By George Miller
Two previous attempts to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom stalled. But his unprecedented handling, or as some would say, mishandling, of the COVID-19 response has given the movement new energy, life and a surprising amount of multi-partisan support, since a huge number of people are heavily and negatively impacted by his actions. At one point, a speaker asked for a show of hands of former Democrats and many hands went up. A smaller number admitted to voting for Newsom. It is definitely an uphill battle, but the event sponsors believe Newsom has been making it easier for them.
Note: some photos and links may not appear if you are viewing this on a newsgroup, so you can find them by clicking “source.”
RecallGavin2020.com provided a high-energy recall rally Saturday, August 8 at Promenade Park in Ventura to inject still more energy and urgency into the effort. They had varied speakers to hammer home their case and recall petition collectors following on to collect signatures and recruit helpers.
Nickolas Wildstar, the event emcee, was energetic, informed and knew how to keep the crowd pumped up. He actually ran against Newsom, as a Libertarian and then later for Fresno Mayor.
Their premise was that Newsom has perpetuated:
– An overreaching and unjustified approach to the COVID-19 response, which is destroying the economy, society and personal freedom.
-Particular malice towards churches, which are receiving disproportionate restrictions.
– Other objectionable aspects of his governorship (see below)
The recall petition, which pre-dates the COVID crisis, doesn’t even mention it. Here are the original grounds on it:
The stated grounds for this recall are as Follows: Governor Newsom has implemented laws which are detrimental to the citizens of this state and our way of life. Laws he endorsed favor foreign nationals, in our country illegally, over that of our own citizens. People in this state suffer the highest taxes in the nation, the highest homelessness rates, and the lowest quality of life as a result. He has imposed sanctuary state status and fails to enforce immigration laws. He unilaterally over-ruled the will of the people regarding the death penalty. He seeks to impose additional burdens on our state by the following; removing the protections of Proposition 13, rationing our water use, increasing taxes and restricting parental rights. Having no other recourse, we the people have come together to take this action, remedy these misdeeds and prevent further injustices.
We were told that if you are so inclined, you can download recall petitions, print them out, have them signed and return them to recallgavin2020.com agents. Some speakers urged attendees to text friends, talk about it on social media and solicit signature to get this on the ballot. This hasn’t been successfully done since Gov. Grey Davis was recalled in 2003 and replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger in a special election.
There were several busy booths for organizations selling various merchandise and ideas including the new Ventura County Conservatives group.
Although there was a hard core conservative base in attendance, there appeared to also be a lot of other people brought out by events of the last few months and last few years. The most visible ones, judging from signs, conversations and applause, were churchgoers outraged that they are being strangled by the various and ever-changing lockdown bans on activities.
One of the two keynote speakers, Senior Pastor Rob McCoy of Calvary Chapel Godspeak in Newbury Park, has been a tip of the spear in opposing restrictions on church services by the city, county and state. A former Thousand Oaks Mayor, he resigned his council seat because of irreconcilable differences with the city/county’s initial church shutdown orders, to announce that the church would reopen. It did, with the order being modified to permit very restricted services and procedures right after that. The church followed those, but then began to relax their adherence. When the state re-imposed the ban on in-church services again in July, the church kept right on conducting packed church services. In fact, they may be one of the few churches whose attendance was not severely impacted by what they say are “draconian” restrictions. McCoy was warned first orally, then in writing, then the county board of supervisors voted to authorize legal action and sued not only him, but the church and up to 1,000 “Does” who might flout the restrictions, Church elders voted unanimously to soldier on. McCoy told congregants that the first 1,000 attendees would get a prize- a summons. We covered this all in other articles in Citizens Journal.
McCoy made it clear that he believed that churches are essential, that County Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin, County Board of Supervisors (especially Bennett, Parks & Zaragoza) and Gov. Newsom were misguided at best and were badly hurting the county and state. He said we must stand firm on that, that he and his church are and that in-church services will continue – and they did on Sunday. The crowd seemed to love this. Quite a few church people were there with their signs and loud vocal approval.
Interestingly, both Levin and Newsom own wineries which have been penalized less than many of their competitors. Read this eyebrow-raising article on that.
Calvary Godspeak’s church building has had services since May, with no cases linked to them, he stated. He reiterated the statistics that you have only a 1/100% chance of dying of COVID-19 in the county, that deaths are decreasing, that very old and/or sick people are the main ones at risk and those are the ones to focus on protecting, instead of causing incalculable damage in shutting down our society and economy. He said they have no right to suppress them and that he is obedient to God, who called him to be a pastor, before government.
McCoy believes that the county has illegally and unnecessarily shuttered businesses, schools, churches and other institutions. He profusely thanked Supervisors Long and Huber for voting not to authorize litigation, in contrast to Bennett, Parks and Zaragoza, who did. He said the latter three need to go. Bennett is now running for Assembly District 37 rep and Zaragoza for Oxnard Mayor. Both are heavily favored to win.
McCoy said Calvary will be open for indoor services, in defiance of county and state orders. He said he did not ask for this conflict: “They called for this fight, we will respond… I only stand up because you’re backing me up”, he stated, gesturing to the crowd.
You can read articles by two of our reporters about Godspeak’s Sunday, August 9 services in Citizens Journal.
Activist, writer, blogger, media commentator David Harris, Jr., the other keynote speaker, attacked Newsom and the government response to COVID-19 in general. He and his wife were denied boarding by what he described as UN-American Airlines, even though he had a medical excuse not to wear a mask, he said. Harris retreated from California to live in Texas he lamented, as he loves it here, except for the government. He asked how we were enjoying our trial version of “Newsomlini’s” socialism. They’re using fear of the pandemic to get away with this, to shut down businesses and “mask shame” us, he warned. The social dicatators don’t care about the Constitution or our rights. We have to stay out of church and social distance elsewhere but they didn’t at John Lewis’ funeral and we had to listen to Obama bash our President there.
“This is all a massive set-up…. Make California Great Again! Recall Newsom.” “Chop the head off” first (he didn’t seem to mean that literally). Shifting to the national scene, he asked who were former Democrats. A lot of hands went up. As a black man, he is frustrated by how black voters and pastors have clung to the Democrats without much benefit. He referred to an unnamed bishop who exclaimed about that: “Lookit all da fools dancin’ for da massa!” When he asked how many had lost friends and family contacts due to political rifts- a majority of hands went up. He can’t fathom how black Christians support abortion advocate politicians and is thrilled at Trump’s pro=life stance and support for the black and Hispanic community. He and associates have had contact with and studied Trump’s actions which tell him Trump doesn’t have a racist bone in his body;.
He said it’s important that they retain the presidency, Senate and retake the House. Seeing what has taken place, we badly need it, he pleaded and asked all present to get on all four ig social media platforms- Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram, to communicate this widely.
Harris loves California, “but hates the policies which have driven it into the toilet.” He wrapped up with “Yeshua loves you/God loves you… who believes?” About 90% in attendance, apparently. “We are his army… don’t care about color or deeds…. God has a plan and the Dems are trying to destroy it.”
Psychologist Dr. Shannae Anderson emphasized the terrible impact on mental health imposed by the government handling of the COVID-19 situation, on “thousands of nameless, voiceless victims.” She cited some stunning statistics from sources unknown, claiming that there is an eightfold increase in serious mental health problems; 22-70% increase in moderate mental health problems; 600-100% increase in suicide hotline calls; higher suicide and overdose rate, especially among teens; alcohol sales are up 243%; addiction is way up; relapses are increasing; thousands of criminals are being released from prisons. She says children need to return to school (state not allowing it). In summary, the impact of COVID-19 measures is worse than the virus itself.
Talk show host, writer and speaker John Ziegler opened with a comment that former Gov. Grey Davis was recalled over a car tax, which seems pretty minor compared to what Newsom has done he opined. He has raked county officials over the coals before. When he first came to CA, he had no idea that the kind if things would happen here that are occurring now. He doesn’t understand why the people put up with it. He maintains that the state of emergency declaration is based upon a lie and that Newsom has in effect declared himself a dictator in perpetuity. Ziegler said Newsom inaccurately claimed that CA would only be shut down for 8 weeks, that 56% of the population would be infected and deaths would be huge. He has made himself king and doubled and tripled down on it with his actions. He added that the county doesn’t even need to renew its emergency declaration since the state order handles that.
He thinks it’s absurd that NY is opening its schools, yet CA remains locked down indefinitely. He says CA’s online “pretend learning” will be catastrophic for a generation of kids and for the state’s future.
When I spoke to Ziegler later, he said it was a nice day, he was glad people showed up to sign the petitions and help and that if it didn’t succeed, they would not get their liberty back. He said we have let government get out of control for far too long and that it will be very hard at this point to get it back. He said that the pastor (Rob McCoy) who spoke was profusely thanking and complimenting the heck out of Supervisors Kelly Long and Bob Huber for voting against legal action(referring to the county lawsuit against Calvary Godspeak, but they are the ones who let it happen by not speaking up sooner to redirect the response which has had a disastrous effect on the county.
The event venue, equipment and staffing were geared for at least a thousand people. There were about 600 there at the peak.
When I got home from this event, I learned that there will be a statewide reopening of hair salons on August 17 in defiance of the lockdown order. Some churches are already fighting the bans – two local examples: (1), (2).
Activist Mona Hansen was today prevented from collecting recall petition signatures at a table her group set up downtown.
Someone advised me not to call it a pandemic because it doesn’t meet the legal requirements to be so.
Recall Newsom Beach Party 8-8-20: original event announcement:
Join us at the Recall Newsom Beach Party on August 8th, 12 noon at Promenade Park, 668 East Harbor Blvd. in Ventura, Ca. Public parking available at 529 East Harbor Blvd.