facebook linkedin twitter

Allegations Fly as Recall Vote Looms for California’s Newsom

September 13, 2021by Michael R. Blood and Eugene Garcia, Associated Press
Republican conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder with former actress and activist Rose McGowan hold a news conference at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a blitz of TV ads and a last-minute rally, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom urged voters Sunday to turn back a looming recall vote that could remove him from office, while leading Republican Larry Elder broadly criticized the media for what he described as double standards that insulated Newsom from criticism and scrutiny throughout the contest.

The sunny, late-summer weekend was a swirl of political activity, as candidates held rallies, continued bus tours and cluttered the TV airwaves with advertising offering their closing arguments in advance of the election that concludes Tuesday.

Newsom — who is expecting President Joe Biden on Monday for a capstone get-out-the-vote rally in Long Beach — was in a largely Hispanic area on the northern edge of Los Angeles, where he sought to drive up turnout with the key voting bloc.

Elder also was in Los Angeles, where he was joined by activist and former actress Rose McGowan, who repeated her claims from recent days that Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, attempted to persuade her in 2017 not to go public with her allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Siebel Newsom’s office described the allegations as a “complete fabrication.” In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Newsom characterized McGowan’s claims as a “last-minute classic hit piece” from one of Elder’s supporters.

The governor called Elder desperate and grasping, saying McGowan’s claims about his wife “just shows you how low things go in campaigns these days.”

He echoed his earlier criticism of Elder, saying the conservative talk show host and lawyer “doesn’t believe that women have the right to their own reproductive freedoms, he’s devoutly opposed to Roe v. Wade, doesn’t believe there’s a glass ceiling, doesn’t believe in pay equity laws.”

During her appearance, McGowan spoke warmly of Elder and lambasted Hollywood Democrats who she said traumatized her life. She now lives in Mexico.

“Do I agree with him on all points? No,” McGowan said. “So what. He is the better candidate. He is the better man.”

The last-minute exchange highlighted growing tensions in the election, which largely grew out frustration with Newsom’s pandemic orders that shuttered schools and businesses during the pandemic. Voting concludes Tuesday. Recent polling shows Newsom is likely to hold his job.

As Newsom’s “first partner,” Siebel Newsom, an actress turned documentary filmmaker, has championed gender equality and society’s treatment of women and families.

McGowan, 48, who is known for her role in the “Scream” movie franchise, was one of the earliest of dozens of women to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, making her a major figure in the #MeToo movement.

Elder, who could become the state’s first Black governor, targeted some of his sharpest remarks at what he described as skewed media coverage.

Earlier this week, his walking tour of homeless encampments in LA’s Venice Beach neighborhood was cut short after a woman bicyclist wearing a gorilla mask threw an egg toward Elder and then took a swing at a member of his entourage. The confrontation set off strong reactions on Twitter, with conservatives charging the incident wasn’t immediately branded a racist attack because Elder is a conservative.

If he was a Democrat “it would have been a major story,” Elder said. He also said McGowan’s accusations largely have been ignored by the media, but argued that if similar charges had been made about him “that’s all you guys would be talking about.”

“This is a double standard,” he said. “I’m sick of it.”

Emails posted on Twitter by McGowan showed she had contact with Newsom’s wife, which her office confirmed but said their communication was “as fellow survivors of sexual assault and in Jennifer’s former capacity leading the Representation Project, an organization that fights limiting gender stereotypes and norms.”

One of McGowan’s key claims is that during a 2017 phone conversation, Newsom’s wife referenced a law firm that was working with Weinstein and asked her what the firm could do “to make you happy.”

McGowan said Sunday she didn’t recognize the firm’s name at the time. “I had no idea who that was. So, I just said nothing and hung up on her. That was my last contact with her,” she said.

The election will determine whether Newsom can complete his first term or will be tossed out of office more than a year early. Voters are being asked two questions: Should Newsom be recalled and, if so, who should replace him? If he gets a majority vote on the first question, the second question with the names of 46 replacement candidate is irrelevant. Otherwise, the highest vote-getter among the replacement candidates would become governor.

In The States

September 17, 2021
by Dan McCue
Virginia Voters Begin Heading to the Polls

Early in-person voting in Virginia’s general election began Friday morning, the start of a 45-day period in which those registered... Read More

Early in-person voting in Virginia’s general election began Friday morning, the start of a 45-day period in which those registered to do so can cast ballots for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, the House of Delegates and in local races. Those wishing to vote early can... Read More

September 17, 2021
by Dan McCue
FWS to Consider Possible Listing of Western Gray Wolf

A pair of petitions seeking a determination that gray wolves are a threatened or endangered species in the western U.S.... Read More

A pair of petitions seeking a determination that gray wolves are a threatened or endangered species in the western U.S. have convinced federal officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take a closer look at the situation. “The service finds that the petitions [for... Read More

Minnesota High Court OKs Ballot Question on Minneapolis PD

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday evening for voters in Minneapolis to decide on the... Read More

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday evening for voters in Minneapolis to decide on the future of policing in the city where George Floyd was killed, just ahead of the start of early and absentee voting. The state's highest court overturned... Read More

Texas AG Paxton Now Suing 15 School Districts Over Masking Guidance

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has expanded litigation efforts against a swath of school districts that defied... Read More

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has expanded litigation efforts against a swath of school districts that defied Gov. Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates. Paxton announced on Tuesday his office had filed lawsuits against the Paris, Diboll, Honey Grove, La Vega, Longview, Lufkin,... Read More

Democrats Push for Changes to California Recall Efforts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom handily defeated a recall election that could have removed him from office,... Read More

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom handily defeated a recall election that could have removed him from office, but his Democratic allies in the Legislature already are seeking changes that could make it harder to mount such a challenge in the future. Those changes... Read More

States Learning How Many Afghan Evacuees Coming Their Way

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration began notifying governors and state refugee coordinators across the country about how many Afghan... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration began notifying governors and state refugee coordinators across the country about how many Afghan evacuees from among the first group of nearly 37,000 arrivals are slated to be resettled in their states. California is projected to take more arrivals than... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top