Could California End Up With a Trump-Like Governor?

Yves here. The few people in California to whom I have spoken about the prospect of Larry Elder becoming governor don’t seem very worried. His term would go only to the start of 2023, key positions in the administration, like attorney general and secretary of state, are elected and the legislature is solidly Democratic. He could try rule by executive order, but as we explained with Trump, about 80% of his executive orders had all of the legal impact of press releases. They’d require enabling legislation to have any effect.

By Sonali Kolhatkar, the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom is facing a recall election that, up until recently, the Democratic Party had brushed off as a frivolous inconvenience. Now, just days before the election, vote-by-mail ballots have been sent to California’s 22 million active registered voters in a statewide off-year election that offers a bewildering array of nearly four dozen alternate choices to Newsom if he were to lose. Polls show that even in a state with a clear majority of voters identifying as Democratic, Newsom is in trouble.

It shouldn’t have turned out this way. Just a few years ago, Newsom was seen as a progressive superstar, elected in 2018 to lead the world’s fifth-largest economy after serving as mayor of San Francisco. These were the same midterm elections that saw progressive newcomers like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and others elected to federal congressional seats in what was seen as a game-changing year for liberal politics and a worthy consolation prize to Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Democratic nomination loss.

Newsom’s campaign slogan, “Courage for a Change,” led political pundits to dub him the “next head of the California resistance.” He campaigned on ushering in a statewide Medicare for All or single-payer system and won the endorsement of the National Nurses United (NNU) as a result. A year before his win, Newsom addressed NNU members on the issue of health care, saying, “If we can’t get it done next year, you have my firm and absolute commitment as your next governor that I will lead the effort to get it done. We will have universal health care in the state of California.”

Nearly three years since Newsom took office, there is no whiff of Medicare for All in sight aside from a tabled bill, and a commission that Newsom appointed nearly two years ago. It seemed as though the fervent backer of single payer was no longer as enthusiastic about health care as he had appeared to be. As John Marty, writing for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), said, “Newsom’s shifting position on single payer shows why voters become cynical.” Is it any wonder then that California’s Democratic voters are not as enthused to show up to the polls on September 14 even though most voters oppose the recall? One Republican analyst said, “Newsom doesn’t have to worry about the Democratic base voting for the recall.” Instead, “He has to worry about them not voting at all.”

True, the timing of the recall does not benefit the governor. Newsom’s unpopular positions on COVID-19 restrictions and perceived hypocrisy on safety measures are among the reasons why voters might want to punish him. Frankly, he hasn’t inspired voters enough to reward him with a “No” vote on the recall.

But, California’s liberal voters also likely do not want to see him replaced by a Republican, let alone a right-wing extremist. The GOP’s front-runner in the crowded field of alternates to replace Newsom is conservative celebrity talk radio host Larry Elder. Polls show roughly 18 percent of voters would choose Elder to replace Newsom. As with the 2020 presidential election, California progressives may once again find themselves in a position of having to choose a milquetoast Democrat in order to stave off an extremist Republican takeover.

Although 18 percent of the vote is not remotely close to democratically representative, by the bizarre rules of California recalls, Elder could still assume the governor’s seat if Newsom garners less than 50 percent support. In other words, even if Newsom wins 49.9 percent support and the “Yes on Recall” wins 50.1 percent, Newsom has lost. At that point, the alternate candidate with a plurality of votes will walk off with the prize. And that could be Elder with a mere 18 percent of the votes compared to Newsom’s 49.9 percent. If that sounds unconstitutional, as per numerous legal experts, it absolutely is.

Elder is the author of The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America, a book that inspired none other than Donald Trump’s former immigration adviser Stephen Miller, the director of Trump’s family separation horror show.

Indeed, the arguments published by recall supporters in the state voter guide use standard dog-whistle anti-immigrant arguments such as claiming that Newsom, “endorsed [laws that] favor foreign nationals, in our country illegally, over that of our own citizens,” and that he, “imposed sanctuary state status.” The recall election’s lead proponent Orrin Heatlie is a retired sheriff’s sergeant who in 2019 wrote a Facebook post saying, “Microchip all illegal immigrants. It works! Just ask Animal control.”

Given the racist forces behind the recall and the front-runner Elder’s political leanings, the California recall has become a microcosm of what many feared the 2020 presidential race would turn into: a Trumpian conservative hoping to govern the state by minority rule and prevailing over an uninspiring Biden-like moderate.

A recall effort to oust the governor has only ever succeeded once in California’s history. That was in 2003 when Republican challenger Arnold Schwarzenegger beat the Democratic incumbent Gray Davis. It seems as though the GOP must resort to undemocratic means to gain political power in the staunchly liberal state—similar to the federal-level modus operandi for the conservative party.

There is no doubt that a second term for Trump would have been an utter tragedy for the United States. The January 6 coup attempt was evidence enough of that. Similarly, there is no question that sticking it to the disappointing governor of California by not showing up to the polls would be a self-destructive move for liberals and progressives alike.

Whether it is anger at Newsom’s capitulation on progressive campaign promises or sheer voter ignorance and apathy matters little. A Democratic California state senator who is advocating against the recall worried that “folks seem distracted or unaware” about an election that could yield a Trump-like leader in California.

In spite of the deep disappointment over Newsom’s failures, there are many reasons to oppose a recall. At stake are some of Newsom’s executive actions on climate change that a Republican governor would surely overturn. Some worry that a Republican governor might get the chance to appoint a replacement for California Senator Dianne Feinstein if she retires or passes away in the next two years, which in turn would flip the U.S. Senate to GOP control. Feinstein is the nation’s oldest sitting senator.

Additionally, many fear Republican leadership in California would mean a rollback of voting rights as seen in states like Texas and Florida. And of course, given Elder’s anti-immigrant tendencies, a Newsom loss could spell doom for the state’s undocumented population.

Those who want to teach Newsom a lesson—and he surely deserves to be punished for his failure to live up to his progressive pledges—have a chance at judging him in next year’s gubernatorial race. If he wins the recall, he has one more year to make good on promises like Medicare for All. Then, come 2022, there will be an election based on direct democracy, rather than the whims of right-wing extremists hoping to game a flawed system.

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  1. VietnamVet

    This article shows the blindness of the American political duopoly. They are relying on smearing the opposition as being the horrible others when in fact there is no real difference in governing between them since Bill Clinton was President.

    Like the night-watch, the day-watch refuses to acknowledge that the ship of state has hit an iceberg. The Kabul SNAFU, reopening schools in face of the Delta Variant spike, the collapse of just-in-time shipping and supply shortages indicate that the lower decks are flooding, dead in the water, the USA is on the verge of capsizing.

    If Gavin Newsom is not recalled, nothing will change. Until suddenly California stops functioning; filled with toxic air, hospitals overwhelmed, short of water, rolling blackouts, and essential workers gone missing. Yes, Republicans are unlikely to be any better, probably worse, but there is the Green Party candidate Dan Kapelovitz who could turn things around.

    1. Nce

      While I agree with you, Sonali makes a point I hadn’t thought about. Whoever is gov is more likely than not to pick a replacement for Feinstein. In the larger picture, even that doesn’t matter so much because they’re all beholden to Wall St, but.

      1. Christopher Horne

        Feinstein is the oldest sitting member of Congress. Her demise,
        whether by vote or retirement or death would put in doubt Democrats
        slim majority.

        1. juno mas

          DiFi is, of course, a US Senator elected by the voters of California. The chance of those voters electing a Republican are slim and none. Independent (designated) voters are more prominent than D’s or R’s— they are MORE progressive than the D party and most hate the R party.

          The recall process in California is an undemocratic legacy. The initiative was funded by wealthy Republicans and driven by media ads and “celebrities” like Larry Elder and Caitlin Jenner. It’s not that the majority of voters are distracted—it’s that most are too busy working to pay the price for living in an expensive state (housing, transportation, etc.) to find time to get to the ballot box.

      2. Mark Ó Dochartaigh

        “they’re all beholden to Wall St”. Well, that’s the thing, isn’t it? Almost all politicians “on both sides” are beholden first to the oiligarchs who bought them their elections. It’s hardly surprising. When you allow a class of human beings to be bought and sold as property you remove much of their personal agency. It is a feature, not a bug. When the supreme court ruled that corporations are people and money is speech they converted politicians into a base class of property to be bought and sold. No reasonable politician on a statewide or national level thought that they could find a more democratically appropriate master, until Bernie proved them wrong. All this was pre 2015.
        Now the Republicans, who realized exactly what tRump was and were going to have a brokered convention to pick another candidate, allowed the authoritarian wing to take over their party. So the choice going forward is not “red oiligarchs vs. blue oiligarchs”, but authoritarianism vs. anything else. And the next time that we lose on a national level the US next stop will be Alabama, on the way to Gilead.

    2. jrs

      Dan Kapelovitz is probably the best choice. Somewhat qualified being a lawyer. Let’s face it it’s not a very qualified group, but he’d be alright. Believes in decent things unlike the only other somewhat qualified person, Falconer, who being a Republican has terrible positions on things. Falconer is no moderate, few Republicans in CA are, it’s an extremist party.

      Dan is not really campaigning to win it though and didn’t even put a few serious sentences in the candidate descriptions (“Can you dig it”? Really that’s his candidate description). And to the extent Dems are voting on the second question despite the Dem party, they may have coalesced around a youtube real estate influencer with a ridiculous biography and basically Republican outlook on things. That guy is running as a Dem out of pure cynicism. If people are ridiculous enough to vote for that guy over a Green who actually has progressive positions and is more qualified, ah well these are the voters that voted for prop 22. It’s bad out there.

    3. Michael McK

      The Green party guy looked good to me from his website but then the voter guide came out and his printed statement is “Can you dig it?”.
      I will probably vote for the Berniecrat from SF, Joel Ventresca.
      Sadly, the Dems did not learn from the Ahnold debacle and chose not to have a strong alternative to Elder running on the theory that people would be more motivated to keep the current governor since there was no reasonable alternative. If the Dems were a movement instead of a bunch of opportunists and interest groups they would have run an ally of the governor and said “Vote no, then for Gavin’s buddy!”
      Instead the party mouthpieces are saying “Vote No then leave the next question blank.” which will guarantee us Larry Elder in the not unlikely case Newsom loses.
      Interestingly, the California National Party has a candidate running yet his blurb in the guide does not mention that the CNP’s goal is the succession of California from the USA. If he was explicit about that he may have done well.

      1. jrs

        Yes if the Dems were a movement.

        But what if the left was a movement? If the DSA was a movement instead of compromised by so many people seeking Dem party power, they could have fielded a candidate. The DSA may be the best we have. But power was lying in the streets and they didn’t pick it up. Power was literally there for the taking, a DSA candidate would have had a decent chance of becoming governor of CA. What kind of win would that be? Instead we’re all: “can you dig it?”, rambling berniecrat, real estate capitalist whose response to low wages is everyone needs to be an real estate or Wall Street investor, retail worker organizer for the Cuban revolution …

        1. Michael McK

          Agreed, we are sorely lacking a left movement. I went door to door a bunch in a very purple area last cycle and met many people who were for either Trump or Bernie. I really enjoyed talking about Banking and MMT with Conservatives. We will always lack the funds to out finance the Right’s think tanks and media voices so need to focus on personal and community relationships, yet there are many potential leftists being rebuffed for being deplorables instead of being given a friendly invite to local economics forums. Many voters we need get sucked further and further right by right-wing economic populist messages packaged with nationalism.
          I had hope for the (and am registered as) People’s Party and tried getting word through to please run someone in the recall if only as a party building exercise. Running Jimmy Dore might have shaken things up. Sadly, judging by their Candidate recruitment literature, they seem more Id Pol focused than anti-corporate.

    4. Ian Ollmann

      Newsom attracted my support when he came out in favor of gay marriage at a time when there was a lot of sentiment against it. I was engaged to my wife at the time, and the thought that a similar law could apply to me, preventing me from getting married about broke my heart. He was a hero!

      Since he’s been governor, he’s been harder to support. He hasn’t come down as strongly in favor of green causes as I’d like. School funding is still a problem. He hasn’t done much to build in more flexibility into California’s Boom and Bust finances. (So much comes from capital gains, the state is really market dependent. Prop 13 needs or go.) most of all, he’s been amazingly tone deaf about the pandemic. What happens in his private life does not model what should be happening in everyone’s lives, with restriction skirting and such. I have no idea what goes on there and I don’t know his wife from Adam, but goodness there is someone who could have really helped her husband be a role model who AFAICT definitely did not. This “greasiness” and hypocrisy smacks of corruption, whether there is any or not. The recall effort took off when pictures of his family ignoring pandemic regulations came out. I can only hope this has finally HIT HOME for him that his family cannot in fact do whatever it likes. Were it not for this, he might have had a road to the White House.

      If Newsom survives this, he can recover. Nobody but the usual partisans are angry with him, yet. The rest of us are just disappointed. Jerry Brown was a more principled leader and one we miss.

      1. Christopher Horne

        Mssr. Newsom promised everybody $600 checks from the state’s
        large surplus. I’m waiting, Gov…….

        1. juno mas

          Well, the $600 check has to be approved by the state legislature. It was clearly stated that the “stimulus checks” would arrive in September. What is the date today?

  2. Tom Stone

    Newsome is a Skim Milquetoast Democrat.
    And if he loses it will be an own goal.
    When Newsome is your best choice, and he arguably is…it’s bad.

    1. MonkeyBusiness

      Kamala was supposed to show up for a Friday rally supporting Newsom. The rally was eventually cancelled because the VP couldn’t make it. Newsom is toast.

      But don’t worry America loves a handsome face and a redemption story. We’ll see Newsom in 2028.

      1. StreetDemocrat

        Kamala and Gavin, were both born of the City Family, a political machine controlled by billionaires like the Gettys and by the construction and utility industry.

        “San Francisco society’s “first families” — whose names grace museum galleries, charity ball invitations and hospital wards — settled on Newsom, 50, as their favored candidate two decades ago, said Willie Brown, former state Assembly speaker and former mayor of the city.” (and Kamala’s political Svengali)

        “He came from their world, and that’s why they embraced him without hesitancy and over and above everybody else,” said Brown, who is a mentor to Newsom. “They didn’t need to interview him. They knew what he stood for.”

        “A Times review of campaign finance records identified eight of San Francisco’s best-known families as being among Newsom’s most loyal and long-term contributors.” L.A. Times

  3. Louis Fyne

    Fixed the description of the 2022 gubernatorial primary/general race as, imo, first past the post voting gives awful outcomes in one-party states (versus being tolerable in elections with parity among parties).

    “Then, come 2022, there will be an election based on the whims of corporatists hoping to game a flawed system.”

    1. Mikel

      “Then, come 2022, there will be an election based on the whims of corporatists hoping to game a flawed system.”…

      I chuckled because this is assuming the recall isn’t “corporatists hoping to game a flawed system.”

      1. Christopher Horne

        In CA, the big money comes from Eastern California where generations
        of greedy corporate farmers take 90% of all the state’s water.
        We’re talking 1200 ft deep groundwater wells and high electrical bills
        for the pumps, for which reason small farmers are shut out.
        to put it in the pluperfect subjunctive case, the citizens of California
        have been scrawed.

  4. John Steinbach

    And, yet, nary a word about Newsom resigning to avoid the distinct possibility of an Elder governorship.

    1. Solar Hero

      And also, for all the screeching about a pretty standard Republican Larry Elder being the next coming of tRump, well then I’m sure Newsom and his well-healed cronies will fund a recall of Elder, right?

  5. Retaj

    Thanks, this is a good analysis filling in the details for me on CA politics.

    With knowledge of his more progressive campaign promises, the disappointment that I’ve heard in his allowing PG&E to pay a fine in equity to the taxpayer is worse. No wonder that Democratic voters are apathetic.

    1. Kurt

      Worse. Newsom will sign this new utility favoring bill:
      Utilities are now going further, trying to hit solar users with discriminatory, extra monthly fees. These fees punish solar users for reducing their burden on the grid. It would be the same as charging you a penalty for switching to LED lightbulbs, or increasing the insulation in your home.

      “include decreases in the credit paid to solar owners, new fixed monthly fees on solar owners’ electric bills, or in the worst-case scenario, a “buy-all, sell-all” situation, where any new solar installation would feed directly into the grid and solar owners would be paid a fixed sub-retail price for their solar energy without the ability to use any of it themselves.
      Anyone who signs a “permission to operate” agreement with their utility for a home solar system before the successor program is finalized will get to stay on NEM 2.0 for 20 years. If you’ve already installed solar on your home, you’re covered for 20 years from your interconnection date.
      If you think you want to install home solar soon and are averse to risk, consider installing solar in time to sign a final interconnection agreement under NEM 2.0 before January 2022.”

  6. Otis B Driftwood

    Although 18 percent of the vote is not remotely close to democratically representative, by the bizarre rules of California recalls, Elder could still assume the governor’s seat if Newsom garners less than 50 percent support.

    Newsom is terrible. Stipulated. But what more do you need to know to understand that this must be rejected on principle?

    1. Another Scott

      My understanding from the other side of the country is that the Democrats’ strategy was to put up this exact dichotomy and thus ensure that the corrupt, corporatist elements in the party would prevail. It shows a large amount of contempt for the laws and people of California, which define the process. If Elder winds up as governor, California Democrats will only have themselves to blame.

      1. Ian Ollmann

        Yes. The Newsom campaign is even advocating that supporters not even vote for who is to succeed Newsom. “Leave question 2 blank.” They say.


        This is bat guano crazy. If he loses, it just hands the election to the republicans, most of whom are smoking massive cave crack.

        What it shows is deep cynicism and a profound disrespect for the electorate.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Lots of high falutin’ responses here, but not a single commenter has cared to make the case for why the recall process, cyncially exploited by the same people who gave us Prop 13 and allows a candidate to get elected by a minority vote, is in any way, shape or form democratic.

      Here’s your second chance, commentariat.

  7. lyman alpha blob

    Given the racist forces behind the recall and the front-runner Elder’s political leanings…

    Haven’t been following this much other than to know it’s happening, but are there really “racist forces” behind this recall? Is it sponsored by the KKK or neonazis? Or is everyone who doesn’t don a kente cloth and kneel with Nancy Creamsicle now automatically a “racist”? If a racist group really did start all this, their efforts would seem to have backfired spectacularly given that Larry Elder is the frontrunner. Shouldn’t the liberal “anti-racists” be celebrating these racist instigators being hoisted on their own petards?

    If there really is a racist group behind the recall it would have been nice if the author could have provided some details on the bad actors. Any CA readers know more about this? And I have to wonder why the author terms Newsom’s flopping around as “perceived” hypocrisy. The hypocrisy seems quite clear to me so I’m guessing they’re just peeved that so many people actually perceived it when it became front page news rather than it going unnoticed as liberals would have preferred. As to the hang wringing about Newsom’s work on climate change being overturned, the author fails to mention Newsom’s close ties to PG&E, perhaps hoping that nobody will perceive that hypocrisy if it’s simply left out.

    Is it possible this is happening because enough citizens of all political leanings are just tired of being ruled by mendacious out of touch elites with more money than common sense and not because of “racism” at all?

    Enough with the divide and conquer from the elites and their defenders. Solidarity! Throw all the bums out.

    1. Louis Fyne

      the rhetoric has consumed many “progressives”….they see racism everywhere, when they should be seeing elitism/corporatism everywhere.

    2. Brian Clark

      Haven’t been following this much other than to know it’s happening, but are there really “racist forces” behind this recall? Is it sponsored by the KKK or neonazis? Or is everyone who doesn’t don a kente cloth and kneel with Nancy Creamsicle now automatically a “racist”?

      Judging from this LA Times articles, it seems they think the answer to all the above questions is “Yes”.

      I expected the “Racist” card to be played at some point, but never thought it would be the ONLY card, and against an African-American. Smh.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well . . . the Nazis did have some Jewish servants and collaborators. ” Rumkowsky, King of the Ghetto”.

        Perhaps this Larry Elder is an intellectual Rumkovsky figure.

    3. Louis

      Haven’t been following this much other than to know it’s happening, but are there really “racist forces” behind this recall? Is it sponsored by the KKK or neonazis? Or is everyone who doesn’t don a kente cloth and kneel with Nancy Creamsicle now automatically a “racist”?

      For a segment of progressives, if you disagree with them you are either a racist or too stupid to know what’s best for you–if you doubt the latter exists, consider how many times the “people vote against their interests” trope gets thrown around, including here on this site.

  8. Big River Bandido

    I remember, eons ago, when the newly ascendant CA Clintonista Democrats, thinking it would be good for them politically and keep out the left, changed the mechanics of the primary and recall. With Gray Davis and Schwartzenegger that blew up in their faces. Now they might get it again. Maybe they’ll finally get rid of that stupid system.

    Newsome’s forced departure and openings in the higher offices would open some maneuvering room for the newly-ascendant Sanders wing of the party. In any case, I don’t care what happens to Newsome or Feinstein or any of the other establishment Democrats in CA. Pass the popcorn.

    1. Ian Ollmann

      You might if the senate flips 51R, 49D.

      Feinstein does need to go. It is reported senility is hitting hard. She should go in an election when the people have a chance to pick who is next. This waiting around until misfortune strikes so that a governor can replace you is anti democratic.

  9. jason

    Skin color is irrelevant to the value set which is needed to create an environment for community to thrive. Elitist, power-hungry, money-hungry, sociopaths have used “feel-good” statements to bamboozle hordes of citizens (of both the red and blue jersey color). Decades of leaders without LEADERSHIP (ownership) is part of the cause. #endthefed

  10. Socal Rhino

    I would like to think a successful recall might wake up the state establishment a bit, but then I recall the response to Hillary’s loss.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      Just like electing Trump woke up the electorate?

      The fact is this recall has nothing to offer progressives. It is an abuse of the democratic process exploited by the right wing.

      You want to exploit the recall process to elect a genuine progressive who with only 15% of the vote? This ain’t it.

      1. Jeff

        Name Newsom’s accomplishments and contrast them with his failures and obvious corruption/donations from PGE.

  11. Wukchumni

    The stakes are high for Newsom (how come so many of you spell his name incorrectly?) in that pretty boy android is done politically if he loses to a right supremacist, and you just know he had presidential aspirations.

    In some ways if Elder were to get the nod he’d inherit a nightmare, and unlike talk radio where pontificating always wins, he’d get nothing done.

    Could be interesting…

    1. dandelion

      His presidential aspirations is why, in my opinion, Kamala hasn’t shown up for him. Cuomo had similar ambitions, and now look where he is. Coincidence?

        1. Wukchumni

          I heard that she sent a recorded message of well over a minute of inappropriate giggles to Gavin, who was RSVP’d off.

  12. Ben Dalton

    This one’s on the Dems. They deserve it. They were squarely telling people that “Rules for thee, not for me” with Newsom’s French Laundry jaunt and Pelosi’s maskless spa visit. They learned nothing from Biden’s less than predicted popular vote margin in 2020, and that they are barely holding on to both houses of congress. The supermajority has made them complacent, and they are taking the voters for granted. This arrogance deserves a slap in the wrist, which is exactly what this recall is.

    1. skk

      Yup, his French Laundry jaunt did it for me and I kept an eye out when out, covid restrictions restricted, for petition signature collectors and signed. These bums deserve a kick up the arse. The Democratic party’s control of Cali is so institutionalized that whatever harm Elder wants to do, he is unlikely to get it so this is not a case of ‘cut of my nose to spite my face’.

    2. Mikel

      “They were squarely telling people that “Rules for thee, not for me” with Newsom’s French Laundry jaunt and Pelosi’s maskless spa visit….”

      That the only message you got from that or the Obama party?

      What everybody should be up in arms about is the main message it sends: “We aren’t worried because we have access to better healthcare than you.”

      But nobody wants to think about that bigger issue….

      1. Ben Dalton

        Yes, you are absolutely right. I didn’t think of it because I had more or less given up on that. It would be funny if it weren’t also so sad. And infuriating.

        Thank you.

  13. Darius

    Democrats and Republicans are codependent. Democrats think they can just be corrupt lying sellouts because the Republicans are so awful. Republicans think they can indulge their most reactionary tendencies because the Democrats never lay a glove on them.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Can’t help thinking that a recall success with a Repub winning on a small absolute percentage might be what is required to get proper electoral reform.

  14. Michael Ismoe

    Why is it that the Dem Party can’t seem to understand the rules? Hillary was running up the score in California but forgot that there’s an Electoral College? The Democrats sue after 8 years of manipulated redistricting and then lose the seat after another round of redistricting? Gavin Newsome will lose if he gets less than 50% of the votes. If Elder can become governor with 60% fewer votes, then he’s the Guv.

    I expected to see more Trump in Newsom’s ads. It’s all he’s got to run against.

    1. Jeff

      Since newsom had no accomplishments to run on, all he’s doing is saying how much of a white supremacist elder is. Newsom’s stupidity and desperation are on full display..

  15. Michael

    “It seems as though the GOP must resort to undemocratic means to gain political power in the staunchly liberal state…”

    Another BS statement from a young scribbler with no knowledge of CA politics over the years. R’s have served more terms as Governor than D’s going back to Reagan. Elections were held every 4 years.

    There used to be a viable conservative party in CA, but it didn’t adapt to social issues well and their immigration stance finished them off. The issuance of massive amounts of debt to fund programs and causes also contributed to their demise.

    Less than 50% of reg voters vote in Ca elections except Pres years when it is in the mid fifties. What recall?

    1. Mikel

      I would’ve put it more like: “It seems as though some must resort to other means to gain political power in the state.”

      But I wouldn’t say Yves is a “young scribbler” and “with no knowledge of CA politics.”

      1. John Wright

        If I’m reading the article correctly, Sonali Kolhatkar wrote that line, not Yves.

        From her website, she was 16 in 1991, making her around 46 now.

        “Young scribbler” might be stretching it.

    2. Oh

      Sonali uses the word liberal to kinda mean left wing but she should be clearer. CA Democrat party is controlled by elites who are neither liberal by the old definition nor left wing.

  16. Anthony Stegman

    What does all this say about the great city of San Francisco? For a supposedly very liberal and progressive city it has given the state politicos the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, and Gavin Newsom. None of them are remotely progressive. Perhaps California is not nearly as “Blue” as people think. it is mostly a facade. See what I do. Not what I say.

    1. Jeff

      SF once was a great city. Now it’s a cesspool. Run by people like Newsom who are more interested in their next job than doing their current job well.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      ” Would you like some Perrier Progressive to go with your Limousine Liberal?”

  17. Angry Gus

    I’m undecided. My unopened ballot is sitting on the edge of the garbage can . If I bother to send it in, ‘Yes’ will be the only box checked .

  18. Raymond Sim

    I’m going to vote to retain the loathsome creature. Only because the Democrats will have a harder time distracting the populace from their failings with him in place. And I have a faint hope that the ongoing disaster might leave our one-party system vulnerable to some challenges from the left in coming elections.

    If the Senior-senator’s handlers can’t keep her in office, then it’s just as well that her successor should have some Gavin cooties. And shouldn’t we give him a chance to try appointing himself?

    1. Sue inSoCal

      We’re waiting to find out. Haven’t heard a word. This recall process in CA is insanely unjust. The whole thing is an sh!tshow, down to the taxpayer dollars it costs. I’m not fond of Newsom by any means. But I certainly don’t want a fool like Elder installed. The Gray Davis recall was enough for me. Simply my own opinion.

      1. Bill Smith

        When Davis was recalled there were court cases. That recall was never ruled unconstitutional.

        Besides, isn’t the recall process part of the constitution?

    2. PubliusJay

      None. And the idea that this violates equal protection is one that doesn’t really fly. The courts have consistently been unwilling to prevent gerrymandering, for example. As long as votes are formally equal, the courts have been satisfied and in the recall procedure they have been. That is probably the correct result; there is nothing unconstitutional or even illogical about the way the recall is structured.

    3. Jeff

      The only people saying this are newsom lackeys or Dem operators who don’t understand how recalls work.

  19. drumlin woodchuckles

    If more Californians fear a Reblicanazi Fascistrumpanon governor taking over than fear Governor Newsom remaining in office, and if they are willing to come out and vote their fear, then the Recall will fail.

    But what if the Republicanazi Fascistrumpanon sympathisers and supporters win the recall vote by one vote? Meaning the opponents of Reublicanazi Fascistrumpism lose the recall by one vote? What will the no-on-recall voters do then? Or in parallel at the same time? Are they thinking about that?

    Suppose every no-on-recall voter who comes out and votes no on recall, also spends the time before the election deciding which of the new governor wannabes is the “least bad”? Suppose the no-on-recall movement functioned like an actual community, organizing to consult among themselves and decide which wannabe-governor would be the least-bad replacement for Newsom?

    If they all made a decision on which wannabe to unanimously vote “for”, they could still all vote against recall. And if they turned out to be a majority on no-recall, then recall would fail. But if they turned out to be a minority-by-just-one-vote on no recall, and recall wins, and Newsom loses; they might still be able to prevent the election of a Republicanazi Fascistrumpanon if they all all all focus their votes on the unanimously agreed-upon least-bad replacement.

  20. ian

    I am a CA resident and have some misgivings about the recall. I don’t think Newsom has been terrible, but I don’t think he’s been good either.
    The problem for me is this: I don’t see any other way of getting the attention of the political leaders in this state. I won’t go into them here, but there are a lot of things going in the wrong direction . No matter how many op-eds are written, polls are taken, people leaving the state – the folks who run things just don’t seem to listen. If Newsom survives, there will be no contrition. He and his mouthpieces like the LAT will be out saying the election is a complete vindication of his governance and policies – and we’ll be back to business as usual.
    In short, I’m at the point where I almost feel I have to vote for the recall.

  21. drumlin woodchuckles

    If there are numbers of recallers-of-despair in California, their yes-on-recall votes will add to the Foxanon voters for recall.

    Perhaps the recallers-of-despair should start co-organizing with the no-on-recall citizens to jointly agree on a single least-bad replacement for Newsom. Because if the recall-of-despair vote and the no-on-recall vote spreads itself out evenly over a field of 40 Little Trolls, then Elder the Evil Foxanon will get the single largest vote total and become your new Governator.

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