I have received my mail ballot to vote in the recall election of Governor Newsom. You’ve probably already gotten yours, or you will very soon.
Important: I urge you to vote NO on this recall for a host of reasons. In order to keep Governor Newsom in office, you must fill out and return your ballot.
This recall effort against our governor and the many other recalls going on across California have made clear that the recall process is being abused and is in need of reform. More on that later.
I believe Governor Newsom has done a good job, especially in light of the circumstances he’s faced. He’s kept Californians safe from COVID-19, supported small businesses and unemployed workers, and delivered vaccines to over 80% of eligible adults.
He’s also signed major legislation into law, including universal pre-K and huge investments in sustainable transportation systems. I’m especially grateful for his strong executive actions protecting the environment: banning new fracking permits by 2024, eliminating sales of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2035, and budgeting $1.3 billion for environmental justice programs like toxic site clean-up and pollution control.
This recall is wasteful. It will eventually cost taxpayers between $250-400 million, and it’s directly linked to right-wing extremist groups such as QAnon and the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol, according to this Los Angeles Timesarticle.
Regardless of your political ideology, it’s important to reject this dangerous and expensive recall.
Three Easy Actions to Reject the Recall
1. Mark Your Ballot
The ballot consists of two questions. The first asks, “Should Governor Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from office?”.
Vote NO on this question.
The second questions asks, “If Governor Newsom is recalled, who should replace him as Governor?”
On this question, there are many different views held by supporters and opponents of the recall. You can leave it blank and it won’t have any effect on Question 1.
But then if more than 50% vote yes on Question 1, the person with the most votes on Question 2 will become governor, even if they only receive a tiny minority of votes. You can think of Question 2 as a backup, your last chance to influence the outcome should Question 1 result in Newsom’s removal.
The important thing is to vote NO on Question 1.
If you want to support a Democrat, the leading Democratic candidate on Question 2, according to polling, is Kevin Paffrath. Here is the CalMatters summary of his viewpoints: Meet the Candidates: Kevin Paffrath.
If you want someone with actual governing experience, the best candidate is former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who is a Republican. This Los Angeles Timeseditorial explains the recall and subsequent support for Kevin Faulconer for Question #2. Wake Up California! Removing Gavin Newsom Would be a Disaster. (This editorial is not behind any paid firewall.)
2. Return Your Ballot
This one is easy. Postage is prepaid, so just take it to your mailbox and put the flag up!
You can also find a list of San Diego County’s mail ballot drop-off locations here and the same thing for Orange County here.
3. Tell Your Friends and Neighbors
This election is 100% Vote-By-Mail, just like the last election. The last day to vote in the Recall is September 14th! However, the earlier you return your ballot, the better.
On the morning of September 4th in Oceanside, the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council will be canvassing and phone-banking voters who have yet to return their ballots. Please join us to help get-out-the-vote in North County! More information is here.
Why we need to recall our recall system
Now, back to why our recall system needs to be overhauled. Currently surrounding us are several simultaneous school board recalls, city council recalls and the governor’s recall. In Huntington Beach there is an effort to recall six of seven City Council members. Something’s amiss here.
Recalls were designed as a tool to remove corrupt government officials for malfeasance in office. But they’ve been weaponized so that a small percentage of voters can now unseat elected officials mid-term simply because of policy disagreements.
The referendum, recall and initiative processes are all aimed at returning direct democracy to the people. This New York Times story, Why Deep Blue California Could Elect a Bright Red Governor, details some important history and context.
California State Senator Josh Newman has introduced a bill prohibiting paying signature gatherers for each signature they acquire because the practice can create incentives to mislead voters about the contents or purpose of the petitions. (Photo from the Josh Newman for Senate website.)
I was recently part of a Zoom event featuring California Senator Josh Newman, who was elected, recalled, then re-elected. He discussed the history of how the recall became enshrined in the California Constitution and the link to the early-1900s progressive era when railroad companies exerted substantial influence over politicians in Sacramento and there was a desire for more direct democracy.
Senator Newman introduced a bill this year, SB660, which would prohibit paying someone for each signature they gather on a petition – something I’ve received complaints about many times over the years from constituents. In Encinitas, many people disliked it that paid signature gatherers were able to put pre-written legalization of cannabis stores on the ballot.
About prohibiting pay-per-signature practices, Senator Newman says, “California’s initiative, referendum and recall – important tools of direct democracy that were intended by their framers as a means for ‘the little guy’ to achieve direct, reformist actions – have too often been co-opted by the very moneyed interests they were intended to offset.
“Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Wyoming have adopted similar legislation. California should do the same – our democracy and governance will be better for it.”
I hope you will join me in rejecting the effort to recall Governor Newsom by voting NO!
From another L.A. Times editorial Wednesday: “Gov. Gavin Newsom’s most formidable challenger in the Sept. 14 recall election is not radio host Larry Elder, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer or any of the other 44 replacement candidates on the ballot, though they may like voters to think so. Nope, the biggest threat to Newsom — and to Californians — is voter apathy.”
You can always reach out to my campaign team for additional ways to get involved in the campaign to stop the recall. We will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Even if you disagree with my perspective (you still get points for reading this far!), I hope you’ll exercise your civic duty to vote in this important election. Our democracy functions best when all of our voices are heard.