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 “To the California critics who are promoting partisan, political power grabs with outdated prejudices and rejecting everything that makes California truly great, we say this: We will not be distracted from getting shots in arms and our economy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.
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.
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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Videotapes from Jan. 6 Committee Witness Interviews Vanish
Videotapes containing witness interviews conducted by the Democrat-led January 6 congressional committee have disappeared. The chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), expressed his apprehension on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.
According to Loudermilk, all videotapes of depositions have vanished, raising questions about the preservation of crucial evidence. He argued that, under House rules, these tapes qualified as congressional evidence, especially since some clips were aired during hearings. Loudermilk contended that the tapes should have been preserved by the now-defunct Jan. 6 committee and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
Loudermilk’s revelation has broader implications, potentially impacting criminal trials in both state court in Georgia and federal court in Washington, where individuals, including former President Donald Trump, face charges related to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Notably, Trump’s legal team had recently requested evidence from the Jan. 6 committee but was denied by a judge.
The situation takes a further twist as Loudermilk disclosed that the J6 committee had sent certain evidence, such as transcripts, to the Biden White House and the Homeland Security Department. Shockingly, these transcripts have now been returned to Loudermilk’s GOP-led subcommittee almost entirely redacted, preventing the disclosure of their contents.
The lack of records regarding witnesses, their statements, and the extensive redactions have raised concerns among House Republicans. Loudermilk emphasized that these documents belong to the House and should not have been sent in such a heavily redacted form. The chairman questioned the motives behind the redactions, asking why a Democrat-run House was allowed to have unredacted documents while a Republican committee’s efforts were obstructed. This development adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing investigations into the events surrounding January 6, 2021.
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