California Recall Election Today as Congress Grills Sec. Blinken
It is election day in California and simultaneously in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Antony Blinken is answering some tough questions in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing over the situation in Afghanistan. It’s time our leaders are held accountable for their actions.
Today, people all across California head to the polls to determine if Governor Gavin Newsom will be removed as governor in a recall election. Over 1.6 million people signed a recall petition after his handling of COVID-19 and other policies. The fate of this election determines if Gov. Newsom remains the governor or if his actions will cause him to pack up. For California voters to be in a nationally watched recall election is a win in and of itself.
ACLJ Director of Policy Harry Hutchison discussed this moment of victory for the fact that the state of California was able to get more than enough people for a recall and to be able to remain competitive with other candidates in the race:
I think more and more Californians . . . are now willing to come out . . . of the shadows and to stake a claim to election integrity and to change the trajectory of California. California has lost a significant number of people, particularly middle and upper middle-class individuals who have been blown away by high taxes, rising crime, and homelessness which occupies many of their streets and they are just fed up. But I think the consequential issue is whether or not we can actually get an accurate vote going forward.
ACLJ Director of Government Affairs Thann Bennett discusses the sense in Washington, D.C. of the California recall election:
Folks are definitely following it. . . . The fact that it is even close enough in California that it is on people’s radar is going to be significant for other races. I talked to a couple of friends in California today and most of them thought the governor was going to hang on, but every single one of them said the idea that we aren’t sure is staggering for this state. I think it is a good thing for California voters . . . they are turned in . . . things like the tax burden and the restrictions on freedom – those things are making people stand up and take notice and participate in the process. I think that is universally a good thing.
ACLJ Senior Advisor for National Security Ric Grenell founded Fix California – an organization aimed to restore election integrity and voter engagement in California – gave his take on the recall election and what this means for California:
I am so thankful for the two million people who got together and signed the petition to put this to a recall vote. We’ve got Gavin on the run, he is spending millions of dollars to defend his poor record. . . . I think we’ve already won in the fact that we have been able to take this very serious issue to Gavin. He’s got to defend his record. It will take us a while to win elections in California but make no mistake we are on the march. Conservatives are registering like never before . . . I hope we’ll win but if we don’t then I feel pretty strongly that this movement isn’t going away and it’s going to be a couple of incredible years to really take back California.
I have an organization called fixcalifornia.com . . . what we have found is 1.3 million conservatives in California that were unregistered. . . . My point is that the conservatives in California have been beaten down. We’ve been told there is no chance that you can win. On the Presidential nights they call the race immediately when the polls close. We are now sensing that we have to organize and start spending money in our own state. . . This recall is super encouraging that we have a shot and that we’ve scared Gavin Newsom no matter what happens. Two million people got together and put a recall vote to the vote of the people – I think that is a win in and of itself.
In other live news, the Afghanistan hearing is going on right now between Sec. Antony Blinken and the Senate.
Yesterday, Blinken appeared in front of the House Foreign Affairs committee. Thann Bennett gave his opinion of Sec. Blinken’s response to the questions in the hearing:
Honestly, my takeaway is that it has largely been a deflection campaign. . . . There were three main themes that I would say. Number one, the Secretary said there was no way to predict that the fall would happen this quickly, when we know from that dissent cable that there were in fact warnings that the fall would be quick. Second, he repeatedly yesterday and again this morning blamed Donald Trump. He had a line that a lot of people are running with that says he inherited a deadline and not a plan. But of course, what he failed to say is that there is only one President at a time and Biden was the only President who was in a position to execute this withdrawal that most of the American people did want. And then third, he keeps falling on this idea that a withdrawal was always going to be messy. Well, we knew it was always going to be messy, but it didn’t have to involve 13 Americans dead and leaving Americans behind.
As these events are happening live, we will provide more updates as they come. The important aspect of these events is that these leaders are held accountable. Secretary Blinken is set to answer the questions that Americans deserve to know. And Governor Newsom is being held accountable for his failed leadership in California.
Today’s full Sekulow broadcast is complete with even more analysis of the California recall election and the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing with Sec. Blinken.
Watch the full broadcast below.