Lots of elected Democrats in California have publicly defended Gavin Newsom and attacked recall proponents, labeling them Trumpers, Q-Anon believers, insurrectionists, and more. The first special interest group to really come out against the recall, Equality California, echoed those sentiments in a curiously-timed press conference while pointing out how much the LGBT community in California “owes” to Gavin Newsom. (In other words, if you can’t keep your position because of your achievement, guilt interest groups into supporting you.)
While the deadline for recall proponents to deliver signatures to the various county registrars isn’t until tomorrow (March 17), and it’ll be about 30 days before anyone knows whether enough signatures will be verified, Equality California felt it necessary to hold a virtual press conference March 12 to strongly advocate for Newsom and praise his “leadership.”
That sense of panic and urgency shows that the members of Equality California feel the recall threat is very real and, in my opinion, threatens their political power in a very different way.
The group’s Executive Director, Rick Chavez Zbur, opened the presser. Of course, the word “extremist was the first out of his mouth. Immediately Mike Huckabee was referenced. He then hit the guilt button:
“Make no mistake, the coalition leading and funding this effort is made up of anti-LGBTQ+ extremists and pro-Trump activists. When Mike Huckabee cuts a check for a campaign, you can safely assume it’s not intended to help the LGBTQ+ community.
“At a time like this, when our community has been hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19, both the health and economic impacts, we need Governor Newsom as our partner and our champion, helping LGBTQ+ Californians recover. And that’s what’s at stake in this partisan power grab…This is the question. Do we keep moving forward with the governor who has always had our backs, who has always fought for us, who was bold and courageous when we needed him most, or do we move backwards?”
Asm. Evan Low, who is in a position to actually fix some of the problems in California’s bureaucracy as a powerful member of the Democrat caucus, brought up how the $100 million it would allegedly cost the state to hold a recall election could be better spent (if it wasn’t wasted by the legislature in other ways):
Gov. Newsom, you have been there with us; we are there for you. This is about the governance for all Californians. Think about the devastating cost of a fruitless recall effort that could cost upwards of $100 million. Think about the resources, the public hard-earned taxpayer dollars that those resources could go to, towards helping those who are struggling to put food on the table….
Evan, I’d suggest that you do your job and force a cleanup of the state’s unemployment division. That would help people a lot more than avoiding a recall.
State Sen. Scott Weiner got around to the real reason for this press conference.
This recall is just horrific….There is a reason why California has rejected right-wing Republicans and has not elected a Republican to statewide office in 15 years. That’s not just random….when you look at the people who are now wanting to be governor through this recall, they know they can’t win an actual election so they want to try to scam their way into office through a recall.
These are people who do not believe in climate change, do not believe in civil rights for LGBTQ people. These are people who are supporters of Donald Trump. We see Q-Anon people collecting signatures. This recall effort does not reflect California values.
See where this is going? There are a handful of Republicans who’ve said they will run to replace Gavin Newsom in a potential recall election, and, as far as I know, they are all straight men. Some are supporters of Donald Trump; at least one is not. As far as I know, they all believe in civil rights for LGBTQ people — but perhaps not the types of “civil rights” Scott Weiner believes in. However, the progressives in the state can say whatever they want about each of the candidates and California’s political reporters will lap it right up.
There’s one potential candidate California’s political reporters cannot smear as a homophobe, and that man’s potential candidacy scares Equality California and their supporters to death. That potential (likely, in my opinion) candidate is former Acting DNI, former Ambassador to Germany, and California resident Ric Grenell, who said at CPAC that his focus at that time was on ensuring that the recall qualified for the ballot and any decision about a candidacy would be made after it qualified, if it does.
For months Grenell has been one of the leading pro-recall voices, speaking out on Fox News, Twitter, and at CPAC on the issue, has statewide name recognition, the ability to attract major donors, and… he’s gay. The liberal media likes to ignore that fact because Grenell doesn’t fit their stereotype of what a gay man’s political beliefs should be, and Grenell, unlike many liberals, doesn’t preface everything he does with a statement about his sexual orientation. He simply excels at what he does, and he has the support of a major segment of conservatives not just in California, but across the country.
And that terrifies the people in Equality California, who believe they alone determine what the LGBT community in California need and what their political beliefs should be.
(Equality California’s full press conference can be viewed here.)