On Wednesday, Secretary of State Alex Padilla granted retired Yolo County Deputy Sheriff Orrin Heatlie permission to begin another recall campaign against Governor Gavin Newsom.
The third recall attempt in less than two years
Heatlie’s campaign, Recall California Governor Gavin Newsom 2020, will need to gather a little under 1.5 million valid California voter signatures by November 7th to trigger a recall election in 2021. This will be the third attempt against Governor Newsom since he was sworn into office in January 2019. The two previous attempts expired earlier this year with the highest garnering petition only getting around 352,000 signatures, despite prominent national and international attention.
While the reasons for previous petitions ranged from mismanagement to healthcare to tax increases to allowing sanctuary cities to operate, supporters this time around have focused on the Governor’s response to the coronavirus crisis and the subsequent economic downturn. Former Chairman of the California Republican Party and supporter of the recall Tom Del Beccaro clarified the reasons during a virtual town hall meeting last week.
“Newsom is a failed governor who mismanaged the pandemic and threatened the state’s economy by shutting down businesses,” said Del Beccaro. “We don’t truly have a (coronavirus) crisis.”
Other supporters, including 2018 Secretary of State candidate Mark Meuser and 2019 California Republican Party Chairman candidate Steve Frank, have also given high taxation and second amendment violations as additional reasons for the recall.
While the campaign has aimed to get 100,000 signatures in ten days, even the most ardent supporters have noted the recall being a longshot.
“It’s a monumental task,” stated Heatlie.
Governor Newsom remains popular in California
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, an economic downturn, a large number of executive orders, and ongoing protests against police brutality across California, Governor Newsom remains largely popular in the Golden State. He currently holds a 65% approval rating and has been seen by many as holding the state together during a crisis.
“He was the face of California during the crisis and was on the news every night keeping Californians informed,” explained media analyst Michael Finney. “That’s what most people are remembering now. They aren’t seeing any of the associated misgivings or of the economy being hurt. They’re just seeing a Governor explain what’s happening to the populace.
Governor Mike DeWine in Ohio and Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York have faced similar negative charges against them because of their response to the crisis and not reopening fast enough to mitigate economic damage. And, especially with Cuomo, not responding to the George Floyd protests in time. But they, like Newsom, have taken a page from FDR’s book and have given modern day fireside chats. So they’ve been winning a lot of points with voters and their popularity and job security has remained high as well.
His popularity, as well as the general left-leaning public of California, have made any recall against him pretty difficult. Many Californians have liked his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrats also remember 2003 and having Gray Davis go out and a Republican, Arnold Schwarzenegger, getting in, and they don’t want a return of that.”
If enough signatures are gathered by November, it would be the first Governor recall in California in 18 years when, in 2003, Governor Gray Davis was recalled over leadership issues, high taxation, and inaction over a struggling California economy.
California has also had an uptick of successful recalls in recent years, with 4 elected officials being recalled in California since 2018. In 2018, Judge Aaron Persky was recalled following the outrage over his ruling in the Brock Turner rape case, with state Senator Josh Newman being recalled later that year over his gas tax vote. Earlier this year, two Santa Cruz City Councilmen were also recalled because of misconduct.
The Newsom recall position is currently available online and will remain active through November 7th.