The Peace and Freedom Party is no supporter of Gavin Newsom. But we strongly oppose the recall attempt by the right, which is a maneuver intended to allow a reactionary with little support from the voters to replace Newsom in a low-turnout election.

Please vote NO!

There are a number of groups on the left whose members are active within the Peace and Freedom Party. The below statement from one of those groups, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, makes some good arguments. I urge everyone on the left in California to pay attention to these arguments, and those of other left groups, and vote NO. Tell your friends. Tell everyone.

–Kevin Akin, California State Chair, Peace & Freedom Party

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The following originally ran on LiberationNews.com.

The Party for Socialism and Liberation calls on Californians to vote “NO” on the extreme right-wing and undemocratic recall of Governor Gavin Newsom, on Election Day, Sept. 14.

The recall is in reality an attempted electoral coup.

The PSL is not a supporter of Newsom nor the Democratic Party, but recognizes that the recall has been put on the ballot by a coalition of anti-immigrant, anti-worker, anti-environment and pro-death penalty forces backed by millions of dollars from the Trump-dominated national Republican Party and an array of corporate donors. They have spent many millions of dollars to impose an agenda that would harm the rights and interests of the working class, the vast majority of people, and the already devastated environment. 

It is important to understand how the highly undemocratic recall process works In California. The recall ballot will ask voters two questions: 

1) Should Gavin Newsom be removed from office? and

2) If Gavin Newsom is removed, who should replace him as governor?

If the first question receives 50% plus one vote, Newsom is removed from office. Whichever candidate then receives the largest number of votes in the second question then becomes governor, regardless of how many votes they received.

There are 46 candidates who paid a filing fee of $4,194.94 each to be placed on the ballot. Given how divided the vote would be, a candidate who received as little as 15% of the vote could win. All the candidates who have at least 5% in the latest polls are Trump supporters and all have extremely reactionary, anti-people agendas. 

Newsom is prohibited by law from being on the second ballot. In this anti-democratic process, Newsom could get 49% of the vote and be removed, while one of the replacement candidates could get 15-20% of the vote and become the new governor!

The leading candidate to replace Newsom is right-wing radio host Larry Elder, who, as of mid-August, is registering about 20% in the polls, far ahead of other candidates. Here are just some of Elder’s outrageously reactionary positions:

  • Minimum wage: “The correct minimum wage oughta be zero.”
  • Taxes: “We need to eliminate corporate taxes.”
  • COVID-19: “I would certainly repeal any mandates on masks and on vaccines that remain in place.”
  • Racism: “It is bullshit that racism remains a major problem in America.”
  • Sexism: “Women know less than men about political issues, economics, and current events.”
  • Abortion: “I believe abortion is murder”; calls for prosecuting women who have an abortion.
  • Environment: “One of the first things I would do as governor is overturn CEQA” [the California Environmental Quality Act] to open the way for unlimited corporate development.
  • Police killings: “Police are more reluctant to pull the trigger on Black people than on whites.”
  • Public schools: Condemns teacher unions and calls for public funding of private schools.
  • Mass incarceration: Opposes early release programs and reduction of 73,000 felony convictions.
  • Death penalty: Moratorium declared by Newsom in 2019 would likely be ended and over 730 people on California’s death row would be facing execution.
  • Immigration: Insists that undocumented workers, who do virtually all field work in the country’s leading food producing state and many of the other hardest jobs, must be labeled “illegal aliens.” Newsom’s issuing of $500 in assistance to those essential workers was a key element in propelling the recall campaign.

A victory by Elder or any of the other “top-tier” candidates would pose immediate dangers to the people of the state and an already devastated environment, and would be a major victory for the far right nationally. 

Vote NO on the recall!