The First Debate in the Newsom Recall
YORBA LINDA – Last night saw the first debate to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, an election that could dramatically reshape California’s future.
But the governor declined an invitation to attend the event, which was held at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.
Also missing: Caitlyn Jenner, the best-known candidate to replace him, and Larry Elder, the conservative talk show host who is the main challenger in the polls.
Perhaps not surprisingly in California, a state where political apathy is high and voter turnout is low. It’s typical to hear that people don’t know Newsom is facing a recall, let alone the names of his challengers.
On Wednesday, only four of the 41 people vying against Newsom took the stage: former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Republican Rep. Doug Ose, State Assembly Member Kevin Kiley and John Cox, who unsuccessfully ran for governor against Newsom in 2018.
The broad debate has centered on drug cartels, coronavirus, education, wildfires, housing, cancellation of culture and more. The common theme? Newsom’s failures.
Ose explained the delays in state unemployment benefits this way, although it could have been an answer to any question, posed by one of the candidates: “This really sits at the governor’s feet. Newsom. “
The recall election in California
For 90 minutes, the candidates huddled criticism of Newsom’s policy in front of an audience of dozens of people without masks. (While Los Angeles County has a universal mandate for indoor masks, Orange County does not. See that many nude faces surprised me at first.)
Cox said he opposed the vaccine mandate for state employees that Newsom recently imposed. Ose opposed the mask warrants. Faulconer said he did not support teaching critical race theory in schools. Kiley has spoken out against vaccine passports and offering cash prizes to people who get vaccinated.
“It’s a perfect case study for the perversity of California politics,” Kiley said.
The debate felt more like a GOP primary than a debate in the race for governor of California, and not just because the candidates were Republicans.
Just outside the debate room, black and white photos of Nixon flanked the walls. A bronze bust of the former president watched passers-by. In one corner, a machine announced that it could stretch a penny into the shape of Nixon’s face.
Towards the end of the debate, the candidates addressed a favorite review of Newsom – that people leave the state. California’s population fell last year for the first time in over a century.
“People vote with their feet,” Faulconer said. “The reality is we have a governor who doesn’t seem to think this is a problem.”
Faulconer asked the audience to raise their hands if they or someone they knew was considering leaving California. Several people raised a hand in the air.
Ose raised both.
Newsom and his allies have raised more than $ 51 million to fight the recall, more than double of all the major Republican candidates and pro-recall committees combined, reports the Los Angeles Times.
In a recent interview, Elder said if elected he would abolish the minimum wage. “The ideal minimum wage is $ 0.00,” he said, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Newsom’s biggest challenger could be Democrat apathy, the Los Angeles Times reports. Although Democrats outnumber Republicans almost twice as numerous, more Republicans could turn to the polls on election day.
If you read a story, do this
My colleague Simon Romero’s latest article explores the threats to the saguaro cactus, a majestic symbol of the Southwest. Desert plants are designed to survive harsh conditions, but wildfires, climate change, and urbanization may be too much for this cactus.
The rest of the news
Revolutionary infections: At least 233 new Covid-19 infections have been recorded among staff at UCSF and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, according to The SFist. Eighty percent of those infected had been vaccinated, but only two vaccinated staff were hospitalized.
Michelin-starred restaurants: Ten Bay Area restaurants have been named “new discoveries” by the Michelin Guide, reports The Mercury News.
Warm agricultural work: David Bacon photographed the daily work of farm workers in the San Joaquin Valley. Summer is the season when the demand for labor on the ground is greatest, so workers, mostly immigrants, have no choice but to work, reports Capital & Main .
What we eat
It’s cucumber season. Make quick pickles.
Where we travel
Today’s California travel tip comes from Mike Meko, a reader who lives in Arroyo Grande. Mike writes:
We recently traveled to Lassen National Park and really enjoyed our three days exploring the park. It was beautiful and uncrowded. We hiked two of the three days and only encountered a few other hikers on the trail. We wondered why there were so few people and why it took us so long to discover this amazing place.
Tell us about the best hidden gems to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected] clock.com. We will share more hidden gems in future editions of the newsletter.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. – Soumya
PS here the mini-crosswords of the day, and a clue: comedian Minhaj with two Peabody Awards (5 letters).
Steven Moity and Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You can join the team at [email protected] clock.com.
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