Friday, August 6, 2021

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Coastal Surprises

Only a few months ago, California and New York, the largest
and 4th largest states, were considered the bluest of the blue
(Democratic) strongholds in the nation with governors who
were popular figures with potential national ambitions.

Today those governors are in very serious political trouble,
and either or both could be soon out of office.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom faces a September 14
statewide recall vote, the first such recall since Governor
Gray Davis, also a Democrat, was ousted in 1983.

The recall ballot is in two parts. First, voters are asked for a
simple yes or no on whether to remove. If the largest number
is ”no,” the recall fails, and Newsom remains in office --- and
the second part of the ballot is moot. If, however, the “yes”
vote wins,  Newsom is immediately out of office, and
replaced by the candidate receiving the largest number of
votes on the second part of the ballot which will list about
one hundred candidates!

In 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger topped that list, and became
governor. In 2021 so far, black conservative radio show host
Larry Elder leads in most polls. Polls of the recall until
recently indicated that Newsom would likely keep his office,
but new polls indicate that the “yes”vote is about even with
the “no” vote and gaining.

It’s now quite possible that heavily liberal blue California
could wake up on September 15 with a very conservative
governor who would serve until next year’s regular election.

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo was charged with
improper behavior, but denied the allegations, and refused
to resign. An impartial investigation initiated by his own
state attorney general was just published, and found him
guilty in several instances. Cuomo still refuses to resign,
but virtually all of his local, state and national support in
his own party has evaporated --- with President Biden,
Speaker Pelosi, and both New York senators all calling for
him to step down.

If and when Cuomo leaves office, New York Lt. Governor
Kathy Hochul would take his place for the rest of his term.
Hochul was a moderate Buffalo Democrat when chosen to
run with Cuomo, but has supported his more progressive
policies. She would likely face the even more progressive
state attorney general and others for the Democratic
nomination next year. Republican hopes to win the
governorship are dim despite the New York Democrats’
problems this year.

The New York general assembly has begun impeachment
proceedings against Cuomo, and the assembly leader has
said Cuomo no longer has the support of most of the
legislators. The governor’s support in the state senate
likewise appears to have faded.

In the face of such mammoth opposition, and various
legal actions, it is difficult to imagine Cuomo remaining
in office much longer.

In the two very large states on the U.S. west and east
coasts, it has been an unexpected political year.

Copyright (c) 2021 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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