Newsom Recall Gathers Momentum

With over 1.2 million signed petitions already collected, and tens of thousands more arriving daily, the chances have never been higher that Gavin Newsom will have to fight for his political life in a special recall election.

How the proponents have built a powerful coalition of committees is an example of innovation that offers a new model for qualifying initiatives, recalls and referendums, one that will not be restricted to billionaire corporations or one-party legislatures.

According to lead proponent Orrin Heatlie, the volunteer signature gathering army that has been growing all summer is now deploying over 5,000 people every weekend to gather signatures. “They’re tired but they keep plugging along like they always have,” said Heatlie, adding that “more and more people volunteer as they learn about the progress of the movement.”

The latest counts, confirmed by representatives at both of the main committees, indicate over 200,000 signatures have already been collected via a direct mail effort, and over 1,000,000 signatures have now been gathered by volunteers. The original volunteer committee, the California Patriot Coalition led by Heatlie, has been active since June 2020. The committee running the direct mail campaign, Rescue California led by Anne Dunsmore, has only been doing mass mailings for a few weeks.

Using direct mail instead of professional signature gatherers is a risk that appears to be paying off. Paid signature gathering campaigns currently face the multiple obstacles of COVID restrictions on where they can set up, as well as the impact of AB 5 which destroys the traditional business model of hiring signature gatherers as independent contractors. Even before these new hurdles were added, the costs for signature gathering had already gone up because the number of firms able to do statewide campaigns consolidated at the same time as the number of well-funded special interests willing to pay whatever it takes increased. For example, Uber, or the real estate industry, or the association representing dialysis clinics, and others, can easily spend tens of millions of dollars on a signature campaign. But activist groups rarely have unlimited funds.

This is why the synergy generated by the original committee, the California Patriot Coalition, which successfully recruited a grassroots army, combined with the innovative approach of direct mail being used by Rescue California, may become a precedent setting breakthrough to be emulated in future initiative qualification campaigns.

“It is exciting to see the response to our effort,” said Anne Dunsmore when reached for comment. “We are way ahead of our projections, and we absolutely expect to reach our goal of 700,000 signed petitions via direct mail. The signed petitions we receive are validating at the astonishing rate of 98 percent, each response averages over two signatures, and we also have received donations from over 8,000 people, including over 500 in the past week.”

Dunsmore also recognized the tremendous contributions of the original recall committee, saying “We are enormously pleased with our partnership with the California Patriot Coalition and their volunteer effort.”

A key member of the California Patriot Coalition is Robin McCrae, who echoed Dunsmore’s sentiments about the synergy between the two committees, saying “we are all well intentioned, passionate people who care about making change for the better and we all have a common goal and common purpose and our parallel efforts will get the job done.”

With thousands of active volunteers, managing the logistics and messaging of the group is a challenge. Heatlie explained how that challenge was recently complicated by Facebook. “We have 75 local Recall Gavin groups on Facebook with over 200,000 members,” said Heatlie, “and in the days following the events on January 6 in Washington DC, all of our administrators were locked out of posting or commenting on posts. Over 150 of our administrators and regional managers were locked out of their Facebook groups. The ban won’t lift until January 23rd.”

The irony of Facebook leaving these group pages up but locking out the administrators is that the group leaders lost the ability to screen user posts and comments. This meant the risk of non-administrators leaving posts or comments that might offend Facebook went up, not down, by virtue of their ban. “If violations were entered on our Facebook pages,” said Heatlie, “we couldn’t remove them anymore.”

Opponents of the recall point to incendiary comments online, attributable to a few people and often posted in the heat of the moment. But a few objectionable comments only represent a minute fraction of the vast movement behind the recall. It worth wondering who is helped when Facebook prevents recall organizers from even moderating their online forums.

McCrae offered additional thoughts that might summarize the motivations of the vast majority of recall supporters when she said “The heart and soul of this recall are hard working volunteers who are dedicated to saving California. They are fighting for the right to work, to save their businesses, and protect their freedom from government overreach. They recognize that California is no longer thriving. Our beautiful state is deteriorating and we are trying to save it.”

Dunsmore summed up the opportunity represented by tapping tremendous grassroots energy and supplementing that with traditional professional campaigning. “We are working together with passion, but not reckless passion. That’s hard when people are coming up with policies that are so atrocious and polarizing. When something is really important and it’s bad, you can’t just get mad, you have to fix the problem with a level head.”

What Newsom faces with this recall is a new coalition. A populist movement that is growing in political and logistical savvy every day, allied with a group of seasoned professionals who dove in against the odds to support them. There are many politicians in California that have, at least in the minds of millions of voters, failed to recognize and correct the challenges facing Californians. As they watch the “walls close in” on Newsom, they may rest assured they will be next.

This article was originally published by the California Globe.


  1. Keep those John Hancocks coming! We cannot have enough signatures.

    • California — the ONLY state in the UNION to commit suicide, politically, socially, and economically.
      Where do I go to sign a petition…?

  2. The only thing that Newsom has done a great job at is that of killing the California economy.

    California energy policies have already made the state’s electricity and fuel prices among the highest in the nation which have been contributory to the rapid growth of “energy poverty” for the 18 million (45 percent of the 40 million Californians) that represent the Hispanic and African American populations of the state.

    Everyone should be aware that California already has the highest costs for electricity and fuels in the country and those energy costs drive up the cost of everything.

    Shockingly, our Governor Newsom continues to perpetuate the state’s dysfunctional energy polices and continues to do everything possible to INCREASE energy costs for Californians.

    • CA imports more electricity (32 percent) than any other state as the state in unable to produce enough in-state electricity.
    o To compound expensive imports, Newsom remains supportive of shuttering most of its natural gas-powered plant and nuclear plants and has no plans to replace that shuttered capacity, just hopes that the Northwest and Southwest states will be capable of providing electricity to the 5th largest economy in the world.

    • CA is the only state in contiguous America that imports most (58 percent) of its crude oil energy demands from foreign country suppliers to meet the energy demands of the state., most of which do not like the USA. Those imports are costing CA $60 million EVERY DAY.
    o Newsom continues his aggressive support to shutter in-state crude oil exploration, which will further increase imports from foreign countries.

    More than six million Californians already live in overcrowded housing, representing about 2.5 times higher than the nationwide rate. The growing homelessness and poverty populations, and overcrowding, gives the Governor more to talk about, while he fuels (no pun intended) energy poverty for the CA residents.

    Rather than heal the wound by doing everything possible to “reduce” energy cost for 40 million residents, Governor Newsom is excited to place band-aids on the wound with further housing for the homeless as he continues to do everything possible to further increase the cost of electricity and fuels.

    If a recall is to be successful, it all depends on the COVID-19 failed businesses and those that have lost their jobs as well as any financial savings they once had, to STOP supporting Newsom and his clowns.

    It is very simple; it is the people choice.

  3. Shame the Republicans (State and National) and the Trump Administration did nothing about election fraud…we might have stood a chance.

  4. Hey Kay. You’re blaming the Trump administration for the democrats committing voter fraud?!! Are you insane? How about blaming the democrats who committed the election fraud. What is wrong with you?

  5. The Captive says

    Is Kay a RINO? Thank you signature gatherers -If it works and gets enough to get gruesome-newsome on the ballot for RECALL AND THEN HE IS VOTED OUT —thank your lucky stars!!
    I blame the DEMOCRAPS~ ALWAYS . They have dragged this state down to the bottom of the heap.

  6. GREAT BUT/AND… WHOM will be the next Gov? Not to clear “who” will take the honors. Another LIB????

  7. Jim Angelopoulos says

    My restaurant is one of the hubs to sign the petition. Yolked in Morgan hill. Let’s get this egomaniac out

  8. Best wishes on the recall. That’s the first step in reclaiming your State

  9. It’s hard to find locations where you can sign the petition. I’m in Sacramento and don’t know where I can sign. I don’t have a printer to download the petition myself.
    The sad fact is even if Newsom is recalled California voters will just elect another Leftist to take his place…new boss, same as the old..

  10. Interesting in northern Calif. there are openly advertised locations to sign.

    Want to be that if it fails the bigot called Newsom and the Communist Party called Democrat will rain economic hurt on every area that was willing to stand up to dictatorship?

    Shame on you…. that is everyone called Democrat.

  11. The Lone Ranger says

    No excuse if you “don’t have a printer”—go to a print shop and get a few copies made. Take them around with you to neighbors, coffee shops etc. Don’t be shy! Get out there and DO IT.
    Use the last shred of liberty the CA constitution still protects for you and get this recall done.

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