“Most of the people on this call are nonpartisan elected officeholders, and we are fed up, trying to serve the people we’re privileged to serve … but don’t have the resources to serve because of mismanagement by Gavin Newsom,” Supervisor Don Wagner told reporters.
“As local elected officials, we’re the ones picking up the pieces for our citizens who were unable to work, who were applying throughout the state for employment, unemployment benefits through the EDD, and we watched $30 billion, maybe more, disappear into fraud. That’s at Gavin Newsom’s feet. Local elected officials, when that money evaporates, aren’t able to help the people that we’ve been elected to help.”
Wagner highlighted the state’s wildfire management policies and the rise in crime throughout the state as “the governor is emptying out prisons.”
Other panelists included Anaheim Councilman Trevor O’Neil and Yorba Linda Mayor Peggy Huang.
“Last year, Governor Newsom shut down our tourism economy entirely,” O’Neil said. “While it may have been necessary at the time for us to grapple with getting a hold of the pandemic and how to deal with it, the governor kept us closed for over a year. … Newsom’s arbitrary and faceless order that kept us closed for over a year has cost Anaheim taxpayers $210 million in tax revenue.”
Despite the state reopening June 15, the city continues to struggle economically as state unemployment benefits are keeping workers at home, O’Neill added.
“Our businesses are struggling,” he said. “They are struggling to hire workers because nuisance unemployment insurance policies have created a culture where people make more money on the government gold than they do actually going to work and earning a living for themselves.”
O’Neill said the recall is not a Republican-led campaign, rather a bipartisan effort to address the issues occurring in the state as a result of Newson’s leadership.
While city officials proclaimed that the effort to recall the governor was nonpartisan, a question arose of how many of the panelists were Democrats.
Silence filled the news conference before Rescue California campaign manager, Anne Dunsmore, said the panelists were either independent or declined to state their party affiliation.
Wagner said that most participating panelists were in nonpartisan seats, but acknowledged being Republican. He also said that it’s possibly true there’s a higher percentage of Republicans that want to recall the governor.
However, the supervisor credited the recall’s traction to Democrats, Republicans, and independents coming together to push for a better state leader.
As Democrats were not present during the panel, Wagner suggested it might be due to them taking a low profile.
“It’s not a Republican thing to want to make sure your unemployment benefits are available to the people who need them and not wasted,” he said. “It’s not a Republican thing to want your family to be protected from violent predators.”
Despite the recall effort being pushed as nonpartisan, some Democrats have taken a different stance on the gubernatorial vote, launching a “Stop the Republican Recall” campaign and insisting that it’s a Republican-led effort.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren posted a tweet on July 29, insisting the recall is a Republican attempt to take authority of the state. Her message came days before the California Democratic Party voiced its support for the governor.
“Republicans are abusing the recall process to try to grab power,” Warren said.
As the recall date approaches, state residents can expect to see ballots in their mailbox within the next few weeks.