Rick Needham: In response to Ted Gaines
Mr. Gaines promotes the recall process in California as good for democracy. But he also points out that having to get signatures equal to 12% of the number of voters in the prior election is so difficult that it runs the risk of putting this process in the hands of big money special interests. He also describes the attempt to recall governor Newsom as a “grassroots” effort. Which is it?
According to the SF Chronicle of March 3, the recall petition has been, “driven by mega-donors writing six-figure checks.” “Of the nearly $4 million … More than half has come from two dozen contributors — wealthy individuals, deep-pocketed companies and Republican groups.” “This fund raising has been boosted by regular segments on Fox News and other conservative outlets.” By giving the impression that the recall is “grassroots,” I feel that Mr. Gaines is misleading readers.
We need to bring people together in this country and Mr. Gaines’ article is not helpful. The recall seems like Republican leaders and wealthy supporters whipping up anger for a redo of an election they lost. Republicans complain of Democrats not working with them, yet they are more interested in opposing anything Democratic than putting forward proposals or plans to help the people.Public health measures carried out in California were the same as advocated world-wide, not some plot by Governor Newsom to ruin our economy and schools. We’re all upset about the disruption to society from trying to mitigate the pandemic. We can disagree about when restrictions can be lifted, but this should not be an opportunity to second guess public health experts and oust elected leaders every time we disagree.
The LA times, on March 17, puts the cost of the special election at $80 to $100 million. What will we get for that? More campaign ads, ballot pamphlets, TV and social media campaigns, many with misinformation, for sure. Better governance? I doubt it. Look at the record of many Republican governors across the country and you would think wearing a mask was a terrible affront to their personal freedom rather than something we can do to prevent the spread of a a deadly disease in our communities.
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