It is a truth universally acknowledged that the wealthy like to throw their weight around when it comes to politics, especially when they want pols to do their bidding.
This truth applies both to wealthy Republicans and also to wealthy Democrats. (For example, in Colorado, our Governor is Democrat Jared Polis, who is very wealthy, and, not only that, he does a great job here and will be easily re-elected in 2022, along with Attorney General Phil Weiser, Secretary of State Jena Griswold, and Treasurer Dave Young, all of whom are friends of your solitary reporter).
Yesterday, after months and months of high political anxiety, California voters did the essential thing by voting overwhelmingly to let Gov. Gavin Newsom keep his job.
It was conservative Republicans who used the recall provisions of California law to try to oust the Democratic Governor, who carried considerable baggage into the very expensive recall campaign.
Recall campaigns were put into various state laws in the early 20th century on the theory that the voters should make decisions rather than officials elected by the states (“direct democracy”). Sounds good in theory. , but the amount of money spent by the various parties in the Newsom recall effort is outrageous: $292 million!
And, paying no regard to the critical public health issues involving Masks (and vaccinations), in the irresponsible mode of Americans Who Believe They Can Do Whatever They Want when the government tells them to do something, they hated and still hate Newsom’s Mask Mandates.
And Newsom’s participation, unmasked, in a dinner in an ultra-pricey Napa Valley restaurant called French Laundry, after he required all Californians to mask up, subjected him to appropriate backlash from his enemies. The backlash he endured reminded us here in Denver of what happened when Denver Mayor Michael Hancock flew to the Southeast for Thanksgiving last year at the same time he was telling his constitutents in the Mile High City not to travel because of The Virus.
But California, which has no less than fifty-three Members of the U S House of Representatives, is an overwhelmingly blue state, with House Minority Leader and Trump acolyte Kevin McCarthy the aberration, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a lifelong Democrat, presiding over the House with a very thin majority.
When the recall effort against Newsom began last year, initially it was regarded as a mere nuisance for the Democrats, but then a judge in Sacramento relaxed the requirements for signature-gathering because of The Virus, and the longer Newsom’s Mask Mandates continued, the proponents of the recall were then able to get the anti-Newsom recall on the ballot, which meant that California voters of whatever political bent are stuck with the huge cost of the recall.
Enter toxically right-wing conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder, an African American misogynist and pro-gun and anti-Black candidate who promptly became the leading Republiclan candidate who, if the recall succeeded, would have swept him into office just as Arnold Schwarzeneggar did in 2003.
So we reached out to our San Francisco-based associate solitary reporter, Susanna Sherman, and tasked her with reaching out to Scott Wilk, the Republican leader in the California Senate, to ask him for his thoughts on whether it was worthwhile to run Trump acolyte Larry Elder against Newsom, and whether the recall system in his state should be abolished.
Wilk’s response was concise: "Susanna, we ran Larry Elder against Newsom because he and Donald Trump are joined at the hip and because Elder is Black. As for the Recall procedures, we oppose any changes to that because we are rolling in extra cash and, let's face it, Mr. Trump is the heart and soul of our Party and we knew that he’s so popular with his base in our state that we knew we did the Right Thing."
When Sherman pointed out to Wilks that his party’s overwhelming loss is being viewed as a colossal mistake because of the rapidly approaching midterms, and also given that Trump is clearly running for re-election and counting on major GOP victories in the midterms, Wilk dismissed her from his office and instructed her to tell the solitary reporter to keep his hands out of California because California is a separate nation with its own notable peculiarities.
The only Republican among our stellar cast of associate solitary reporters is the fabled Eddie Cook, an evangelical pastor who serves as the Chairman of the Denver Republican Party, holding forth over its two hundred members. Cook told us that he attended Elder’s Defeat Party where he privately told everybody in attendance that if Trump decides not to run against President Biden in 2024, he will, unless he runs against Newsom next year, which seems to be what Wilks wants.