Following another surge in new COVID cases in California, the Governor and the mayors of large cities fell back on what’s become their standard response: more lockdown orders. We learned this week that as many as 33 million Californians are now under orders to stay at home or are expected to be in the coming days. Business owners are being hit equally hard, many of whom were only just getting up and running again after the last round of lockdowns. But this time something seems different. Not all of them are willing to go gentle into that good night and many are rejoining a push to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. It would take a lot of signatures to bring such a measure to fruition, but the number of people participating is once again surging. (CBS Sacramento)

California’s looming restrictions based on regional intensive care unit capacities are reigniting an effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.

Many Sacramento area business owners are now backing the campaign. The campaign was born in June of this year and now has half of the signatures it needs to call for a special election by March.

Small business owners said Newsom’s latest decision was the last straw.

“It’s hard on everyone,” said Crystal Mitchell.

In order to force Gavin Newsom to stand before the wheel in a recall election, supports will need to submit 1.6 million signatures. So far they’ve collected more than 800,000 so they’re more than halfway to their goal. But unlike the original grassroots effort, now we’re seeing a significant number of business owners getting in on the action. Crystal Mitchell, quoted in the linked article above, owns a hair salon and has sunk a fortune into the process of complying with all of the state’s COVID mandates, only to be shut down yet again. Now she has a copy of the petition and a sheet for signatures hanging in her window. One of her hairdressers has been volunteering up to twelve hours per week, going door-to-door and trying to get other small business owners to follow suit.

Neither the Governor nor the mayors of California’s larger cities have done themselves any favors in the process of pushing these restrictions through. Many of you likely already heard about the “French laundry debacle” from last month involving both Newsom and San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Then there was the restaurant owner who was forced to end her outdoor seating service while Newsom gave a pass to a Hollywood film company to open a nearly identical food service facility across the street from her.

Many of these employers are obviously not doing this for partisan reasons. Most of the ones quoted in the CBS article are self-identified, registered Democrats. I would imagine that many of them voted for Newsom to begin with, so it’s hard to muster too much sympathy. But now they’re on the warpath and they may gain enough of a head of steam to actually pull this off. As a reminder, the last time California recalled a governor was in 2003 when Gray Davis was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Could it happen again? As I said, it’s going to take a large and rapid groundswell of support. Also, a viable replacement would need to be identified and begin to gain traction in a relatively short period of time. But what benefit for these business owners and their once again unemployed workers would come if Californians simply replaced Newsom with another liberal Democrat who was willing to enact the same policies? The answer is none, obviously, and we should have no sympathy for them if that’s what they choose to do.

But perhaps, just possibly, we’re seeing a shift in the political winds. California is every bit as blue as New Jersey (if not more so), but residents of the Garden State are slamming their doors in the faces of “contact tracers” in droves this month. They’re simply fed up with the intrusive, authoritarian mandates being handed down by their elected leaders. It sounds like plenty of Californians are following in their footsteps. I don’t expect to see California actually flip into the red column in my lifetime, but progressives may have finally pushed their luck to the breaking point and may begin to realize that a bit more moderation is in order.