Letters to the Editor: Recall foes are seriously mistaken if they think Newsom can coast to victory

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference in San Fernando on April 29.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference in San Fernando on April 29.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Nicholas Goldberg’s column predicting that recall elections may become a permanent Republican strategy in California is flawed in several respects.

First, even if the recall mechanism isn’t perfect, it serves as a last-resort voter tool to remind our politicians that they ultimately report to the people.

Second, Goldberg implies that qualifying a recall for the ballot is easy. If this were true, there would have already been lots of recall elections in California, but there have not been. Qualifying a recall requires gathering a considerable number of valid voter signatures, which takes money and organization.

Third, Goldberg says that the recall could cost the state up to $400 million. But as we have all learned, maintaining and supporting democracy is never a wasteful expense. And, this amount pales in comparison to the billions that have slipped through government cracks during the pandemic.

Finally, if Senate Bill 10, which would end single-family zoning in much of the state, makes it to Newsom’s desk and he signs it before the election, even Democrats and independents who are homeowners will take a hard look at voting yes. This is one wildcard that recall foes aren’t considering.


You can’t just blame the recall exclusively on Republican extremists.

Bradford Pollack, Santa Monica


To the editor: I just read that this recall will cost taxpayers up to $400 million. It would be reasonable that those who want to remove Newsom from office should pay for this election. Why should those who do not want to recall our governor have to pay for it?

Do we not realize what we could do with $400 million? We could build housing for homeless people, pay teachers more or restore music and other classes for our children that have been lost because of funding cuts.

Gladys Carcovich, Torrance


To the editor: I enjoyed Goldberg’s insightful analysis of the history of the California recall and its appeal to Republicans today as the only way an unpopular minority party can game the system and win low-turnout pluralities to oust duly elected governors.

I also found his suggested reforms to be worth considering, but I thought he missed one simple change that would reduce the appeal to Republicans of pursuing recalls.

Instead of having a simultaneous election on whether the governor should be recalled and who should replace the governor if more than 50% vote to remove him, just hold the yes-or-no recall vote. If the governor is recalled, the elected lieutenant governor would fill the vacancy to become the new governor.

Douglas Dunn, Escondido