The Republican National Committee (RNC) is about to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist in the effort to recall California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom. According to Politico, the RNC will donate $250,000 to the recall effort. Together with the California Republican Party, the RNC will also invest in text banking and a digital effort to encourage voters to sign the petition and drive voter turnout for the recall.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Politico in a statement Thursday, "Governor Newsom’s authoritarian measures, blatant overreach and complete mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic have proven that he is woefully unqualified to lead the state of California. It is time the people use their constitutional recourse to remove him from power."
The multi million dollar effort began as a response to Newsom’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and gained momentum after Newsom ordered a second lockdown in response to a surge in COVID cases, while the Governor was discovered unmasked, indoors at a fancy Napa Valley restaurant for a birthday dinner for a lobbyist which he attended with members of the California medical advisory committee. Newsom's orders closed businesses around the Golden State but left an exemption for Hollywood production to continue.
The effort to recall California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday night that they have gathered the number of signatures required to force a recall election this year. 1,495,709 signatures were required to get the measure on the ballot. The group aims to collect 2 million signatures before the March 17 deadline.
President Joe Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden opposes the recall effort against California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom. Psaki said the President and Newsom have a "range of issues they agree on ranging from climate change to the COVID crisis" and that Biden "clearly opposes any effort to recall" the California governor. According to Politico, Newsom has refused to use the word 'recall' himself.
Republican candidates have already announced they will be running against Newsom if the recall effort makes it to the ballot. John Cox, who ran against Newsom in 2018 told Inside California Politics, "The state is in crisis. It’s kind of the things I talked about during the run in 2018. Housing and homelessness are worse, but now we have the pandemic and the mismanagement that’s gone on during this whole thing. We’ve got small businesses that have been crushed, while Costco and Home Depot and big chains are doing just fine. We also have our kids being kept out of school and being kept out of activities."
Kevin Faulconer, former Republican mayor of San Diego, has also declared his candidacy, who has been endorsed by the majority of Republican lawmakers in the California state assembly and senate, said in his campaign announcement speech:
"Parents across California are fed up, and they are demanding that their kids be back in school. This is a movement to decide whether we stay in the past, with Governor Newsom’s one-party rule, or we embrace a new future. We are going to decrease homelessness, not condone it. We’re going to support your job, not destroy it. We’re going to let you keep more of what you earn, not tax it. We’re going to lead the California comeback."
According to Politico, The Republican Governors Association is also tracking the recall, has been in touch with people close to the petitioning process, commissioned a poll for a prospective race and has spoken with several potential candidates.
As noted by Politico, Newsom appears to be taking the recall threat seriously and has become increasingly visible over the past week by holding a series of press conferences. However, the appearances do not appear to be going as planned. While giving a press conference on Thursday, Newsom was regularly interrupted by chants of "recall Newsom!"
According to Fox News, "The governor was making an appearance in Fresno at the city’s fairgrounds to provide an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss a new vaccine distribution site in the Central Valley. A visibly irritated Newsom did not acknowledge the chant, as he continued to answer a reporter’s question about a vaccination site that will be created at Reedley College."