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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: california recall

Californians Vote To Keep Gov. Newsom In Historic Landslide

Los Angeles (AFP) - Californians voted overwhelmingly to keep their Democratic governor Tuesday, roundly rejecting a Republican attempt to unseat him in a special recall vote spurred by mask mandates and Covid lockdowns.

Gavin Newsom handily survived an effective confidence vote that could have seen him replaced by a Republican with only minority support in one of the most liberal parts of the United States.

With more than 60 percent of the votes tallied, NBC and CNN both said that Newsom was set to prevail, having secured around two-thirds of ballots.

Millions voted by mail, allowing quick counting of valid votes soon after polls closed at 8 PM Pacific Time .

Newsom had proudly boasted that he was following the science in ordering Californians to stay at home during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But entrepreneurs blamed him for suffocating their businesses with his rules, and parents chaffed at keeping their children home from school.

The vote had been eagerly watched by politicians across the deeply-divided country as a possible indicator of how incumbents who listened to doctors -- instead of angry constituents -- would fare at the ballot box.

Newsom's main opponent was Larry Elder, 69, a right-wing talk radio star who has spoken proudly of his support for ex-president Donald Trump.

Before polls even closed, Elder took a page out of Trump's 2020 election playbook, launching a website alleging voter fraud and demanding state officials "investigate and ameliorate the twisted results" of the election.

The ballot was a two part referendum, with the first asking if 53-year-old Newsom should stay in office.

The second, which only came into play if a majority wanted him out, asked which of 46 candidates should take his place.

Traditional politicians vied with a YouTube star, a "Billboard Queen" and Kardashian clan member Caitlyn Jenner for the spoils.

'Get Rid Of Newsom'

The recall initiative, which has cost the state some $280 million, is one of 55 such efforts to depose a governor in state history.

Mostly they have gone nowhere, but pandemic measures Newsom imposed gave this attempt legs.

The petition to remove him gathered pace after he was snapped having dinner at a swanky restaurant, seemingly in breach of his own Covid-19 rules, fueling a perception he was an out-of-touch hypocrite.

Mary Beth, a 63-year-old business owner who cast her ballot Tuesday in Los Angeles, said she voted to "get rid of Newsom" because "the virus created chaos in our economy but he made it even worse with his lockdowns."

"There were other ways to handle that and he should have made businesses the priority," she said.

Another pro-recall voter told AFP he wanted someone who would not impose vaccine mandates -- a hot button issue throughout the divided United States.

"I feel very strongly that we need to get rid of our governor because I think he's just a corrupt Democrat, like the people we have in the federal government and we need them out," said Farid Efraim.

"We need somebody who really represents the people."

Democrats complain the Republican-led recall was an attempt to hijack the state's government: seizing power in extraordinary circumstances when they could never do it in a regular ballot.

A poll by Spectrum News and IPSOS published before results were announced found two-thirds of registered voters viewed the recall as a political power grab.

'Recall Is Ridiculous'

California's electoral rules set the recall bar low.

Malcontents need only gather signatures equivalent to 12 percent of the number of people who voted in the last election -- in this case, 1.5 million.

California's population is around 40 million.

"This whole recall is ridiculous," said Jake, a 38-year-old tech industry worker, who preferred not to give his last name.

"I did the math and even if every registered voter turns out, it would cost more than $12 per vote," he said.

"A lot of people could have had a breakfast with that this morning."

Vance Hagins said the recall process was an abuse.

"You have 40 people running for governor, half of them are nuts and have no chance at all of winning, yet their names are on the ballot, wasting our time," he said.

The only successful California recall brought bodybuilder-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger to office in 2003.

"The Governator," who ended up running the state for more than seven years, was California's last Republican chief executive.

Fake Ex-President, Fake Billionaire -- But He's A Real Gift To Democrats

Be it recorded that on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, would-be president-for-life Donald Trump skipped the solemn memorial services held to honor 2,997 victims of al-Qaeda terror attacks in favor of shilling for a pay-per-view boxing match.

And not a real boxing match, but a sad-sack exhibition in which 58 year-old former heavyweight champ Evander Holyfield allowed himself to be pummeled to the canvas in a single round by a MMA fighter he'd have knocked silly 30 years ago.

Fake sport, fake ex-president.

Fake billionaire, for that matter. Evidently, Trump needs the money. Maybe if they'd held the 9/11 ceremony at Mar-a-Lago or one of his financially-troubled golf courses, the great man might have shown up.

Something else Trump did on September 11 was to deliver a televised speech praising himself to devotees of the Unification Church (formerly known as "Moonies") the Korean sect begun by self-proclaimed Messiah the Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

Another payday, no doubt.

Everybody understands that Trump's narcissism won't allow him to appear in public as a former [ital] president, like Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama and their wives, who joined President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden in prayers for the fallen.

Come what may, Trump will never appear in public with Joe Biden.

To do so would grant legitimacy to the 2020 election results that make him a Big Loser, and undermining the fantasy he calls the "Big Steal." On September 10, Trump appeared on the conspiracist website The Gateway Pundit. "I do believe they are going to decertify the election," he claimed. "They know it was rigged."

Exactly who "they" are was left to the viewers' imagination. Along with whatever method of decertification Trump imagines.

Hint: none exists.

Despite being a world-class ignoramus, Trump's diseased ego has led him to one great truth: There are an irreducible number of gullible dupes in the world. If you tickle their prejudices, they will send you money.

"Our media is corrupt as can be," he explained, "but the people know what's going on and another poll came out. 70 some percent thought the election was, to put it very nicely, tampered with."

The actual number in a recent Politico poll was 66 percent of Republican voters who believe the 2020 election was rigged. The only "people" Trump recognizes. But the Republican Party is shrinking, partly due to conservative "Never Trumpers" bailing out and partly to demographic change, as older white voters die off and twenty-somethings increasingly vote Democratic.

Bottom line: 66 percent of Republicans constitute 29 percent of American voters, and falling. Less than one-third. Enough to populate Trump's red state rallies and keep him afloat financially for now. But not enough to keep the delusion alive indefinitely.

That's a big part of the reason we saw Trump and his protégé, radio talk-show host and would-be California governor Larry Elder, crying foul even before the vote-counting began in that state's recall election.

You'd almost think they expected to lose.

To keep True Believers writing checks, it's necessary to keep the Big Lie in play. But it's also why — and this is important — embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom did everything he could to turn the recall vote into a referendum on the Big Bad Wolf.

"Trumpism is still alive all across this country," Newsom said at an East Los Angeles rally with Black campaign volunteers. "Is it any surprise the entire Trump organization is behind this recall?"

At another campaign event with Vice President Kamala Harris, Newsom linked the recall to "the insurrection on January 6." He added that leading Republican Elder would "walk us off that same COVID cliff as Texas and Florida, Tennessee and Alabama and Georgia."

Add Texas' new abortion ban to the mix, and Democrats have a trio of powerful issues that impact voters personally and stimulate turnout—always a big deal in off-year elections.

And not just in California. Democrats in gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey are also running hard not only against the dread specter of Trumpism—but also Trump-accented Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas.

In Virginia, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is running to replace term-limited Democrat Ralph Northam, is making a big deal of Trump's endorsement of Republican Glenn Youngkin. The GOP candidate has run ads disparaging the tactic. Without, however, rejecting the endorsement.

""With Covid, people are terrified, horrified — many people are just plain disgusted that people are not getting vaccinated," McAuliffe told the Washington Post. "And they're terrified about the Texas law," he added.

In an outburst of pure Jersey style, the Garden State's Gov. Phil Murphy recently confronted anti-vaccine hecklers. "You've lost your minds!" Murphy said. "You are the ultimate knuckleheads, and because of what you are saying and standing for, people are losing their [lives]."

Both Democrats appear comfortably ahead.

And they owe it all to Trump, DeSantis, and Abbott.

Newsom Rips Trump And Elder Over 'Election Fraud' Whining

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday blasted former President Donald Trump and recall candidate Larry Elder for sowing mistrust in California’s upcoming election before any results have been announced. After casting his recall ballot at the California Museum in downtown Sacramento, Newsom said the former president’s rhetoric, as well as Elder’s plans to challenge the election results, are damaging to democracy. “There is a thread within the Republican Party that, if they don’t get what they want, they are willing to assault the core tenets of an election in ways that have far-reach...