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Gov. Newsom admits he ‘made mistakes’ during pandemic

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As a petition against him is nearing the required threshold to trigger a recall election, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) admitted Tuesday night that he has “made mistakes” during the pandemic and called the petition a “partisan power grab.”

“Look, we’ve made mistakes,” Newsom said during his State of the State speech at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, according to SFGATE. “I’ve made mistakes. But we own them, we learn from them, and we never stop trying.”

“I just want you to know – we’re not going to change course just because of a few naysayers and doomsdayers,” added the governor, who was first elected in 2018 with 62% of the vote. “To the California critics who are promoting partisan, political power grabs with outdated prejudices and rejecting everything that makes California truly great, we say this: We will not be distracted from getting shots in arms and our economy booming again. This is a fight for California’s future.”

Watch Gov. Newsom’s full 2021 State of the State address here.

The petition began picking up steam in the latter part of last year as Newsom came under increasing criticism for his handling of the pandemic. The Golden State enforced business-related shutdowns and COVID-19 restrictions that were strict comparative to other high-population states like Florida and Texas. The governor has also been attacked for his winter stay-at-home order that was questioned even by members of his own party, a slow vaccine rollout, and for most students being forced to learn from home.

RELATED: Push to recall Gov. Newsom receives $500K donation from firm

Newsom also came under fire back in the autumn when he was caught violating his own COVID-19 restrictions by dining indoors and maskless at the high-end French Laundry restaurant with a large group of people from multiple households. The governor subsequently apologized for attending the dinner party, saying it was a “bad mistake”.

On Sunday, recall leaders announced that they have collected 1.95 million signatures just a little more than a week before the deadline, nearly hitting their goal of 2 million to trigger a recall election later this year, according to The Sacramento Bee. Though only 1.5 million signatures are needed for the petition to force an election, activists had to collect an excess since many signatures are often ruled invalid during the review process.

The most recent signature verification numbers from the Secretary of State’s Office, per The Bee, found that about 83% of the signatures counted by early February were valid. There’s no guarantee that validity rate will hold for the remaining signatures, the newspaper pointed out, but if it does, proponents would reach the threshold needed to trigger a special recall election.

RELATED: Poll: 40% of New Yorkers support recalling Gov. Cuomo

According to SFGATE, Tuesday night is the first time that Newsom has directly acknowledged the petition.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Oklahoma passes bill banning majority of abortions from ‘moment of fertilization’

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Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law on Wednesday which bans virtually all abortions “from the moment of fertilization.”

“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today. From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother,” Stitt said in a statement. “That is what I believe and that is what the majority of Oklahomans believe.”

The state legislature first approved the bill, which goes into effect immediately, last week. It bans abortions from the moment of fertilization, except for in cases where rape or incest occurred, or where the mother’s life is in danger.

The law also allows for private citizens to sue doctors or those who participate in “producing an abortion for up to $10,000, mimicking the enforcement mechanism in Texas’s fetal heartbeat law” reports National Review.

Under the new law it is a felony offense to perform an abortion, “which will take effect in August unless a court challenge blocks it.”

 

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