Months of regulatory overreach and lockdowns are catching up with California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Willie Brown, a former state assembly speaker, warned him in a newspaper column headlined. “Gavin Newsom is in trouble. Here’s how he can survive.”
“Right now, Newsom’s chances of survival are tied to the pandemic,” Brown wrote. “If California can get the coronavirus under some semblance of control and counties can lift economic restrictions — and here’s the big if, if Newsom can lean on teachers unions and school districts to reopen classrooms — he’ll survive any recall and all but guarantee his re-election. If not, Newsom will be in a fight for his political life.”
Brown urged the Democratic governor to make the recall effort about President Donald Trump, a bold strategy given that Trump would not be on the ballot if the recall effort makes its way to the voting booth next year. Newsom, Brown argued, must “paint the recall effort as an attack by disgruntled supporters of President Trump. That might be helped by news that national Republicans like Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee are trying to help the recall qualify for the ballot. If Newsom can make it about Trump, Newsom wins.”
The Newsom recall effort has been gaining traction during a wave of new lockdowns, which the governor tied to regional ICU bed capacity, and in the aftermath of his French Laundry dinner scandal. Organizers need to receive 1,495,709 qualifying signatures, which is 12 percent of the 2018 election turnout, by March. Last week, a Newsom recall-effort organizer told “Politico” he was optimistic about their chances following an endorsement from former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
“Newt Gingrich’s endorsement will bring us into the national spotlight,’’ Rescue California Chair Tom Del Beccaro told the news agency. “He’s all in; he will support us through social media, with donor phone calls, Zoom meetings and fundraising emails.”
California last recalled a governor in 2003, an event that heralded only the second successful recall election in the entire country. (The first occurred in North Dakota 99 years ago). A recent report from Politico suggests that Newsom allies also have been getting nervous about the recall effort.
Newsom and his lockdowns are the subject of several court cases. Church restrictions have been found unsconstitutional.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice