How Another Newsom Recall Effort Helps America

California isn’t as bad as millions of people outside the state have been led to believe. No, not every downtown street is awash in homeless drug addicts, schizophrenics, and predators. No, not every retail shopping district has crumbled under the onslaught of brazen shoplifters and smash-and-grab gangs. And despite almost every major “news” network in the nation pretending that an allegedly unprecedented onslaught of bomb cyclones is literally washing the entire state into the Pacific Ocean, overall California still has the best weather in the world.

Nonetheless, California is broken. Even if you aren’t one of the millions of Californians who doesn’t have to step over syringes and feces day after day merely to walk your children to school or get to work and back, and even if you aren’t one of the hundreds of thousands of business owners who no longer has a business or one of their employees who no longer has a job, California is broken.

For the vast majority of people living there, just surviving in California is a challenge. The median home price is nine times the median household income, and the prices of gasoline and utilities are the highest in the nation. California also has the highest tax rates, while it has among the worst public schools, the worst crime, the worst roads, water rationing, energy shortages, and a housing shortage. Pay all that money, for that, and go broke. Welcome to California.

California also has a brutal, overwhelming, complicated array of laws and regulations, worse than any other state. California also has the highest number of regulatory agencies. These agencies write and enforce rules that not only change all the time but are often in conflict with each other. Businesspeople in California have to choose which laws to break because total compliance is impossible. Chief Executive magazine has ranked California as the worst state for business for the last 19 years in a row, which is as long as they have been doing the rankings. Give the best years of your life, bet your fortune on being an independent entrepreneur, and endure nothing but harassment from your own government. Welcome to California.

Another Newsom Recall

This is the context in which yet another attempt to recall Governor Gavin Newsom was launched this past Monday, February 26, by the same team that successfully qualified a gubernatorial recall back in 2021, forcing a special election.

Newsom deserves it. He’s been on the road, barnstorming America, hoping to convince a critical mass of liberal voters that preserving the right to on-demand, late-term abortions is the most important issue of our time and that, as U.S. President-in-Waiting, he is their savior and protector. Meanwhile, the citizens of his own state desperately cope with an economy that’s breaking them, caused by a hostile, indifferent, incompetent, bloated network of state and local governments, all of them hijacked by special interests, all of them controlled by Democrats, with their absentee leader, Gavin Newsom, presiding over the whole failed, misanthropic mess.

Along with a broken economy, Newsom and the political machine that made him have done a superb job of rigging elections to prevent any return to sanity or humanity. Automatic voter registration, mailed ballots, and ballot harvesting, paid for by donations from leftist billionaires and public sector unions, all ensure that hand-picked and housebroken candidates continue to win elections all the way from local water board up to and including the governor.

But there’s still the recall. It’s the last viable avenue for grassroots activism to make a difference in California. Citizen democracy in California was once robust but has been deliberately diminished. Ballot initiatives where citizens can enact annoying laws like the legendary Proposition 13, which forbids rampant escalation in property tax rates, have been all but eviscerated thanks to “reforms” passed by the state legislature in recent years. But while initiatives have been safely regulated to the point where only billionaires, multinational corporations, and government unions retain the financial throw weight now required to get them qualified for a state ballot, the simple recall remains viable for the common activist.

The secret to the ongoing viability of recalls in California, at least until a few more “reforms” come down from a state legislature that is determined to preserve their absolute one-party rule, is that the petition verbiage needed to qualify a recall can fit onto one page, which means it can be mailed inexpensively to, for example, households where at least two registered Republicans live. Packaged with clear instructions to voters on how to sign the petition, a reply envelope, and an added form to make a donation, signature gathering for recall campaigns using direct mail can be self-sustaining. The horror!

Win or Lose, an Attempt to Recall Newsom Helps Republicans Everywhere

If this latest attempt to recall Newsom succeeds in forcing him to again defend himself in a special election, but he survives the recall attempt, it will nonetheless be a win for Republicans all over America. Democrats in California are the ATM machine for Democrats in the rest of the nation. Every dollar that is spent defending Newsom on his home turf is a dollar that isn’t exported to swing congressional districts across America. They’re not small dollars.

In opposition to the 2021 attempt to recall Newsom, the governor’s allies raised over $88 million. The recall committees altogether spent not quite $21 million. Depending on whether you consider the gross or the net amount, that is at least $67 million in campaign contributions that did not go off to bolster campaigns for Democrats in other states.

Here’s how much of a difference this money can make. In November 2022, the median amount of money raised by an incumbent U.S. Congressman in a battleground district (rated as “toss-up” by the Cook Political Report) was $5.5 million. This means $67 million would cover 100 percent of the campaign expenses in 12 close congressional races. We may assume median spending for congressional seats will be higher in 2024 than in 2022. But in 2024 congressional races in swing districts, where funding is already flowing in from around the nation, it’s reasonable to assume $67 million will go a long way. If a Newsom recall is qualified for the California ballot this year, that money is going to stay home. Successfully placing a Newsom recall on the ballot during this critical election year in California is going to damage the Democrat’s plan to recapture control of the U.S. Congress. It matters that much.

And who can be certain Newsom will survive a recall this time? As California rolls predictably into another spending deficit, California’s public institutions will falter even more. Fed-up voters may finally see past Newsom’s slick pompadour and telegenic smile and realize that all his blather about the threats of MAGA and the climate “crisis” were just distractions. They’ll connect the dots at last. It’s impossible to live here, and Newsom and his Democrats are the reason why.

Ultimately, rescuing California will depend on finding new candidates with the common sense and charisma to offer obvious solutions to voters: prosecuting criminals again, enabling school choice, and deregulating the housing and energy industries. Subjecting Newsom to a recall election will therefore also provide a forum for aspirants to replace Newsom. They will have a chance to explain their vision and offer voters an alternative to the corrupt, punitive governance that has made their lives far too difficult for far too long.

Win or lose, getting a Newsom recall effort onto the state ballot this year will force the governor to defend a record he can’t defend. At a critical time, it will spotlight the failures of his administration and his party. It will force Democratic donors to divert what might easily be up to $100 million away from close races in the rest of the nation. It will bring national attention to the failed one-party state called California and remind independent voters all over the country that the obsessions of social liberals may not be more important than retaining the ability to earn a living under a business-friendly government. And it will provide an opportunity for new candidates to get visibility for themselves and their ideas well in advance of California’s 2026 gubernatorial election, when Newsom will be termed out even if he survives this latest assault.

In short, trying yet again to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom is a healthy expression of democracy. Bring it on.

This article originally appeared in American Greatness.

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