Gavin Newsom was right about one thing in his unhinged rant. People outside of the state are “bitching” about California, but not for the reasons he thinks they are. Most who are talking about the Recall are his media allies, and the majority of them are rooting for Hair Gel to defeat it. What they “bitch” about is why are people still so upset about Newsom dining out maskless at The French Laundry. Who cares? He’s a Democrat, dahling! It’s what they do for the greater good. Keep California blue, and keep those evil Republicans out of office!
The other thing legacy media bitches about is the Recall process itself, and how, if Newsom does manage to skirt removal, the Democrat Supermajority needs to address this “wacky process” so that good politicians like Governor Hair Gel are not subjected to such nonsense.
A publication called The Week has made these very assertions, spouting out false information and falling on false tropes about exactly why Gavin Newsom is being recalled, and how recalls work in the State of California.
Here’s one example:
When all of this is over, Californians might want to sit down and have a little rethink about a system that makes two goofy media personalities the leading contenders to be the next accidental governor of the world’s sixth-largest economy. If nothing else, they should be using Ranked Choice Voting for the second round, ensuring that the winner has, if nothing else, some kind of majority support. Better still would be to cut this kooky process out of the state constitution altogether. You should probably need to commit more serious crimes to get removed from office in the middle of your term than annoying the voters.
While they link CalMatters, which has done yeoman’s work in explaining the nuances of the Recall, and has kept a daily tracker of the funding for both the proponents and opponents of the Recall, apparently The Week writer cherry-picked what he wanted from their site and ran with the narrative he wanted.
Imagine a legacy media doing that—Why, it’s unheard of! <insert *eyeroll* emoji here>
So, here’s a bit of education for The Week‘s writer, and for anyone else who is curious about the Recall from the perspective of an actual Californian who has been on the ground with its proponents almost from the beginning.
The Recall Process
The ability to Recall an elected official was approved by the California voters in 1911, and it is a part of the California Constitution under Article II. This Recall provision also includes justices of the State Supreme Court. California is one of 19 States that allow for a Recall process as part of its system of governance.
So, this nonsense that the Recall is unconstitutional is just that. It is a process that was instituted by the people of California, and it can only be removed by the will of the people.
How do I know this? Because the Democrat-controlled California Legislature has tried its best to manipulate and diminish the power of the Recall process in order weight it in the favor of the official being Recalled.
More on that later.
The Recall Numbers
Let’s talk about numbers. Since 1913 there have been 179 recall attempts. Only 11 of those efforts collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Of those 11, only 6 succeeded in the elected official being recalled.
Six recalls out of 179 attempts does not speak to an abuse of the system. It seems as though the system is working as it should be.
The Recall of Gavin Newsom will be counted as Number 7 of the successful recalls. Mark my words.
The Recall Manipulations
After the Recall of Democrat Governor Gray Davis in 2003, another Recall success that nobody saw coming, in 2017, a majority Democrat legislature worked to undermine the process on behalf of their colleague, Orange County Sen. Josh Newman.
They did this in 2017 when State Sen. Josh Newman (D-Orange County) was successfully recalled despite Democrats passing legislation that retroactively changed the number of signatures needed to qualify a recall petition. Newman was a newly-elected legislator at the time and had won his seat with only a few hundred vote margin, giving the Democrats a supermajority. One of the first things California Democrats did with that supermajority was to pass a highly unpopular gas tax (adding an additional .12 gallon plus at least $50/car in registration fees). California Republicans, in an uncharacteristically bright strategic move, initiated a recall against Newman essentially because he was the lowest-hanging fruit and because his district is full of people who commute to and from work.
Now Newman is back in the State Senate and has sponsored legislation that would allow politicians targeted by a recall to get a copy of the petition – including the names of everyone who signed it and their contact information.
So, in order to keep Newman in place, the California Democrats instituted these additions in order to slow down the Recall process:
- Retroactive changes in the number of signatures required;
- Added a 30-day waiting period for signatories to rescind their signatures;
- Added in a review of a recall election’s cost by the state Department of Finance — a provision that offered no specifics on how long said review might last;
Newman was recalled anyway, but these manipulations were now codified into the Recall law thanks to the machinations of a Democrat Supermajority.
Fast forward to 2021, and His Hairfulness is now on the chopping block. However, a genius State Senator came up with the bright idea that an election held sooner, rather than later, would help Newsom beat the Recall. After all, his approval numbers were steady, the State had reopened, and everyone was happy and vaccinated!
So, what did the Legislature do?
They passed a bill called SB152, which allowed the Joint Legislative Budget Committee to allocate funds toward the Recall without going through a lengthy review cycle. So the whole, time consuming review by the Department of Finance? Went away!
They passed it, and Newsom signed it into law faster than you can say, “Brill Cream”. So, The Week‘s assertion that,
[…] if he does survive this recall effort, Democrats need to get to work fixing the design quirks that made these shenanigans possible in the first place.
is dead wrong, since it is the Democrats who inserted the design quirks that has made these shenanigans possible.
As long as they hold a majority, and as long as a Democrat politician is the one in the crosshairs, they will seek to undermine the will of the people every time. The Recall was meant to be a simple Constitutional process, but like all good Democrats, the rules do not apply to them.
The Week, as does most national media, focuses on The French Laundry debacle as the main reason the Recall gained momentum.
They are dead wrong. The French Laundry was merely a glaring symptom of a greater problem.
Assemblyman and Gubernatorial Candidate Kevin Kiley said it best in his book, Recall Gavin Newsom: The Case Against America’s Most Corrupt Governor:
But the French Laundry scandal only scratched the surface of Newsom’s hypocrisy. He sent his own children to private school for in-person instruction even as he forced millions of less fortunate kids to learn from home. He repeatedly blamed the people of California for the spread of the virus even as he asked them to make pointless sacrifices not linked to public health. He spoke of equity and inclusiveness while taking actions that were an assault on those values.
Kiley goes on to talk about the record unemployment fraud, the evil wrought by AB5, which Newsom signed into law, then used the same Employment Development Department as an enforcement arm to retroactively fine and bilk money from independent professionals and small businesses. Kiley outlined Newsom’s COVID and vaccine failings, including the COVID data glitch that was never fully explained, his public health director resigning for no good reason, and the most hampered and corrupt vaccine rollout, where Hair Gel’s campaign contributors got to do the distribution, and left California with the designation of being dead last in vaccine response.
It is difficult to imagine a more consequential failure of political leadership.
Now this failure is getting Recalled, and Californians are counting the days and reminding people why he must go. Especially when outside publications like The Week disseminate this weak, and poorly crafted disinformation.
The Californians who lived through it, and signed the recall petition know the facts.
And we know how to vote.