Talk show host and Republican recall candidate Larry Elder gave a speech in Los Angeles on Tuesday, reiterating his positions on many top Californian issues and laying out what he would do during a roughly one-year long term as Governor.
The event on Tuesday, held at the Warner Towers Marriott in Woodland Hills and sponsored by the political advocacy arm of the Jewish Republican Alliance, JRA Nation, began with Elder picking up another endorsement from the host.
Elder then promised to declare emergencies on both the homeless situation in California as well on the state’s water resources. Specifically, he noted that he had talked with former Governor Pete Wilson and would back up the emergencies with Governor specific political tools such as line-item vetoes and political appointments. As the Governor has the power to appoint commissioners and positions on water boards, Elder noted that his picks would be chosen based on reversing the water situation in California.
Elder also promised to help change legislation by employing vetoes against bills that he doesn’t agree with, forcing the bill writers to change and redraft them to make them more palatable.
“You’ll be amazed at how much saner bills can become if you veto them,” explained Elder.
He also reaffirmed stances on more controversial issues such as being pro-school choice and repealing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s vaccine mandates. While Elder did say that vaccine mandates would be removed if elected in as Governor, he noted that he is not anti-vaccine. He noted that he was vaccinated and that everyone who wanted to be vaccinated should vaccinate.
“I’m not anti-vax. I believe in vaccinations. Everyone who wanted one got one,” Elder said on Tuesday.
However, he stressed it is a personal decision and clarified that, once again, he is against mandates.
“For crying out loud this is America,” added Elder about state employee mandates that require vaccinations or weekly testing and mask wearing. “It makes no sense.”
Elder also critiqued the first population decline recorded in the state’s history, highlighting the reasons: home affordability, homelessness, crime, high taxes, and regulations for the population loss, resulting in the loss of a Congressional seat.
“The number one reason for the loss is that people cannot afford a home,” stressed Elder. “Businesses are leaving twice as much as they were three years ago. Even tech is leaving. For the last 17 years, business CEOs have named California as the worst state to do business in the country.”
Addressing homelessness, Elder introduced several ideas that differed from Governor Gavin Newsom and other candidates. Specifically, Elder said that he would declare an emergency over the homeless issue, noting that certain homeless groups, such as addicts and the mentally ill, needed more of a focus. He also proposed many solutions such as more low-cost housing and the involvement of churches, mosques, synagogues and other houses of worship in finding placement for those that need help.
Further issues addressed by Elder
Crime also came up as a major issue, with Elder even pointing out the mugging of former Senator Barbara Boxer and crime rising across the state as reasons to rein it in. Elder also brought up the issue of race and the police department, arguing that the Ferguson Effect, aka the “George Floyd Effect,” is making many officers unwilling to get involved in some situations out of fear that they will be accused of racism or worse if they intervene. He said that this was only worsening crime in California, going so far as to call systematic racism in the police a lie and that much of it comes down to complying with officers orders.
“If you are told that the cops are out to get you each year, you start to believe it,” said Elder. “But we are taught to comply with the police. You comply, you don’t die. But now more black men aren’t complying, and they’re dying.”
As Elder was in front of a mainly Jewish crowd, Elder also fine-tuned the evening tailoring his speech to them. This included having the Israeli national anthem being sung after the American anthem at the beginning, anecdotes with him meeting Sandy Koufax, and addressing the anti-Semitic behavior of prominent African-American Democratic leaders such as Jessie Jackson using racial slurs against Jews and Al Sharpton’s long history of anti-Jewish views.
The evening then ended with a quick question and answer session where Elder reaffirmed his belief in the second amendment and explained how he got the nickname “The Sage of South Central.”
“I gave it to myself,” answered Elder to laughter. “It was the alliteration maybe, but I just liked it.”
Many political commentators have noted that Elder has reached the point that he is now seriously outlining what he would do as Governor, rather than the more speculative language he has used in the past.
“He has a plan all lined out now,” noted former lobbyist Harry Schultz to the Globe post-speech on Tuesday. “He noted several times what he would do. He’s consulted with former Governors. He kept stressing how close it was. He gave stories about his early career in Cleveland and really highlighted the dynamic between his race and party. He’s not just building for Governor in 2021, but also 2022 now.”
“And, with past political strife between African-American candidates and Jews, and vice versa, he proved that there was no animosity there today. If there was any doubt there, he more than alleviated it.”
“You can see why he is making Democrats more and more nervous now. He does have some very conservative ideas, and even some Republicans are balking at ideas like $0 minimum wage. But he just keeps winning people over. And his speech in Los Angeles really reflected that.”
Recent polls have shown that Elder still has a double digit lead over all other recall opponents. The recall election is September 14th.