LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has had a rough year. The next one might be even tougher as a recall effort appears to be gaining momentum, fueled partly by outrage over the first-term Democrat dining with friends at an opulent restaurant while telling state residents to spurn social gatherings and stay home.
It’s not uncommon in California for residents to seek recalls but they rarely get on the ballot — and even fewer succeed. Several launched against Newsom faded but another attempt is drawing greater attention as his fortunes change while he enters a critical stretch in his governorship.
Newsom received high praise for his aggressive approach to the coronavirus last spring, when he issued the nation’s first statewide stay-at-home order. Now there is growing public angst over subsequent health orders that have shuttered schools and businesses and a massive unemployment benefits fraud scandal, while a public shaming continues for his ill-advised dinner at the French Laundry in Napa Valley, an establishment that features a white truffle and caviar dinner for $1,200 per person.