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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/30/21

Why Newsom Drew the Fire

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Just why did California Governor Gavin Newsom draw voter fire? The short answer is two-fold. One, the GOP cannot, bar a miracle, win a statewide office in a state, California, where they are seen by some as seemingly on the verge of extinction. They make up barely a quarter of the state's voters.

The other answer is that California is still by far the political national political jewel in the crown. It is the biggest, most populous, wealthiest state. It is the run-away trendsetter in social, cultural, and political affairs for the rest of the nation. Not exactly so goes California, so goes the nation, but close to it. The recall then is the only way the GOP has a prayer of gaining a statewide office. And what better one to try and snatch through the backdoor, than the governorship? The GOP can then muck up, roil, and skewer public policy in the state, and provide mountains of talking points for the media and the nation.

The recall though wasn't totally a GOP Machiavellian manufactured plot. There were a whole lot of California voters who weren't happy with certain things about Newsom. They weren't all right-wing Republicans. The COVID pandemic was a trigger point. He got generally glowing marks from many quarters for his handling of it, with his shutdown order, the mandatory mask requirement, pressing for vaccines, and so on. However, as the business closings, and the pandemic dragged on, many started screaming that Newsom's mandatory closure was crippling small and medium-sized businesses. There were marches, demonstrations, and lawsuits.

Then there were the perennial gripes that the GOP has hit every Democratic governor and state official with. That is, they give the company store away to illegal

immigrants. They outrageously hike taxes and spend taxpayer money like there's no tomorrow. Many voters are always hyper-sensitive to crime issues. Newsom didn't help his case with them when he announced there would be a unilateral moratorium on the death penalty on his watch.

Then there was the famed incident at a French restaurant with Newsom huddled in a private room with friends, many unmasked. At the same moment, he'd been on the soapbox for months demanding masks and avoidance of closed places such as restaurants. There was also the widespread perception that Newsom hob-knobbed a little too much with the rich, chic, and elite.

These were motivating even inflaming issues for many, and finally compelling enough to get the rare recall petition on the ballot. Newsom, though, would have been a ripe target even if he was the second coming of FDR. If the GOP could get the top state executive in a recall dogfight, it would serve to disrupt, distract, and even destabilize, that is gum up the political works in the nation's leading Democratic state.

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
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