Sore losers are trying to recall Newsom again. They rob voters of their votes

(Associated Press)

Sore losers are trying to recall Newsom again. They rob voters of their votes

California Politics, 2024 Elections

Mark Z. Barabak

March 1, 2024

Gavin Newsom is hardly blameless.

California is facing a massive budget deficit that may be even worse than the governor acknowledges. There has been a lot of talk


but there is no end in sight to the state’s housing and homelessness crises.

The time and energy Newsom spends raising his national profile by going around the country and running red-state ads promoting abortion rights would be better spent at home. Instead of visiting Florida and Alabama, Newsom should take a tour of rural California, stopping at flyover places like Alturas, Sonora and Red Bluff.

It may not boost Newsom’s presidential prospects in 2028 or win many converts. But it would acknowledge the disconnect



over there

feeling of the rest of the state


and show that their concerns matter as much as those of Democrats in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

None of this, however, justifies the latest attempt to drive Newsom from office.

A group of Republicans involved in the failed 2021 recall announced this week


they’re trying again, the seventh attempt to short-circuit Newsom’s governorship.

It’s a waste of time and potentially a lot more taxpayer money. It should force lawmakers in Sacramento to finally make some much-needed fixes to the state’s botched recall process.

It is also symptomatic of a larger disease.

We have been living in the era of the permanent campaign for more than a generation. The line between governing and looking forward to the next election has become indistinguishable, much to the chagrin of those who wish opportunism and partisanship had less influence on legislatures and their decisions.

But in recent years, the negative effects of the permanent campaign have been surpassed by something even more pernicious: the endless elections.

Rather than admit defeat, Donald Trump and his followers insist on relitigating the 2020 presidential election. In Arizona, Governor hopeful Kari Lake and other Republicans pulled the same stunt after losing their statewide races and refusing to recognize the result



(For those who insist this election was stolen, here’s a suggestion: get together with Santa and the Tooth Fairy and discuss ways to prevent similar “fraud” in 2024. You’re welcome.)

In the past, elections had winners and losers, and both parties recognized that. Now those who don’t like the outcome simply refuse to accept the outcome and ignore the will of the voters.

In Oregon, this meant boycotting the Legislature to deny majority Democrats a quorum. In Wisconsin, hapless Republicans threatened to annul an election for the state Supreme Court and depose a liberal constitutional state simply because their favorite candidate had lost. (The lawmakers were ultimately shamed for such a blatantly undemocratic move.)

That mentality, that elections don’t count unless they go the way you want, is evident in the renewed effort to recall Newsom.

Whether he likes it or not, he has been elected governor twice. He decisively beat back the 2021 recall attempt; the 61.9%


The votes matched Newsom’s winning percentage exactly in 2018, meaning nearly $250 million was spent on a special election so voters could say, yes, we meant it when we elected this guy.

They elected Newsom again in 2022, when he was headed for re-election.

The GOP is in pathetic shape in California. That’s nothing new. It’s been almost two decades since voters elected a Republican governor, the sui generis Arnold Schwarzenegger.

no italian/black

So now the strategy seems to be


if you can’t beat it

em, harass


And make some money along the way.

The San Francisco Standard reports this

Save California,

the campaign committee behind the 2021 recall election,

Save California,

has a debt burden of more than $1 million. Find

Raising money for the latest effort could easily wipe out that debt and raise a sizable sum for the organizers who have profited handsomely from the latest go-around.

In the weeks and months since that costly, meaningless election, lawmakers in Sacramento have considered ways to overhaul the recall process, which has aged poorly since its conception more than a century ago.

It is too easy to qualify a measure. It requires signatures representing just 12% of votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election, and is designed so that an ousted governor can be replaced by someone with far less than majority support.


(A recall election has two parts. Voters are asked whether someone should be removed, and if so,

the deposed official is

replaced by the largest vote-getter, even if that candidate has more than 50% support.)

But the impetus for long-overdue changes faded, along with memories of the 2021 recall. Now is a good time for lawmakers to take up the issue again.

There are the potential costs to consider, as well as the corrosive effect of holding elections indefinitely. Once the votes are counted, it’s time to move on.

For California voters


There’s also this: If you find the prospect of a Trump-Biden rematch daunting, consider another campaign dedicated to Newsom’s stupid statements.

visit to the French Laundry, his Hollywood looks, his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic

to measure

a team of potential Republican successors trying to defeat each other.

That’s reason enough to oppose another recall election.


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