(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

State Democratic Party labels Newsom recall effort ‘California coup’

Comparison draw backlash from governor’s critics

By Lara Korte

Sacramento Bee

If California Democrats weren’t taking the Gavin Newsom recall effort seriously before, they are now.

On Tuesday the state Democratic Party held a virtual press conference wherein they likened the attempt to unseat the Democratic governor to a radical act of insurrection akin to the riots that happened at the U.S. Capitol last week, which resulted in the deaths of five people and significant damage to federal property.

“This recall effort, which really ought to be called the California coup, is being led by right-wing conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, anti-vaxxers and groups who encourage violence on our democratic institutions,” said state Democratic Party chairman Rusty Hicks.”Today we’re here to say enough is enough is enough,” he added.

Hicks was joined by other state Democrats, including San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, Assemblyman David Chiu, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, BART Board President Lateefah Simon, and Fresno City Council Member Nelson Esparza.

“Last week, the attempted coup at our nation’s capital shook our nation to its core… and we know it happened because craven politicians, led by Donald Trump, put themselves over the duty to country and to our constitution,” Chiu, a San Francisco Democrat, said. “Some of the most insidious hate groups in our country joined those same politicians to stoke hate, fear and vision… These same groups and conspiracy theorists are behind the recall effort in our state of California.”

Republicans and recall backers did not take kindly to being lumped in with the insurrectionists.

“Gov. Gavin Newsom is attempting to desperately distract from his incompetence and hypocrisy,” California GOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson said in a statement following the presser. “His hypocrisy and his failure to every student, every business, and every working family in California is driving the anger of the recall more than anything.”

Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, who this week self-published a book arguing for Newsom’s removal, said such comparisons are irresponsible.

“If you want to make a change you use the legal process to do so, and that’s exactly what the recall is, and to try to cast it as otherwise, I think, is very irresponsible,” he said.

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