One Person Shaping The Recall Election? Lt. Gov. Kounalakis
Speaker 1: 00:00 The job of Lieutenant governor tends to be a low profile office in California, but the campaign to recall governor Gavin Newsome, we'll put current Lieutenant governor Alanie [inaudible] front and center KQBD reporter Katie, or it looks at what role Kuna lockers will play and how she could affect the election. Speaker 2: 00:20 At first glance, couldn't unlock us. His role seems pretty straightforward. She must set a date for an election within 60 to 80 days. After the recall petition signatures are officially certified, which will happen in the fall. Kuna LACA says she's focusing on what's best for voters. Speaker 3: 00:39 So I think that the general principle is that it should be a day that is relatively convenient for California voters to make sure that they have ample time to consider the questions on the ballot and are able to get their ballot and send it in and make sure that their vote counts Speaker 2: 00:59 Has a 20 day window to set the election. Kuna LACA says she doesn't believe the exact date will make too big, a difference, but Brandon [inaudible] a senior research fellow at the California constitution center says it actually might setting the election further back in the 20 day window would give candidates more time to file papers needed to qualify for the ballot that could result in a large number of candidates. That's what happened in the 2003, recall 135 candidates clogged up the ballot. Straightener says he thinks the Lieutenant governor will try to strike a balance when deciding when the election will be held. Speaker 3: 01:38 Yeah, we're letting serious candidates get on the ballot. We're not denying ballot access to any serious candidates, but perhaps there could be a consideration for overwhelming the voters with a number of non serious Manatee candidates as well. Speaker 2: 01:50 And who won't be a candidate, Kuna lockers herself, unlike her 2003 counterpart Lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante Kuna LACA says she will not run Bustamante ran as sort of an insurance policy to prevent Republicans from winning the office. If then governor gray Davis was recalled, which he was, but Republican Arnold Schwartzenegger easily beat the Lieutenant governor and Bustamante. His critics say his being in the race may have contributed to Davis's defeat. CUNA LACA says, Democrats know better this time around Speaker 3: 02:23 Our insurance policy is that we all recognize that governor Newsome has been doing a very good job during a unprecedentedly difficult time. And that our insurance policy is let's vote no on the recall and make sure that governor Newsome can continue to do his job. Speaker 2: 02:41 But just because CUNA lock has doesn't plan to jump into the race. That doesn't mean another Democrat won't decide to, especially if governor Newsome looks vulnerable. Speaker 1: 02:52 Johnny May is reporter Katie or with [inaudible] politics and government desk. Katie. Welcome. Thanks Maureen. So my first question is, does governor Newsome look vulnerable in an upcoming recall election? Speaker 2: 03:05 You know, not at the moment. Um, he is lucky in that there is a huge budget surplus. Um, last week he went on a tour around the state announcing a hundred billion dollars in spending that he, he, he is proposing for this upcoming budget. Uh, recent Berkeley IGS poll shows just about 36% of voters actually support the recall. And 49% of voters say they would vote no on the recall, which is pretty close to the 50% plus one Newsome needs to beat it. Uh, that being said, uh, the recall won't happen until this fall and you just don't know what could happen. Uh, if wildfire season is really bad, if there are blackouts for whatever reason, if the COVID variants get out of control, things could shift for Newsome. But as of right now, he's looking pretty good. Speaker 1: 03:56 Okay. So let's talk about the Republicans who are running to replace Newsome one, you know, from your days reporting here in San Diego, former mayor, Kevin Faulkner, is he gaining any traction? Speaker 2: 04:08 You know, honestly, none of the Republicans running right now are gathering much momentum. Um, that same poll, uh, that showed a lot of support for Newsome showed Faulkner with just 22% of voters saying they would support him. Um, but Faulkner did get some good press recently for a tax plan. He just put out that would end the state income tax for people making up to $50,000 in households up to a hundred thousand dollars. Now it's not necessarily because of the merits of the plan, but the fact that he is proposing something at all, because a lot of his challengers just haven't really given us much of anything with substance yet. Speaker 1: 04:47 Now another candidate, uh, San Diego one and Republican John Cox has adopted an unusual running mate in his campaign. Can you tell us more about that? Speaker 2: 04:57 Yes. Cox has decided to bring a 1000 pound bear along with him on the campaign trail. Um, he's using some kind of beauty and the beast metaphor, although it's kind of a head scratcher a little bit confusing to figure out exactly what the message is. And so far his poll numbers don't look great either. He's also just getting support from about 22% of voters. Speaker 1: 05:22 Does he bring the bear everywhere? He goes Speaker 2: 05:26 Not to every stop. Um, in fact, the day after he first introduced the bear here in Sacramento, he complained at an event in the Bay area where the bear was not with him, that the bear was getting all the attention. Um, but animal rights groups have criticized his use of the bear. And actually several San Diego news stations have confirmed that the San Diego humane societies law enforcement division is actually investigating Cox for violating a city code. And that code reads no person. So offer for sale, give away, bring into, or maintain within any area coming within the jurisdiction of this ordinance. Any lion tiger bear monkey Wolf, Cougar, ocelot, wild cat, or scope. So clearly talks did not read the city ordinance before visiting San Diego with his bear. says the bear was comfortable and safe. Okay. Speaker 1: 06:21 Okay. Do we know, does he own the bear? Speaker 2: 06:24 No. As far as I know, he doesn't own the bear. He hired the bear whose name is tag tag, uh, is an actor, an actor boar bear was born in captivity to be trained for movies and TV. Speaker 1: 06:36 And remind us why Cox is doing the bear thing. Speaker 2: 06:40 I mean, attention really. Uh, he's trying to get attention in this cluttered, uh, campaign recall campaign already. Um, he's trying to paint himself as a tough guy who will make waves and change up California. And he's trying to paint Gavin Newsome as a quote unquote, pretty boy politician. Who's only worried about his image. Um, and as we mentioned so far, it seems he's generating more interest for the bear than for himself. Speaker 1: 07:07 Okay then. So even though the Lieutenant governor says she isn't running, we spoke with political scientists who say it's entirely possible. Another Democrat could get into the race. How much of a problem would that be for Newsome? Well, Speaker 2: 07:20 It depends on who the Democrat is. Um, if it's someone who is well known enough, it could sort of muddy the waters for Newsome. Um, some Democrats say that's what happened in 2003, when then Lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante ran as a replacement for governor gray Davis. Should he be recalled? Uh, Bustamante says, he thought he'd be a backup kind of an insurance policy. His critics say it ultimately undermine Davis and encourage people to vote. Yes. On the recall because they thought there was still a chance they could have a Democrat in office. The thinking among the party now seems to be, uh, that everyone should put all their support behind Newsome and not worry about a backup. Um, but it's funny because that seems to be at odds with what democratic voters actually want. That Berkeley IGS poll down 48% of registered Democrats want another Democrat on the ballot in case the recall against Newsome is successful. Speaker 1: 08:19 You know, there were lots of numbers in your report. Katie, when is your best estimate? When a recall election might take place, Speaker 2: 08:27 It will probably be this coming fall, uh, around November. But it is interesting because it could be a bit earlier or as late as January, depending on how long all the proceeding steps take. Speaker 1: 08:40 I've been speaking with Katie or with KQ, ETS politics and government desk, Katie as always. Thank you so much. You're welcome.