Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Democratic leaders spoke out against the recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom following the recall campaign’s Sunday announcement of collecting nearly 2 million signatures.
Since late last year, the RecallGavin2020 campaign has quickly gained in strength. More than 1 million signatures alone were collected in a span of less than 3 months following several transgressions by the Governor, including locking down the state again, failing to assist businesses during the lockdown, initially botching the statewide vaccine rollout, failing to act quickly on the $31 billion EDD fraud case, lying about attending a non-social distanced and non-mask party at an elite restaurant in November despite him chastising Californians only days before for not following state guidelines, and other numerous COVID-19 and economic related issues.
This led to Newsom’s popularity dipping to below 50% last month, and signature gathering to accelerate to more than 100,000 per week. It also led to President Joe Biden formally opposing the recall effort. However, due to the campaign reaching the threshold of 1.95 million – 1.495 million valid signatures plus 500,000 reserve in case of invalid signatures – many other leaders refused to join the announcement against the Recall due to it not yet being official.
But with the recall election now all but official, Democratic leaders have officially begun opposing the effort en masse.
“Right-wing Republicans in CA are trying to recall Gavin Newsom for the crime of telling people to wear masks and for listening to scientists during COVID,” tweeted Senator Sanders on Monday. “Extremist Republicans have done enough to undermine democracy already. We must all unite to oppose the recall in California.”
Right-wing Republicans in CA are trying to recall @GavinNewsom for the crime of telling people to wear masks and for listening to scientists during COVID. Extremist Republicans have done enough to undermine democracy already. We must all unite to oppose the recall in California.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 8, 2021
Others tweeted similar messages of support or retweeted Sanders tweet on Monday, creating a larger unified front even before the final signatures were counted.
“Biden and Sanders, two of the most prominent Democrats, are now publicly opposed to the recall,” former lobbyist Harry Schultz, who had helped lobby during the 2003 Gray Davis recall, told the Globe on Monday. “Thing is, this may not help the Democrats as much as they think. Sanders is very liberal, and only speaks to the left leaning side of the party. Biden, for many, is only working because he’s not Trump. That’s not a unifying force, but it may give pause to some Democrats looking to enter the race just in case Newsom is voted out for sure.”
“Look at what happened in 2003 during the recall. Democrats still backed [former Governor] Gray Davis, but he had so little voter support the Democrats still put forward a major candidate, then-Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, to challenge Schwarzenegger and McClintock.”
“In 2021, the Republicans already have Cox and Faulconer up, but no Democrat. It’s a bold plan. Newsom is definitely in better shape than Davis was support-wise at this time in 2003, but there are still many more months to go. If Sanders and others scare potential candidates away, and Republicans can get the upset, the Democrats are out of luck. This may seem like an offhand tweet by Sanders, but it’s incredibly important. If anything, the California recall is getting more attention now, and we could have that circus atmosphere we had 18 years ago all over again. Except no movie stars running.”
More prominent Democrats and Republicans are expected to weigh in on the recall election in the coming weeks as more signatures are verified and a recall election will be most likely announced.