The grassroots effort underway to gather enough signed petitions to put a measure to recall Governor Gavin Newsom on the California state ballot is almost sure to succeed. With more than a month until the Mar. 17 deadline, the group needs 1.497 million signatures and currently has gathered over 1.4 million. 

UncoverDC spoke with Randy Economy, Senior Advisor for the RecallGavin2020.com campaign. Economy, who is upbeat and full of energy, has advised more than 300 political campaigns, working with Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians. He explained that the hands-on campaign is inspiring, and he is proud to be part of a mission that is making history in CA. According to Economy, the movement will succeed because all of Newsom’s failed policies are coming to light.

Already unhappy with Newsom’s failure to address the state’s homeless population and his support of sanctuary city policies and water rationing, when the coronavirus fear hit, Californians were expecting clear guidance from Newsom, who gave daily, sometimes hourly, press conferences that pre-empted every station in the state, telling residents to “stay home for a month and the virus will go away.” Now, almost a year later, the virus is still dictating daily life, and millions of jobs are gone. 

On November 6, when California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) sat down for a fancy dinner party at the tony Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry, the state was in the midst of a COVID-19 surge. Newsom and other state officials were emphasizing the importance of following social distancing rules and wearing face masks in public places, as mandated by an order that the governor issued in June. Photo/KTTV

Economy explained that the hardest hit by Newsom and his failed policies are the small mom and pop business owners, like the little restaurant in East LA, South San Francisco, or Oakland, who have lost everything. Businesses and schools have been closed for almost a year. And now, with hospital mismanagement and a botched COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the movement has spread beyond conservatives and continues to gain momentum. 

Under the state’s constitution, the people have the power to take the government into their own hands when needed, and that is what they are doing. Economy said there is not one specific reason for the need to recall Newsom. In fact, the “Reasons to Recall” section of the website lists over 60 reasons. Calling the campaign a “rags to riches” story that needs to be told, he said, “there is not one reason, there are dozens and dozens, and it is not political. CA is a ‘hot mess,’ and this is a real one-and-only kind of opportunity to hit the reset button and get this fixed. Not by political operatives or slick politicians, but by the volunteer groups on this campaign.”  

Photo/LA Times

Fueled by regular Californians, the recall campaign is straightforward and fully transparent. Economy described it as “old school politics with no voting machines” to add any uncertainty. People go to the website, download the petition, print it out, sign it, get neighbors to sign too, and mail it back in. Fifty-eight different county registrars up and down the state serve as election officials. Every petition goes to a third-party vendor before being turned in to the registrars to ensure accuracy and validity. Economy said their current signature count is correct and noted that the CA Secretary of State’s website lists the count significantly lower, which isn’t surprising given that it is a government-run site. 

When asked about Nathan Fletcher’s recent comments saying the Californian citizens leading the recall effort “are linked in association with neo-Nazi, with white supremacists, with right-wing militia groups,” Economy chuckled and said he must be “drinking his own bathwater.” He described Fletcher, who issued a resolution declaring racism as a public health crisis in San Diego, as out of touch with what is happening in the state.

As previously reported by UncoverDC, Newsom recently declared that restaurants in California were allowed to re-open. Many questioned whether the governor’s decision was an attempt to slow down the recall campaign. Economy believes that is the case, noting that Newsom advisors Jim DeBoo and Dee Dee Myers most likely told him to reverse course and make the decision. Myers and DeBoo joined Newsom’s team in December as he entered the second half of his term amid a brutal stretch of the pandemic and as he tried to overcome recent political stumbles.

Since 1911, there have been 55 attempts to recall a sitting California governor. This recall is the fifth in a series of six recall petitions filed against Newsom. If supporters turn in enough valid signatures to trigger a recall election, the additional procedural steps dictate that the election will occur within four to six months. With election fraud on the minds of many Americans across the country, it is inspiring that the people of California, amidst a “Gavin Newsom lockdown,” are taking matters into their own hands, going door to door, putting up tables, chairs, and pop-up tents, and exercising their constitutional right to assure their voices are heard.