July 7, 2022

Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom is running for reelection in California, but his latest television ad is airing in Florida. The 30-second spot scheduled to air on Fox News starting [last] Monday takes shots at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his policies, while drawing a contrast with California…

“‘Freedom, it’s under attack in your state. Republican leaders, they’re banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors,’ Newsom says while images of DeSantis and former President Donald Trump flash on screen. ‘I urge all of you living in Florida to join the fight. Or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom — freedom of speech, freedom to choose, freedom from hate and the freedom to love,’ Newsom says.” AP News

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From the Left

The left criticizes DeSantis’s record in Florida and praises Newsom for fighting back against Republicans.

[This is] the message Democrats should embrace. Today's Republican party is an extremist movement that is literally coming for our freedoms. DeSantis -- who many political observers expect will run for president in 2024 -- is one of the leaders of the GOP's efforts across a number of states to ban everything from academic freedom to reproductive rights… Whether or not he seeks the White House, Newsom is showing Democratic leaders something the base wants to see: How to be an effective and fierce fighter.”

Dean Obeidallah, CNN

"The ‘existential’ question, Newsom said, is how to preserve the rights that conservatives are targeting, which he believes will extend beyond the current list to same-sex marriage, contraception, and even interracial marriage. ‘I don’t have a great answer for it,’ he admitted. An infinite list of practical questions is looming for Democrats and civil-rights advocates about how to respond to the GOP drive to rescind rights—a campaign that has included years of efforts to reshape the federal courts, solidify control of state legislatures, and encourage the spread of conservative ideas through groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council and Heritage Action…

“Democrats have spent years trying to develop responses, and they face years’ more work ahead. But the party’s urgent need now, Newsom seems to be arguing, is to clarify to the public that the fight is even happening, building awareness and rallying resistance. ‘We’re arguing about changing the rules,’ he told me. ‘I’m arguing for changing our mindset and waking us up.’”

Ronald Brownstein, The Atlantic

"​If he does run [for president], Newsom would immediately join the ranks of credible, upper-tier contenders — a proven vote-getter with a large donor list and connections to Democratic Party heavyweights in organized labor, Silicon Valley and in Hollywood…

"[But] For as many Democrats as live in California, the state is a perennial punching bag for much of the rest of the country. Harris, the last viable presidential candidate from the state, imploded so quickly she dropped out before the Iowa caucuses. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, after traveling the country for months mulling a presidential campaign, elected not to run…

“‘He’s got a huge constituency because he’s the governor of the most populous state,’ said James Carville, the former Bill Clinton strategist. ‘He’s got an enormous fundraising base and a lot of delegates there.’ However, Carville said, ‘One thing we do know, and pretty conclusively, is that the most important voting bloc in picking a Democratic nominee are southern Blacks. And the question for Gov. Newsom is, is that going to travel?’ Given California’s relatively small Black population — standing at less than 7 percent — Carville said, ‘I’ll take a wait and see attitude.’”

Christopher Cadelago and David Siders, Politico

From the Right

The right criticizes Newsom’s record in California and praises DeSantis for enacting popular policies.

The right criticizes Newsom’s record in California and praises DeSantis for enacting popular policies.

“Mr. DeSantis and the other potential 2024 Republican candidates couldn’t be happier to welcome Mr. Newsom into the mix. Putting a magnifying glass on Mr. Newsom’s inept management of what was once the jewel of the Pacific will be a joy to the campaign consultants and political action committee managers… It is politically perverse that Mr. Newsom’s ad asks Floridians to come to California when his own constituents are leaving for friendlier business and cultural climates in Florida, Texas, Arizona and elsewhere…

“Homicides in San Francisco are up 36% in two years with the number of people wounded by gun violence nearly doubling. At least 10 Walgreens stores have shuttered because of shoplifting and smash-and-grab thefts. Things are much the same in Los Angeles, where homicides and robberies with guns are on the rise, and the city has lost 40,000 residents in the past year.”

Kenneth L. Khachigian, Wall Street Journal

Changing state residency involves a decidedly uneven trade of Florida’s zero percent state income tax — guaranteed by state constitutional amendment — for California’s, which rises as high as 13.3 percent. Floridians might also sensibly resist California’s sales tax, which can reach 10.75 percent depending on the locality, compared to 7 percent in Florida. Gas prices in California push $7 per gallon, compared to a $4.50 average in Florida…

“No books are ‘banned’ in our state. Any book may be bought, sold, circulated, and read here, and having books mandated for use in public education is hardly an inalienable right. No Floridian eligible to vote has any difficulty casting a ballot… The only classroom speech ‘restricted’ in Florida is speech instructing students that they are inherently racists, or that exposes children under the age of eight to explicit sexuality of any type… Large majorities of Floridians and Americans favor these provisions.”

Paul du Quenoy, Spectator World

“Not all freedoms are created equal… For example, the ability to work and operate one's business during the pandemic was a huge draw for Florida… The real question is what freedoms you value most and what trade-offs you are willing to accept. Is it worth having to live under California taxation just to know that you live in a state that allows ninth-month abortions? Is it worth paying double for electricity and quadruple for rent to live amid homeless encampments just for the peace of mind that none of your neighbors are ‘Rethuglicans’?…

No marketing campaign is going to repopulate California. That would take some serious policy changes. The reason California lost the population equivalent of Cleveland last year to net domestic migration and Florida gained the population equivalent of San Bernardino is that one of these two states has freedoms that people seek and value as part of their daily lives.”
Editorial Board, Washington Examiner

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