What started as a Quixotic effort to remove California Governor Gavin Newsom from office, has now turned serious. The Recall Gavin Newsom campaign has gathered as of the beginning of March 2021, 1.9 million signatures. California requires 1.5 million signatures for the recall to appear on the ballot. Looks like there are almost 2 million folks that are past their tolerance point for Newsom.
What has this once popular California governor done to deserve such fate? Is he so much worse than other progressive governors? Probably not.
However, constituents have grown skeptical of Newsom’s incessant swagger about California being an economic powerhouse as homeless tents pop up everywhere, public pensions become unsustainable, and California’s middle class dwindles. Workers are tired of being thrown out of jobs, first by legislation that strangles small businesses, and presently by lockdowns. Parents of public school children are seeing their children fall behind in their education as Newsom’s children attend in-person instruction in private school.
Such disregard for the common people has marked Gavin Newsom as the quintessential establishment elite – someone who conceives a self-serving vision of what people need and proceeds to impose the vision on the populace regardless of realities. The Recall is a reaction to Newsom’s perceived elitism as much as it is an attempt to put an end to his misguided policies.
The Recall Gavin Newsom campaign claims 80,000 grassroots volunteers that can be relied upon to waive signs and collect recall signatures. Campaign organizers say they have raised almost $4 million, mostly from wealthy donors within California, but some also from Nevada ($29,250), Kansas ($26,000), Texas ($20,100), and Arizona ($6,525). Interestingly, San Francisco – solidly Democrat and committedly progressive – stands second after Irvine in Newsome Recall donations.
The litany of Newsom failures listed on the Recall document include the following:
- Housing unaffordable to the middle class
- Exploding homelessness
- Rising crime
- Failing public schools
- Harassment of independent contractors
- Unsustainable public pension debt
- Infringement of 2nd Amendment rights
- Sanctuary laws that fail to screen out criminals
- High taxes
- Poor water management
- A dysfunctional Employment Development Departments
- Extreme overreach in dealing with Covid-19
- Public schools closed for nearly a year
- Inability to control teachers union refusal to resume in-person teaching.
- A last straw occurred when Newsom and his wife were caught dining with lobbyists at the posh French Laundry eatery after he recommended that his constituents dine alone on Thanksgiving.
The establishment elite – not to be confused with the merely rich — operate by rules that grow without regard to what the populace want or need. For example, the Recall document mentions Assembly Bill 5, which assumes everyone wants to be an employee rather than an independent contractor, thus ruining the livelihood of many happily self employed workers.
The establishment elite do not seem to notice that often there is a discrepancy between what they mandate and what they do, as exemplified by Newsom’s French Laundry incident.
Thus, Gavin Newsom’s image stands as dubious as his policies, and a recall election to give voters a chance to weigh in on how seriously they take this matter is warranted.