How California could recall its governor
LOS ANGELES (AP) – California will hold a recall election on September 14 that could remove Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom from his first term. The date was set by Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, a Democrat and Newsom ally, after election officials certified 1.7 million valid petition signatures had been filed to qualify the election for ballot. Republicans are hoping for upheaval in a strongly Democratic state where the GOP has not won a statewide election since 2006. The election will be looked at nationally as a barometer of the mood of the government. public as the 2022 election approaches, when a tightly divided Congress will once again be on the line. Here’s how it works:
WHAT IS AN ELECTION BY RECALL?
California is one of 20 states that have provisions to remove a sitting governor. The state’s rule-making law dates back to 1911 and was intended to give more power directly to voters by allowing them to remove elected officials and repeal or pass laws by placing them on the ballot. Recall attempts are common in the state, but they are rarely voted on, let alone successful. However, in 2003 Democratic Governor Gray Davis was recalled and replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
WHY IS THERE A REMINDER AGAINST NEWSOM?
The answer is simple and complicated.
The simple part: Californians got angry during the pandemic. Newsom’s Whipsaw stay-at-home orders, crushing job losses due to business closings, closed schools and the disruption of daily life have soured just about everyone. Many of life’s routines have been interrupted at one point or another, whether it’s going to the beach or having lunch at a favorite burger restaurant.
The complicated part: In a state of nearly 40 million people, there are numerous grievances, from California taxes undermining the wallet to the raging homeless crisis. As governor, Newsom is a ready target for this resentment.
He is also affected by the fallout from a multibillion dollar fraud scandal at the state employment agency while overcoming public shame for dining with friends and lobbyists at an exclusive restaurant last fall, while telling residents to stay home for safety reasons.
HOW DOES THE ELECTION WORK?
Two questions will be put to voters: first, should Newsom be deleted, yes or no? The second question is a list of alternate candidates to choose from. If a majority of voters approve Newsom’s dismissal, the candidate with the most votes becomes governor. If Newsom is recalled, it is likely that his replacement can be elected with only a fraction of the votes. With dozens of candidates dividing those ballots, there is a possibility that a winner will get 25% or less.
WHO ARE THE REPLACEMENT CANDIDATES STILL IN THE RACE?
There are 41 names on the preliminary list of qualified candidates. The 21 Republican candidates include Kevin Faulconer, the former mayor of San Diego; businessman John Cox, who was beaten by Newsom in 2018; former Sacramento area congressman Doug Ose; Caitlyn Jenner, reality TV personality and former Olympian; and Assembly Member Kevin Kiley. But the ground remains uncertain: Conservative talk show host Larry Elder, a Republican, challenges a state decision to reject his candidacy. The secretary of state’s office says Elder has filed incomplete tax returns that need to be executed, but denies it and promises a legal challenge. “I’m going to win this,” Elder said of the argument.
There are eight Democrats, nine independents, two members of the Green Party and a libertarian. No Democrat of political stature has decided to run on the replacement list. Ballots start mailing out next month.
WHAT DO CANDIDATES PROMISE?
Faulconer proposed ending state income tax for individuals earning up to $ 50,000 and households up to $ 100,000 as part of a plan to make the state more affordable for the middle class. Cox sought to gain attention by campaigning with a 1,000-pound Kodiak bear, which he said represented the need for “beastly” change in the state. Elder has vowed to bring fresh eyes and common sense to Democrat-dominated Sacramento. Kiley said he would immediately end the pandemic state of emergency, which would automatically void all state and local orders issued under it.
WHAT DOES NEWSOM SAY ABOUT THE RECALL?
For months, Newsom has bypassed questions about a possible recall election, saying it wanted to focus on the coronavirus, vaccinations and the reopening of schools. But in March, he launched an aggressive campaign strategy, raising funds, running ads attacking the recall and doing interviews on national television and cable. He acknowledged that people were anxious and tired after a difficult year with the virus and the restrictions.
Newsom, who was elected in a 2018 landslide, sees the recall as an attack on progressive California policies. Democrats say efforts to impeach him are driven by extremists and supporters of former President Donald Trump. The recall is supported by Republicans across the state and nation, but organizers say they have a broad coalition, including many independents and Democrats.
The governor spent much of 2020 on the defensive. But it benefited from a record state budget surplus that allowed it to tour the state to announce massive new spending programs, including $ 12 billion to fight homelessness; checks of up to $ 1,100 for millions of low and middle income people who struggled during the lockdowns; and $ 2.7 billion to pay all 4-year-olds in the state to attend kindergarten for free.
IS NEWSOM’S PRECAUTION IN ITS WORK PRECARIOUS?
Deep in the pandemic, Newsom’s popularity was plummeting and it appeared to be in peril, with widespread unrest over long-lasting school and business closures. Many business owners were enraged by what they saw as Newsom’s severe restrictions that were opened and closed multiple times. Others rebelled against compulsory mask wearing rules.
But a reopened economy and the astonishing windfall of taxpayer dollars have helped it regain its reputation. Recent polls have shown he survived the recall, although those same polls show signs of an unstable public. Independent voters, for example, tend to view Newsom’s professional performance with skepticism, and most say the state is headed in the wrong direction.
When Newsom fully reopened the state on June 15, virus cases were near their all-time low. But since then cases have increased, mostly among the unvaccinated. Los Angeles County has reimposed a mandatory mask prescription when people are indoors in public places, even if they are vaccinated. California also requires students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 to wear masks when they return to class for the next school year. Such an order could hurt Newsom, especially among those who felt he had not done enough to reopen classrooms last year.
Yet Newsom is helped by the fact that California is one of the most democratic states in the country. Democratic voters are almost 2 to 1, and the party controls all state offices while dominating the legislature and congressional delegation.
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.