Governor Gavin Newsom sought to deflect recall attempts by linking to a website on Monday that blamed the campaign on “national Republicans, anti-vaxxers, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists, and anti-immigrant Trump backers.”
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On Monday, Newsom tweeted a link to the “Stop the Republican Recall” website, which states on its home page:
National Republicans, anti-vaxxers, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists, and anti-immigrant Trump backers have formed a partisan Republican alliance.
“Peddlers of Q-Anon doomsday conspiracies; ‘patriots’ readying for war, and one organization associated with the far-right terrorist group, the Proud Boys,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Instead of aiding in the war against the pandemic, these partisan movements are imitating Trump’s approach and targeting Californians.
Democrats, such as left-wing billionaire mega-donor Chamath Palihapitiya, who appeared to start his own bid for governor earlier this year, are among Newsom’s opponents.
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— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) January 26, 2021
Newsom’s opponents have gathered nearly 2 million signatures ahead of the March 17 deadline — about 500,000 more than was required, enough to resolve a challenge to the legitimacy of the signatures.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsom might try a “long-shot” plan to persuade enough signatories to change their minds:
County election officials have until April 29 to count how many registered voters signed the petitions and report their numbers to the secretary of state’s office after the recall campaign submits the petitions.
The state then has ten days to tally the results from the counties. If the recall effort qualifies, the signature-withdrawal process begins, after which voters have 30 days to notify their local election officials that they want their names removed from the petition. Regardless of whether the Newsom campaign attempts to convince them, voters are given the choice.
The secretary of state then has 10 business days to submit the amount of rescinded signatures to the counties. Assuming the recall is still valid, the state Department of Finance has 30 business days to determine how much the election will cost, followed by another 30 days for the Joint Legislative Budget Committee to review the estimate.
The recall is then certified, and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis is expected to call an election within 60 to 80 days. A vote may be delayed until November or December as a result of this timeline.
The Democrat-controlled California legislature extended the recall deadline to defend State Senator Josh Newman from a recall attempt. He was subsequently recalled, but last year he was re-elected to his old seat.