Friday Comedy Gold: Recalled California Governor Gray Davis Gives Advice to Soon-to-be Recalled Governor Gavin Newsom

(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Not sure which editor thought this was a good idea, but it’s gone over like a lead balloon, not to mention provided peals of laughter for those of us who actually were in the State of California during the Gray Davis Recall.


Intelligencer in New York Magazine interviewed former California Governor Gray Davis, who was famously recalled in 2003.

There’s only one other person who knows what it’s like to be in Gavin Newsom’s shoes.

“I don’t have old wounds,” said Gray Davis speaking from his Beverly Hills home, but “it’s sort of an annoyance to have to think back to something that was not my fondest moment.”

It wasn’t our “fondest moment” either, Gray. Very thankful, this wasn’t an audio interview, as nobody wants to hear that whiny voice again.

Davis goes on to soft-peddle his own record and give a bogus reason of “failure to communicate” as the major factor behind why he couldn’t beat a Recall election. Then he goes on to give Newsom advice on how he could get back into the good graces of the California citizenry.

Hopefully, His Hairfulness has read it and plans to follow this advice, as it’s full of crap — just like he is.

The Intelligencer writer is as clueless as Davis and failed to do his research. Like this Newsom Recall, the Davis Recall garnered national attention, and there was commentary and analysis pre- and post-Recall election that gave clues to what exactly went wrong, and why Davis could not right the ship. Apparently this writer wasn’t really interested in calling Davis on his bull crap, so I’ll take care of it here.

Things often soften with memory, but in Davis’s case, he still believes he did nothing wrong, and the people just didn’t understand him.


Sound familiar?

“I had a communication problem. I just couldn’t find a way to get ratepayers to get energized about this,” he said. “[Newsom] does have control of the narrative, and he’s believable. I wasn’t because people didn’t understand what I was talking about … I couldn’t figure out a way to solve the problem, and that’s on me.”

Davis had more than a communication problem; he had a graft and corruption problem, and instead of solving it, he decided to play politics. On top of his shady fundraising strategies, he also had the Newsom disease of obeisance to his donor class, while ignoring the actual citizens he was supposed to be serving.

From a 2003 Human Events article on why Davis should be recalled:

Also, California’s stringent environmental regulations, which make it nearly impossible to build new power plants in the state, made the state energy-dependent, leaving the door open for just such a crisis.

But it was Gov. Gray Davis who signed off on $42 billion in vastly overvalued energy contracts in 2001. And it was Davis’s state energy traders who arranged for the state to pay prices for energy that were well above market.

Davis and some of his California apologists-including the members of the California Public Utilities Commission-are still blaming power suppliers and traders for “manipulating” the market and withholding power capacity. But the California Independent System Operator challenged this theory in a credible rebuttal last October. Moreover, even if the Davis defenders are right, it does not change the fact that Davis’s administration approved contracts for ridiculous prices.

It also does not change the fact that Davis had the power to remove caps on residential energy prices, but failed to do so for purely political reasons. He thus removed economic incentives for both conservation and increased energy production. The San Francisco Chronicle recently defended Davis’s handling of the crisis by arguing “there was no public will to raise rates for consumers.” But this misses the point entirely. Instead of making residential consumers pay market prices for their own electricity-a move that could have cost him politically-Davis instituted random, rolling blackouts that created chaos and severe economic damage in many parts of the state. His failure to remove the residential energy price caps also meant that electricity rates had to be raised on businesses, further harming the state’s tax and employment base.


The Intelligencer piece tries to continue this narrative of “rolling blackouts” as the main reason Davis was recalled:

“For Davis, it was energy. He first came into the governor’s office after a landslide victory in 1998, but won narrowly in 2002 with a less than 30 percent approval rating after large-scale rolling blackouts, the collapse of one of the country’s largest energy companies, and costly consumer electric bills under his watch. A recall effort started soon after his reelection.”

It was a lot more than the rolling blackouts. Before Davis was officially recalled in an October 2003 election, in that same Human Events article, the writer outlined the 10 reasons why Davis should be recalled, and it was prescient. Like Newsom, Davis failed to recognize the critical mass caused by the totality of his horrible governance. Just because one incident (rolling blackouts in Davis’s case, the French Laundry in Newsom’s case) is a tipping point, doesn’t mean your entire record isn’t awful.

Here are a few more of Davis’s failures and actions that deliberately countered the will of the people:

Prop 187

Davis not only signed on to have illegal aliens receive in-state tuition and driver’s licenses, Davis helped to kill Prop. 187, a measure voted on and approved by a wide margin of the electorate that denied taxpayer subsidies for education, health, and welfare benefits to illegal aliens. Just as the 9th Circus and Newsom interfered with Proposition 8, and Davis did the same thing with Proposition 187, removing the will of the people by placing its fate in the courts.


As the Human Events piece further outlined:

Proposition 187 to deny state-funded education, welfare benefits and non-emergency health care to foreign nationals illegally in the United States. But Davis opposed Prop 187, and when he took office he asked the famously liberal San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to “mediate” the case between the state, which he now governed, and anti-Prop 187 activists. The proposition’s supporters-59% of the state’s voters-had no voice in the process. Davis “negotiated” a deal with the proposition opponents to drop the appeal and essentially nullify the law.

As a result, the cost of social services for illegal aliens continues to drain funds from the state and from local governments.

This is still an open sore for Californians who were around for the Davis Recall, which is why the Newsom Recall petition lists part of the reasons to remove him as Newsom’s push of sanctuary cities and taxpayer-funded resources for those here illegally. Of course, Hair Gel paints it as a racist, Right-wing coup, and uses the mere mention of such things as proof of this.

Mistake. Big Mistake. HUGE.

Davis was basically Newsom without the looks. A progressive who pretended to be just a run-of-the-mill Democrat. So, like his progressive progeny, Davis pushed and signed into law a bill for transgender rights, and bills that killed small business and jobs through enhanced family leave and increased worker compensation payouts. On top of that, Davis’s shady fundraising was becoming an issue, along with the energy mess. So, when the car tax was tripled, it was just the straw that broke the back of the California citizens. Davis was as good as gone.


And so shall it be with Newsom.

The Intelligencer article goes on to isolate what they think is Newsom’s Recall Achilles heel:

For Newsom, it’s the ongoing pandemic, which has killed more people in California than any other state.

Still tripping on the whole “communication” issues, Davis goes there, giving Newsom advice on what he should focus on in order to combat the Recall election: Making the narrative about the vaccine distribution in order to save the day.

That’s the issue he says Newsom should focus on. “The vaccine is the only good news in this story,” Davis said. “If we get people vaccinated by mid- to late summer, this story will end well.”

Since every other Newsom tweet lately has been about how he’s crushing the vaccine distribution, he must be heeding Davis’s advice.

He’s a fool. Guess Davis just wants company. Nobody wants to be the only living, recalled California Governor.


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