By ALFRED GABOT, Editor in Chief
SACRAMENTO/SAN FRANCISCO – Less than a month before the September 14 recall vote on California Governor Gavin Newsom, more officials, citizens and groups have come out in support of the state’s leader even as he and his group have recorded campaign contributions far bigger than those wanting to replace him proving he could easily hurdle the exercise.
Observers said that if political contributions are a vote of confidence, the votes of the well-heeled, powerful and influential are overwhelmingly in Governor Newsom’s camp totaling $42 million as of last count, reportedly more than double the $18 million of all the pro-recall candidates and committees.
In Sacramento, the California Legislative Black Caucus strongly opposed the recall of Governor Newsom and urged all Californians to say “NO” to what it said as “unwarranted, ill-advised, and costly recall election.”
“During a global health and economic crisis, proponents of the recall choose to waste more than $200 million tax-payer dollars on this baseless campaign, blaming the Governor for their losses, when in fact, his efforts have been squarely focused on protecting the health of all Californians,” the Caucus stressed in a statement sent to Philippine News Today. (See details in Community Page)
Governor Newsom has enacted the biggest economic recovery package in California’s history – a $100 billion California Comeback Plan, the Caucus said. “The Plan focuses on providing relief to those that need it most and major investments to address the state’s most persistent challenges. The Plan provides immediate cash relief to middle class families and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic, creating the biggest state tax rebate in American history and the largest small business relief package in the nation.”
“For these reasons, we are urging all Californians that believe in uplifting the best of our core democratic values to participate on Tuesday, September 14th and say “NO” to this unwarranted, ill-advised, and costly recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom,” the Caucus said.
The Democratic governor, who is expected to be supported by Latinos, Asians and Pacific Islanders, among others, bewailed that the recall “is unfortunately shifting priorities during a time when the state continues to battle the coronavirus and its contagious Delta variant.”
“After 18 months of the chaos we had, the last thing California needs is the chaos this recall would perpetuate here in the fifth largest economy in the world,” Newsom said in an online press conference to reach out to the Asian American Pacific Islanders.
During the conference, Newsom touted the success of California under his leadership, adding that most of the progress he made throughout his political career has been made possible through the AAPI community, dating back to his win as mayor of San Francisco in 2004. “I would not have won that race without the overwhelming support of the Asian community, broadly defined Filipino community, not just the Chinese community, Japanese, across the spectrum, Korean, I was so proud of that.”
Newsom added that the recall will disrupt his recent efforts to help California, such as signing a budget that directs $155 million to go after anti-Asian hate, $200 million to deal with evidence-based investments in crime reduction, and plans with the Attorney General to do more intervention to address crimes. “I have work to do to earn that trust but I got a record of advocacy, not just passive support, but deep advocacy, commitment to advance the needs of the AAPI community,” said Newsom.
California’s first Filipino-American Attorney General Rob Bonta, meanwhile, threw in his support for the embattled governor in addition to many elected and appointed officials and leaders. (See related story.)
“Elections are not spectator sports. We need to exercise our fundamental right to vote. Our vote is our voice, and we need to make sure we each do our part to beat back this cynical Republican effort,” said Bonta.
It was gathered that California’s largest teachers union and its most vocal charter school advocates, nurses and the hospitals, although they sometimes clash with the governor have joined Newsom’s supporters.
Other supporters are realtors, developers, building trades unions and corporate landlords, defense contractors, abortion rights advocates, and new car dealers.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association was reported to have also contributed to the Newsom group $1.75 million while the California Teachers Association gave $1.8 million.
It was added that George Soros also backed Newsom with a contribution while Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reportedly gave the governor’s committee its largest single contribution of $3 million.
Another report stated that other titans of Silicon Valley have lined up to back Newsom like Laurene Powell Jobs, founder of the Emerson Collective and widow of Apple’s Steve Jobs; prominent Bay Area angel investor Ron Conway; and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and George Marcus, a Bay Area real estate mogul.