For weeks, Californians have been assembling and working to recall California Gavin Newsom, collecting nearly 1.95 million signatures to trigger a special election. While those signatures still have to be verified, 1.5 million is the number necessary to spark a state-wide vote and let the people of California decide who they want in office. California voters said their frustration spiked after schools and businesses were shut down while Newsom dined at the high-end French Laundry restaurant despite his own health advice. He also faced criticism for the state’s slow vaccine rollout process.
Randy Economy, a senior advisor to the “RecallGavin2020” campaign, said they set their goal of collecting. Million signatures in order to assure that they had enough verifiable submissions to trigger the recall under state law. “The People are in charge of California, not political operatives. The People are changing California,” Economy wrote in a tweet.
Zephyr Books & Coffee owners Debbie and Guy Scott said they started collecting signatures after Gov. Newsom hit their bookstore with pandemic restrictions despite falling virus toll numbers. The store is located in Historic Downtown Yreka, which is a vast rural county that didn’t even have its first COVID-19 death until November. Their sales plummeted by more than 30% and they had to lay off all six employees, eventually keeping the store open and running it themselves.
“Our lifeblood is not corporate money. It’s not government funding. We’re family-oriented. We’re ranch-oriented. We’re age-oriented. We’re small- business-oriented. And Sacramento has a different priority. They’re politically oriented,” Debbie said.
Other small towns have also complained about how the state’s high taxes and cost of living are being drowned by democratic politicians and government regulations. There has been growing tension between small towns and the Newsom administration over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rural towns were slammed with government restrictions and argued that the stay-at-home orders do not have a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
Gov. Newsom, however, has argued and insisted that the recall election has more to do with “politics” and less to do about the public health crisis. In a recent interview with media platforms, he accused the recall organizers of being all ‘Republicans’ and looking to push their own agenda instead of his more ‘progressive’ one.
“It’s about immigration. It’s about our health care policies. It’s about our criminal justice reform. It’s about the diversity of the state. It’s about our clean air, clean water programs, meeting our environmental strategies,” Gov. Newsom said.
Organizers have noted that the recall has attracted not only Republicans but Democrats and Independents as well. State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley has mocked Newsom over being the “great uniter” while noting that supporters of the recall include a ‘very diverse group of people.’
While Gov. Newsom said his state could have done a ‘better job’ at educating and communicating state restrictions to the public and that he should’ve made it an earlier priority to distribute vaccines in the state’s hardest-hit areas, including Black and Latino neighborhoods. “In many respects, we could have gone a little earlier with this overlay, and that’s something in hindsight you consider and you reflect on at the same time,” Newsom admitted.
Both California and New York were the highest praised states for their ‘democratic leadership’ throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and now their citizens want them gone for good. That should say something.