Recall elections are a powerful tool for the folks in states that have them available. There are 39 states with constitutional provisions for holding recall elections. The other 11 probably wish they did. Recall elections are used to remove elected officials who have not performed the duties of their position or who have acted in a manner not suitable for their constituents. The submission of petitions triggers a recall election with the necessary signatures spelled out by the specific state. In California, the signatures are in, and Governor Newsom is on the clock.
Gavin Newsom was elected Governor of California in 2018. His free-spending, excessive COVID restrictions, the number of significant employers that have exited California and its high corporate tax rate, and his hypocritical personal actions during the Pandemic have put him in the crosshairs of many Californians. These have brought him to this Recall Election on September 14. Outspending his opponents by an 8 to 1 margin has given him the advantage. His current poll number indicates he may survive this recall.
Two high-profile Republican candidates are challenging him. Kaitlyn Jenner and Larry Elder are putting up a good fight, but there may be just too much money in Newsom’s arsenal. He has also introduced many liberal programs that may buy his way out of this challenge during the last two months.
The last recall election in California was the 2003 gubernatorial recall election, a special election permitted under California state law. It resulted in voters replacing incumbent Democratic Governor Gray Davis with Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. This harbored in eight years of conservative politics in the Golden State. Conservatism is not something California embraces well. There is also colossal amounts of money coming into the state and most has Gavin Newsom’s name on the check.
Ironically, money may determine the outcome of this election. It is money that has brought the election about. Big-spending, high taxes, costly regulations, rising crime rates, rampant homelessness, and out-of-sight energy costs are the byproduct of liberal Democrat control in Sacramento. Despite these situations, the voters of California continue to re-elect the likes of Pelosi, Waters, Schiff, and most any Democrat on the Gubernatorial ballot. You sometimes get what you deserve, and Californians are getting just that for their bad decisions.
Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan is another frequent target of recall efforts. There were 20 such actions in 2020 and 14 so far in 2021. Most were ended due to an insufficient number of signatures. One effort this year may meet the criteria to initiate a recall election, but the decision should have been made on August 11, and the result is still unclear. Whitmer deserves a recall. Her continued handling of the Pandemic has been out of line, and there are numerous examples of hypocrisy on her part. The tourist industry in Michigan has been virtually shut down, and the examples of her violating her mandates are many. Whitmer has been a polarizing figure and has made many bad decisions for the people of Michigan. That is not the type of leader you need to bring a state successfully out of the Pandemic.
We will observe these two states closely. We also need to watch the effect of the dropping poll numbers for Biden has on these state elections. That impact might be a good barometer for the 2022 midterms that, if held today, would be a Red Wave of monumental proportions-and deservedly so. Stay tuned.