"You know Niki, every now and then it helps if people like you." So said soon-to-be World Formula One Champion James Hunt to his fierce rival Niki Lauda, in response to Niki asking others to vote with him on whether to race in the rain, in the movie "Rush." In the days leading up to Gavin Newsom’s recall election, he will have wished for the same.
Gavin Newsom’s big government, union and ultra-environmentalist centric policies have predictably failed California – and now he is facing a recall election on Sept. 14.
Often politicians can often overcome bad policies – but not bad personalities – and that is the biggest problem Newsom faces. He is not liked.
The most recent recall poll garnered this headline from the San Francisco Chronicle: "Shock Poll shows Gavin Newsom losing recall vote by double digits." The numbers are 51% for the recall and 40% against in the blue state of California. In another poll, 58% say they don’t want him to run for governor in 2022.
Why is Newsom in trouble? A good deal of it is the result of his bad policies.
Chief among them is the crime sweeping the state. So much so that a stunning 65% of "Californians believe that crime is getting worse, while 29% say it is the same or diminishing, according to a poll of 1,000 likely voters done by David Binder Research, the San Francisco pollster who has worked on Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s presidential campaigns." Given that 48% of the registered voters in California are Democrats, that is an even more remarkable poll.
In a separate poll, 41% of Democrats gave Newsom a "D" or an "F" on homelessness. Here’s how the Washington Examiner described the governor’s recent press conference: "California Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged to house and feed the world’s homeless population this week during a whirlwind ‘Comeback California’ tour that is designed to stave off a September recall by angry voters."
Just keep in mind, the state of California already has a homeless population that exceeds 180,000.
As for that alleged economic comeback, according to the California Business Roundtable, "six weeks into California’s reopening, initial unemployment claims continue to rise in the state while dropping in the rest of the country." Indeed, "California initial [jobless] claims rose 8.1%, while the US total dropped 4.4%."
The reason for those poor economic numbers includes California being one of the most taxed and highest regulated places on Earth. Perhaps the most pressing of those regulations finds many locations with gas prices above $5 a gallon.
Higher gas prices operate like a tax on disposable income and take money right out of the pockets of the middle class and the less fortunate. Those in the upper classes likely can afford the higher gas prices and, importantly, don’t have to drive to their jobs anywhere near as much as the less fortunate.
Beyond rising crime, widespread homelessness and the rapidly rising cost of living, California is facing another record wildfire season, including the Dixie fire, now the largest fire in its history. For decades, California failed to manage and clear wooded areas and forests and that is continuing to fuel many destructive and deadly fires.
There is also the issue of water restrictions. While it is true that last winter produced little rain, the more salient issue is that California does not save water for a non-rainy day. Each year it allows trillions of gallons of water to come down from the mountains, rush through its rivers and go straight out to the ocean in the name of environmentalism.
That water should be directed to fill reservoirs and pumped to thirsty farms and communities. Moreover, two reservoirs were approved by the state’s voters in 2014, with a $7 billion plus bond, and not a single shovel of dirt has been turned because specious environmental claims. Nor has the state exploited the desalination opportunities the Pacific Ocean offers it.
In short, California’s water restrictions are largely the fault of bad policies championed by the likes of Gavin Newsom.
The list can go on and on, including job flight out of the state. All of those policies affect every Californian – as did Newsom’s draconian COVID shutdowns.
In the final analysis, however, Newsom’s arrogance will bring him down as much as anything.
The nation knows of his dinner with lobbyist friends at the uber-expensive French Laundry restaurant in violation of Newsom’s own COVID rules. Following the dinner, Newsom then proceeded to lie about what he did until he was faced with pictures of his transgressions. Still not deterred by that embarrassment, Newsom sent one of his children to a summer camp that violated the governor’s masking rules. Rules for thee, but not for me.
Beyond that, Newsom has retained his emergency powers, in the absence of a legal justification, and in the process, has handed out numerous no bid multibillion-dollar contracts to donors. Those donors are also giving donations to a nonprofit affiliated with Newsom’s wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom. The governor denies any wrongdoing.
Last week, flush with the arrogance of unchecked power, a major story was breaking that Newsom, in violation of the California Constitution, protected PG&E despite the wildfires it caused. ABC10, as part of its report asked: "Why did Governor Newsom protect his corporate donor at the expense of people who lost their homes?"
Even the liberal local media has had its fill of Newsom. Perhaps remembering his poor treatment of reporters dating back to his time as mayor of San Francisco, they have not protected him during this recall. Now, Newsom refuses to grant access to all but a few reporters outside his "news" conferences.
Finally, it must be noted that prior to the recall, Newsom made almost no effort to court voters in the state. Voters have never been his concern in this uncompetitive Blue State.
Now, facing a recall election, Newsom is traveling the state handing out goodies in a desperate effort to show he cares. Few, if any, believe he is being sincere.
It is entirely obvious that he is a politician on the ropes hoping to buy votes from the very people his policies have harmed.
The vast majority of Californians are also quite aware of his arrogance. They know the effects of his policies, they recall his treatment of them over the years, and personally dislike him – that will be his downfall when he is recalled on Sept. 14.