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California Governor Newsom Faces a Recall and a Libertarian Might Win

Larry Elder, a Libertarian might be the next governor of California.
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Larry Elder

Recall of Governor Gavin Newsom 

A recall vote of California Governor Gavin Newsom is in progress. It started over Newsom's handing of Covid and most figured it was doomed.

But in April 2021, the secretary of state certified that the effort had enough signatures to trigger a vote.

The vote is on September 14. The vote has two parts: 

Part one is a yes-or-no question: Shall the officeholder be recalled? Part two offers a list of successor candidates—46 have qualified in this recall. Each voter chooses one of them, and if the recall is successful, whichever candidate earns a plurality fills out the term.

Larry Elder did not enter the race until July 12, but suddenly he is either leading or in second place depending on what poll one believes.

Who Is Larry Elder?

The Sacramento Bee reports Right-Wing Talk Show Host is Leading the California Recall Election Polls.

From minimum wage to Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump to the War on Drugs, Elder has taken a number of far-right conservative positions over the years. 

The article reads like a hit piece on Trump. He is actually a Libertarian, not right-wing.

Elder Does Not Believe in Minimum Wages

Similarly, the Washington Post goes after Elder in Meet the leading candidate to unseat California’s governor — who doesn’t believe in the minimum wage

Radio host Larry Elder, the leading opponent to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), has long embraced the position that the minimum wage is unnecessary. The conservative even told a newspaper editorial board last week that “the ideal minimum wage is $0.00,” adding, “Why two people who are adults can’t determine what the price of labor ought to be is beyond me.”

Most polls — though not all — show that if Newsom goes down, Elder will get a plurality of the voters, despite the fact that Elder announced his run only last month. (One poll shows voters favoring little-known Democrat Kevin Paffrath, a YouTube vlogger.)

Elder has zero elected government experience. He’s an ardent Trump supporter in a state where even many Republicans find the former president abhorrent. He didn’t even bother to show up to Wednesday night’s Republican candidates' debate.

It seems unfathomable that Californians actually support what amounts to Elder’s fringe, right-wing position on worker pay. Despite the fact that the federal government has left the federal minimum wage at a paltry $7.25 an hour for more than a decade, California has moved aggressively to raise the lowest hourly earnings for its workers. 

Could a Conservative Replace Gavin Newsom?

The Wall Street Journal gets the idea correctly: 

"A quixotic effort to recall California’s governor is suddenly gaining steam. And libertarian radio host Larry Elder is the front-runner," reports the WSJ.

Please consider Could a Conservative Replace Gavin Newsom?

He describes himself as libertarian—which means liberal on cultural issues like same-sex marriage. His dad instilled an ethos of self-reliance and personal responsibility. “My father always told us, hard work wins,” he says. “You can’t control the outcome, but you’re 100% in control of the effort.” 

Mr. Elder ticks off numbers like a sportscaster. “There are 300,000 public-school teachers in California. It is estimated by virtually every expert I talk to that a minimum of 5% of them are incompetent. That’s 15,000 teachers walking through the corridors of our schools, educating our kids. Now, we wouldn’t put up with that with the LAPD”—the Los Angeles Police Department.

“There was recently a study that showed two-thirds of black parents do not want to send their kids back to the Los Angeles School District, and one of the reasons they cite is ‘systemic racism,’ ” he says. “What they mean is this: the worst teachers end up in the urban schools. They don’t end up on the West Side, they don’t end up in the Valley; the worst teachers end up in the urban schools. And black and brown parents are aware of this, and they want something done about it.”

Mr. Elder supports an initiative that the California School Choice Foundation may place on the November 2022 ballot to establish education savings accounts, allowing parents to use taxpayer dollars that would normally go to zoned public schools for private-school tuition, homeschooling and other education-related expenses.

“You can now steal up to $950 without being guilty of a felony if you get caught. If you get caught, you get a ticket as a misdemeanor,” Mr. Elder says. That feeds addiction, as many shoplifters support their drug habits by selling stolen goods. “And by the way, it’s not just $950—it’s $950 every single day, at every single place, which is why you’re finding places like Walmart, Target that are closing up—because they can’t make any money, because people are stealing. Or they’re cutting hours and hurting the very employees that used to work there.”

The Democratic secretary of state moved to keep Mr. Elder off the ballot because he didn’t properly redact personal information on 300 pages of personal tax returns he submitted. Mr. Elder sued and won his ballot spot.

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Face-ism

“People have asked me whether or not this is some sort of attack against Larry Elder, whether or not it was racism. Well, the secretary of state happens to be a black female, and I’ve always said it’s not racism that they were engaging it, it’s ‘face-ism,’ meaning this particular face,” he says. “I’m from the inner city. I’m a product of public schools. . . . I believe that they’re afraid of my ability to explain these kinds of things in ways that Joe and Joanne Six Pack can understand, and in ways more effectively than Republicans have in the past.” 

Is the Golden State ready for a political turn? “I hope it’s becoming more conservative, but I can’t say that,” Mr. Elder says. “All I know is people are fed up.”

California Democratic Party instructs voters to leave ballot question 2 blank

People Are Fed Up

The key idea is "people are fed up". 

If they weren't a Newsom recall would have zero chance in Democrat-led California.

Of the 46 candidates to replace Newsom, only one is a Democrat. 

If that was the only fact I had, I would place Elder's chances at roughly zero percent.

But here we are. 

Expect the unions to launch an all out push for the Governor. 

This will be decided on Turnout. If Democrats sit this out, and people of common sense do turn out, Elders has a good shot. 

I am astonished by the Party's recommendation to leave question 2 blank. 

I believe that is bad instruction by Newsom and hope Democrats follow it.

It would also help if some of Republicans dropped out and backed Elders.

Good luck and best wishes to Elders. 

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