fullyopenca #wehaveroghts #orangecounty pic.twitter.com/N3rzJSEyvf
— Jeff Gritchen 🇺🇸 (@jeffgritchen) May 1, 2020
But the blowback goes beyond protests. The Orange County cities of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach have taken steps to bring lawsuits against California Governor Gavin Newsom for closing only OC beaches. Orange County Supervisors are weighing their options against Newsom’s “abuse of power.” The sheriff says he won’t arrest anyone breaking Newsom’s edict against going on the beaches.
It comes down to this: they have come to tell their state government “that it has forgotten its place.”
They want to knock Newsom off his high horse.
— Visit Huntington Beach, CA (@HBSurfCityUSA) April 23, 2020
So Huntington Beach (Surf City, USA) is preparing a lawsuit against the governor’s Orange County-only beach shutdown order.
— City of Huntington Beach (@CityofHBPIO) May 1, 2020
The city said Newsom’s decision to close only OC beaches is in “direct contradiction of the Governor’s stated goal to allow science and facts to guide our response to this horrible global pandemic.”
And Newport Beach is holding a special city council meeting this weekend to consider bringing legal action against the governor.
The governor was also censured by the Chair of the Orange County Supervisors, Michelle Steel, who said Newsom’s memo “is a clear example of unnecessary government overreach & I strongly oppose the Governor closing and singling out beaches and parks only in OC. … I will be looking into an appropriate response to the Governor’s overreaction and abuse of power.”
Governor Newsom’s memo directing the closure of Orange County’s beaches is a clear example of unnecessary government overreach & I strongly oppose the Governor closing and singling out beaches and parks only in OC. pic.twitter.com/GMqOX7loE6
— Michelle Steel (@TaxFighterSteel) April 30, 2020
According to elected officials in Orange County, San Diego and other areas, the governor began circulating a memo preparing for a closure of all beaches and parks in the state and ordering them to prepare. When it came time to announcing the decision Thursday afternoon, he chose only Orange County beaches to close. He claimed people at Newport Beach and Huntington Beach the previous weekend had been vewwy, vewwy naw-tee.
It was fake news. While some people may not have kept far enough apart for his taste, lifeguards and police reported people were largely in compliance and large groups were requested to break up.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes told Deadline that he doesn’t know what the governor is basing his closures on because what he saw was not a problem.
“The photographs I saw, quite honestly, were a stark contrast to what the governor’s acting on. [I’m’ not taking enforcement action on this order. My intent…is to seek voluntary compliance. I have no desire to enforce…through arrest.”
Huntington Beach agreed and said at the time that things were socially distanced.
Despite what’s being reported, the majority of our beach goers are complying to social distancing. Please see our link below for more information about how we're taking care of our beaches. #huntingtonbeach #onehb #hbreadyhttps://t.co/YsklOUeNzF
— Huntington Beach (@HBCityBeach) April 26, 2020
In his COVID-19 update on Friday on the Orange County Rebellion, Newsom said: “All I can say is it doesn’t surprise me and we’ll see what happens this afternoon.”
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