The “Recall Newsom” movement is a wolf in sheep’s clothing



San Diegans in support of recalling Gov. Newsom say he hates America. (Credit: K.C. Alfred)

Andreas Loretan, Opinion Editor

The effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom is a partisan GOP con job that exploits legitimate concerns about the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a waste of time and resources, and even worse, a wolf in sheep’s clothing that packages an explicitly right-wing agenda with faux-concern for the working class.

Efforts to recall Gov. Newsom actually began back in 2019, when the idea of a now year-long pandemic that has claimed 500,000 American lives was just a gleam in the eye of hand sanitizer manufacturers everywhere. These efforts were shot down, yet persistent. They are also a clear indicator that this desperate move is just a method of discrediting whichever Democrat might be in office at the current time. 

One recall previously put forth, the third of the series, by failed Republican House candidate and La Jolla resident James Veltmeyer, accused Gov. Newsom of betraying the Californian public by providing healthcare for “illegal aliens” and increasing taxes.

These complaints have been inherited by the current recall motion, as seen on initiative posters depicting an angry bear holding the state California that is filled with generic Republican talking points — “sanctuary state,” “reducing police support,” “government overreach”— among others. Yet, the narrative given to us by this campaign is that Gov. Newsom failed to protect the people, especially business owners, from economic hardship during the pandemic.

So, the same party that decries government spending wants to spend even more money on a recall election, $100 million according to the state government. All while publicly opposing economic measures that keep people in their homes as a virus kills 50,000 people across the state and infects upwards of 3 million more. Instead of advocating rent relief via moratorium, or continuation of increased unemployment benefits and grants for struggling small businesses, they advocate for a premature election that wastes time, attention, energy and millions of dollars. Millions of dollars that could be spent on helping the people they claim to be fighting for.

It’s obvious that this isn’t about helping people. It’s about upholding a right-wing agenda, and throwing anything at the wall and hoping it sticks. Even while they take advantage of people who are worried about their futures under this disease, is it enough to flip California’s notoriously blue hue to a GOP stronghold? In a state where President Joe Biden won the popular vote nearly two-to-one, even if a recall election were to take place, does this party legitimately think that a Republican can win a gubernatorial election in an immediately post-Trump world?

While Gov. Newsom has plenty of flaws – including not actually pushing the state’s defense against the effects of COVID-19 far enough – now is not the time to focus California’s budget, and its citizens’ attention, on a GOP operation when more pressing matters are at hand.

This recall election has nothing to do with the safety of Californians and everything to do with pursuing hardline Republican programs.