Home>Articles>Voters Remember CA Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Troubles Began Before Pandemic, Part II

Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Voters Remember CA Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Troubles Began Before Pandemic, Part II

Newsom calls Recall a ‘power grab by Republicans, anti-vax extremists, and pro-Trump forces’

By Katy Grimes, March 15, 2021 8:30 pm

In Part l of Voters Know CA Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Troubles Began Before Pandemic, we suggested “A more contrite-sounding California Gov. Gavin Newsom is now acknowledging some of his mistakes in the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, however, he still doesn’t understand that it’s much more than the pandemic snafus that are fueling the RecallGavin2020 movement. Because is it a movement now.”

We listed the many policies Gov. Newsom imposed on California in 2019, as well as some of the most radical bills he signed into law his first year in office. It’s a long list.

This is Part ll.

Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom initiated a campaign to fight his recall, calling it a “partisan, Republican recall — backed by the RNC, anti-mask and anti-vax extremists, and pro-Trump forces.”

Scott Lay of The Nooner, posted this:

This morning, gavin@gavinnewsom emailed:

I am writing to let you know that earlier today, we launched our campaign to stop the Republican recall attempt in California. I am not going to take this recall attempt lying down. I’m going to fight because there’s too much at stake in this moment.And today, I am asking you to join me…And let’s call it what it is: it’s a partisan, Republican recall — backed by the RNC, anti-mask and anti-vax extremists, and pro-Trump forces who want to overturn the last election and have opposed much of what we have done to fight the pandemic.

So much for contrite.

Speaking of lacking in contriteness, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez weighed in on the recall:

According to Newsom’s StoptheRepublicanRecall website, the committee aims to keep Newsom in office because he “led the state through a global pandemic, record wildfires fueled by climate change and two years with Trump in the White House, he has earned the trust of Californians,” the Globe reported. “He is working every day against difficult odds to keep our families safe, distribute vaccines, protect families from eviction and provide billions in direct relief to individuals and struggling small businesses.”

“Instead of helping fight the pandemic, national Republicans are coming to fight California,” says the site. “Add your name to help stop Republican recall. It’s a power grab.”

Lacking self-awareness, one wonders how many of the Democrat lawmakers in the State Capitol signed the recall given that the number one complaint from Democrat lawmakers is that Gov. Newsom doesn’t give them the time of day, and instead is running California like a one-man show.

Newsom’s 2020 Record 

In January of 2020, after having done very little in 2019 to halt or even curb the homeless crisis, Gov. Newsom bragged about all of the funding he planned to spend on homelessness, as the Globe reported:

“You’ll start seeing real progress in the next few months,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at his 2020 Budget Briefing, addressing California’s homeless crisis. “Mobile tents, medical units, FEMA trailers… as early as next week.”

“We put $650 million emergency grants to cities and counties,” Newsom said, but he admitted the state did not release the money to cities and counties last year. “The $650 million hasn’t gone to cities and counties yet – but it’s going out as we speak. This is unprecedented in California history,” Newsom said. “The money is finally going out on homelessness.”

The “progress” Newsom referred to was his homeless task force when it announced it wanted to force cities to provide housing, when housing is not the prevailing problem… mental illness and drug addiction is, as is the state’s policy of prison population reduction, early release programs, bail “reform,” and reducing felonies to misdemeanors and misdemeanors down to citations for a notable list of crimes under Propositions 47 and 57.

As the Globe noted at the time, Los Angeles county and city governments collectively spend more than $1 billion annually on the costs of dealing with the growing homeless population, which continues to grow with their spending.

Newsom announced in 2020 he would create a Department of Cannabis; would establish a new Department of Early Childhood Development to get all 4-year olds into universal pre school; created a new Office of Healthcare Affordability; authorized a new State Park; and announced he wanted to close a state prison.

Newsom turned DOGGR into CalGEM. “It went from a dog to a gem, and will have a $24.3 million enhancement,” he said. DGOOR was the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, is now the Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM), which oversees the drilling, operation, maintenance, and plugging and abandonment of oil, natural gas, and geothermal energy wells. Newsom said he’s “focusing on decommissioning.”

Newsom doubled down on AB 5, the new law that reclassified independent contractors and freelance workers as employees, and said he budgeted nearly $20 million to enforce it.

In 2020, Newsom budgeted the amount of education spending at $84 billion (which was a 3.03% growth), despite no improvement in achievement testing numbers.

Also in 2020, Newsom said $900.1 billion would be “invested” in teacher improvements; $175 million in teacher residency program; and a focus on special ed and poor performing schools.

Remember these 2020 spending numbers, especially in the face of the California Teachers Association union refusing to go back to classroom teaching claiming a lack of safety because of COVID. As “compensation,” the union extorted another $6 billion out of the governor and state taxpayers. 

To explain this, here are some of the Globe’s headlines about teacher demands during 2020:

L.A. Teachers Union: Schools Can’t Reopen Unless Charter Schools Shut Down, Police Defunded

L.A. Teachers Union: Give us $250 Million, Or Keep Schools Closed

As Teachers Unions Fight to Keep Kids Out of School, Parents Get Creative

LA Teachers Union Votes To Not Return To In-Class Learning Until They Receive Vaccinations

Newsom said in 2019 he committed $1.75 billion in housing production. “But not one dollar went out in the year,” Newsom said in 2020. “The money now will start flowing. I’m excited. Local dollars go out this month – $125 million now, another in February.” It never happened.

Newsom expanded health coverage regardless of immigration status, for those 65 and older in 2020. “We believe in universal health care,” he said.

Newsom said he would leverage the state’s $700 Billion Pension Investments, Transportation Systems and Purchasing Power to Strengthen Climate Resiliency against climate change. “Californias Green New Deal is on the way,” the governor said. He’s budgeting $12.5 billion for five years for “climate resiliency,” (whatever that means) and plans to get this on the ballot. 

Newsom said he is committing an initial $965 billion of cap and trade funds, to grow over four years for a new program called the Climate Catalyst Fund. “This is the way of helping fund California’s Green New Deal, to focus on sustainable food process, smart agriculture, and methane capture process.” Don’t we already have smart, sustainable food processes and agriculture? 

Governor Newsom floated the idea of the state takeover of Pacific Gas and Electric in response to the Company’s bankruptcy and consumer outrage in light of Public Safety Power Shutoffs. As the Globe reported, a new bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), in which current shareholders of PG&E would be forced by California to sell their shares to the state, assuming control via eminent domain. This is reminiscent of Venezuela’s takeover of its oil industry in 1998, when Hugo Chávez was elected president. Within two to three years, Chávez fired nearly 20,000 employees of the formerly private oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, and replaced them with employees loyal to his government.

When Newsom signed Executive Order N-19-19 in September of 2019, he directed the already controversial, voter-approved gas tax money away from fixing local highways (as voters were promised) in favor of rail projects. Simultaneously, cities have been using the funding not to improve roads or increase auto lanes, but instead for ongoing “road diets” and increasing bicycle lanes.

Newsom’s 2020 road plan for California eliminated two important highway expansion projects on vital freight corridors in Central California. Plans to increase stretches of Highway 99 from four to six lanes in the Central Valley were put on the back burner. “Governor Newsom is intentionally starving us out of our roads,” Assemblyman Jim Patterson told California Globe in October 2020.

At a rally to Repeal AB 5 in January 2020, rally organizer Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Roseville) said, “Governor Newsom: we are here today to tell you that your vision cannot be reality as long as AB 5 is on the books. Governor, your own former deputy chief of staff called AB 5 ‘one of the most destructive pieces of legislation in the last 20 years.’” And the crowd of independent contractors and freelancers cheered, and they fought Gov. Newsom all year, including getting Proposition 22 qualified for the November 2020 ballot to repeal parts of AB 5. It passed.

Combatting the 70,000 homeless in Los Angeles, “Ten travel trailers were delivered to South Los Angeles at a site that will house homeless families with children,” Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in February 2020.

Following rejection of the utilities’ appeal by the U.S. Supreme Court, the California Legislature and Governor gutted-and-amended an existing bill, AB 1054 by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) lightening-fast in late June, seeking to authorize the bailout of these investor owned utility companies from financial and legal consequences, despite their culpability in the wildfires.

Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill 207called the Voter’s Choice Act, February 13, 2020, two weeks ahead of the March 3rd 2020 Primary Election, to permit a voter to change their party preference or update their residence address without reregistering to vote.

California’s AB 5, signed into law by Gov. Newsom, killed off the 40-year Lake Tahoe Music Festival in 2020.

Newsom held a press conference March 15, 2020, and called for the closure of all bars, brew pubs, and wineries, and directed those 65 and older to stay home and self-isolate, due to coronavirus. He prohibited visitors to nursing homes, and ordered all restaurants to allow for 6-foot “social distancing” and only fill to half capacity.

However, the Globe reported “there are no such directives with grocery stores and markets, big box stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, fast food restaurants, and the like – all of which are opened and serving customers, which begs the question, how is the governor targeting some industries and not others which also serve the public?”

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California in March 2020 for the coronavirus, first observed in late December in Wuhan, China, and reported to the World Health Organization China bureau in Beijing. By January 31, 2020, President Donald Trump had declared a public health emergency and began restricting U.S. access to non-citizens from China. The Globe noted then that conspicuously missing from most news articles about coronavirus was the important distinction that being “infected” for nearly everyone is not life-threatening, and most people don’t even know they had the virus.

March 17, 2020, seven Bay Area counties announced unprecedented shelter-in-place restrictions, confining millions of residents to their homes for three weeks over the spreading coronavirus.  The only allowable exceptions were essential work, to purchase food or other necessities. However, there were no such orders for the large homeless population living in squalor on the streets, the Globe reported.

March 19, 2020, Gov. Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents to stay home, unless they were critical “essential” employees or businesses. Newsom then directed the State Public Health Officer to determine who and what jobs and businesses were deemed “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.”

“Gov. Newsom Projected 56% of Californians Could Be Infected With Coronavirus in 8 Weeks,” was the Globe’s March 20, 2020 headline. In response, Stanford University epidemiologist John Ioannidis said that is not so. “The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic,” he says. “But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco.”

By March 21, 2020, Gov. Newsom issued an executive order to require vote-by-mail to be used in three upcoming special elections, “protecting public health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Despite news stories about nursing home infections, deaths surge amid lockdown measures, and in San Bernardino County, “Dozens of residents of California nursing homes hit with COVID-19 and 2 have died, the California Department of Public Health suspended nursing home relegations, allowing COVID-19 patients to be housed in nursing homes, based on Article 6 of the Governor’s March 30th directive the Globe reported in April 2020. By June, Eskaton was accepting COVID patients. The company sent out a memo to staff announcing they were going to start taking COVID patients. The Globe reported that we learned that COVID patients are worth $800 per day, compared to the $200 per day for long-term patients with mild health concerns or dementia. It is not a stretch to see that COVID patients are a money maker for nursing homes.Also in April 2020, Gov. Newsom said at a press conference, “There is opportunity for reimagining a progressive era as it pertains to capitalism. So yes, absolutely we see this as an opportunity to reshape the way we do business and how we govern,” about the COVID lockdowns.

Mid-April, Gov. Gavin Newsom approved spending $1 Billion of taxpayers funds on masks from Chinese company BYD. April 23rd, on behalf of California Globe, attorney Craig Alexander filed a California Public Records Request with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration, and involved agencies, for the communications and contract the governor made with Chinese company BYD for 200 million surgical masks. We received a dribble of information. But on Thursday May 7th late in the day, we received the contract with BYD (see all docs here), with minor redactions, along with every member of the Legislature and Capitol media. It was only recently revealed that the state of California wired nearly $500 million dollars for masks to a company that had been in business for three days.

Following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s April 14, 2020 tweet that “SCIENCE — not politics — must be California’s guide” in its economic recovery, more than 150 California economists and professors sent the Governor an open letter calling on him to suspend AB 5 during the coronavirus shutdown.

The California Republican Party sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom April 20, 2020, asking him to prohibit ballot harvesting for the upcoming special elections on May 12, to avoid risks to public health and safety in light of COVID-19. The governor ignored the letter. Receiving no response from the governor, the CAGOP filed a lawsuit against him.

Poking Gov. Newsom and gun control advocates in the eye, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez blocked California’s law requiring background checks for people buying ammunition.The judge ruled in favor of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, which asked him to overturn the law requiring background checks and related restrictions on ammo sales. Judge Benitiz also ruled in 2020 against a California law which prohibited buying or selling magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

The California Supreme Court ordered Gov. Newsom in April 2020 respond to the Center for American Liberty’s lawsuit, asking the Court to immediately halt Governor Newsom’s appropriation of $75 million in unemployment funds for undocumented immigrants.

In a leaked memo in April 2020, Californians found out Gov. Gavin Newsom planned to order all beaches and state parks closed starting Friday May 1st, after scolding beachgoers who flocked to Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Doheny State Beach and San Clemente beaches amid a summer-like heatwave last weekend. He closed down all beaches.

Permit Denials For Capitol Protests Earn Gov. Gavin Newsom Another Federal Lawsuit.

In early May, Gov. Newsom announced that while California will move into the next phase of reopening its economy this week, it is “not going back to normal” until there is a vaccine. “We’re not going back to normal. It’s a new normal with adaptations and modifications, until we get to immunity and a vaccine,” Gov. Newsom said.

Also in early May, as Californians were starting to rebel following 7 weeks of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lockdown order, we found it curious how and why he and four other Democrat governors entered a pact, ostensibly as a “collaborative approach to reopening” the states. However, not one of these governors is actually talking about reopening their states. And notably, Friday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order to extend the state of emergency for another 60 days, keeping Oregonians in lockdown until July 6.”

The Center for American Liberty announced a lawsuit filed against Governor Gavin Newsom in May, representing The Professional Beauty Federation of California (PBFC), which the governor ordered shut down.

California Globe filed a Public Records Request May 13th with California Health and Human Services Agency, which denied it had documents to justify the lockdown or re-opening policy. The Globe’s public records request was answered in record time – by producing nothing.

At the end of May 2020, Gov. Newsom Announced Salons and Barbers Can Re-Open, a Day Before Court was to Rule on Lawsuit.

By June it was evident that Gov. Newsom was trying to keep the state under his thumb in lockdown mode as long as possible.

Also in June, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his latest order mandating face masks be worn – indoors and outside. As his press release said, “Californians Must Wear Face Coverings When in Higher-Risk Situations, Especially Indoors.” Wearing masks indoors in “any public space” will kill off the remaining gyms still in business. Ironically, “Persons who are incarcerated in Prisons and jails,” have been exempted from the order – because California has been releasing more prisoners early to “stem the spread of the coronavirus” in the Golden State’s jails, California Globe reported.

By late June, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he was “ordering” and “recommending” bars to close in 7 counties because as he said, “Covid-19 is still circulating in California, and in some parts of the state, growing stronger.”

The governor has required bars in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles and Tulare counties to close, while Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Stanislaus and Ventura counties were only “recommended” to close.

The mandatory bar closures in Fresno, Tulare, Kern and Northeast Los Angeles Counties cover the congressional districts of Republicans Rep. Devin Nunes and House Minority Speaker Kevin McCarthy, while the “recommended” bar closure counties are all represented by Democrats.

Just ahead of weekend Independence Day 2020 celebrations, Gov. Newsom issued an order declaring there would be no singing or chanting in churches in the state, no 4th of July parties or fireworks, and the state’s beaches closed. He also ordered the closures of restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, cardrooms and bars in 19 counties – exempting Napa County, where he owns the Plumpjack Winery.

Mid-July, Gov. Newsom issued an order for the entire state to again close indoor businesses: Fitness centers and gyms, churches, offices, hair and nail salons and barbershops, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, museums, zoos and movie theaters are all subject to the latest lockdown. While businesses are forced to close again, the governor is also planning on letting another 8,000 inmates out of prison by the end of the month.

The Globe noted that Gov. Newsom’s COVID ‘Science’ is ‘Political Science.’

Gov. Newsom’s Alcohol Agency Issues Edict Declaring What a Bar ‘Meal’ Is: Apparently Buffalo Wings, fried cheese sticks, fried calamari, sandwiches and salads are not considered a “meal” by Gov. Newsom, the Globe reported July 21, 2020. Isn’t lunch shaming against the law in California now?

Late July, while California businesses were still shut down, San Francisco Weekly reported, “Gay bathhouses could have an easier time returning to San Francisco, after the board of supervisors approved an ordinance that would ease restrictions for adult sex venues on July 21 with a unanimous vote.” The Globe asked, “Are face masks mandatory?”

Next: Part ll, Voters Know CA Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Troubles Began Before Pandemic, (the rest of 2020)

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12 thoughts on “Voters Remember CA Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Troubles Began Before Pandemic, Part II

  1. Thank You Katy for documenting Newsom’s thousand cuts to California’s residents quality of life. I started to follow your reporting in 2019 when the homeless crisis started to take root in my neighborhood. It has been 2 years and the problem has exploded not improved under the poor leadership of Newsom and the democrat super majority.
    I find it laughable that they now try to paint this recall as a Republican power grab. Here in California, Republican voters are only 24% percent of the voting population. This is not a Republican power grab, this state is falling into despair and lawlessness with the Democrats in control for decades.
    They have demonstrated what a true power grab results: high taxes, increased crime rates, increased homeless population, overcrowded & underperforming schools, crumbling infrastructure, powerful unions, rolling blackouts, water shortages and the list goes on….
    It is my hope 2021 is the year Californians wake up from their slumber and seek to make California shine again. We must begin with this recall. It really is a beautiful state with caring residents.

  2. Has Governor Newsom ever produced “the science” justifying his lockdown mandates or his mask mandates? I don’t think so. His “science” is, as the Globe asserted, nothing more than “political science.” His lockdowns punish Republicans and favor Democrats — or his own wine business. His billion-dollar mask deal with China was a money-laundering scheme, I believe, no? How is it possible for any sane person to think that the recall is some kind of Republican plot? Democrats loathe this gangsta just as much as Republicans. He’s destroying California. He’s a mobster willing to destroy California education at taxpayers’ expense.

    1. HI Charles, totally agree, he only has a Political Science degree from Santa Clara, not very noteworthy at all and as we listen to him talk over the the past few years, he is also not very bright, he’s just a pretty boy in an empty suit, thanks.

  3. Amen Charles!
    Yes, it would be so very nice for the governor to produce the data that supported his wild claims.
    W.H.O. last fall reiterated that lockdowns should not be used to control the virus. Previous studies on viruses showed masks and lockdowns not to be effective yet it did not compel Newsom to reexamine his policies..

    It was never about the “Science”.

  4. Great reporting! Your hard work, is so appreciated! This Governor has poisoned the State of California, destroying the lives of so many! His actions lack serious thought or consideration. Of all his rhetoric, one never hears the words freedom or liberty, which says so much! Thank you, Katie Grimes, thank you!

  5. Wow, Katy, what a FANTASTIC, detailed list of the failures of this narcissistic, megalomaniac “Governor”…

    Agree with the earlier posters that this is LAUGHABLE on its face that the recall is a Republican effort. Most of the Republicans have moved out of state to flee the horrors of Democrat communist governance by this moron and his predecessor Jerry “The Clown” Brown! (Along with their Hispanic Hench of Padilla, Becerra and Gonzalez, who DOTH protest too much (and DOES also write some SERIOUSLY bad legislation))

    Again, everything the Democrats say or write is an absolute falsehood as follows:

    “He is working every day against difficult odds to keep our families safe, distribute vaccines, protect families from eviction and provide billions in direct relief to individuals and struggling small businesses.”

    In truth, he has done everything in his power to STRIP our freedom of association, ability to provide for our families and increase reliance on Government handouts, Soviet Union style…

    A rejection of Gavin Newsom will send a strong message to the Communist globalist movement that is trying to take hold of the United States in the aftermath of the November 2020 installation of Beijing Biden and “Headboard Harris”…

  6. I am so glad this Katy Grimes’ document exists. The bombardment of damage from a mere two years of Newsom as governor is overwhelming, and we’ve not even finished with 2020 yet. The constant kicks and blows have only broadened the base of Californians who want him GONE. Be sure to check out all the links above and also scan the comments at each of those articles. You will see that we have a huge army of sensible Californians out there whose righteous anger has grown and grown, especially over this past year.

    Newsom will be Newsom and we cannot change him, but good luck to this sociopath against such a multi-party coalition. It gives the lie to his flame-throwing charges. This really is a movement of CALIFORNIANS and it is gratifying to see it.

    In business it is said that for every one customer who complains there are 26 others who are also unhappy but are silent. This doesn’t mean they will remain silent. Newsom would be wise to pay attention to that. But even if he doesn’t (and he won’t) it is something for all Californians who know of Newsom’s role in the destruction of our beautiful state to keep in mind.

  7. This Guy -Gavin Newsom is now a Conspiracy Theorists!
    He never takes responsibility and only punishes and patronizes citizens of California.
    Gavin Newsom has ruined San Francisco and now Ruined the entire state of California along w/his puppet croaks Public Health and Mayors such as Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles!
    We are done w/this guy! Get him out ASAP!

  8. Great article, so much detail, thanks. Now we need a candidate who can take those details and turn it into a concise, cogent case to hammer home 1) why Newsom must be removed, and 2) these are my ideas, here’s why they’re better. Today he’s largely loathed, but last candidate with an “R” next to his name to do that was Schwarzenegger. Whitman, Kashkari, and Cox paled in comparison.

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