California Democrats are in full panic as a significant wave of funding for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall effort came through over the holiday season. Already blaming supposed “dark money” and insidious Republican political puppet-masters, complaints and investigations into an alleged consulting firm known as Prov 3:9 LLC have already been made and promised by some top Democrats in the state. History tells us that this wave of funding will prove essential to the recall of the power-hungry governor once thought of as the new John F. Kennedy of the Democratic Party.
There have been both serious and frivolous recall attempts against California’s governor since his taking office in 2019. Ultimately, the most recent recall attempt initiated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the first to truly threaten Newsom’s overwhelming political dominance since Gov. Gray Davis’s recall in 2003. It took a global pandemic to do so, but Californians have finally revolted against the status quo – tired of never-ending COVID-19 lockdowns, a homeless problem with no end in sight, and unfriendly business conditions. This most recent recall effort will prove to be the real test for the viability of Republican opposition in the Golden State.
The Price of Recall
During the 2003 recall campaign against Gov. Gray Davis, emphasis on fundraising was taken seriously and led by then-Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA). The congressman donated more than $1.5 million to the effort that proved to be the nail in the coffin for Gov. Davis. Recall efforts have a notorious reputation for the need to pay volunteers to go out in public and gather signatures. This financial burden often proves to be too significant of a hurdle to overcome. Unfortunately for Newsom, this time, the outrage from voters is mounting to rare levels.
Democrats have been unable to defend the governor’s fetishization of the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to secure his position in the halls of power. His private business interests thrive from health policy decisions that have simultaneously upended the lives of the millions he was elected to represent. For all the buzz about the supposed trendy, pragmatic, and well-spoken California native being the new John F. Kennedy with the White House in his sights, this recall threatens to take away everything the governor has worked toward.
Newsom’s political future is on the clock, with nine weeks remaining for his opponents to collect the additional 500,000 signatures needed to place the recall measure on a mid-year election ballot. Political advisors for the campaign suggest that the required number will be reached by the end of January, with additional signatures continuing to be gathered to counteract any Democratic “accounting” of the number of valid petitions accepted. Many Americans will likely rejoice at the potential recall as Newsom continues to perfectly embody the “rules for thee, not for me” ideology in the wake of his authoritarian response to the pandemic.
The disastrous health initiatives and responses that have neither curbed the outbreak of COVID-19 nor helped maintain the state’s economic prosperity finally have an answer: the Californian people.
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