The Recall Gavin 2020 campaign has been given a 120 day extension to collect 1,495,709 signed petitions, which if validated by the Secretary of State, would force Governor Newsom to defend his seat in a special election. The last time there was a recall election, back in October 2003, California’s voters sent Governor Gray Davis into early retirement.
With this extension, the odds have improved on what was an uphill battle. According to lead proponent Orrin Heatlie, the recall campaign has already collected and verified over 700,000 signed recall petitions. Going forward, they have the momentum of over 5,000 volunteers actively circulating petitions who are now veterans, and they no longer have the distraction of what has been a tumultuous election season.
Even if the Newsom recall campaign does not ultimately succeed in forcing a recall election, they have already made history. No grassroots ballot initiative campaign in California, ever, has gathered this many signed petitions while relying solely on volunteer signature gatherers. And the grassroots army that has been mobilized is getting stronger. Win or lose, this will not be their last hurrah.
When reached for comment, Heatlie said “Given this second wind and new life the campaign has, this will rejuvenate the volunteer effort and gives everybody a chance to refocus and charge ahead.”
Giving everybody a chance has never been easier. The recall campaign’s website provides downloadable petitions that can be printed and circulated, as well as an instructional video that provides anyone who wants to circulate petitions all the information they’ll need to get started. As Heatlie put it, “we need people to stop being keyboard warriors and start to be clipboard warriors.”
Will California’s GOP Now Put Resources Into Supporting the Recall?
As a one-party state that pioneered the now national practice of delivering election results only after weeks of counting mailed in and harvested ballots, it’s too soon to know whether on November 3, California’s GOP lost more ground or held the line. With control of only around 25 percent of the seats in the State Legislature, only 7 out of 53 congressional districts, and not a single Republican holding higher state office, they don’t have a lot to lose. Nonetheless, the argument that California’s Republican establishment had to focus on the election was indisputable.
That argument is gone. It is no longer enough that the California State GOP has formally endorsed the Recall Gavin campaign. They need to either support it with money and infrastructure, from their Sacramento headquarters down to every county GOP organization, or they need to stop sending out millions of emails attacking “King Newsom.”
California’s GOP has an opportunity to strike back hard at California’s big tech oligarchy and public sector unions, who have partnered with corrupt Democratic political machines in almost every major American city, and are on the brink of turning America into California. If they are bold enough to seize the moment, they can support this raid into the heart of darkness, and if they do, they will let the nation know that no Democratic politician is safe in their seat, anywhere.
The media in California to-date, and true to form, has virtually ignored the recall campaign despite the impressive progress it has already made, despite events in every city and town, despite a grassroots army that defies precedent. The media also has a choice to make. They can continue their shameful, biased coverage of current events and politics, conforming to predictable pieties and conventions, challenging nothing, or they can start to pay attention, and give the Recall Gavin 2020 movement the attention it deserves.
One wild card that may be decisive is California’s evangelical community, numbering in the millions. Slowly roused to political anger, these Californians have been enraged by Newsom’s policies, as he has pandered to the leftist fringe on social issues, and in these days of COVID-19 has displayed vindictive hypocrisy by condoning all manner of “peaceful protests,” yet closing churches and prosecuting the congregants.
Reached for comment and speaking on background, one influential evangelical explained that “As individuals we need to take responsibility for the future of this state. Look at the close elections we’re dealing with around the country. People need to understand the significance of each individual signature. This is another opportunity for advocates for faith and freedom to get involved.”
Longtime conservative commentator and political activist Stephen Frank, when told about the 120 day extension, said “This allows the people of California to be heard against the totalitarian dictates of one-man government in the one party state. This allows the volunteers to be single minded instead of being distracted by an election. They can now work full time on correcting the mistake made in November 2018.”
With the deadline to turn in recall petitions now extended to March 17, 2021, the possibility that Gavin Newsom will have to defend his position as governor in a recall election has just become serious. With only incremental help in the form of money and infrastructure, a grassroots army, already battle tested and on the march, can strike a political body blow onto Gavin Newsom, who represents and epitomizes the progressive fraud that has hoodwinked half the nation.
A Newsom recall election in early 2021 can become a referendum on everything the one-party state has done wrong, how it has harmed precisely the people it claims to want to help them most – the low income, aspiring millions who have reliably cast Democratic ballots because they have never been told the truth.
California’s GOP, their donors, and their established operatives statewide, have been given a profound gift. They have a chance to make history. They have a chance to take everything they’ve got to offer, and use it to support millions of disaffected conservatives and defecting Democrats. They have a chance, now, well in advance of the next election cycle, to redefine themselves and realign this state.
This article originally appeared in the California Globe.
* * *
Edward Ring is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. He is also a senior fellow with the Center for American Greatness, and a regular contributor to the California Globe. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Forbes, and other media outlets.
To help support more content and policy analysis like this, please click here.