California Gov. Newsom, Democrats Launch Campaign in Response to Recall Effort

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
March 15, 2021Updated: March 15, 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s Democrat party have launched a campaign in opposition of ongoing efforts to oust the governor.

The California Democratic Party announced on Monday that it is contributing $250,000 to what they have dubbed the “Stop the Republican Recall campaign,” making the party a major donor.

The anti-recall campaign is to counter a grassroots movement seeking to recall Newsom. Organizers of the recall campaign have said their efforts are not partisan and have been driven by resident’s displeasure in the state’s on-going shutdowns, high poverty and homeless rates, high income taxes, and Newsom’s extensive use of executive orders during the pandemic.

“It’s not a Democrat thing. It’s not a Republican thing. It’s about the fact that people just feel helpless right now. They want hope. They want to have inspiration,” Randy Economy, spokesman to the RecallGavin2020 campaign, told The Epoch Times previously.

The recall effort has gathered more than two million signatures, enough to trigger the recall procedure in the Golden State. The procedure allows citizens to challenge public officials in a special election before their term ends. The petition requires a specific number of signatures over a specified period of time. If a valid number of signatures is collected, then a recall election can be held. Different states have different rules for this procedure.

The Democrat’s campaign is seeking to paint the organizers of the recall campaign as a “partisan, Republican coalition of national Republicans, anti-vaxxers, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists and anti-immigrant Trump supporters,” according the its website.

It has garnered the support of several vocal Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Stacey Abrams.

“The California Democratic Party unequivocally opposes the Republican attempt to recall Governor Gavin Newsom,” stated Rusty Hicks, party chair, said in a statement. “The Republican National Committee, wealthy Trump donors, and right-wing extremists have joined forces to disrupt California’s road to recovery.”

In a statement on Monday, Newsom stated that he “won’t be distracted by this partisan, Republican recall—but I will fight it,” while promoting the Stop the Republican Recall campaign.

He previously argued that his critics were engaging in “partisan power grabs” and were promoting “outdated prejudices” during his State of the State address.

“The state of our state remains determined. I remain determined! We won’t change course just because of a few nay-sayers and dooms-dayers,” Newsom, a Democrat, said during his address.

“So to the California critics who are promoting partisan power grabs and outdated prejudices and rejecting everything that makes California great, we say this: we will not be distracted from getting shots in arms and our economy booming again.”

The California petitioners must present 1,495,709 verified signatures to state officials by March 17, according to the organizers. If they do, voters will be asked to vote on whether Newsom should be removed from office later this year. They’ll also be asked who should replace the governor if a majority of respondents say the governor should be removed.

Proponents of the grassroots movement have been concerned by the governor’s handling of the ongoing CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic and his economic policies.

“The governor has done such a poor job on so many different fronts that we need the people of California to have an opportunity to come up with something better,” Orange County Supervisor Don Wagner previously told The Epoch Times.

“It’s not just the COVID response, which has been erratic and has been absolutely devastating to the mental, the physical, and the emotional health of so many people in California. We have the highest poverty rate in the nation. We have almost, if not the highest, unemployment rate in the nation. We are seeing people leave this state in droves. And it’s a result of very bad policies coming out of Sacramento, that all have Gavin Newsom’s thumbprint all over them,” he added.

Under Article II of the California Constitution, Californian voters can recall and remove officials and justices of the State Supreme Court from office. If petitioners submit the required number of signatures, state officials will need to determine whether the signatures are valid and whether the requisite number of valid signatures have been met. The secretary of state would then need to notify the Department of Finance about the results, so that the department can estimate the cost of a recall election.

Upon receiving certification of the recall petition, the governor must make public a notice for holding a recall election. The election must be conducted within between 60 to 80 days from the date of certification of the signatures. Or, officials can schedule it to align with a regularly scheduled election, provided it’s within 180 days.

The Recall Gavin Newsom Campaign did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment.

Drew van Voohris and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.

Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.