Failed Recall Widens Rifts In GOP

California Republicans thought they found a unifying rallying cry in the recall attempt against Gov. Gavin Newsom. Instead, the campaign exposed — and even worsened — some of the long-standing clashes between the establishment and grass-roots base, while leaving unsettled the question of how the party can stop its losing streak in the state.

The GOP can take comfort in knowing it made Newsom sweat far more than any Democrat has in the last decade of statewide races, at least until the polls closed and the governor easily prevailed.

The lopsided outcome underscores how the party’s daunting climb back to political relevance is made all the more difficult by the recall effort’s missed opportunities and internecine squabbles.

The state party failed to coalesce around a candidate to replace Newsom or muster the money to counter the governor’s sizable war chest. The candidate long seen by Republican leaders as a potential savior — Kevin Faulconer, the moderate former mayor of San Diego — failed to gain traction with voters. Larry Elder captivated the conservative base, but moderates and hard-liners alike worry about his ability to expand his support if he runs for governor next year. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

Larry Elder Emerges As Face Of GOP In California

Although the effort to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom failed, the lightning two-month campaign appears to have had at least one clear beneficiary: Larry Elder.

The conservative talk radio host jumped to the front of the pack of 46 recall challengers soon after he entered the race on July 12, enhancing his brand as a media provocateur and potentially paving the way for a future run for office.

His showing Tuesday, when he led the challengers by a wide margin, could establish him as the putative leader of the state’s Republican Party.

Some of his most ardent followers have said they hope Elder will run next year, to challenge Newsom for a second time. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times.

5 Takeaways After Newsom Survives Recall Attempt

California Gov. Gavin Newsom ably fended off a recall attempt from Republicans on Tuesday, changing the stakes of the contest from a referendum on his own performance and into a partisan fight over Trumpism and the coronavirus.

Five takeaways from Newsom’s victory:


Republicans intended the recall to be a referendum on Democrats’ rule of California, and the homelessness, crime, high housing costs and energy problems that accompanied it. But in a bit of political maneuvering — and with the help of the spreading delta variant — Newsom turned it into a referendum on Republicans’ opposition to precautions against the coronavirus.

The Republicans running to replace Newsom opposed mask and vaccine mandates, and the California governor was happy to highlight that. Newsom aired an ad calling the recall “a matter of life and death” and accusing the top Republican candidate, talk radio host Larry Elder, of “peddling deadly conspiracy theories.” …

Click here to read the full article from AP News.

Where Californians Are Moving. Texas? Idaho?

If there’s one thing the candidates vying to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom can agree on, it’s that too many Californians are fleeing the state.

While kicking off her campaign, Caitlyn Jenner shared that a fellow private plane owner was “packing up his hangar” for Arizona because he couldn’t stand to see any more homeless people. Kevin Paffrath, a YouTube star running as a Democrat, began his candidacy announcement by listing reasons for trading in “broken” California for Florida’s greener pastures.

In a recent debate, the Republican candidate Kevin Faulconer said that if you named a state, any state, Californians were headed there.

Sure, there’s some truth to what’s been called the “California exodus”: More Californians are relocating to other states than are moving here from elsewhere in the country. But that’s by no means a new trend — it’s been that way for more than 30 years. …

Click here to read the full article from the NY Times.

COVID in Schools: California To Clarify Independent Study Law

Students who are sidelined by the delta variant of COVID-19 might be able to take classes via independent study during quarantine, state officials confirmed.

In addition, school districts will not lose state funding over student absences in quarantine, as they would under normal circumstances, the state said Friday.

“The districts will get reimbursed,” Alex Stack, a spokesperson for Gov. Gavin Newsom, said Friday.

Stack’s comments come as state lawmakers seek to introduce amendments to clarify Assembly Bill 130, passed over the summer. The bill mandates that every school offer a semester-long or year-long online independent study option in case parents want to keep their children home for virus safety reasons. …

Click here to read the full article from the Mercury News.

California Legislators Won’t Extend Eviction Ban

California’s eviction protections will almost certainly not be extended once they expire after Sept. 30, the state Assembly Housing chairperson said today.

The legislative session ends Friday, so that’s the last day that lawmakers could push off that deadline. But the political appetite just isn’t there to act, according to David Chiu, a San Francisco Democrat who spearheaded the previous efforts to stall the displacement of tenants amid the pandemic.

“I believed our eviction protections for tenants should be extended beyond September 30. The delta variant and the end of many unemployment benefits make that even more urgent,” Chiu told CalMatters. “Unfortunately, some of my colleagues feel differently, and there’s not enough consensus for that.”

The current round of eviction protections were extended on June 25, just days before they were set to expire. At that point, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said he hoped the economy would be in full swing so that another moratorium would not be necessary. Rendon’s office declined to comment on the absence of another extension.

“The Legislature has kind of set a trap for itself because it won’t be in session when that expires,” said Brian Augusta, legislative advocate for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, who has been lobbying for stronger protections throughout the pandemic. “So, that means, what we see is what we get.” …

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How California’s Lack Of Transparency Could Flip The U.S. Senate

Polls show that government corruption, waste and malfeasance are important issues to California voters.

But California is the only state refusing to disclose all state spending. Forty-nine states produced their line-by-line vendor payments after auditors at submitted open-records requests.

It’s a basic issue of accountability. The people, press, and politicians must be able to follow their tax dollars. After all, it’s their money.

In 2020, we sued California Controller Betty Yee, a Democrat, in state court after she argued that her office couldn’t “locate” any of the 50 million payments that the state admitted making last year. Our lawyers are the public-interest law firm in Washington, D.C., Cause of Action Institute. …

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California Would Benefit From Divided Government

Despite what Gov. Gavin Newsom would have you believe, the effort to remove him from office is not just a “Republican Recall.”  Polls show that many Democrats and independents are fed-up with Newsom and considering voting him out as well.

During his first two-and-a-half years as governor, Newsom has utterly failed to address our state’s big problems and, in many cases, his mismanagement has resulted in making things worse.  But that’s not all.  He has abused his power with unprecedented government overreach into our lives and businesses.  All of these factors and more have given voters from across the political spectrum reason to vote him out.

Despite California’s blue bent, there’s evidence of a growing libertarian undercurrent in our state.  One only has to look at the 2020 election to see that Californians are uneasy with too much government interference.  Last November, with record turnout, voters rejected an effort to reinstate affirmative action, sided with business over organized labor and rejected a rent control measure.

That same year, Newsom issued more executive orders than any California governor in modern history.  He used his power to impose overly intrusive restrictions on businesses and schools, while he swilled wine with lobbyists in Napa and his kids remained in-person at their private school.  He imposed the harshest restrictions in the country while arrogantly exempting himself and his family. …

Click here to read the full article from the San Bernardino Sun.

Evacuations Lifted For Thousands In Tahoe As Wildfire Stalls

Tens of thousands of people who fled South Lake Tahoe in the teeth of a wildfire were returning home as crews finally managed to stall the advance of flames scant miles from the resort.

But authorities warned that residents of the scenic forest area on the California-Nevada state line weren’t out of the woods yet, with risks ranging from smoky, foul air to belligerent bears.

Evacuation orders for South Lake Tahoe and other lakeside areas were downgraded to warnings on Sunday afternoon and California Highway Patrol officers began removing roadblocks along State Highway 50 from Nevada to the city limits.

The threat from the Caldor Fire hasn’t entirely vanished but downgrading to a warning meant those who wish could return to their homes in what had been a smoke-choked ghost town instead of a thriving Labor Day getaway location. …

Click here to read the full article from the Associated Press.

California Needs To Ensure Homelessness Spending Is Proper, Timely

If it seems like there’s so much tax money being thrown at the problem of homelessness in California that no one can keep track of it, there’s now an auditor’s report suggesting that this is true.

State auditor Elaine Howle recently reported on programs and agencies that are designated “high risk” because of the possibility, likelihood or history of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement of public resources. Howle identified the state’s management of federal COVID-19 relief funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Emergency Solutions Grant program, abbreviated as the ESG-CV, as one of the “high-risk” programs.

The auditor’s office found that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) failed to distribute hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency housing aid for homeless people in a timely way, as required by the federal government. There’s a deadline to spend 20% of the $316 million award by September 30 or the federal government may take up to $63 million back and spend it somewhere else.

Since California is No. 1 in every category of homelessness except ending it, that’s more than a little bit troubling. …

Click here to read the full article from the OC Register.