For the publisher: The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that the Trump administration threw at states last year because it did little to protect people. Gov. Gavin Newsom doesn’t deserve to be blamed for the California crisis, and the recall campaign is a scam. (“Questions and Answers: What you need to know about the attempted recall of Governor Gavin Newsom”, February 22)
I know this because after losing my job last spring, I had time to regularly watch Newsom’s press conferences in which he explained the data in detail. I saw a governor who was human and who made mistakes, but who always did his best to lead.
He worked with the state legislature to secure money for supplies and testing. He repeatedly tried to update the calcified unemployment system. He helped form a coalition of western states in the United States to share best practices and streamline purchasing, but still faced criticism from people who complained that everything was going too slowly.
So, lazy Republicans grab a general sense of frustration and focus it on a governor who has worked harder than any of them. The country’s response to the pandemic has been a train wreck, but watch those screaming the loudest for a recall and see if they’ve done a tenth of the work Newsom has done.
Holding a recall election is a costly and stupid distraction that certainly wouldn’t lead to better governance, so let’s not do it.
Karen Broderick, Burbank
For the publisher: I hope a top Democrat comes forward as a challenger.
When recalling, there are two questions: First, should the governor be removed from office? And second, which of the following candidates should replace him if the majority votes to oust the incumbent? All voters will have the right to choose one of those who present themselves.
A leading Democrat on the list, and only one, would have a good chance of winning, assuming the Republican candidates split the Conservative vote.
What if the Democrat was seen as more liberal than Newsom? Could a percentage of Republicans vote to keep the governor because they fear ending up with someone they find more objectionable?
Jeff Freedman, Los Angeles
This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.