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The Tenuous Tenure of Gavin Newsom | GPR Editorial

A casual weekend drive along Pacific Coast Highway 101, mid morning, in San Diego’s North County harkens to a vibrance and fitness that epitomize shoreline California. Near every man jogging is buff and shirtless. The women are clad in sports bras and snug running shorts, their hair oft French braided and dancing in pace at every stride. Surfers trot enthusiastic toward beach access points as though they’re beset by trumpets to attack the crests of waves that wrest and surge below the beach bluffs. And bicyclists almost entirely overtake whole car lanes, bringing clouds of chatter as they pass, as their smooth-tuned cranks and gear shifts whir and click.

But lest we forget — it wasn’t long at all ago that all of this was gone. The idyllic street scene simply lay empty, entirely so, forcefully so, at the hand of COVID uncertainty — and overreach. On a casual weekend drive along the 101, it’s easy now to forget where California leadership took us in March and April and May of 2020.

Governor Gavin Newsom will be quick to assail the impending Recall election as a “Republican Recall,” as his ceaseless anti-recall ads assert. But his grip over the California Department of Public Health and his coziness with heavyweight unions to include the California Teachers Association (CTA) converged to paralyze California entirely. Businesses shuttered — and stayed closed. Beaches were cleared. Walkway rail trails and sidewalks too. Parks as well. A paddle boarder, alone in the ocean, was chased down and arrested by police and lifeguards with jet skis. None of which, in blame, bears the color of Red or Blue of politics.

Newsom crafted school reopening policies though, replete with politics entwined within them. Teachers were necessary but not “essential” in ways that firefighters, police, trash collectors and highway road crews all were. Necessary but not “essential” the way, too, that truckers and gas station attendants and grocery clerks had all been dubbed. Somehow not teachers.

Far easier was it for Newsom to clamp down and hold shut all of California for blocks of months than to restore commerce and access to public service as “the science” began to clarify what helped curtail COVID viral spread and what didn’t. Never did he react or respond to the cataclysm of depression created by isolation, most notably for the children shut from attending public schools, even in the face of workarounds and successes conjured by private schools out of their fiscal necessity.

None of this blame cast on Newsom bears the color of Red or Blue of politics. He did this. He chose what valves to open or close tight, not in governance of our needs in California — but for his own whims and favoritism for union cronies.

In truth, schools would have stayed shuttered through all last year until parents in San Diego sued the state. And commerce wouldn’t have returned without restriction on June 16, if not for the loom of the Recall that formed and cast cloud over Newsom’s head. Being forced into a corner, at each turn, has been the only mechanism that has worked with Newsom. And we report here, now, that it’s long overdue to change the way that California is governed.

On your next casual weekend drive — remember what was taken and restored only by Newsom being cornered. For us at Great Pacific Review, it’s clear: YES on the Recall of Gavin Newsom.

Great Pacific Review (GPR) is a news and commentary service of Prattlon Digital Media. Follow GPR as we continue to augment our team of content contributors and develop more robust coverage of California, the Pacific Coast region and beyond.


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