How a New Governor Can Save California

The chances that California Governor Gavin Newsom will have to fight for his political life in a special recall election are nearing 100 percent. With signed recall petitions and donations pouring in faster than ever, proponents have already collected 1.4 of the 1.8 million signatures they’ll need to turn in by March 17.

This nonpartisan, grassroots movement against a corrupt governor and a corrupt ruling class offers encouragement to the rest of America. If a sitting governor can be forced to defend his record in a recall election in California, the biggest, bluest state in America, then there is no politician, anywhere, that’s immune from a recall campaign. And the tactics used offer precedent setting examples others can follow.

Typically ballot initiatives must employ paid signature gatherers. In today’s market these paid petition circulation firms can charge as much as $10 per signature, although the price can vary considerably. It isn’t unusual for a campaign to enter into an agreement that starts at a lower price, but as time runs out and – as is often the case – harassment by operatives hired by the opposition becomes more intense, the price shoots up into the $10 per signature range. For powerful special interests like Uber or Lyft, or the California Teachers Association, or various industry groups, paying this much for signed petitions is not a problem. But for a grassroots recall campaign, it is unthinkable.

Instead, neither of the two committees working on the Newsom recall have relied on paid […] Read More