Possible Recall Effort Tip-toeing Around California Governorcsudhbulletin February 21, 2021 0 COMMENTS
California voters may have the choice in their hands to throw current governor Gavin Newsom out of office for what opponents is a botched response to the coronavirus. Photo by Manny Becerra on Unsplash.
By Brian Hinchion, Staff Reporter
California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom might not be far from facing a potential recall later this year after the “Recall Gavin Newsom” campaign announced last Friday that they were successful at presumably gathering over 1.5 million signatures, the minimum amount needed to petition for a recall election.
According to their official website, organizers of the campaign claim to have reached the 1.5 million signatures before the March 17 deadline but their goal is to gather at least 2 million by the deadline.
The recall effort led by Orrin Heatlie, a former Yolo County sheriff sergeant, cites over 65 reasons to recall Newsom. Many of these reasons hinge on the state’s protocol on COVID-19, which has affected more than 3.4 million people in California, as well as rising homelessness, the state’s high taxes and even “fines for not wearing a mask.”
The first reason at the top of this two-page list is of Newsom attending a dinner amongst colleagues and friends at the French Laundry restaurant in the Napa Valley when indoor dining and large gatherings were not permitted last November.
Alex Avila, a communications major at California State University, Dominguez Hills, sees Gov. Newsom’s tenure as a mixed bag as far as some of the criticisms from the recall campaign are concerned.
“I don’t think he’s handled homelessness well,” said Avila. “But I don’t disagree with his handling of the coronavirus, locking everything down, I think it’s too soon to open everything up.”
The recall effort’s supporters and detractors so far have been split along party lines. According to Ballotpedia, a political encyclopedia website, backers of the recall include the California Republican Party, who on Saturday announced they would be donating $125,000 thousand to the campaign. Other supporters include former Republican state Senator John Moorlach (R), former Republican mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulkner Faulconer (R), and 2018 gubernatorial Republican candidate John Cox (R), who lost to Newsom by 24 points that year. Those opposed to the recall include the Democratic Party of California, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, three current Democratic lawmakers and President Joe Biden.
CSUDH associate professor and chair of the political science department Salvatore Russo forecast Newsom is holding onto his seat even if the recall election is triggered.
“I know Major Williams and John Cox have both been trying to establish the ground game necessary to defeat the governor, but I think any republican challenger faces an uphill battle,” said Russo. “Despite some Democratic dissatisfaction with Newsom, the party will likely solidify around him during the recall.”
If a recall election is triggered for later this year, it will not be the first in California. In 2003 former Gov. Gray Davis lost a recall election and was replaced with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The earliest a potential recall election would take place is mid-summer. The recall campaign has until the March 17 deadline to submit their signatures to each county. Each county has until April 29, to verify the collected signatures and submit them to the state.
Anyone who signed the recall petition then has 30 days to remove their signature, if wished. The state then verifies the collected signatures and the lieutenant governor will announce a recall election no less than 60 days after state verification.
So far two supporters of the recall campaign have announced bids to take on Newsom. Businessman John Cox already ran for governor against Newsom in 2018 and lost by a 62 to 38 margin. Also announcing his bid is former San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer, who was the only Republican mayor of a city of over 1 million people in the United States, before he was termed out of office last year.