The movement to recall California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has helped people understand what they can do to hold their elected officials accountable, says Randy Economy, senior advisor and official spokesman to the RecallGavin2020 campaign.
The California Patriot Coalition/RecallGavin2020 is the official committee responsible for the recall campaign.
“It’s empowerment. I think people now realize that they can take their government back, and they can hold their elected officials accountable,” Economy told The Epoch Times’ Crossroads program. “I think that’s the power of democracy.”
The on-going shutdowns, the nation’s highest poverty rate, homeless rate, and income tax rate, Newsom’s extensive use of executive orders, and his attending a no-mask indoor party of 22 last November while telling residents to stay home, are among the reasons residents are voting to recall the governor.
The effort to recall Newsom was launched on June 10 last year. Supporters needed to collect 1,495,709 signatures by March 17 to trigger a recall election.
Previous attempts at collecting the required amount of signatures had failed. But on Sunday, the campaign said it had reached 1.95 million signatures.
“And we’re going to be adding more and more between now and the very last day,” Economy said.
“We’re fighting every odd against us,” he told The Epoch Times. “We’re standing up to some really powerful multi-billionaires and the political swamp here in California that’s been controlled by one party for almost two generations now.”
Economy indicated that politics in California is a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s easy to spend $10, $12, or $20 million to run for a state assembly seat or a state senate seat.
“We’ve only raised $950,000. And in the grand scheme of things, that’s peanuts in California politics,” he said.
Economy called the recall campaign a “grassroots movement.” The campaign has 250,000 volunteers and only two paid employees. Economy is one of the two.
Economy went on to say that the recall effort is not partisan. “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.”
Among the people who signed the recall petition, 31 percent are Democrats or Independents, and the rest are Republicans or Libertarians.
“We’re just good solid California, you know, grassroots individuals who really are doing the heavy lifting and hopefully making miracles happen by getting this thing on the ballot,” he told The Epoch Times.
“This is not a coup. This is not a takeover of government. We are participating in a legally and lawfully-allowed democratic process, which is called a recall. And a lot of states don’t allow recalls,” Economy added.
According to Ballotpedia, eleven states do not allow recalls of public officials, while three states allow recalls for all public officials. Other states allow recalls of select public officials. The U.S. Constitution does not provide for the recall of any federally elected official.
Economy suggested that the recall effort has become a national and world focus. He has done nearly 1,300 interviews in the past four months with journalists from across the nation and the world.
Economy said people hearing the recall story are going to start feeling energized and empowered. “They’re going to start looking into saying: ‘Can we do that here? Can I hold my governor accountable?'”
“It started off to being about the governor, but I think it’s now much more [sic] larger than that,” Economy added. “It’s a refreshing, powerful movement.”
Newsom criticized the recall effort as “partisan power grabs” in his third State of the State address on Tuesday.
“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 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.”
A recall election must be conducted between 60 to 80 days from the date of certification of the signatures. If each required step of the election procedure takes the maximum time allotted by state law, a recall election would take place sometime in October, according to Ballotpedia.
Janita Kan contributed to this report.