SACRAMENTO, California (AP) – California Democrats sharpened their anti-recall messages on Saturday at the state party’s annual convention, arguing that removing Governor Gavin Newsom from office earlier would reverse immigrant rights and criminal justice reforms. , hinder progress in the housing crisis and waste taxpayer money.
The California Democratic Party meeting, held virtually, served as a place for party leaders to energize some of the party’s most active volunteers ahead of Newsom’s expected election later this year.
“I saw firsthand what a leader he is and how he really puts his heart into his work on behalf of the people of California, and President Joe Biden and I support him 100%”, Vice President Kamala Harris, who started her career politician in San Francisco next to Newsom, said in pre-recorded comments. She added, “because of your hard work, we will keep Governor Gavin Newsom in Sacramento.”
The annual convention comes in the wake of the California secretary of state, announcing that the revocation election had signatures valid enough to qualify for the vote. Although there are several other steps before the recall is certified, voters are almost certain to decide later this year whether to remove Newsom from office before his regularly scheduled re-election in 2022.
Republican voters irritated by Newsom’s liberal policies on immigration, criminal justice reform and more launched a long recall effort last year. He gained strength during the pandemic, as people became frustrated with the response to Newsom’s pandemic. Still, recent polls show Newsom with the support of the majority of voters.
Newsom and his allies paint the recall as a partisan effort in the hope of keeping Democrats and independent voters together in support; Republicans represent only a quarter of registered voters in the state. Maintaining the support of activists will be the key to keeping another Democrat out of the running.
“With the help of the Biden-Harris government, California is ready to put our fight against inequality at an all-time high,” said Newsom. “National Republicans and the extreme right, they are not relaxed, they are playing everything they can in their revocation, grabbing power all in the hope – all in the hope – of reversing all the important progress we have made together. We cannot let them win. “
Elsewhere, US Representative Barbara Lee said that removing Newsom from office would slow California’s progress in the housing crisis, although critics say he hasn’t done enough to speed up construction. State controller Betty Yee said the recall could cost $ 90 million, money that would be better spent on other state priorities. (State finance officials have not yet made a formal cost estimate.)
Franky Carrillo, an advocate for criminal justice reform who had a wrongful conviction overturned in 2011 after 20 years in prison, gave a strong defense of the governor’s criminal justice policies. Carrillo joined Newsom on Capitol in early 2019, when Newsom issued a moratorium on the death penalty, a key point of anger among some supporters of the recall.
“We must defend it and not allow a judicial error to occur,” said Carrillo.
Newsom was also supported by Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. With no presidential or parliamentary elections scheduled this year, the recall will be among the highest profile races in the country this fall.
The recall organizers denied that his effort was characterized as partisan, saying that about 30% of the people who signed the recall petition are not Republicans. This is impossible to verify, and all the main declared candidates are Republicans. Candidates include ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, businessman John Cox, ex-congressman Doug Ose and reality show star Caitlyn Jenner, who has made no public appearance in a campaign since declaring his candidacy last week .
Faulconer, speaking to CNN on Saturday, said that Newsom has harmed small businesses and has not done enough to combat homelessness and bring children back to school.
In addition to the recall, Harris, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and other members of Congress praised President Joe Biden’s progress during his first 100 days and urged activists to help generate support for the ambitious health spending agenda. Biden and looking at the 2022 mid-term elections.
Harris recalled his career in California politics, where he served as San Francisco’s district attorney, state attorney general and U.S. senator before winning the vice presidency.
“As a daughter from California who is in the White House, I appreciate it. It is because of you and your hard work, “she said.
All virtual, the event was sometimes strange, with some videos clearly recorded weeks in advance and already out of date. Newsom, for example, boasted the administration of 24 million doses of vaccine, but on Saturday morning he tweeted about the number of doses exceeding 30 million.
Going virtual also meant that there were less ways for activists to show discontent. At previous conventions, some delegates booed or turned their backs on the speakers. The only moment of criticism came when party secretary Jenny Bach, a member of the California Young Democrats who ran and lost to the party’s vice presidency, said the party has “too much toxicity and hostility” and needs change.