Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom's Idiotic Case Against the Recall: It Costs Too Much!

California Democrats and journalists are suddenly concerned about expensive government.


"Now is not the time," a smirking California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a campaign press conference with firefighter unions Tuesday, "to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on a recall effort that is nothing more than a partisan power grab."

Fortunately, that is not the governor's call to make. The 1911 recall provision in the California Constitution mentions nothing about canceling elections should they prove too costly; there are just signature requirements, after which the vote must be scheduled.

Yet that isn't stopping the Golden State's desiccated political class from letting the crocodile tears flow over government spending.

"Neither the state nor the counties should be stuck footing the bill for such an unnecessary election," California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D–Lakewood) told the Los Angeles Times. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.), fresh off passing the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, blasted Republicans for "wasting time and money." Mused Democratic strategist Darry Sragow, in an Associated Press article: "I'd say that framing it as a waste of money and waste of time probably is going to be pretty effective with swing voters who aren't sure what they're going to do about the recall."

What would a recall election cost? We don't know yet. The next step in the process is to see how many of the 1,626,042 valid petition signatories decide to withdraw their support of the recall between now and June 8; assuming that number isn't disqualifyingly high, the state's Department of Finance will issue a cost estimate, which will then be reviewed by the state legislature's budget committee. All that is expected to take place over the summer.

But that doesn't mean we can't get some scary numbers out ahead of time. At first, Newsom estimated the price tag on the special election at $81 million. Then his decidedly unsubtle supporters over at Stop the Republican Recall (sample line: "The recall is powered by a partisan, Republican coalition of national Republicans, anti-vaxxers, QAnon conspiracy theorists, anti-immigrant activists and Trump supporters") upped the ante.

"Instead of fighting COVID-19, Republicans are pulling a page from the Trump playbook and attacking Californians," the website alleged. "In fact, a Republican recall will cost the state $100 million – money that could be used to help vaccinate our communities."

Then, right as the recall signatures were being validated, the cost estimate was goosed by a multiplier of four from the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials (CACEO), a public sector lobbying group. "There is an urgency to this," CACEO President Donna Johnston told the Times. For her group, certainly—county election officials don't want to bear any extra costs, so they are lobbying the state government, which in fact is pretty flush in cash, but they are probably grumpy both about the recall and the unlikelihood of getting any federal COVID-relief dollars for a purely state exercise.

CACEO arrived at its self-interested $400 million figure by assuming "the same [COVID] protocols and mandates as November," Johnston told CapRadio, meaning mailed ballots, protective gear for election workers, large venues for social distancing, and so on. Such measures helped make the November 2020 election the most expensive in California history, at an estimated $292 million. One would hope that the proliferation of the vaccine and the diminishment of the pandemic would lead to some relaxation of cost-inducing precautions, but it's not as though Sacramento has been particularly nimble in adapting to COVID science.

At any rate, the concern over cost is an argument best applied in three areas: 1) examining and reforming the standard provision of elections; 2) questioning in particular the pandemic-induced requirements of 2020; and 3) trying to convince voters not to sign the recall petition in the first place. Sure, it's hard to take seriously the fiscal conservatism of a political class that has produced a multi-billion-dollar high-speed train to nowhere, but at least it's an argument. Unlike bitching about the cost of an election that is constitutionally required to take place.

At some point, particularly if (as polls currently indicate) Newsom survives the recall, you will likely start to see more calls to change the California Constitution, in order to make it harder for those nasty Republicans to discomfort Democratic incompetents every 18 years or so.

"Think of all of the good you could do with this money," Loyola Marymount University law professor Jessica Levinson told the A.P., cutting to the chase. "But it also makes sense not to use taxpayer funds on this anyway."

California Democrats, having long since won 100 percent of elected statewide offices and two-thirds of the legislature, are no longer so keen on certain Progressive Era electoral remedies. Even though the recall mechanism has only made it to the ballot 10 times in 110 years, Dems this legislative session "have introduced several bills that would make it harder to recall elected officials in the state."

So enjoy the last remaining check on Democratic misgovernance while you still can, California voters. You'll miss the circus when it's outlawed. After which you'll never hear about the perils of costly government again.

NEXT: FEC Drops Case Against Trump for Alleged Hush Money Payments

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  1. I am sure that whatever Newsom spends in a month on hair care and dining out would cover the costs.

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    2. Especially with oil prices up.

    3. Why are conservatives so shallow?

  2. Funny stuff.

  3. If they are worried about the cost of the special election, they can just take the $$$ out of the pockets of the teachers who refuse to get back to their jobs. They must have built up a pretty impressive nest-egg during the past year.

    On the other hand, why don’t they just cancel ALL elections? I mean, would it make any difference in CA?

    1. Or Newsome could resign.

      1. There you go! “I’m resigning in order to save the California taxpayers $400 million. I’ll be running again for Governor next election and I’m sure you all will remember this patriotic sacrifice I made to save your hard earned money.”

    2. I love to see the California-jealous.

  4. I wonder if letting “crocodile tears” fall on to bamboo paper voting ballots will cause the ink to run? I wonder!

  5. Voter suppression is only bad if Republicans do it.

    1. Oh no, Republicans are being quite consistent. Suppress Democratic voters, and recall Democrats.

      In a really fun year they steal the presidential election, or try to and attempt to murder Congress when they fail.

      1. In your view, are Democratic voters incapable of acquiring IDs and following basic laws? Maybe we can put together some remedial life skills training program for them? I will personally contribute.

        1. As I learned from Biden and critical race theory black people can’t use the internet or read or count

      2. “or try to and attempt to murder Congress when they fail.”

        The last murder attempt on a congressman was Steve Scalise by a Berniebro.

        1. “Um, I disagree that was the last time this happened”

          – Rand Paul

          1. *furiously checks for loophole*

            He was a Senator!

            1. *shakes fist in the air*

              Damn you and your correct terminology!

        2. Nice. I forgot about that. But so did Tony

          1. Tony probably never acknowledged that this even happened.

            1. Somebody like Tony cheered for Hodkinson, the Bernie Bro would-be assassin. Let’s not beat around the bush.

      3. You should get a “woman yelling at cat” meme for each of these.

  6. I really would like Caitlyn Jenner to replace him just for the entertainment value alone.

    1. Got my fingers crossed on that one.

      1. Not your legs?

        1. I’m sure Caitlyn’s doing enough of that for all of us.

    2. It would be nuts.

      1. Phrasing

    3. 1 become governer
      2 declares all traffic laws null and void

  7. He can always sell the “high speed” choo-choo.

    1. Monorail!

    2. How’s he going to sell something that doesn’t exist?

  8. Idiots gonna idiot.

  9. It would cost less if they didn’t try so hard to suppress red voters with signature verification.

    1. The ruling party in CA has got little remaining need to suppress “red” voters, those voters have been fleeing the state by the thousands for almost 30 years.

      The State govt has been tracking the domestic migration (based on tax returns filed) for a long time, and there’s been a net outflow in every single year since 1995. The population continues to grow in part because of people being born here, and probably a lot more due to illegal immigration (something like 20-25% of the nation’s illegal population is living in CA in recent years). For some reason the LA Times still tried to support a claim that the California Exodus is a myth; lucky for them nobody pays enough attention to what they say to expect they might try to square that narrative with CA essentially losing a congressional seat to TX in the last 10 years. If trump had got his way and stopped non-citizens from being counted in the census, CA might have lost 5-6 congressional seats.

  10. But libertarians are supposed to care about expensive government.

    1. That’s why all of the libertarian Californians moved to Texas long ago

    2. They do. Probably an underlying reason for the recall.

    3. Tony’s clearly in love with Hairdo governor.

      Mute me you bitch.

    4. Lile the cost of two pointless Trumped-up impeachments?

      1. All time Congress spends on impeachment is time they aren’t spending screwing us over. I strongly support any and all efforts by the current Congress to impeach presidents. Don’t you think it is long past time for Congress to remove Nixon from office? Maybe prevent him from running again, even?

    5. There are some worthwhile uses of government funds. Like getting rid of a politician, or ensuring peoples right to a jury trial.

    6. We do. Which is why we support spending money to recall a governor that is wasting magnitudes more of it.

      If you have leaky sink do you just leave it because you don’t want to spend money to repair it even though it’s increasing your monthly water bill?

    7. And democrats are supposed to care about democracy.

      Potato, potato.

    8. Even $400 Million is almost a rounding error in the scale of what CA spends on abject nonsense. They could probably offset that by cutting less than 20 miles of track (or maybe one station) off of the “high speed” rail boondoggle.

      Or maybe they could cover it out of the surplus they were crowing about right before raising the gas tax in order to fund road maintenance? Still doesn’t make sense why they needed $5Bil in new taxes to fund $3Bil worth of road work that should have been funded out of the $150Bil state budget from jump.

      Any libertarian who gets asked “without government, who’d build the roads?” needs only to point to CA as proof that having an overwhelming amount of government apparently doesn’t equate to having anyone around looking to build (or repair) the roads anyway.

    9. It’s more expensive to keep Newsom. Progtards like him are very expensive when they’re in power. Your kind needs to self abort Tony.

  11. Everyone at the press conference should have just laughed in his face. I think a lot of politicians could benefit from being laughed at regularly.

  12. If Gavin Newsom isn’t finished by the recall, he’ll be ousted by another Democrat in the primaries come 2022.

    He’s Gray Davis. He’s Pete Wilson.

    He’s another California governor defeated by his own successes. And, yes, opposing Trump’s do-your-own-thing pandemic policy and implementing his own control was Gavin Newsom’s progressive success.

    Feel the burn, progressives: In an election year when a Democrat beat a populist Republican for the White House, California lost four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. You couldn’t even win House races in California when you were running against Trump!

    1. He’s Gray Davis. He’s Pete Wilson.

      I say more Davis than Wilson. Wilson deliberately sacrificed his appeal among CA voters to make a play for the presidency on the national stage, and failed spectacularly.

      Davis is remembered as the guy who couldn’t keep the lights on. That’s Gavin.

      Another summer full of out-of-control wildfires and “Public Safety Power Shutoffs” while he’s trying to campaign to keep his office should be about the end of him.

      1. Don’t forget about the coronavirus tyranny, idiocy, and hypocrisy. Was he putting his mask on between bites at French Laundry?

    2. But California picked up 5 seats in Mexico.

  13. “Now is not the time, to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on a recall effort that is nothing more than a partisan power grab.”

    He spent that much on his dinner at the French Laundry.

    1. I think the lobbyists he was partying with might have picked up the check that night.

  14. For those of you who can’t your heads around what’s happening in California, take a listen to the April 23, 2021 episode of This American Life, particularly this one section:

    “Reporter Anna Maria Barry-Jester tells the story of two public health officials in Santa Cruz County, California, whose lives have been completely upended by threats and harassment over the past year. (20 minutes)

    —-This American Life

    You might be able to find a predominantly white and relatively wealthy part of California that’s more liberal than Santa Cruz, but Santa Cruz is up there with Marin County.

    The whole story is set told from an extremely pro-left wing perspective, but they can’t hid the truth–which is that it’s about a liberal town like Santa Cruz suddenly turned on a health official when she implemented Newsom’s lockdown orders and closed their city and businesses down.

    They started picketing her house, like anti-fa does sometimes!

    All these former liberals, all around her, just suddenly turned against her–people in her own neighborhood even! Can you believe it? And all just because she destroyed the local economy without any consideration for what they wanted or how badly it hurt them.

    1. Some people just don’t understand what’s good for them, only our betters do.

      1. And when they lose their businesses and their homes, they upset about it and say terrible things–as if government officials don’t have feelings, too!

      2. If Californians were better at picking leaders, they wouldn’t need to keep recalling them. Seriously, all they care about is good looks and a charming personality. Hello Satan, you seen like a nice guy!

    2. sarc was mocking Atlas Shrugged yesterday. But it certainly seems like we are living in it. This is the part where a little girl gets her teeth knocked out by an old lonely factory worker who is told by officials that he can no longer buy records, the only thing in his life that he cherishes.

      It doesn’t help that the ‘health officer’ looks like Delores Umbridge.

  15. “Now is not the time,” a smirking California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a campaign press conference with firefighter unions Tuesday, “to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on a recall effort that is nothing more than a partisan power grab.”

    So what was Newsom’s response when CA citizens and small businesses said EXACTLY THE SAME THING (but replace RECALL with LOCKDOWNS and PARTISAN with DEMOCRAT) one year ago?

  16. Let them eat cake!

    1. It’s California, so you misspelled ‘cock’.

  17. Why not cancel that bullet train, and use some of the savings for the vanity recall election (personally, I think Newsome will win re-election easily). CA’s gone fully woke; they’re lost.

    1. personally, I think Newsome will win re-election easily

      If we were going to have the election in June, yes. Gavin’s highest-magnitude failures so far have been his inability to keep wildfires in check (it may be total coincidence, but this wasn’t such a consistent problem before he was governor), and that he can’t keep the power on.

      Unfortunately for Gavin, these two recurring problems will be about at their annual peak right during the recall election, and they impact a whole lot of people.

    2. Cancelling the train would require the state to re-pay something like $2.3Billion in subsidies that the Obama administration pumped into the project as part of the 2009 “stimulus” package (we’ve had assurances that the project will be “shovel ready” sometime before 2055). Newsom thinks is more cost effective to spend another $60Billion to connect a pair of minor cities with a “high speed” train which will actually be limited to 75mph due to using some stretches of existing freight tracks in order to meet the milestones that would prevent that claw-back from becoming enforceable.

      Average traffic speed on the existing highway that already connects Bakersfield to Fresno is 75 or higher most of the time. With the estimated ticket prices and accounting for intermediate stops, even people with a need to travel between Bakersfield and Fresno will likely find it faster and less expensive (not to mention providing more flexibility of getting around at the destination) to make the trip by driving on Hwy 99 instead of taking the train.

      1. If you want to travel between LA and SF cheap, take a bus.

        If you want to travel between LA and SF fast, take a jet.

        1. Southwest and JetBlue used to run commuter flights for under $100 each way. It’s possible they were underselling Greyhound at those prices.

          Comparing travel between LA and SF to the bullet train is apples and oranges, though. The south end of the route is 2-3 hours (with traffic, maybe 40 minutes without) from downtown L.A. and the north end is at least that long of a drive from downtown SF.

    3. California is simply the most progressive state. That doesn’t mean it’s lost, it means that’s where your state is going to be in 10 years.

      1. The thought of their state becoming like CA in 10 years should terrify anyone anywhere.

        I’ve lived in L.A. since 1992, and in the last 10-12 years most of the city has regressed almost back to the state it was in back then; with the exception of the level of gang violence on the streets, and the fact that the trend of housing becoming ever less affordable never really reversed.

        It’s taken a hell of a lot of “progress” to make a place with one of the greatest natural environments on the planet somewhere that people are either fleeing or planning to leave. If the leftists that have controlled the state unchallenged for a bit more than a decade now have their way, in another 10 years everyone in the state will either be independently wealthy or dependent on public assistance (and the independently wealthy ones may all clear out by then). When everyone’s on the dole, who pays the taxes to fund all those handouts?

  18. If he was the slightest bit serious about the cost, he would resign. He won’t, because he is a liar.

  19. Mused Democratic strategist Darry Sragow, in an Associated Press article: “I’d say that framing it as a waste of money and waste of time probably is going to be pretty effective with swing voters who aren’t sure what they’re going to do about the recall.”
    That was the Gray Davis strategy. He pretty much just ran against the recall instead of the field, and that proved to be a big mistake.

    1. It’s an effective message for anti-Newsom forces. Only about 12.5 million voted in CA for the 2018 when Newsom was elected. Thus Newsom tells us, he runs government so ineffectively, it will cost the state $32 for every vote cast and tabulated. This after Newsom issued an order making California a universal mail-in election state, meaning that all active voters will be sent mail-in ballots without needing to request them. Maybe Newsome is consciously or unconsciously complaining about what vote harvesting will cost him.

      Whatever, CA got what I think it voted for (I can’t be sure given there’s even one dead person voting, not to mention many unexamined allegations about voter fraud) good and hard.

  20. But, what about all the JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBS JOBs that will be CREATED from the $400mln price tag? Why not spend a trillion dollars and create even more JOBS?

  21. Newsome could resign and save a bundle.

    1. His suicide might be even cheaper.

  22. “Now is not the time to waste hundreds of millions of dollars on a recall effort that is nothing more than a partisan power grab.”

    “Especially when it’s someone else’s power grab! And they’re grabbing my power! Now, if we’re talking about grabbing someone else’s power: just do it!”

    Jesus H. Christ. Try not to shut down California again while you’re whining about “power grabs”.

  23. Newsom is an abject failure as a leader and administrator in every objective measure. *He* is the weakest link. Goodbye!

  24. Californians really can’t afford to NOT hold Governor Gavin Newsom feet to the fire. Politicians “Suposedly” serve the people, but in actions Governor Gavin Newsom expects to be served by the people.

    There are numerous Governor that should be called out for acting as Emperors including Gavin Newsom of CA, Anthony Cuomo of NY, Gretchen Whitmer of MI, Tim Waltz of MN, Jay Inslee, and many more.

  25. If the Newsome administration cannot conduct a one issue election for less than a general, presidential election year election, he should be bounced for that alone. It only proves how incompetent they are.

  26. Californians, you get the government you deserve. Y’all should probably start electing more Republicans and Independents to political positions. Some fresh ideas and fresh thinking might actually do you some good. Unless you want to see Gavin Newsome and his clones running California forever. Your choice – you get the government you deserve.

  27. I still want to know what he got for paying China multi-millions to make masks, when people were begging for work in L.A.’s garment district.

  28. Well, then Newsom could save the tax payers some money by resigning.

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  30. Getting rid of Newsom? Priceless!

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