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Letters to the Editor: The anti-democratic, fact-free GOP is coming for California. Stop the recall

People stand outdoors in a group, holding U.S. flags and signs; one sign says "Newsom hates America."
People listen to speakers at a rally to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom in San Diego on June 28, 2020.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: As more details emerge about the views held by Larry Elder and the other leading candidates to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom, one has to wonder if they and the proponents of this ridiculous and costly recall election know the difference between state and federal government operations. The statement by supporters of the recall in the state’s voter information guide says Newsom has favored undocumented immigrants at the expense of U.S. citizens, but immigration is a federal responsibility.

No, these Republicans do not deal in facts, which is why a Republican hasn’t been elected to statewide office since 2006. They can’t win at the ballot box because they are simply out of touch with reality (as anyone who heard the debate among the other leading candidates recently can attest), so they are now ginning up a phony crisis to thwart the will of the people who elected Newsom by a wide margin in 2018.

Newsom’s term in office ends in early 2023. Before then, voters will have the chance to reelect him or replace him with someone else. And, frankly, given the views of some of those vying to replace him, Californians will be far better off with Newsom than any of them.

S.R. Allen, San Diego

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To the editor: So your candidate lost the election and you don’t like the winner’s policies. Well, work like hell to win the office next time, or just use any excuse to launch a recall election where the winning candidate doesn’t need a majority to win.

That’s democracy? Nope.

The criteria for holding a recall election need to be revamped. Let’s require a felony conviction for an officeholder to be subject to a recall; make it a ballot measure. Now that would be a petition worth signing.

And don’t even get me started on how much taxpayer money is spent on holding these recalls.

Michael Sachs, Santa Monica

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To the editor: Newsom was sworn in as governor in January 2019. When I went to the Walmart in Temecula the following March, there was a big table set up outside with two people working it. They were asking shoppers to sign a petition to recall Newsom.

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The governor had been in office about two months and barely had time to take off his coat before efforts to recall him began. This was a full year before COVID-19 began seriously impacting the state.

On subsequent visits to that Walmart over the months following March 2019, I continued to see people working the table outside collecting signatures.

California law requires only 12% of the number of voters in the previous election to sign a petition for a recall to take place. Wisconsin, which had a failed recall election for then-Gov. Scott Walker in 2012, requires 25%, a much heavier burden.

The flaw is our very recall law itself. It allows a very small minority of voters who are unhappy with the last election to trigger a vote. Regardless of the outcome of the election, this is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

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With numerous external influences directly impacting our state elections, there will continue to be many groups looking to exploit this low threshold, making it more likely they will succeed.

Tom Fisher, Temecula

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To the editor: The recall is an attempt to install minority government in California, mirroring our status at the national level. Success in this venture would have national implications in terms of facilitating the relentless trend toward autocracy that has been underway in the Republican Party since Watergate.

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The stakes could hardly be higher. It’s not about Newsom. Democratic governance is being stymied at every turn. Democracy is being undermined at every opportunity.

Recall elections are meant to be used by a disaffected electorate, not for the machinations of power brokers. How does an electorate disaffected by the recall itself take back control of the process? We make Newsom a write-in candidate on the second part of the ballot.

Is there a judge in the country who would invalidate a plurality of voters who expressed a preference for Newsom in such a tangible fashion? I would hope not.

Siegfried Othmer, Woodland Hills

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To the editor: New York Gov. Andrew Coumo has agreed to step down for the good of his state. He will be replaced by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

I hope Newsom is taking notes.

If it looks like this GOP-fueled recall might just succeed and bless us with a Republican governor, Newsom should resign days before the election. That would put Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis in his place and remove all reason for the recall election, which does not concern her leadership.

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Gregg B. White, Los Osos


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