- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 11, 2021

As each day passes, it looks more and more like California Gov. Gavin Newsom is about to be recalled.

The campaign to recall Gov. Newsom announced Wednesday it has more than 2 million signatures, with one week left until deadline. In order to recall the governor, 1.5 million verified signatures are required. Many of the signatures collected will undoubtedly be disqualified, but the recall campaign said they already have 1.8 million signatures verified through a third-party vendor, according to Fox 11 Los Angeles. 

Mr. Newsom, the king of government lockdowns and do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do rulings, may soon be seeing the consequences of his edicts — from one of the most liberally populated states in America. 

Under Mr. Newsom’s one-man lockdown rule, California’s small businesses have been decimated, gyms have remained shuttered, families can’t attend church, nursing home residents have died, children remain out of schools, homelessness runs rampant, and thousands of California jobs have been lost.

California was one of the earliest states to lock down last spring, grinding small businesses to a halt. It tried to reopen in the fall, only to proceed to a second lockdown in December. Nearly 40,000 small businesses closed in September, more than any other state in the nation, according to a report by Yelp. Half of those shuttered permanently. The stop-and-go fits have frustrated California constituents, creating momentum around Mr. Newsom’s recall. 

What’s further evident the draconian lockdowns didn’t stop the spread of coronavirus within the state, and others, like Florida who opened back up, have had better results.

California’s coronavirus death rate among seniors — the most vulnerable population to the virus — is about 20% higher than Florida’s, which has a larger senior population, based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. 

California shut down all of its beaches and public recreation areas in April, while Florida’s were open. It made no difference, as both states tracked nearly identical infection rates that month. Florida opened its theme parks in June, including Disney World. Mr. Newsom has just allowed Disneyland to reopen on April 1, but there will be limits on crowd capacity. As a result, leisure and hospitality jobs fell in California by 30% and only 15% in Florida. 

Mr. Newsom has also been laissez faire about getting children back in the classroom, as teachers’ unions in his state have refused to return. Amid recall pressure, no doubt, a deal was struck with the Los Angeles teachers union — the second-largest school district in the nation — to get kids back in class by mid-April. The agreement, which was just made Wednesday, is contingent upon a variety of health measures like teacher vaccinations and is not guaranteed to go through. Meanwhile, schools opened in Florida last fall, and the coronavirus per-capita rate among children in both states is about the same.

Mr. Newsom’s winter lockdown also appears not to have made any difference. Between Nov. 1 and Feb. 28, there were 6.4 cases per 100 people in California, compared to 5 cases per 100 people in open Florida. But the economic difference has been huge — Florida’s unemployment rate was 6.1% as of December, compared with California’s 9%. Meaning 1.7 million people are unemployed in California compared to about 614,000 in Florida.

Then there’s Mr. Newsom’s do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do actions. Who can forget the viral pictures of him hosting a maskless dinner party inside the swanky French Laundry in defiance of his own lockdown restrictions?

Facing an all-but-certain recall, Mr. Newsom is now in full campaign mode. He delivered a State of the State speech and vowed to reopen California’s economy. However, the damage has already been done. Thousands of small businesses have been destroyed, children have lost a year of schooling, and residences of the Golden State have been fleeing in droves. 

It’s time for Californians to look at Mr. Newsom’s record — especially compared with other states in the nation — and give him the boot.

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