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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 “To the California critics who are promoting partisan, political power grabs with outdated prejudices and rejecting everything that makes California truly great, we say this: We will not be distracted from getting shots in arms and our economy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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New York City Dems Push Law to Allow 800,000 Non-Citizens to Vote in Municipal Elections

The New York City Council will vote on December 9 on a law to allow green-card holders and residents with work permits to vote in municipal elections

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New York’s Democratic party is battling over the constitutionality of voter laws. On December 9, the New York City Council will vote on a law to allow green-card holders and residents with work permits to vote in municipal elections.

“Around 808,000 New York City residents who have work permits or are lawful permanent residents would be eligible to vote under the legislation, which has the support of 34 of 51 council members, a veto-proof majority” reports Fox News.

“It’s important for the Democratic Party to look at New York City and see that when voting rights are being attacked, we are expanding voter participation,” Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a sponsor of the bill and Democrat who represents the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, told the New York Times. Rodriguez immigrated from the Dominican Republic and became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Fox News reports:

Laura Wood, Chief Democracy Officer for the mayor’s office, said at a hearing on the bill in September that the law could violate the New York State Constitution, which states that voters must be U.S. citizens age 18 or older.

Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated he could veto the bill following the September hearing.
“We’ve done everything that we could possibly get our hands on to help immigrant New Yorkers—including undocumented folks—but…I don’t believe it is legal,” de Blasio told WNYC radio at the time.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams, however, submitted testimony to the September hearing in favor of the bill. “In a democracy, nothing is more fundamental than the right to vote and to say who represents you and your community in elected office…Currently, almost one million New Yorkers are denied this foundational right.”

The legislation was first introduced two years ago, but had not yet gained traction due to the legal concerns.

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