The US state of California is headed on Tuesday toward a recall election for Governor Gavin Newsom who is accused of destroying lives and businesses in the Golden State amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Democrat faces being ousted before the end of his term. More than 2 million signatures have been collected, more than the required 1.5 million, by recall supporters and organizers.
Signatures will be submitted Wednesday to county election officials, who will verify their authenticity by April 29. They will then notify the results to the secretary of state's office. Shirley Weber, a former Democratic legislator appointed by Newsom in December, heads the office.
Gavin Newsom can’t defend the reasons behind the recall so he is attacking the people behind it. How’s that working out for ya Gov? things are stacking up in favor of recall! You might want to focus more on the reasons supporting it and less on the people who support it. pic.twitter.com/LrznzASIdm
— Orrin Heatlie (@recallgavin2020) March 16, 2021
“Unaffordable housing. Record homelessness. Rising crime. Failing schools. Independent contractors thrown out of work. Exploding pension debt. And now, a locked down population while the prisons are emptied. Hold Gavin Newsom accountable. Gavin Newsom must go,” according to the website, Recall California Governor Gavin Newsom 2020.
Newsom Responds to the Recall
Newsom responded on Monday via Twitter to the push for recall. “I won’t be distracted by this partisan, Republican recall — but I will fight it. There is too much at stake,” he said. He then added that “Getting Californians vaccinated, our economy safely reopened, and our kids back in school are simply too important to risk.”
The governor also launched on Monday a website that claimed a coalition of national Republicans, which include anti-vaxxers, Q-Anon conspiracy theorists and anti-immigrant Trump supporters, are behind the recall efforts.
“Instead of helping fight the pandemic, these partisan forces are pulling a page from the Trump playbook and attacking Californians,” said the stoptherepublicanrecall.com website.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki also said President Joe Biden is against efforts to remove Newsom.
California Governor Took a Controversial Step
The California governor last week took a highly controversial step. He gave a green light to the release of an Armenian terrorist responsible for the murder of Turkey's consul general in Los Angeles.
Harry (Hampig) Sassounian was convicted of fatally shooting Kemal Arikan nearly four decades ago. It happened while Arikan sat in his car at an intersection.
Arikan was also among four Turkish diplomats assassinated on American soil. The others include Los Angeles Consul General Mehmet Baydar, Los Angeles Vice Consul Bahadir Demir and Boston Honorary Consul Orhan Gunduz, it noted.
Arikan was martyred on Jan. 28, 1982 by Sassounian and his accomplice Krikor Saliba on behalf of an Armenian terrorist group. Sassounian was arrested and sentenced to life in prison.
Sassounian Parole Rulings Blocked By California Governors
Previous judicial rulings to release Sassounian on parole were blocked by California's governors, including Newsom, who rejected his eligibility. However, in a bid to garner the support of strong Armenian population in the state, Newsom reversed course, announcing that he will not appeal the Los Angeles County Superior Court's recent decision for Sassounian's release.
The US is “deeply disappointed” by a court's decision to release on parole an Armenian national who assassinated a Turkish diplomat in Los Angeles in 1982, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.
“Attacking a diplomat is not only a grave crime against a particular individual, it is also an attack on diplomacy itself,” said Blinken in a statement.
Gray Davis was the only California governor to be recalled. He was then replaced with Arnold Schwarzenegger who announced his candidacy in the 2003 recall election, which was also called “Total Recall” — one of the hit movies of the Hollywood star.
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