The number of validated signatures to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom has been stacking up over the past few months, amounting to over two million as of late March–more than half a million votes over the minimum number required. This campaign, first created in June of 2020, is the sixth attempt to recall the governor since 2019, the year he was sworn into office. After garnering a significant amount of attention, this campaign has indeed passed the minimum amount of signatures required, prompting numerous Republican politicians to step up in hopes of becoming the next governor of California. The question is, why is the current governor in the process of being recalled?
According to CapRadio, “Organizers of the current recall movement say there are a list of reasons Californians signed their petitions: frustration over Newsom’s handling of the pandemic and business restrictions, worsening housing and homelessness crises, high taxes, anhd cost of living, and more. ‘This is about Gavin Newsom and his failed policies that have put us in the state of despair we are in today,’ said Orrin heatlie, the main proponent of the recall effort.”
Furthermore, ABC News writes, “Organizers in the effort to recall Newsom say government overreach has led to dissatisfaction with his leadership. They cite his executive order to phase out gasoline-powered cars by 2035 and rolling power outages to prevent wildfires, among other issues. They also cite a number of issues surrounding his handling of the coronavirus.”
However, the main catalyst of this recall attempt was Newsom’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous small-business owners have been upset with his stay-at-home orders, while he himself went against lockdown regulations to have dinner at a high-end restaurant in Yountville, California. Spectrum News reports, “California’s pandemic restrictions have sent small business owners on a financial roller coaster.”
For example, small-business owner Allen Adams says, “The latest restrictions have pretty much shut us down to about 10% of what we normally do, pre-COVID. It’s got us to a position where I had to lay off the whole front of the house. I had to lay off a couple guys in the kitchen. We’re down to just two cooks now.”
Spectrum News continues, “From outdoor dining to just take out, Adams is frustrated with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s orders as he tries to keep his business afloat. That frustration led to action when he learned that Newsom dined out at an exclusive restaurant [as] restrictions were tightening on outdoor dining.”
Though small businesses have been following the stay-at-home orders, many owners believe that the hypocrisy demonstrated by Newsom’s actions has propelled the recent rise in recall signatures. Following the verification of the signatures, a forced election would take place, and the names of new candidates would be on the ballots. Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has already explicitly announced his interest in running for governor, as has businessman Jon Cox.
Newsom has only half a year left before his success or failure is determined. Time is ticking.
Image Credits: CA Gov. Gavin Newsom. Source by Gage Skidmore.