Now you can expect the One Party Empire to strike back and ensure its continued control
In the third Star Wars film, it is a small child enrolled in the Academy of the Jedi Order who explains why it will soon fall upon its enemies. “Master Skywalker, there are so many of them!” The child cries just before his death.
As someone who grew up in California and followed its politics for decades, it’s pretty clear why Gov., Gavin Newsom, survived the recall effort. It was a numbers game.
In 2003, when voters ousted Gray Davis from the governor’s office and replaced him with action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger, California was a far less liberal state. Democrats only had an eight-point lead in voter registration. This year, supporters of the Newson recall faced a state where Democrats had a 23-point registration advantage (47% to 24%, with the remainder expressing no party preference). No Republican has won more than 47% of the statewide races since 2006.
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With the failure of the Newsom recall, you can expect Democrats and their media allies to question the legality of California’s recall process. Ironically, the recall is a progressive-era reform that has been embedded in the state’s constitution for 110 years and is designed to allow citizens to express themselves if special interests or one party state dominates the state government. Huh.
Now you can expect the One Party Empire to strike back and ensure its continued control.
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“The recall process is insane,” said New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. The Los Angeles Times attacks the forces “that are exploiting this old law to seize power.”
California Sen. Alex Padilla called the recall “biased, reckless, dangerous.” An Atlantic magazine columnist told Newsom that if he recalls he “would consider changing the law to make the recall harder.”
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Secretary of State Shirley Weber, herself appointed by Newsom earlier this year, has questioned whether it should be possible for someone to become governor without securing a majority. He also suggested that the signature limit required for a governor’s recall election may be too low. State lawmakers have already sent a bill to Newsom’s desk to ban professional sign-collectors on ballot recalls, initiatives and collecting signatures for referendums.
State Sen. Ben Allen, a Santa Monica Democrat, has introduced a constitutional amendment that would allow a politician to run as a replacement candidate. The top vote getter, whether incumbent or challenger, will serve for the remainder of the term. In practice, such a change would make the recall nearly impossible.
Another idea would see California’s lieutenant governor automatically advance to the governor’s office, potentially negating the chance that voters could use the recall to move in a different ideological direction. Yet another proposal would dramatically reduce acceptable reasons for the recall.
The real danger of any move to curb recalls is that they will also limit voters’ rights to initiate and hold referendums on voting.
Some Democrats worry that their party’s zeal to kneel in the recall process should be curbed. Even Gray Davis, the only governor in California’s history, says that any change to the recall process “should be a bilateral effort.”
But the chances of that happening are between slim and nonexistent.
“Democrats, who already dominate California politics, want changes that will, in fact, make it more difficult, or even impossible, to remove an incumbent from governor or any other office.” Will strengthen our control even more,” notes Dan Walters, California’s dean of political journalists, who is now a columnist at CalMatters.org. “One person’s improvement is another person’s power journey.”
The real danger of any move to curb recalls is that they will also limit voters’ rights to initiate and hold referendums on voting. That power may be the only check on the one-party state of California.
The Left faced serious policy reversals in votes on 12 ballot measures last November. Voters rejected the 1978 Proposition 13 property-tax cuts, unionized efforts to regulate the dialysis industry, opposed the permitting of local fare controls, and app-based delivery and ride-share drivers. Rejected a law designed to unionize. On the offense, he approved a referendum that overturned a bail-reform law recently passed by liberal legislators.
But the most interesting result was the defeat of Proposition 16. That ballot measure would have taken away a provision from the state’s constitution that makes it illegal for the government to “discrimination on the basis of any person or group, or giving preferential treatment.” race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin.” That language was added to the California Constitution in 1996, and last year, identity-politics Democrats in the legislature sneakily attacked it by proposing a repeal on the ballot at the last minute. did.
But on Election Day, opponents of Proposition 16 won every county outside Los Angeles and the Bay Area by 14 points. It was opposed by a third of African Americans, with a majority of Asians and Latinos majority.
Voters often exercise far more common sense than legislators. A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 60% of voters said that decisions made through it are probably better than decisions made by the governor and legislature.
Representative government will remain an enduring feature of American democracy, but the initiative and recall process is a valuable safety valve. As long as elected officials in many states encircle their districts and otherwise make it nearly impossible for voters to exclude them, direct legislation will be popular.
Therefore arbitrary recalls or attempts to curtail the initiative should be resisted. This is a civil liberties issue that should unite good-willed people on both the right and the left.
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