California Governor Gavin Newsom was on CBS’s 60 Minutes last evening in an interview with Cecilia Vega, and he didn’t look commanding or presidential… he appeared a little whiny.
Vega opened with a comment/question about California’s exploding homeless population, but grossly and incorrectly blamed it on the highest housing prices in the country. “California, with the highest homeless population in the country due to the highest housing prices in the country…”
Naturally Gov. Gavin Newsom didn’t correct her since his entire failed homeless policies was based on the corrupted Obama policy of “Housing First.”
Vega did show some gumption when she grilled Newsom about his proposed “Care Courts.” As the Globe reported earlier this year, “the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court was put into place through the passage of SB 1338 to help establish a framework to get those with mental and substance abuse problems support and assistance, especially those with untreated conditions, before conservatorship and institutional care. Families, clinicians, first responders and others will also be able to refer individuals suffering from schizophrenia spectrum or psychotic disorders.”
With implementation in a few counties started in December 2022, “Many mental health and disability groups have since come forward opposing the courts, saying that the courts strips away the rights of anyone entering them and that the courts will actually worsen mental health as many aren’t going to be given the care level they need. Many also oppose the courts as they essentially force social services on people and that it goes against the Constitution as Californians rights to choose housing and health treatments are essentially thrown away when under the court.”
Vega asked Gov. Newsom if Care Courts are “medical incarceration.” And then the new-and-improved Newsom appeared. “I’m a little indignant – I’m just done with the excuses,” Newsom said, feigning outrage. Vega did not delve into his policies which created the explosion of homeless drug addicts and mentally ill vagrants roaming and living on the streets.
She did ask the governor if it is voters, “so fed up with what they see on the streets,” i.e. the homeless drug addicted vagrants living on the streets, who pushed him to come up with the policy given his presidential ambitions:
“Is there a political factor in this for you?” Vega asks.
Newsom doth protest:
“As an electoral strategy, I”m termed out,” Newsom said indignantly.
Then he claims:
“the politics here is compassion.”
“You may be termed out here but does cleaning up the streets of California factor into a potential presidential run?” Vega asks.
“I’m never going to overpromise that in the short run. I mean, we are struggling in this state. Housing, and homelessness,” Newsom said quietly, dramatically.
“You’re not answering my question,” Vega said.
“No. Housing and homelessness less,” Newsom replied, wiping a tear away (not really).
Vega insists that cleaning up California’s streets could be part of a bigger political strategy for Newsom.
“I think that’s table stakes,” Newsom protested. “I think that’s just a foundational responsibility of anyone that gets into my position. That’s the day job. It’s not about some grand ambition. Absolutely not.”
“Is that a yes or a no?” Vega asked again.
“That was a… that was a… never-ending response to your question,” Newsom said.
Whatever that means.
This was not a tough interview, and Vega did not push back where she clearly could have – like addressing the fact that Gavin Newsom has been California Governor since January 2019, and in that time, homelessness has exploded tenfold.
Vega could have asked Newsom about his homeless plans when he was Mayor of San Francisco, for context In 2003, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom commissioned a “10-Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness,” the goals of which were to move from a “continuum of care model,” to a “housing-first model.”
“This is all about moving from ‘managing’ homelessness into ‘solving’ homelessness,” Newsom said, SF Gae reported.
Vega also could have grilled the governor on his early prison release program to empty out the state’s prisons of 76,000 felons – of which many have ended up on the streets. “California Gov. Gavin Newsom will be letting another 76,000 prisoners out of state prisons – on his own authority through Executive Order – violent crime is spiking in California’s cities,” the Globe reported May 2021. The CDCR expanded “good time credits” without criteria to justify early release of dangerous inmates, under Newsom’s orders.
Or his failed Housing First plans with Project Roomkey, which became a boondoggle of a program which cities across the state use to put homeless when they take down their encampments. And Project Housekey was supposed to be the next phase in the state’s response to protecting homeless, but we aren’t sure where the $600 million in grants to counties, cities, and housing authorities, ended up.
All in all, it was a humdrum, banausic, bland interview. And Gavin Newsom did not look Presidential.
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