Newsom’ Recall, Part 3: Who Should Replace Him If He Loses?

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[Readers who are still deciding as of Labor Day: Please Note the Update way below, in Green, about the Green Party candidates.]

You’ll find Part 1 of this series here and Part 2 here.  It’s looking like there may be a Part 4; if so it will be listed here later.

12. Before Anything Else …

The deadline for filings to replace Gavin Newsom, if he is recalled in the September 14 election, is Friday, July 16.  To keep track of who’s filed for office before the full list appears on Saturday, this Secretary of State’s Cal-Access page your best resource.

  • You can sort it by whether people are accepting campaign spending limits, which is required of anyone who wants to have their candidate statement included in the state’s voter pamphlet.  Nine candidates aren’t, so far, including one Democrat, one Green, and seven Republicans.  Those Republicans include four leading ones — Caitlin Jenner, John Cox, Kevin Faulconer, and Odious Doug Ose — plus a No-Name Luciano, and two with Orange County ties: spectacular flop in CA-45 Rhonda Furin, and no longer OC’s Nickolas Wildstar.  (He just ran for Mayor of Bakersfield … and lost.)  Among the serious Republican contenders, Matt Munson’s two favorites — talk radio’s Larry Elder and child legislator Kevin Kiley — are accepting the limits, as are new-to-the-race Ted Gaines  and Major Williams. That gives you some sense of what sort of campaign to expect — lots of directed mail, lots of ads.  So … many … ads….
  • You can also sort by party!  You’ll find one American Independent, one Libertarian, four Greens, seventeen free-thinking but woefully unqualified Democrats of whole only one would be lucky to get 1% and the rest lucky to get 0.1%, and what looks like 33 Republicans, only six of which seem to have any shot.  (I’m not including Wildstar. Sorry, Vern.)
  • And yes, you can sort alphabetically by surname — and at the end you’ll find a Zacky.

13. Where We Left Off…

So why am I not only unconvinced to vote against recalling Gavin Newsom, but considering going beyond abstaining and voting to recall him?

I admit having a grudge against Newsom, though not one strong enough on its own to allow a Republican into the Governor’s mansion for even 13 months. It comes from his stance on making his fellow rich kids wealthy through the Poseidon desal debacle.  You can’t piss in someone’s face that blatantly and expect them to vote for you.  And let’s recall that when Newsom went to that image crushing dinner at the French Laundry restaurant after closing off such celebrations last year due to Covid, he did so to attend a party held there to honor Poseidon’s lobbyist!  To the extent Newsom favors Poseidon, I suspect that he does so not only because as a Northern Californian he wants Southern Californians to stop impinging on “their” water, but because those atrociously high water bills will be coming out of the Democrats’ County Enemy #1 — our Orange County — so screw us, right?

But that reasons wouldn’t be more than a tie-breaker in a recall.  My big reasons for voting against him, if I do, would be that:

  1. he has completely abandoned any pretense of loyalty to party, principle, and the public by keeping all decent Dems out of the race to replace him if he’s recalled, and
  2. his (to be overly kind) “lapse in judgment” by attending the French Laundry dinner happened to come at exactly the moment when it would undo the great deal of good done by his previous Covid policies — and contributed to California’s by-far worst wave of hospitalizations and deaths.  What he did, when the need for moral and ethical leadership was at its absolute peak, was simply not forgivable.  (Actually, he forgives himself, but that’s an extremely low bar to clear.)

So while I may disagree with someone who wants to recall Newsom, and believe that (whatever else it is) the recall is in part a blatant political power grab, I can’t claim convincingly that recall proponents’ motives are wholly suspect.  Newsom’s has largely earned some serious consequences for his actions — but he’s not (ever) contrite and not at all disposed to punish himself.

“I should have been a better role model,” to paraphrase his apology.  YA THINK?  And does he think that he then gets to say, “That said, let’s move on”?  (Well, yes, he does think that.)

I don’t know, at this moment, how I will vote on the first part of the recall ballot.  I have objections to both sides of the argument, and I may (uncharacteristically) sit that question out.  (I’ve already decided that all of my effort will go to the second part of the ballot — what non-Democrat (Newsom’s preference, definitely not mine) will replace him if he leaves.

My tentative guide has been this: if Newsom endorses one good candidate to gather up all of the Democratic votes and win, then I will support him — but if he doesn’t, then he’s just too much of a selfish asshole to get my vote.  (That may change, but at this moment I like its simplicity.)

do already know how I’d strongly prefer all this to end.  I’ll leave until to the end here, and probably expand on it in Part 4.

14. Newsom’s Diktat is
Killing Democrats

Newsom’s diktat that no Democrat shall run to replace him if he is recalled, lest they tempt voters to support the recall, has worked amazingly well: no Democrat in the race has even a remote chance to win; none are even remotely qualified to serve.

That’s a harsh judgment, but look at this list (as of Thursday) and tell me about any exception you see:

BAADE, HOLLY L. GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
DEITCH, DOUGLAS GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
DIXON, JASON L. GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
DRAKE, JOHN R. GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
FANARA, ANTHONY L. GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
FARLEY, BRYAN T GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
GRIFFIS, ROBERT D. GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
HUANG, LUIS M GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
KILPATRICK, PATRICK GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
LEONARD, TORR H. GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
LUPOLI, JEREMY B GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
PAFFRATH, KEVIN GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
PALMIERI, RONALD J. GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
PEREZ-SERRATO, ARMANDO GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
VENTRESCA, JOEL A. GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
WADE, FRANK HENRY GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES
WATTS, DANIEL THOMAS GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC YES

(This is a good time to remind you that not everyone on this list will end up running.  OC’s Luis Huang has already pulled out — after he found about the $4000 filing fee.)

The “leading candidate” on the Democratic side is Kevin Paffrath, a YouTube personality and “Landlord/influencer.”  I guess that if there’s anything that can boost Democratic turnout, it’s a guy who goes on YouTube to give advice to landlords.

The Democratic Party, even if it is enforcing a “viable candidate boycott” simply to appease its leader, bears the blame for this decision.  So one thing I’m not doing is trying to figure out who’s the best Democrat running: there isn’t one.  If I were to vote for a major party candidate, it would have to be for the best (meaning most moderate) Republican — but I’m mad at them, too.

The leading Republican candidates seem to be:

  • San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
  • transwoman and former Olympian Caitlin Jenner.
  • northernmost California Congressman Odious Doug Ose
  • anti-choicelibertarian crank and 2018 nominee John Cox
  • northernmost California Trumpian Ted Gaines
  • wunderkind Sacramento Assembly member Kevin Kiley
  • African-American libertarian talk show host Larry Elder
  • African-American entrepreneur Major Williams

Faulconer is the only thing close to a Main Street moderate.  Jenner is next-most: she is a trans rights activist (except where sports are concerned), but she also backed Ted Cruz in 2016.  Her views mostly seem like those of an avaricious socialite.

Other Republican candidates providing comic relief include:

  • Violence-prone reality-TV cad/sellout Steve Cabot Lodge
  • Former Fullerton libertarian & rapper Nickolas Wildstar
  • Truly pathetic 2020 CA-45 candidate Rhonda Furin
  • Possibly, Trumper actor Randy Quaid might join them.

(One of the few positives in all this is that at least we’ll get to see the last five years of Lodge’s taxes — it’s a requirement!)

15. Why are So Many
Republicans Running?

If you’re a careful Orange Juice reader, you’re probably thinking: “Aren’t all of those Republicans going to split the vote?”  This comes up every election — so why not here?  Politico’s Carla Marinucci presents an interesting theory about this, one that is partly persuasive and partly seems like disinformation.

This idea is this: the main goal for Republicans is to get rid of Newsom, who if left in place is likely to win re-election in 2022 and possibly win the Presidency in 2024.  So by inviting so many Republicans to run — including prominent ones, and including prominent Black conservative ones — the goal is an effect that we sometimes call “reverse coattails”: each of the many candidates will entice their own followings to the polls, because once the voters are there they will also vote to recall Newsom, building the enthusiasm advantage that could offset the party registration gap.

Meanwhile, nothing except Newsom and people parroting him is enticing Democrats to the polls.  This was the point of the “Run Maxine Waters and Dianne Feinstein” notion offered previously.

Marinucci doesn’t really say this explicitly, but  doesn’t likely matter to Republicans which candidate would win: any of them would serve big business; most would serve the white grievance culture wars as well.  They are all essentially fungible.

If true, this plan has one big weakness: would fall victim to one problem: a single competent and viable Democrat could win the Part 2 race due to the party registration gap and the fear of a Trumpy California.  Then, all Republicans get is Newsom’s head on their trophy wall.

Only the incredibly stupid posture of Democrats — Newsom or Nothin’! — makes this weird reverse coattails theory possible.

16. Enter the Disruptor

There’s only one problem with Marinucci’s scenario of everyone bringing their own case of supporters to the party: Donald Trump has to be convinced to go along with it, and such is not his nature.

Trump may invite everyone to come to Mar-a-Lago to kiss his … ring.  Anyone who doesn’t — Faulconer, Jenner, probably Cox — will be denounced by him so loudly that it will be etched onto their tombstones.  Most leading candidates probably will, though — this is the clearest pathway to winning — and Trump will have his pick between Elder, Gaines, Kiley, Ose, and Williams.  He’ll pick someone — he probably doesn’t yet know who, because it can be won only through jumping hoops he hasn’t yet devised — and he’ll tell the others that it would be much better for them not to run, but rather to campaign for his choice and reap the benefits of that loyalty (while avoiding the costs of disloyalty.)

That would mean that one or two viable Democrats would be running against Trump’s choice and perhaps three moderates (too many moderates for any of them to out-poll the single Trump choice, even in an anti-Trump state — but it’s still enough to have a shot if one or two of the others falter in the polls) — which means that there’s still a shot.

Unfortunately, a legit Democrat can’t beat Trump and the relative GOP moderates if they don’t file by tomorrow afternoon.

These are the eight best possibilities that progressives can hope for, reading from right to left. Right: moderate Republicans Kevin Faulconer and Caitlin Jenner..2nd from right, moderate Democrats Gavin Newsom and Kevin “Meet Paffrath” Paffrath. Second from left: *someone like* liberal Alan Lowenthal; Lt. Gov. Eleni Lounilakis (despite that she’d not running.) . Left: Greens Veronika Fimbres and Daniel Kapelovitz. Where are the liberal Democrats? Read on!.

17. Any of These Democrats
Could Avert a Disaster

Democrats in state government are pretty much to follow Newsom down to the bottom of the ocean as surely as the crew of the Pequod followed Captain Ahab: mutiny is worse than death.  But, not every Democrat is in state Government!

The Democrats who really should be running as a provisional replacement are in Congress — especially ones who are older, near the end of their career, and  somewhat isolated from Newsom’s mightly grip on the party.  The prototype of this would be someone like Alan Lowenthal,(whom I keep using as an example, including in the cover graphic of a possible savior in part because it probably irks him — but it’s also true! ), perhaps a Barbara Lee (except that she wouldn’t enjoy this job as much as her existing one.)

Gil Cisneros and Harley Rouda are plausible candidates.  I don’t think that Loretta Sanchez would try — she’d be looking for a seat in a possible future Newsom Administration — but Linda Sanchez might make it work — and help defeat the recall by bringing out the Latin@ vote. Even some younger members of Congress — Eric Swalwell would be a good choice, as would Ro Khanna — could do it, but they might still need the party’s good graces too much.  (One ambitious rep who should not run is  Katie Porter: she has too much to lose, and needs the party’s support, especially to get the Governor’s support as a possible appointment to replace Feinstein.)  Two of the better choices — Tom Steyer and Lt. Gov. Eleni Kouualakis — have already said no (though if Newsom told Eleni to….)

I predict that none of the above people who should run will run, because Newsom and the major union donors running his campaign will find a way to destroy them if they step out of line.  (That’s exactly the sort of political move that depresses turnout.)

Another person who can circumvent the stupidity of Newsom’s boycott is … Newsom himself!  Perhaps Newsom does have one favored potential successor in mind — and that person might file in the last hour of Friday afternoon, when it’s too late for anyone to step up and ruin Newsom’s plan!  If Newsom does pull off that sort of sleight of hand, I will stand up and cheer for him — even if the person he chooses is relatively bad, as seems very likely.

Unfortunately for the state, Newsom is not likely being so clever.  And the Republican strategy is clever and plausible enough that he has a pretty good chance of losing.

18. So What is One to Do?

Given the stakes, all Democrats “working without a net” like this, just because the Governor says so is not merely craven: it is insane. As a member of the Democratic electorate, I consider it a betrayal.  So here’s what I plan to do once the final list of candidates comes out from Shirley Weber’s office on Saturday:

A.  If a viable Democrat runs, and manages to get Newsom’s support, I will vote to retain Newsom, because whatever his other faults he’d no longer be selfishly betraying his party’s interests — and whatever my estimation of him I would happily vote to squelch the recall if he stopped extorting opposition to it.

B. If a viable Democrat runs but does not gain Newsom’s support as a possible replacement, I will vote to recall Newsom due to his selfish betrayal.

But what if no viable Democrat runs?

C. I can’t see voting for a piffle of a nominal Democrat like “Paffrath the YouTube guy with No Chance to Win.”  (Frankly, if the party places Newsom’s dictates above the welfare of its voters, it doesn’t deserve to be bailed out by some celebrity.  The party will have earned its humiliating loss.)

But that doesn’t mean that a Republican has to win!

Could an No Party Preference (Independent) candidate win?  Checks the list:

CANADA, CARLA L. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
COOK, MARY E. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
DAWSON, MARIANA B. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
FLOYD, ELIZABETH (LIBBY) S. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
GABRIEL, MICHAEL LYNN GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
HADJINIAN, ADAM M GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
HANINK, JAMES G GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
KAUL, KEVIN K. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
KURDIAN, PAUL MESROP GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
LOEBS, MICHAEL A GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
LUCEY, DENIS P. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
MARCINIAK, JEREMIAH E. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
MOORE, DAVID GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
NAZAR, JEMISS GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
OLSON, LEE W GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
PAPAGAN, ADAM GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
RICHTER, DENNIS L. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
ROTH, MARC A. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
SHIOURA, HILAIRE FUJI GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
SYMMON, JOE M. GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES
ZANDPOUR, BEN GOVERNOR NO PARTY PREFERENCE YES

Ummmm … no.  Not even Placentia’s Hiliaire Fuji Shioura, could pull that off.

So where does that leave us?

19. Doing the Unthinkable

I expect that most Democrats — perhaps spitting mad at Newsom and the Democratic Party once they realize how badly they have screwed its voters — will be willing to try a third party.  I’m almost always against this when it means vote-splitting — but here, the Democrats themselves have split — as in left town — so there’s every reason to let the Greens save us!

This action — voting for a candidate of another party in a partisan race — is the cardinal sin of the California Democratic Party and the DPOC.  So I encourage people: don’t smile too broadly when you do it!

I don’t want to cast a protest vote with the stakes this high but if I must it will be against the craven party that lets Newsom get away with vetoing the use of any safety net.  I will have to beat the drum for one of the four Green candidates who have taken out papers, and try to get every Democrat with a lick of sense to do the same.

But do you know what would be even better than a protest vote?

WINNING with such a candidate!

Is there a way to manage that, with Democrats and Independents (and Peace & Freedom candidates, for that matter) irrelevant?

You may just be surprised!  Who knows who will stay in the race, but let’s look over those four Green candidates while we wait.

None of the Green or quasi-Greens are running — Gayle McLaughlin could win, and Josh Jones has at least run a race — but the others are all interesting.  For Democrats, perhaps even more enticing that betting it all on “It’s Gavin or a Republican.”

Here are the four Green candidates:

CARLSON, CHRISTOPHER N. GOVERNOR GREEN PARTY YES
FIMBRES, VERONIKA GOVERNOR GREEN PARTY YES
KAPELOVITZ, DANIEL I. GOVERNOR GREEN PARTY NO
SHANTZ, A. GOVERNOR GREEN PARTY YES

I’ll take them alphabetically by first name, because Greens don’t have to be bound by tradition!

A. Shantz

Alex (aka “A.”) Shantz is Co-Coordinator (with Sanda Everette) of the Green Party of CA.  So that suggests a certain level of political understanding and interpersonal level skill right there.

But would the Democratic electorate really go along with a platform like this?

The party’s stated platform is composed of five main issues:[7]

  • Ecology“Our commitment to environmental justice has helped us to understand that in a closed system we all live downstream and downwind. Of special importance is the need to rectify the practice of toxic racism.”

  • Community-based sustainable economics“As an alternative to an economy owned by either government or gigantic corporations, Greens favor a Jeffersonian model with ownership and control spread as widely as possible among Californians.”’

  • Democracy and electoral reform“One of the primary goals of the Green Party is to change our electoral system from winner-take-all elections to proportional representation (PR). PR is an over-all strategy for fuller and fairer representation in government, that encompasses several types of voting systems. It is used by most of the world’s established democracies.”

  • Peace and nonviolence“Convert our economy to a peaceful basis, including the disposition of closed military sties. This should be planned and administered at local and regional levels. The peace dividend could help to fund these changes.”

  • Social justice and livable communities“The Green Party of California (GPCA) believes that the right to belong to an independent, democratic, member-run, labor union is a fundamental human right, and that the widespread existence of such unions is vital to ensure a more democratic and just society.”

Ehhh .. I suppose that there’s some chance that they would!

No, seriously — I think that a candidate with that platform could win over most Democrats as a contingency choice (compared to a Republican) for Governor.  Most Democrats are not the thralls who run and manage the State Party.  As its co-top official, it seems to me that Shantz would have the inside track to becoming the Green Party’s de facto nominee

I have just one reservation: would Shantz actually want to be Governor?  Would they (I don’t know their gender) be willing to do the grungy job of working with a likely hostile legislature — which would demand compromise and wield a mean veto threat! — to make the government work and, among other things, probably work to enact a ranked voting system that would allow the Green Party to thrive?

I know some Greens who would do it.  I know some who wouldn’t. I even know some would would like to see the system collapse due to its own contradictions, with which I am not down.  I will try to interview Shantz, if they’re still on the ballot on Monday, and find out where they stand.  But at this point, some seem a lot more credible than Paffley!

Christopher Carlson

Christopher Carlson, a Sacramento State grad, is by profession a puppeteer and musician who works in musical theater.  (I hope that he will rename the street the Capitol is on to “Avenue Q.”)

He ran for Governor in 2018 as well, losing (duh!) in the primary.  But he left behind a Voter’s Edge questionnaire by which he can be fairly evaluated.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Natural Disasters; Emergency Response
  • Ending Fracking
  • Sending a California Woman to Mars

Political Philosophy

Meteor Theory is the general idea that meteors are responsible for major events in the course of human civilization, notably in 2800 bc and 540 ad.

By understanding the damage and worldwide effects of an impact, we can pass on working, useful knowledge and survival stories to future humans as language evolves away from our ability to warn them.

Not if, but when arsenic rains into the freshwater supply, bread fails, and the stars disappear by atmospheric detritis, and our entire green energy grid is disabled, California might be able to mitigate the damage, having recognized before others that we are a human system with limited funds on a ball of rock floating in space

Mmmmmmm … no.  I didn’t watch the videos, which might impress me more — and I won’t — but while I wish him and his good heart and dexterous fingers well, this does not exceed the Paffley Line.

Daniel Ignace Kapelovitz

I just love this guy.  Not everything about him, but if we had been contemporaries I think that we’d have made wonderful legal comrades-in-arms.  If I am ever up for a criminal trial this is the guy I’d like the court to appoint for me.  He seems like a mensch.

In college, Kapelovitz was recruited by his roommate, the Features Editor of pornographer Larry Flynt’s Hustler, as a writer.  He had enormous freedom (and more than usual resources) to write whatever stories he wanted for the magazine — as he noted, people didn’t buy Hustler for the articles (no, that was Playboy; Penthouse was for the letters), and so he could cover some serious political horrors and get the legitimate coverage of them in front of a large number of (somewhat glazed) eyeballs.  He took over the Features Editor position when his friend ghosted.  And he went to UCLA Law, finishing within the top ten of graduates.  So, he’s smart.

He put in a little time as a deputy DA, learned their tricks, and became a public defender.  He’s now a criminal defense attorney; he named his solo practice the “Radical Law Center,” (and seems like he earns the name).  He sounds like an amazing and engaging guy.  Read his site (including the blog that stops in 2015); he’s obviously plenty sharp and politically committed, and could probably hire a whole bunch of great idealists to take with him to Sacramento.

Can a person without Sacramento experience serve as Governor.  Arnold did it; Caitlin is a serious possibility; and this guy seems smarter than either, so I’d say probably so.  His success as a trial lawyer suggests that he knows how to deal with people and rules that demand precision and formality.  I think he could govern.  What I don’t know is whether he could get elected.

The first big problem is his ties with Flynt, even if he did not deal the the problematic parts of the Flynt Empire, nor did he likely  make Flynt much money.  I’ll interview him about that, I hope, and hear from some feminists about whether the good work he’s done excuses that tie.  (Let’s not forget that Flynt was a true First Amendment soldier, in addition to a flesh photo merchant, and it’s not like his magazines wouldn’t have sold without the articles.

So I rate him about even with Alex for now.  If this were simply about finding a good protest candidate, he’d be it — but I want to see if I can find someone who can take half of the lost and forlorn Democratic vote — and that means factoring in the zeitgeist. Does his story make him too easy to trash?  How great are his best accomplishments in law?  One thing I expect is that he’ll end up on Vern’s speed dial  when various of OC’s unfortunates need criminal representation.

Veronika Fimbres

Veronika Fimbres may be the one of this quartet with whom I’d click the least.  (Maybe because of her, maybe because of me.)  But she also has what may be the best story — and the best chance of getting enough of the Democratic and independent vote to beat the top Republican.  You will soon suspect that I must be insane to think so, but hear me out.

Fimbres is a Black transwoman of a certain age — she describes herself as a “Historical Living Legend” — who who served in the Navy, as a nurse, and on San Francisco’s Veterans’ Commission.

Let’s just pause for a moment to regroup.  Black transwoman.  [consults latest readings of the zeitgeist meter]  Seems to have appeal.  Not only that, but she was a leader in the movement.  Even better.  She was an Licensed Vocation Nurse — implicitly, she dealt with HIV/AIDS issues when doing so was difficult and draining — and also served in the Navy and on a San Francisco’s Veteran’s Committee.  [The zeitgeist reader is very happy!]

She has been very active in HIV/AIDS and housing issues; she has compiled an impressive Facebook page.  Not much more formal political experience, but  experience with the political infighting and compromises of ground-level issue politics may be more relevant to navigating Sacramento than one might think.

(Dan Kapelovitz and Alex Shantz should high among her top staff id she wins.)

What I don’t know yet is whether she has the chops:

  • Can she do well in a hostile interview?  A friendly one?  How easy is it to drag her off topic?  Bait her into a gaffe?
  • Can she quickly understand, expound on, and present complicated positions?  (This is mostly about her age.)
  • Can she code-switch between fabulous Black transwoman (if she does that) and  “respectable talking head” when needed?  If she won’t, can she convey why she shouldn’t have to, that she should be accepted as is?
  • Is she eloquent?  Witty?  Thoughtful?  Can she combine humor with the necessities of challenge and disdain?
  • On the negative side: is she too mean?  Power mad?  Painfully vain, self-impressed, or enough of a diva to alienate more than she attracts?

Let’s presume for now that she is:

  • So: she could get the LGBTQI+ vote, which is very unpappy with Caitlin.
  • She could get much of the Black vote, because of her interest in public health, her background as a nurse, and her interest in leftist takes on housing policy, which I promise you you’re not going to see from Larry Elder of Major Williams.
  • Unless it gets split too deeply, she’ll get the progressive vote.  Putting her in office would be a milestone — especially if she’s the most liberal Governor we’ve had since … Brown term 1?  Ever?  That’s nothing to sneeze at!
  • She won’t get the truly moderate independent vote, but she would get almost all of the non-ideological “politicians suck! Screw you, assholes!  Mama Veronika is going to spank your butts!” vote.
  • And that (and the fact that she drained the battery on my zeitgeist reader) means that she’d get A LOT of the youth vote. That means registering people and bringing them in!
  • If she has the chops, she’d be the Anti-Trump — the impossible to father Disruptor — but for kindness and good.  And she might only need 25-30% of the votes to win!

If — IF — she has the chops!  And I think that she might!  Let me go look at some videos. … … …

OMG: I haven’t seen her totally tested, but: looks like she has very good chops!  She could easily fit into the Squad!

OK, she’s not as good of a bet to win as Alan Lowenthal might be, but if no Green or Dem more clearly able to win and serve enters the race by this Friday, she just may be the second-best chance we’ve got to stave off a Republican Governor.


UPDATE IN GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE NEWS:

  • Fimbres didn’t run — and endorsed Kapelovitz.
  • Shantz didn’t run — and endorsed Kapelovitz.
  • Carlson didn’t run — and I have no idea what he did.
  • The Green Party ultimately endorsed Kapelovitz.
  • While I’m a Democrat, in this case I wholly agree with them.

The best chance, though, is … is … oh, let’s go there!  Read on!

20. Pulling Out the Rug from Under

There is one absolutely sure way that Gov. Newsom could defeat the recall — and he do so in a way that would leave the public appreciative and giggling and Republicans demoralized and less likely to try this sort of stunt again for fear of a repeat face-plant.

[NOTE: It turned out that if Newsom resigns, after enough petitions for a recall have been filed, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis “steps into his shoes” and — somewhat ridiculously, but that’s the law — becomes the target of the recall.  If you’re reading this in the last 10 days of the election — I still think that he should resign anyway!]

It would work brilliantly, leaving Newsom viable for 2022 — and maybe more viable, because it’s a happy kind of clever, in 2024.

Newson could just pull out the rug from under the recall … and resign.  Reflect, recoup, show real remorse — and run in 2022.

We’ll start out Part 4 on that note.

(Don’t comment on this last bit yet; you’ll get your chance tomorrow after I’ve explained it!


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)