California Governor Gavin Newsom my be soon facing a recall election as it’s been reported that the necessary amount of signatures needed to begin the recall process has nearly been reached.
According to the Wall Street Journal, 1.5 million signatures are needed by March 17 to qualify for a ballot. Recall organizers are reporting that they’ve secured 1.2 million.
“Californians are hurting, and we’ve had a dramatic failure of leadership from the governor,” said former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “The governor’s actions are harming lives and livelihoods, people are at their wits’ end and they want to do something about it.”
Faulconer said he’d run as the Republican against Newsom if a recall election were to happen.
The recall petition was started after Newsom was caught enjoying dinner at a high-end restaurant while telling other Californians that they needed to stay home according to the WSJ:
Political opponents have criticized Mr. Newsom in the past few months over bans on outdoor dining at restaurants and fraudulent and delayed payments at the state’s unemployment agency, which California has said it is investigating. In November, local media reported that Mr. Newsom ate with friends at the swanky French Laundry restaurant in Napa at the same time he was urging residents to avoid gathering with people outside their households. The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board accused him of “stunning hypocrisy.” Mr. Newsom has said the French Laundry dinner was an error in judgment.
Three weeks after local media first reported on the French Laundry dinner, recall supporters submitted 441,904 additional signatures on their petition. They had previously reported 55,930 since the effort began in June.
Former GOP state party chair Tom Del Beccaro says that voters on both sides of the aisle are entirely displeased with Newsom’s strategy to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, which are some of the strictest in the nation but have done nothing to stop the spread and keep cases down.
Meanwhile, Newsom seems to be ignoring the rules he sets for everyone else.
Former GOP consultant believes that recall efforts still face a very large hurdle as many signatures on recall efforts turn out to be fraudulent, but that if it does pass, California may see a repeat of 2003 when a recall effort was triggered, where mass amounts of candidates will come out of the woodwork to vie for the Governorship:
Rob Stutzman, a veteran GOP consultant who served as a spokesman for Mr. Schwarzenegger, said recall supporters face a significant hurdle to get all the signatures they need to trigger a recall election, as typically 30% to 40% of signatures are found to be invalid upon further review. But if it qualifies, he said California may experience a spectacle on the magnitude of 2003, when more than 130 candidates vied for the governorship, including political commentator Arianna Huffington, adult film star Mary Carey and “Diff’rent Strokes” star Gary Coleman.
“Once this is on the ballot, if it gets on the ballot, it could open a whole floodgate of candidates across the ideological spectrum and of varying degrees of wealth and fame,” Mr. Stutzman said.
The list of signatures has grown exponentially over the course of a few months. It’s almost certain that, if reports are true, they will secure the necessary amount of signatures to trigger the recall election by March. If it does, it’s likely that the California election will become a massive battleground that will take up headlines for some time.
If it does happen, the GOP will likely focus on Democrat hypocrisy as well as how Democrats have economically destroyed California with the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Californians to red states being evidence.