San Francisco Chronicle
Readers sound off on recall election
Nervous about recall
I’m feeling nervous but cautiously optimistic about the recall vote. I voted no on the recall and threw away the second vote by writing in Gov. Gavin Newsom.
I think he’s done a great job, considering the situation. He’s working on a lot of ambitious policies that I support, and he is a leader in helping the state through COVID-19. The French Laundry incident, while problematic, isn’t a recallable offense in my opinion. I’m also angry with Republicans and the recall system itself. Republicans are just using it to get around the fact that they cannot win an election on their merits.
They don’t have any real policies that would solve the problems we face and are too busy waging culture wars to create any beyond saying taxes and government are bad. I also think the recall system itself is highly problematic.
Why should the governor be excluded from the second question at all? And why is it OK for someone who gets a plurality that is less than the number of votes received on the first question to become governor? It feels both stupid and unfair, especially considering he has a year left.
Maria Piper, Alameda
Change the process
I voted no on the recall. I think Gov. Gavin Newsom has done an OK job. I resent this process as it is essentially rule by minority. We need to change it so that’s if a governor is recalled, the lieutenant governor takes his/her place.
The ballot was extremely easy to understand and a Newsom loss would most likely have a long term undemocratic effect.
I found your question about what the Legislature should do if Newsom wins amusing. Proposing that it is a choice between solving problems that exist ... delta, housing, wildfires and taking steps to prevent scenarios like this from happening again ... is amusing.
Can they walk and chew gum at the same time? Surely this experience warrants attention.
Carolyn Moore, Healdsburg
Instigated by GOP
With regard to your request for thoughts and opinions on the gubernatorial recall, I don’t consider it to be a referendum on Gov. Newsom’s performance or administration at all. Rather Republicans in California and the nation cynically contrived and instigated it as a power play because they can, the thresholds for recalls are too low in the state, and of course Republican policies (anti-government, anti-immigrant, white privilege, oligarchy, anti-science, misogynistic, anti-public health, anti-middle class and poor, and so on) are repugnant to anyone with critical thinking, morality and common sense.
The GOP instead values contrived grievance, mendacity, hypocrisy, and blatant and dog whistle racism. The real question is why anyone with half a brain would identify with what is left of the Republican Party and its brand in the first place.
Thankfully, we live in a state of relatively enlightened and informed people sufficient in numbers whereby the Republican Party is headed to its grave, and none too soon. The recall is yet another desperate attempt to forestall its deserved demise. Too bad we can’t put the demise of Republican politics on a ballot to terminate the utter bullshit it has come to be.
Bill Shoe, Redwood City
Satisfied with vote
I voted early against Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall. The ballot was easy
to recall except a little trouble finding Democratic alternative candidates. I’m quite satisfied my vote will be understood because I only voted to keep Newsom.
I did so after reading advice that choosing a replacement hurt Newsom’s chance of success. Only later did I read advice that to choose a Democratic alternative was better. I regretted voting so quickly.
Newsom’s removal would be an immense loss to the United States, not just California. He is an obvious rising Democratic star, as plausible to eventually run for president as Vice President Kamala Harris has been since she first won elective office. So this Republican-run attack is not just to remove him but to sabotage him politically before his star shines any brighter.
It also is a Republican test of Californian’s focus on one leader’s performance versus the underlying values he represents that make him consistently electable to each higher-profile position. And it’s a test of our gullibility.
Dale Mead, Albany
A clear power grab
Of course, I voted no on the recall because I see it as a blatant attempt by the Republicans to grab power. Gavin Newsom is not perfect, and he has made some mistakes, but none of these mistakes warrant a recall.
The ballot was fairly easy to understand, and I am very confident that my vote will be counted in the manner I intended. I left question number two blank on principle because I do not agree with the notion that a sitting governor can be replaced just because some people do not agree with his policies.
A Newsom loss would be a total disaster not just for California but for the whole of the United States. It would mean that Americans once again have bought into the the idea that fixing the economy is more important than saving lives . I really think it would be the beginning of the end for democracy. Many experts seem to believe that we are faced with so many problems that we may not be able to tackle all of them at once. I propose we look at a more holistic approach to these problems since they are interrelated and intertwined.
Myokyaw Myint, San Jose
Ramifications for loss
I voted no on the recall, with equal reasons for the no vote. Gov. Gavin Newsom has done a good enough job addressing the pandemic, with the exceptions of enjoying an elegant lunch otherwise prohibited and changing the rules of COVID-19 behavior too often.
My second, and just as important, reason is that it was a blatant attempt to disturb what should be an orderly elective process. I hope that were the tables reversed and a Republican governor was on a recall ballot with no glaring errors in his/her governing and with an official gubernatorial election around the corner, I would also vote no. A Newsom loss has ramifications, not just for the future of California. If the replacement governor is in a position whereby s/he needs to name a second senator from California, the chances are 100% that the new senator would tilt the Senate chamber to a Republican majority. If the state Legislature is unwilling to change the way a recall is structured, can it at least put a time limitation on the effort, so that an expensive recall is not so close to a general election?
Elizabeth Roepke, Hillsborough
Voting for recall
Gov. Gavin Newsom has made the recall election about executive mandates. We need to send a message. We do not want to be governed by executive order at either the federal or state level. If we do then we should fire all legislators and save the money spent on them. I switched parties because former President Donald Trump abused this power only to watch Democrats double down on this abuse. You may think it’s great when they do what you want, but now we have seen both sides. That should show the danger of this form of governing. Send the message Tuesday. Vote to recall, and hope it sends a message for next year’s election.
George Boling, Fortuna, Humboldt County
Don’t assume victory
I voted no on the recall because I recognize the whole charade for what it is and where it came from, and because of the out-of-state propaganda dollars being spent to pay for it. The former president loves chaos, and sows it freely to sidetrack any meaningful
context — and content. Dec. 6 was the prime example; firing up very dissatisfied people with his pseudo promises to Make America Great Again, provided he is back in office.
I think his niece has him pegged quite well: Narcissism with a capital N. And yes, I feel the ballot was very clear; my only hope is that those who want Gov. Gavin Newsom to stay in office, realize just how fragile — and slim — this yes/no counterbalance is. Don’t — I repeat — don’t assume his victory is a done deal. Vote no. Before Sept. 14.
If you agree with what I’ve said, make very sure you set fire to any/all friends, relatives and acquaintances who have been blase and just skipped voting. Because it’s that critical. A Newsom recall would be a loss for most Californians.
Dan Dippery, Menlo Park
A corrupt process
I oppose recalls on principle, so I voted no. The process is corrupt.
Demonstration of egregious illegal behavior should be required before a recall can be initiated (as determined by trial). At the least, those proposing the recall should have to pay for the cost. To minimize foul motives from political opposition, lieutenant governor should replace the expelled officer, and regular elections follow. Recalls are a popularity contest. Running government is a hugely serious job and none of the contenders are qualified to hold this position.
Larry Elder? Really? The recall is a political power grab by Republicans who don’t think they can win any other way but through rigging the contest.
I believe that Gov. Gavin Newsom, like any other human being, has made some mistakes. That said, he has led this fine and powerful state through some of the greatest challenges of our generation, with intelligence, compassion and wisdom. Public service is a minefield and we should be grateful that any person with integrity wants to govern.
I pray he will prevail in this ignoble strategy to divert California from its course in facing climate change, homelessness, health care and so many other vital issues confronting our people.