July 30, 2021

California Recall Election

A poll of the California gubernatorial recall election from the Los Angeles Times “found that 47% of likely California voters supported recalling the Democratic governor, compared with 50% who opposed removing Newsom from office — a difference just shy of the survey’s margin of error. Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, who last week won a court battle to appear on the Sept. 14 recall ballot, leads in the race to replace Newsom among the dozens of candidates in the running.” Los Angeles Times

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From the Left

The left opposes the recall and calls for changes to the system to prevent a minority of the electorate from upending majority rule.

“The emergence of COVID-19 was a once-in-a-generation challenge, and Newsom’s handling of it wasn’t perfect. But as we have said before, recall elections aren’t for officials who were imperfect, or even for ones who performed badly. They’re designed for egregiously unethical, incompetent or dangerous people whose extreme behavior can’t be tolerated until the next regular election…

“Setting aside the hyperbole, the complaints voiced by Newsom’s opponents boil down to run-of-the-mill policy disputes, even if some of them have been magnified by the unusual circumstances of the pandemic. They can and should be decided in next year’s general election.”
Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times

“The people who don’t like [Newsom], well, really don’t like Newsom. Here in Orange County, one of the centers of the recall effort, some residents who want the governor gone let everyone around them know it at any opportunity… As any political consultant knows, angry people vote. (See: Donald Trump, 2016 and 2020.) The satisfied and the indifferent are harder crowds to reach. It’s becoming clear that Newsom’s political future is likely to come down to how good his side is at motivating the latter groups — and making sure a majority back him in September.”
Helaine Olen, Washington Post

“California is littered with well-meaning ideas to increase democratic participation that have decayed into avenues that organized interests use to foil the public will… If you loathe Newsom, the recall is your sole hope for relief. If you like him, the recall is a distraction you’d prefer to ignore. But it means California could see a popular governor ousted not because a majority think he’s failed but because they tuned out an unusual midcycle referendum they didn’t ask for and weren’t paying attention to…

“There is, in theory, a way to unleash public power without letting it serve the whims of deep-pocketed donors: Let the people control government directly. But populist reforms of this sort are often built atop a mythic version of the people, one that yearns to be involved in the ins and outs of every policy debate and shows up en masse to local planning meetings. In practice, that describes relatively few of us. Most of us just want the politicians we elect to do a good job so that we can live our lives.”
Ezra Klein, New York Times

“Newsom won the 2018 gubernatorial race with 62% of the vote — the largest margin of victory for a candidate of either party since 1950. The recall provision was designed by early-20th-century Progressives as a tool to rid the state of politicians who exhibited shocking behavior, were abusing the public trust or mishandling public funds. It was not intended to be a political crowbar for a minority party to try to force its way into an office in special off-year elections… Legislators would be remiss when this is over not to seriously consider changes to how our recall elections are managed.”
Garry South, Mercury News

From the Right

The right is hopeful that the recall will succeed and praises Larry Elder.

The right is hopeful that the recall will succeed and praises Larry Elder.

“If Newsom embraces the new [CDC] guidance and moves California backward, he will increase the intensity of the recall campaign against him and push more persuadable voters toward the recall effort. But even if the state doesn’t bring back mask mandates, localities could follow Los Angeles County and now claim they are deferring to the bureaucrats at the CDC. That could harm Newsom even if he doesn’t directly drag Californians back into mask mandates…

“With less than two months before he must face voters, Newsom’s bad week could snowball. None of California’s gubernatorial candidates are all that intimidating, but Newsom isn’t running against them. He is running against himself and his own record.”
Zachary Faria, Washington Examiner

“[Newsom] exhibited grotesque displays of hypocrisy during his California lockdowns, when he held fancy dinner parties while Californians were forced out of work and onto the dole. He has overseen total mismanagement of Californian forestry, which has played a role in the worst wildfire seasons in state history. Under his regime, California has experienced record crime, homelessness, and drug deaths

“California may have the highest income tax in the country, but the state’s budget surplus is not helping to address any of the problems faced by everyday residents… Can you imagine the uproar if this succeeds? Gavin Newsom — the rich, white, progressive San Franciscan — defeated by Larry Elder, a hard-line black conservative who grew up in South Los Angeles.”
Aron Ravin, National Review

“Why shouldn’t a conservative Republican like Larry Elder be leading the race to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom? Mr. Elder is an attorney, bestselling author, documentary filmmaker and successful talk-radio host who was born and raised in Los Angeles. True, he’s an amateur when it comes to electoral politics, but look at what the professionals like Mr. Newsom, a liberal Democrat, have done to the most populous state…

“Still, Mr. Elder remains a long shot. No prominent Democrat is challenging Mr. Newsom. The governor has a sizable war chest, and registered Democrats in California outnumber Republicans by almost 2 to 1. Yet even if the governor does survive, his days in office may be numbered. ‘The Governor faces trouble ahead,’ Emerson reports. ‘A clear majority (58%) of voters said regardless of the recall, they believe it is time to elect a new Governor in the 2022 election.’”
Jason L. Riley, Wall Street Journal

“Elder has something few politicians, can boast: a nationwide base of fans who have known him for years… Elder, who would be California’s first black governor, would be an effective advocate for the idea that there is an alternative — that California need not be doomed to discover, too late, the destructive effect of ‘woke’ one-partyism. Win or lose, Elder will inspire conservatives nationwide, showing that their ideas transcend race, and can compete — even in the bluest of states.”
Joel B. Pollak, Breitbart

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