Why does California have recalls?

The big day is less than two weeks away. On September 14, voters will make their final decision on whether Gov. Gavin Newsom should kee...


The big day is less than two weeks away.

On September 14, voters will make their final decision on whether Gov. Gavin Newsom should keep his job.

For both parties, the stakes are incredibly high: there is a very real possibility that a Republican could take control of a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans twice.

This race might be the first time you’ve heard of recalls, or maybe they first appeared on your radar during the 2003 election that pushed Arnold Schwarzenegger in power. But the practice has a much longer history in California.

Let us return briefly to 1776.

After declaring independence from the British, some of the original 13 colonies, including Pennsylvania and Vermont, included recall provisions in their state constitutions to guard against the power of elected officials, said Joshua Spivak, principal investigator at Hugh L of Wagner College. Carey Institute for Government Reform. Recalls are a process by which voters can remove public servants before the end of their term.

But the idea of ​​the recall was not incorporated into the United States Constitution and instead went into hibernation for over a century.

“It took a doctor born in Philadelphia in Los Angeles to really rekindle the recall,” Spivak writes in his book, “Election Recall: From Alexander Hamilton to Gavin Newsom.

Credit…Press Reference Library Notables of the West, Volume II, 1915, page 174

In 1898, a Los Angeles physician named John Randolph Haynes proposed adding a recall measure to the city’s charter as a way to root out corruption. Five years later, the city became one of the first places in the nation to adopt the recall, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Los Angeles, as always, was a trailblazer.

Over the next seven years, another 25 California cities adopted similar measures, the newspaper reports.

And in 1911, California voters overwhelmingly endorsed a ballot measurement this made the state the third to allow recalls. (In the same election, voters legalized women’s suffrage by a much smaller margin.)

Today, 110 years later, there is 19 states where state officials can be recalled. But California, for better or worse, remains the unofficial king of the recall.

This year alone dozens of recall efforts against state and local authorities are ongoing. Over the past 60 years, each of our governors has faced an attempted recall. And California is the only place where a governor’s recall has been around twice.

Of course, the best-known recall election in US history was in California, in which Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat, was replaced by Schwarzenegger, a Republican. The star power of this election made it a national sensation.

So, yes, while there is a pandemic and devastating wildfires that may distract Californians, it is also possible that there is another reason why this election did not catch the attention of the nation. ‘State as it did in 2003. It’s old hat.

“When something happens a second time, it doesn’t quite have the impact it had the first time around,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University. , Los Angeles. “It was a surprisingly calm recall election, given the stakes.”

For more:

  • The New York Times has answers to all your Frequently asked questions about the recall.

  • My colleague Shawn Hubler was on “The Daily” Monday to discuss the election. Listen now.

  • Larry Elder, the main candidate running to replace Newsom, said this week that he does not think it is necessary for young people to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or for children to wear masks at school, CNN Reports. The media also published brief descriptions of the best candidates and their positions on major issues.

  • The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board reached out to 40 of the lesser-known recall candidates and asked them to fill out a short quiz to assess their positions. Read their responses.

  • Latinos across the country have gradually moved to Donald J. Trump in 2020. Now polls suggest this once reliable and fast-growing voting bloc for Democrats is softening on Newsom, another reminder that support for Latinos to Democrats is not taken for granted. More from Politico.

Tell us what else you want to know about the recall. Email your questions to CAtoday@nytimes.com.

This version of cake cooler has a cookie and cream and salted caramel flavor.


Today’s travel tip comes from Brent Kuszyk, who lives in La CaƱada Flintridge. Brent recommends Sonora, a town 50 miles west of Yosemite National Park:

I was there for my son’s junior golf tournament for about five days in July. I was so impressed with the austere scenery – with golden grass covering the hills juxtaposed with mature oak trees dotting the landscape.

It’s wide open, off the beaten track, and on its way to becoming another destination.


Do California newspapers approve of the recall?

The Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The news of Mercury, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Sacramento Bee urged voters to vote no on Gavin Newsom recall, arguing that this is a waste of some $ 276 million or that the time to vote for or against the governor is next year, when he runs for re-election.

The Orange County Register, who is traditionally a center-right opinion page, recommends a yes vote and approved Larry Elder in an editorial that was picked up by some suburban newspapers owned by the same owner in Southern California.

Californian Bakersfield recommends a yes vote and endorsed Kevin Faulconer.

Read answers to more of your frequently asked questions about the California recall election here. Tell us what else you want to know about the callback to CAtoday@nytimes.com.


In the last season of high school football in California, the “most prolific bond” was between Jake Calcagno and Teddy Booras, who plays for the California High School team in San Ramon, reports the The news of Mercury.

There have been 56 completed passes from quarterback Booras to wide receiver Calcagno this season.

The secret of their success?

“We’re like best friends,” Booras told the newspaper.


Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. – Soumya

PS here the mini-crosswords of the day, and a hint: Whoopi Goldberg voiced one in “The Lion King” (5 letters).

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