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The KCRA recall debate in Sacramento on August 25, 2021 (Photo: KCRA YouTube screenshot)

Recall Candidates Go After Newsom, Elder At Sacramento Recall Debate

Vaccine mandates, state affordability, water crisis questions addressed by four candidates

By Evan Symon, August 26, 2021 11:36 am

On Wednesday, four major candidates in the running for the 2021 Gubernatorial Recall election debated for an hour at the KCRA television studios in Sacramento.

Republicans who have previously been in debates – 2018 GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) – met with first time debater Democrat YouTuber and real estate broker Kevin Paffrath for about an hour. There they discussed some of the hot button issues currently on the minds of Californians, as well as criticizing both embattled Governor Gavin Newsom and leading recall candidate and talk show host Larry Elder.

One of the most discussed topics of the debate concerned vaccine mandates and what each candidate would do about them.

Faulconer noted that while the best way to combat COVID-19 was to get vaccinated, Newsom had been wrong to add mandates and more regulations. Instead, Faulconer said that more education about the subject was needed instead of mandates.

“Our state is very big, it’s very diverse. That’s the wrong approach,” said Faulconer on the mandates. “Our schools should have been open this past semester. My daughter should have been in school this last semester just like everybody else’s kids across California – in the classroom, safely learning with great teachers. Zoom was no substitute. We had a governor that didn’t understand that and we’re still dealing with those consequences now.”

Kiley and Cox also agreed with Faulconer. Cox  said that while he believes that the vaccine works, mask and vaccine mandates simply don’t work in California. Kiley noted a similar non-mandate stance, adding that the state’s delay caused California to be the last state to have schools reopen, with Newsom all the while having his own children stay in school during this time through private schools.

“I would take the approach of other states in putting trust in it’s citizens,” explained Kiley. “If you look at the issue of masks, we’re part of a minority of states with a statewide mandate and you look at other countries like the United Kingdom, they said they’re not going to do masks for elementary school children, they’re not going to do it because the harm outweighs the benefit.”

Paffrath, meanwhile, stated that he does support mandates when not on a Governor’s level. He also focused  more on having masks fit everyone properly and adding in HEPA filtration into places that need it to reduce COVID-19 risk.

Drought and affordability

When the question turned to how to make the state more affordable and improve the lives of Californians, each candidate gave a wildly different answer. Faulconer proposed huge tax cuts, noting that California has the highest income tax percentage in the country and that permanent tax relief was needed to alleviate it.

Cox gave a different approach, saying that spending was way too high and that audits of every government agency within California, beginning with the EDD, would be ordered by him if elected.

“This state is a mismanaged mess,” said Cox. “His pandemic management was an inconsistent disaster. We don’t have water. We live in fear of fires. Crime is rising. Housing prices are out of sight. Taxes are out of sight. The homeless problem has only gotten worse. We’ve got to stop with these politicians and celebrities and get a businessman in there.”

Paffath followed by saying that he would make sweeping reforms and not have one homeless person on the streets in the entire state with 60 days of being sworn into office. Under his plan, emphasis on affordable housing, improved transportation, and more homeless measures would keep homeless numbers down.

Finally, Kiley proceeded to point out that high amounts of corruption and a focus on lobbyists and special interests had broken the state, specifically emphasizing the high budget and low quality of life.

“It’s about the failure of our government to do the most basic things like manage our forests, and the result, of course, is that communities are at risk, and we keep having these catastrophic events,” added Kiley on Wednesday. “Everything has continued to get worse. The quality of life in California has continued to decline. That is the story of modern California as epitomized by Gavin Newsom. That we sacrifice the most and get the least in return.”

Questions over water and drought management also took center stage on Wednesday.

Faulconer and Kiley both proposed more storage and supply increases to combat future droughts, with Kiley favoring a constitutional amendment to increase the water supply and better save water, and Faulconer wanting to build more reservoirs.

Conversely, Cox and Paffrath gave more out of the box solutions. Cox said that water issue was primarily a management problem and that it could be alleviated by a combination of desalination plants, water recycling, and more reservoirs. Paffrath countered with a more radical solution: declaring an emergency and working with the federal government to pipe in water from the Mississippi River across the country.

While all the candidates on stage went after Governor Newsom on pretty much every subject, the candidates also frequently went after Larry Elder, who did not attend the debate due to only wanting to debate Newsom one-on-one. Faulconer challenged Elder the most on Wednesday, in particular bringing up recent news stories of Elder allegedly threatening women in the past.

“His attack on working women is unconscionable,” said Falconer when lobbed a question about workers. “I’m going to support your right to raise a family, to have a career. Unlike what Larry Elder is talking about, I’m going to make sure that California’s daughters have the same opportunities as California’s sons. We need a governor that’s going to stand up for working women and knows that every woman in this state can have a career, can raise a family.”

As with the previous debates held earlier this month, only around half of the invited candidates decided to attend. Newsom has refused to attend the debates, with both Elder and reality TV show star Caitlyn Jenner not agreeing to a debate unless it is with Newsom himself. Former Congressman Doug Ose had previously agreed to the debate but had to drop out of the debate and race due to suffering a heart attack last week.

At least one more debate is likely in the coming weeks as the September 14th election date comes closer and closer into view.

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13 thoughts on “Recall Candidates Go After Newsom, Elder At Sacramento Recall Debate

  1. Well until this debate I did not know much about Paffrath.
    To be kind I will give him credit for thinking outside the box.
    On the water shortage issue, piping in water from Mississippi has one glaring issue.
    If you were even to get approval to cross all state lines, it would be shut down by the likes of the Biden administration. Come on, Man, we have the water it just needs to be stored properly and stop being diverted into the ocean.
    Well intended and researched in between You Tube videos, I am sure.😅

    Can we hear from one of the porn stars candidates? Maybe she/them/her has a good capture solution for fluids.

    1. Mississippi River pipeline idea was just his click-bait attention getter…..not a serious idea…..from a social media, YouTube influencer.

  2. “While all the candidates on stage went after Governor Newsom on pretty much every subject, the candidates also frequently went after Larry Elder, who did not attend the debate due to only wanting to debate Newsom one-on-one. Faulconer challenged Elder the most on Wednesday, in particular bringing up recent news stories of Elder allegedly threatening women in the past.”

    “Accuracy” in journalism is important. In fact, the two candidates who went after Larry Elder were Faulconer and Paffrath. Kiley and Cox did NOT attack Elder. My take on the debate: Cox and Kiley winners, Faulconer and Paffrath losers.

  3. Neanderthals

    Give Larry a crack at it….school choice is a game changer lifting millions out of poverty…….sorta equitable too for liberal fanatics…..or are liberals afraid of minorities gaining a seat at the table….

    1. @Queeg, what an accomplishment that would be.
      Families would have a lot to gain.
      That is why the teacher unions are coming out hard, knocking on doors and donating millions to their buddy, who agrees to muzzle the children!

  4. While many of us like Kevin Kiley’s position on many issues, he doesn’t have the name recognition or the following that Larry EIder has? Faulkner and Cox seem like weak RINOs? These Republicans need to end their campaigns and unify behind Larry Elder? As for Democrat Kevin Paffrath, he should stick to hamming it up on his YouTube channel?

    1. It’s actually a good thing for this special election that there are so many candidates because it means more votes to RECALL NEWSOM. Pick the candidate of your choice when you vote (you’re right, Faulconer is a weak RINO and Cox is a ???), but most important, be sure to Vote YES to RECALL NEWSOM. 🙂

  5. I had Elder and Kiley as my top 2 choices, but am concerned that Elder may just be saying what he thinks we want to hear. He’s had to walk back his comment that Biden won fair and square, and it makes me wonder if he will just pull another Arnie and bow down to the special interests that have such a stranglehold on California and her corrupt leaders. Kiley has been leading the fight against Newsom, but I would like to hear more Solutions. Previously, Cox didn’t rate very highly with me, but his ideas impressed. It will take a lot to fix California, and we definitely don’t need more of the same dem rhetoric that Paffrath offers (have the homeless cleared in 60 days-where’s he going to send them? Mexico?!? 🤣)

    1. MrsBee: Larry Elder is a terrific candidate, would be a terrific CA Governor, and he’s out in front. For what it’s worth, I’m going with him.
      I admire and appreciate Kevin Kiley, who is a fine person, honest, hard-working, smart, (and funny, which doesn’t hurt), but I don’t think this time is his time. Next time, maybe, but not this time.

    2. MrsBee

      Elder has more to lose if he walks back any of his talk, as his show will lose its audience for distrusting him, feel his words are empty instead of valued. Elder must realize this.

      Kiley seems ok but we need recognition and someone that can fight the race card argument to be able to push back on Democrats majority, because if a Black republican faces controversy against democrats — Democrat fear would be waking up a whole demographic that realizes Democrats are just using them.

  6. There’s a quiet contingent that may need some attention….( KABC) “Newsom Recall: Voter Apathy, Confusion May Lower Turnout, Impact Results” Some don’t understand why Newsom only wants them to fill out half the ballot, or why there is an election when they just voted. Many Latinos right now are worried about rent relief, jobs, and healthcare they account for 6 mil registered voters. I’m glad they included Paffrath, so people can see it really is about ALL Californians. I don’t think people realize the hell Newsom has in store for us…think Australia, it’s bad.

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