Should CA Gov. Newsom be recalled?


Fact Box

  • As of Monday, December 21, there have been over 1.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases in California with over 22 thousand deaths. 
  • Gavin Newsom has been the governor of California since 2018. Previously he worked for the San Francisco Parking and Traffic Commission, the SF Board of Supervisors, the mayor, and lieutenant governor. He considers himself a “dogmatic fiscal conservative and a social liberal.” 
  • Newsom has taken flack for his strict coronavirus recommendations for Thanksgiving and Christmas. In order to relieve ICU numbers, he announced stay-at-home recommendations, closing of most business other than restaurants for takeout and pickup, and closing of other recreational outings.
  • There is a petition to recall Newsom because of his handling of coronavirus. It has already collected 82,000 signatures of 1.5 million.

Andrew (No)

California Governor Gavin Newsom has shown exemplary proactive leadership throughout the pandemic, making California the first state to shut down and order people to stay home. While the situation has gotten much worse in California, as in most other areas of the nation, it would most likely have been far worse had Newsom not taken drastic action as early as he did. Newsom has consistently lead from the front, making the difficult decisions that many other politicians throughout the nation and, indeed, the world didn’t have the stomachs for, such as shutting down the state early and limiting Thanksgiving. For his strong leadership, Newsom should stay on to continue his excellent work.

Many had angrily pointed to the error of judgment displayed by Newsom when he attended a birthday party for a lobbyist at the French Laundry, while he was simultaneously telling ordinary Californian’s to stay at home. This was a regrettable incident, but it is insufficient to cause a recall. Newsom has apologized for this incident and has moved on, continuing to lead from the front. This was a one-time error in judgment that jeopardized only the Governor and others at the party. At the same time that Newsom made this error, President Trump was crisscrossing the nation, telling people not to be afraid of the virus and to disregard scientific advice. Many other governors have also had lackluster responses to the virus. Republicans such as Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee, in tandem with Fox news, have used the virus to politicize Newsom’s response, attempting to drum up interest in a bogus recall effort.

Bill (Yes)

Governor Newsom should be recalled for a myriad of reasons, but the economic damage his Covid-related lockdown policies have wrought might be the most compelling. A quick look at some key numbers tells a grim story of the misery Newsom has caused Californians: 1.3 million jobs have been lost, and an additional 627,000 Californians have stopped looking for work since February. San Francisco’s Chamber of Commerce reports up to 85% of bars and restaurants in formerly thriving tourist areas have already closed. Newsom’s power grab has had devastating effects on the world’s fifth-largest economy.

Another example of Newsom exceeding his constitutional authority was evident in his recent Thanksgiving restrictions—forbidding more than two households from gathering and placing a two-hour time limit on the celebration. In contrast, Californians remember that Newsom imposed no time limits on this summer’s protests and riots that caused chaos and destruction in California cities. In fact, Newsom’s weak response to the unrest resulted in his declaring a state of emergency with National Guardsmen brought in to patrol city streets to maintain law and order.

Newsom’s recent hypocrisy in defying his own Covid restrictions may be what causes him to be recalled. He was caught attending a birthday dinner for a lobbyist at the exclusive French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley, where no one was wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Newsom’s cavalier and tone-deaf actions were roundly criticized and are emblematic of how out-of-touch he is with voters. He has forfeited any leadership credibility he previously had as governor and should be removed.

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