Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses a report detailing the efforts by the DMV to improve customer services during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, July 23, 2019. Some of the suggestions are to accept credit cards, upgrade the DMV’s website and offer clearer instructions on how to obtain a new federally mandated ID. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
See that guy on the corner? Unshaven, with the tattered clothes, pushing a cart? The guy who looks like he hasn’t showered in a while? The one with an old, dirty sleeping bag?
Donald Trump did that to him.
So believes, to one degree or another, California Governor Gavin Newsom.
According to Gavin, the homeless epidemic in places like LA and San Francisco — where you can follow the poop map for a very alternative tour of the city (here) — is the fault of the President and his administration, and — I guess — in no way a failure of West Coast government.
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, last week in Sacramento, Gavin explained that Trump is purposely keeping Cali from fixing its problem by withholding “key information.”
Newsom’s makin’ dang history; he’s just waiting on Unlce Sam:
“California is making historic investments now to help our communities fight homelessness. But we have work to do and we need the federal government to do its part.”
The Daily Wire notes that the Governor stated more of the same this week, roping in all of the GOP.
On Friday, he had this to say to a reporter:
“[I] imagine if you’re President of the United States — any leader like myself feels a deep sense of responsibility to address some of the most vexing issues in the country. In that respect, you would imagine some accountability and some responsibility to be supportive and to reach out.”
The lady with the mic gave him a bit of What For:
“It sounds like you’re deflecting towards him.”
Gavin immediately won the argument: He said he’s not.
“I would encourage you to take a look at what we’ve been doing — which you may not be familiar with. And I imagine, if you did take a look at what we just did in the last year, you would see a very different, a different picture would be painted in your mind. And that question would be sort of incongruent with the reality.”
How this for a picture:
[Screenshot from Open the Books, https://www.openthebooks.com/news/?CategoryId=105]
Gavin explained that he’s “invested a billion dollars.” And he’s got a “hundred day strategy.”
But what if his strategy’s dumb?
And what does he need from Trump?
To Newsom, homelessness is about less homes:
“[W]e’ve asked the Trump administration for the one thing that he can do, specifically, and that’s address the fair-market rent issue and help us support, with vouchers, additional resources so we can get people housing.”
And, just so you know:
“That’s…not about abdicating responsibility, it’s not about pointing fingers.”
Like pointing fingers at the White House?
Maybe he forgot he’s the governor.
The reporter asked him about the issue of mental health, and he pulled the oldest trick in the book. Aspiring politicians, take heed: The key to answering difficult questions while in office is to simply imagine you were asked a different question, and answer that instead:
“People with behavior health problems? That’s an interesting issue, because the Republican Party, for decades, has been cutting behavior health funding, cutting brain health funding, consistently not supporting the efforts of the local, national, and state levels to do justice on that issue. So you’re absolutely right –– the President could do a hell of a lot more…”
Meanwhile, everyone’s still homeless.
And other than that, we’re not sure how it’s Trump’s fault.
[Gavin] isn’t quick to give details on precisely why Trump is to blame for the California homelessness crisis — and that’s probably by design. The “very important material” California is waiting on from the federal government is nothing more than an official Housing and Urban Development count of precisely how many homeless people live in the state of California. Newsom claims that, without those numbers, he can’t release more than $500 million earmarked to abate the systemic problem.
California conducted those counts months ago, however, and merely sent the results to the government to certify. And, as Newsom said in his own remarks, he reserves the right to release the funding — or, at least to accept applications to spend the money — before the federal government issues any official numbers.
Back to housing: Is a free place to live the best answer? If expensive real estate was the problem, wouldn’t it be cheaper to buy them all a bus ticket to a more affordable city? Easy peasy.
We hadn’t seen you in a few days; welcome home, buddy.
See 3 more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.