Gavin Newsom’s 6 Worst Policies as California Governor
SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 04: San Francisco mayor and California Lt. Governor-elect Gavin Newsom smiles during a ribbon cutting during the grand opening of the Lowe's store on November 4, 2010 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco mayor and California Lt. Governor-elect Gavin Newsom attended a ribbon cutting for the opening of a new Lowe's store in the city's Bayview district.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Governor Gavin Newsom is rapidly losing popularity among his constituents.

The Golden State presently boasts the seventh-highest COVID-19 death rate and third-highest unemployment rate in the United States, despite aggressive lockdowns meant to slow the spread of the virus.

Recent surveys reveal that Newsom who formerly served as mayor of San Francisco — saw his approval ratings slip by double digits from previously record highs. A Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll showed Newsom’s approval dropping from 64% in September 2020 to 46% in January 2021.

Subsequently, Gov. Newsom is facing the likelihood of a recall vote. Organizers of the recall measure announced on February 10 that they had gathered the 1.5 million signatures necessary to force an election later this year.

As the governor of the country’s largest state faces the prospect of an election, here is a look back at Newsom’s six worst policies in his time in office.

Sending Seniors With COVID To Nursing Homes

Gov. Newsom along with Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI), and Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) forced seniors infected with COVID-19 back into their nursing homes. 

By early May, at least 41% of California’s COVID-19 deaths occurred in elderly care facilities, with federal lawmakers condemning the high death tolls.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) sent a letter to the five Democratic governors requesting more information about their decisions to ignore the CDC’s warnings about sending infected patients to nursing homes. The Republican Whip — who serves on the House of Representatives’ Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis — asked for data “at a granular level” supporting the rationale for their guidelines.

Proclaiming California A Sanctuary State For Abortion

In the first months of his administration, Gov. Newsom announced his intention to adamantly support abortion in the state of California.

Along with Gov. Kate Brown (D-OR) and Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Newsom released a statement in May of 2019 to denounce “an escalating attack on the freedom of women and families to determine their futures” in conservative states.

“In California, the fundamental right to choose to bear a child or to choose to obtain an abortion is the official public policy of the State, protected in both our constitution and by statute,” wrote Newsom in the statement.

“We will uphold women’s equality and liberty by protecting their reproductive freedom. Join us,” said the three Democrats. 

The governor released a proclamation of his own “welcoming women to California to fully exercise their reproductive rights.” He emphasized the importance of guaranteeing the “young women’s right to choose,” reminding readers that “young women do not have to secure parental or judicial consent in order to obtain an abortion.”

Taxing Water

Benjamin Franklin famously wrote that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Adding to his COVID-19 response and abortion policies, Gov. Newsom cemented this quotation at the center of his agenda by proposing a tax on drinking water.

In his 2019-2020 budget proposal, Newsom requested the launch of a “safe and affordable drinking water fund” that would “enable the State Water Resources Control Board to assist communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, in paying for the short-term and long-term costs of obtaining access to safe and affordable drinking water.”

To fund the program, Newsom wanted to enact a tax of up to $10 per month upon water customers, with the exception of low-income households. The plan would raise up to $140 million per year.

Shutting Down Churches

Gov. Newsom continues to lead California in one of the nation’s most restrictive set of lockdowns, with perhaps the most controversial aspect of his strategy being the sweeping regulation of religious activity.

On July 1, Newsom officially banned “singing and chanting” in churches, mosques, and synagogues. 

“Even with adherence to physical distancing, convening in a congregational setting of multiple different households to practice a personal faith carries a relatively higher risk for widespread transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and may result in increased rates of infection, hospitalization, and death, especially among more vulnerable populations,” said Newsom’s order. “In particular, activities such as singing and chanting negate the risk-reduction achieved through six feet of physical distancing.”

Days earlier, Newsom dodged a question from a reporter who asked why Californians should listen to his warnings in light of widespread protests and riots across the state.

“If they care about their grandfather, their uncle, their aunt, that’s why they should listen,” quipped Newsom.

Later in July, Newsom demanded that all indoor operations for places of worship cease immediately across most of California. Many religious leaders including Pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church openly defied Newsom’s lockdowns by continuing to hold worship services. 

“We, the church, cannot relinquish our duties before God in order to appease the arbitrary, mercurial, and onerous restrictions of a governor who imposes rules on others that he does not even follow himself,” explained MacArthur in an opinion piece for The Daily Wire. “We will put nothing in the way of those who come to church for fellowship, instruction, worship, and the sanctifying benefits of hearing God’s Word proclaimed.”

Giving COVID Aid To Illegal Immigrants

As California passed stimulus measures to lessen the effect of its lockdown-induced recession, Gov. Newsom ensured that taxpayer dollars were diverted from citizens to support illegal immigrants.

Newsom proposed the “Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants Project,” which would provide $75 million in state funds and $50 million from private philanthropies to illegal immigrants through one-time payments of $500 per adult.

Local activist groups distributed the handouts so that the state government could refrain from collecting information about the recipients.

“California is the most diverse state in the nation. Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient,” said Newsom in a statement. “Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis. We are all in this together.”

The state also assembled an “immigrant resource guide” to help illegal immigrants tap into COVID-19 relief and other public benefits.

The governor’s budget deficit surpassed $54.3 billion, in spite of Newsom removing $19 billion from public schools. At the time of Newsom’s illegal immigrant program, California’s unemployment rate had officially surpassed 15%.

Blaming ‘Climate Change’ for Wildfires

California faced historically destructive wildfires in the summer and fall of 2020. Though his forest management policies were largely to blame for the catastrophe, Gov. Newsom pointed to climate change as the culprit.

“This is America fast-forward,” Newsom told a reporter in September. “California, the West Coast of the United States… are experiencing what people predicted would occur in 2040, 2050.”

Though multiple factors contributed to the fires, a primary cause was the state’s failure to effectively manage its natural resources.

Newsom himself recognized that California can “get more aggressive, we could be more prescriptive, more targeted in terms of our vegetation management,” although he again insisted that “there is something so fundamental that cannot be denied — and that is climate change.”

“We have been doing less and less to try to clear vegetation, to do controlled burns, so that we can reduce the dead vegetation that we have,” admitted State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-CA) two years earlier. “As a result, we have conditions that are seeing fruition with these enormous and out of control fires.”

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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