Advertisement
Share

Essential California: Will a Democrat join the recall field?

Gov. Gavin Newsom in front of California flag
California Gov. Gavin Newsom in April 2020.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, March 23, and I’m writing from Los Angeles.

If and when the second gubernatorial recall election in California history transpires later this year, voters will be handed a ballot with two questions on it.

Both are pretty straightforward. First, do you want to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom from office? And second, which of these candidates should replace him?

If fewer than 50% of voters say “yes” to the first question, the second question is moot and everyone goes on their merry way. But if more than 50% of Californians vote “yes” on the recall, the candidate who gets the most votes in the second question is your next governor. If the recall is successful, that candidate will only need the largest share of the votes — not necessarily a 50% majority — to become the next leader of the most populous state in the nation. So things could get all kinds of weird in a crowded field.

Three prominent Republicans — former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Rep. Doug Ose and businessman John Cox — have already announced their candidacies, and scores of other candidates are likely to join the race.

Advertisement

In a new story, my political reporter colleague Seema Mehta tackles one of the most-discussed queries in California politics: Will a prominent Democrat challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election?

[Read the story: “Is it inevitable that a prominent Democrat will challenge Newsom in the recall?” in the Los Angeles Times]

(A quick caveat that the potential recall election in question has yet to officially qualify for the ballot. But with almost 1.2 million voter signatures on recall petitions already validated, the prospect of a late 2021 special election is looking increasingly like a fait accompli. At this point, even the embattled governor himself has said he expects it to qualify.)

No Democratic candidate has come forward to challenge him yet, but as Seema reports, many political experts believe it is inevitable.

While California Democrats have publicly kept a united front, rumors are swirling about potential candidates quietly talking to donors and allies.

Read the full story for a rundown on those potential candidates and an analysis of the high-stakes political calculus that lies ahead for California Democrats.

And now, here’s what’s happening across California and the nation:

The epic outreach to get the most vulnerable vaccinated in L.A. County: The state’s internet-based COVID-19 vaccine appointment system doesn’t work as well in communities hit hardest by the virus, where essential workers juggle multiple jobs, unreliable internet and a fear of government services. Getting doses into arms has required significant help from grass-roots organizations that know their communities and know how to reach them. Volunteers have traded online advertising for old-school organizing: speaking face-to-face, making phone calls and handing out fliers. Los Angeles Times

A shooting at a Colorado supermarket Monday killed 10 people, including a police officer, and a suspect was in custody, authorities said. Los Angeles Times

Note: Some of the sites we link to may limit the number of stories you can access without subscribing.

L.A. STORIES

Fewer than 3 in 10 students would return immediately to classrooms when L.A. Unified School District campuses reopen this academic year, based on survey results compiled by school officials. Los Angeles Times

Elgin Baylor, the Los Angeles Lakers’ first superstar, died Monday at 86. Baylor coached briefly after his Hall of Fame 14-season playing career ended, then had a 22-year run as an executive with L.A.’s other NBA team, the Clippers. Los Angeles Times

Lakers center Wilt Chamberlain, left, passes to teammate Elgin Baylor.
Lakers center Wilt Chamberlain, left, passes to teammate Elgin Baylor (22), who drives in for a layup in an NBA game on Jan. 24, 1969, against the Atlanta Hawks.
(Associated Press)

After a yearlong hiatus, Amoeba Music announces an April reopening in a new location: The legendary music retailer will open its new 23,000-square-feet location in the El Centro development at the corner of Argyle Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard. Los Angeles Times

Support our journalism

Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.

IMMIGRATION AND THE BORDER

Facing criticism over a growing presence of migrant children at the U.S. southern border, President Biden dispatched a high-level team to Mexico and Central America to find what the administration is calling a “humane” solution to the politically charged crisis. Los Angeles Times

The San Diego Convention Center will become a temporary shelter for a number of unaccompanied children seeking asylum, authorities said Monday. Los Angeles Times

POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Newsom has a regularly scheduled Zoom with all of California’s living former governors. This, along with the fact that former Gov. Jerry “Brown never would have gone to the French Laundry — he’s too cheap,” is one of many interesting tidbits in Scott Wilson’s longform story on Newsom’s pandemic year. Washington Post

Former Newsom chief of staff Ann O’Leary will join a San Francisco law firm, ending speculation that she might be nominated as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Politico

CRIME AND COURTS

The U.S. Supreme Court appears skeptical of a California rule letting union organizers on private farms: The high court gave a skeptical hearing Monday to a California labor regulation that gives union organizers limited rights to go on to the private property of agribusinesses to encourage farmworkers to join. Most of the justices — conservative and liberal — agreed the “right to access” rule, adopted in 1975, appears to violate the property rights protected by the Constitution. Los Angeles Times

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

A Shasta County observatory gets an upgrade to aid in the search for alien life: Hat Creek Observatory’s radio telescopes will be able to listen deeper into space, helping astronomers search for signs of extraterrestrial life throughout the universe. Redding Record-Searchlight

CALIFORNIA CULTURE

The “no-nos” of Tule Lake: Singled out for failing a “loyalty” test, Japanese Americans incarcerated in a high-security Northern California prison camp during World War II are shedding the stigma and reclaiming their stories. Los Angeles Times

A man disrupted a protest against anti-Asian racism in Diamond Bar on Sunday by driving through a group of protesters while yelling racist insults about China, triggering a law enforcement investigation. Los Angeles Times

[See also: “How to be an ally: What you can do as a bystander to race-based harassment or violence” in the Los Angeles Times]

A guide to the Bay Area’s “best” public gardens, with tips on each venue’s hidden treasures, blooming plants and garden shops. Mercury News

A poem to start your Tuesday: “Don’t Allow the Lucid Moment to Dissolve” by Adam Zagajewski, translated from the Polish by Renata Gorczynski. Zagajewski, a leading Polish poet, died Sunday at 75. Poetry Foundation

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.

CALIFORNIA ALMANAC

Los Angeles: persistent sunshine, 72. San Diego: some clouds, 63. San Francisco: surprisingly nice, 64. San Jose: winds will pick up in the afternoon, 66. Fresno: sunny, 70. Sacramento: quite windy, 68.

AND FINALLY

Today’s California memory comes from Greg Messigian:

In the summer of 1964, two of my fraternity brothers and I decided to go to each state’s capital and see if we could meet with that state’s governor. Only one governor took the time to meet with three college boys: Pat Brown. He welcomed us and took the time to find out our future plans. Years later, I reached out to him to talk to students at Venice High School. He didn’t talk politics, but the history of California and how it had changed over the course of his lifetime. That was Pat Brown.

If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)

Please let us know what we can do to make this newsletter more useful to you. Send comments, complaints, ideas and unrelated book recommendations to Julia Wick. Follow her on Twitter @Sherlyholmes.


Advertisement