The Media Have Finally Realized That Cuomo and Newsom Are Terrible. Will Voters?
Nearly a year into the pandemic, people on both coasts are increasingly fed up with their leaders. In California, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has done such a poor job handling COVID-19 that activists in the state have submitted more than 1.1 million signatures for a “Recall Newsom” ballot initiative, hoping to qualify for inclusion by the March 17 deadline. In New York, previously chummy reporters and TV anchors are finally holding Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s feet to the fire after reports surfaced that his administration had not only issued a March directive that put nursing home residents’ lives in peril but had also hidden the total deaths resulting from that decision.
For those who soured on the efficacy of lockdowns many months ago, or voiced skepticism of executive power right from the start, the incompetence of Newsom and Cuomo is unsurprising. It’s encouraging, though, because now people other than partisans and principled critics of executive power are taking notice of the ways these two governors failed their constituents over the last year.
In California, schools remain closed, meaning 6 million children continue to be subjected to ineffectual virtual learning. The vaccine rollout got off to a terribly slow start. The second ban on outdoor dining, which was in place from early December until late January, has been lifted but was in place for far too long. The 10 p.m. curfew for all non-essential work and gatherings, which was put in place at the end of November, was finally lifted at the end of January. And, as Newsom asked residents to continue to stay home and avoid gatherings this fall, he was caught redhanded attending a lobbyist’s 12-person birthday dinner at the Michelin-starred French Laundry in early November.
So now the chickens have come home to roost, and an effort to recall Newsom is gaining steam. Recall proponents must submit nearly 1.5 million verified signatures from registered California voters by March 17. As of February 5, proponents had submitted 1.1 million signatures, 800,000 of which have already been officially verified. Of those verified signatures, 84 percent belong to registered voters, which the New York Times notes is an unusually high percentage compared to typical recall efforts. Wasting no time, the former mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, is already campaigning—as a Republican, no less—for the Newsom’s job.
If the recall effort is successful, Newsom would be the second California governor to be fired from the job. And, according to organizers, it will be in no small part due to the crippling effect his policies have had on small business owners, school children, and working familie
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