The fate of efforts to bring back California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom will be announced next week. Sacramento Bee’s California political reporter, Sophia Borag, joins “red and blue” anchor Caitlin Hueyburn to work on a recall, respond to a state drought by the governor, and become Newsome if the recall moves. Get the latest information on whether any Democrats are considering a challenge. forward.
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS: The fate of efforts to bring back the Democratic Governor of California will be announced next week. Governor Gavin Newsom is scrutinizing his response to a pandemic. Republican organizers say they have submitted more than two million signatures in support of the move to expel him. County election authorities need to verify about 1 million and 500,000 signatures to trigger special elections. The signature verification deadline is next Thursday.
The governor has launched his own petition against the recall. However, according to The Sacramento Bee, some experts say they can cite a rare plea to “mislead voters.” For more information, let’s introduce Sophia Bollag. She is a California political reporter for The Sacramento Bee. Sophia, I know you’ve participated in the program several times with this story. So thank you for being with us. What is the latest information on the recall efforts for Governor Newsom?
SOPHIA BOLLAG: Yeah. As I mentioned earlier, the number of verified signatures will probably be updated next week or so. And while it doesn’t officially cause a call, I’m hoping to hear that call supporters have actually collected the required number of signatures.
I think people would be surprised if they found out they didn’t. They seem to have more than enough. However, even if that number of signatures comes in, those who have signed the petition will have time to remove the signature if they choose. And there are some additional deadlines in state law. The legislature needs to consider the potential costs, the Treasury needs to make a formal cost estimate, and the vice-governor actually needs to set the date for the special election.
So beyond next week, there are still many additional deadlines.
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS: And Sophia, I mentioned this anti-recall petition circulated by the Governor. Please tell me the purpose that is actually useful. And what is behind these criticisms that call it misleading?
SOPHIA BOLLAG: Yeah. As a result, the governor has sent a lot of emails to his supporters last month or so since he launched his own formal anti-recall campaign. And one of the tactics he uses, he sent a petition, an anti-recall petition, asking his supporters to sign and inform the campaign that they were against the recall. It was. And I told many experts what they thought about them-political scientists, those who study the behavior of voters. And they said it would probably be misleading for some voters, as the people of California are now receiving a lot of petition-related information.
There was an official recall petition to collect signatures to put the recall on ballot. And, as I said earlier, there is a period during which those who sign the petition can remove those signatures. And now the governor has an informal recall petition of his own kind. I talked about the campaign. And they said it really only got information from its supporters. They collect names, email addresses and zip codes.
And the expert I spoke to said that it was a very common tactic for campaigns to collect information in this way. Of the problem people are complaining about.
However, it can mislead those who think this is a means of stopping the progress of the call election. Not official. It’s just a campaign tactic.
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS: Oh, that’s good to know. It’s a good idea for voters to know. Well, people probably remember all the criticisms Newsom received for ignoring his own public security restrictions in the pandemic. But now the state has the lowest case rate in the mainland United States. So how does that affect recall efforts?
SOPHIA BOLLAG: Yeah. There was no poll as those latest figures you are referring to indicate that California has a really low case rate. But just in general, at least here in Sacramento, some kind of mood is starting to brighten. People go out, start returning to restaurants, and meet friends when people are vaccinated. California is immunizing a significant portion of its population at this point.
Earlier this month last week, the state opened the vaccine to anyone over the age of 16. Therefore, all adults in California are eligible for vaccination. So the pandemic, or pandemic effect, is actually starting to diminish here. And while I’ve never seen a poll showing exactly how it affects Newsom’s approval rating, he may then see some boost.
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS: And Sophia, I would like to talk about some of the politics facing California, some of these big issues, and how they intersect. So last year, California experienced the worst wildfire season on record. Now it is experiencing a drought. How can Newsom’s political vulnerabilities affect the way Newsum manages these major issues?
SOPHIA BOLLAG: Yeah. Therefore, Newsom, like any other governor, unfortunately will be judged on how to manage the many natural disasters that California faces. Basically, the wildfire season, California always has a wildfire season. California always has a cycle of extreme rain and extreme drought. It’s not new. But things seem to be getting worse. The governor talks a lot about climate change and how it exacerbates natural disasters such as wildfires and droughts.
And while he hasn’t made any decisions at this point this year on whether he will declare a state-wide drought or issue other executive orders ordering people to save water, these decisions are voters. Can affect the way he sees him in a recall. And he says he makes decisions purely in the best interests of Californians. But surely he is a politician. All of those political considerations, he knows them too.
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS: And Sophia, there are a few more seconds left here. But please tell us about other potential Democrats who may challenge Newsom with this recall.
SOPHIA BOLLAG: Yeah. Therefore, at this time, major Democrats have not announced their candidacy. There was a lot of talk about former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaragosa. He previously ran for governor. He ran in the primary in 2018 and lost to both Newsom and the final Republican candidate John Cox, who faced off in the general election that year. However, Antonio Villaragosa is the type of Democrat who may be aiming for potential execution.
At this point, the experts I spoke to said that Villa Laigosa and other major Democrats might be thinking of running, but they probably wouldn’t throw their hats into the ring yet. Newsom’s approval rate has fallen from the highs we saw early in the pandemic. They are now approaching pre-pandemic levels. However, he is still on the surface in most polls and is not considered very vulnerable to recalls at this time. But surely it can change.
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS: All right. Well, we’re watching what happens next week with California. Sophia Borag, thank you for joining us.
SOPHIA BOLLAG: Thank you for inviting me.