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Clock’s ticking for California recall candidates trying to oust Newsom





California Governor Gavin Newsom claps at a press conference.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has collected big checks from unions and business groups — most recently $ 1.1 million from the California Building Industry Association. | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

OAKLAND — A surprisingly early California recall election has Gov. Gavin Newsom looking to capitalize on his momentum and Republicans trying to catch up.

State officials have called the election for Sept. 14, and ballots will hit mailboxes weeks before then. The short timeline, enabled by Democratic allies of the governor, buoys Newsom’s prospects as he looks to convert a rebounding economy and stabilizing poll numbers into a vindicating victory. His conservative foes, on the other hand, have just two weeks to declare their candidacies and a tight window to cut into Newsom’s overwhelming fundraising advantage.

While the Democratic governor is riding a wave of political momentum, an extra-contagious coronavirus variant and a potentially devastating wildfire season threaten to derail that progress, adding additional pressure for a speedy vote. California is seemingly in perpetual crisis, so Democrats are looking to seize a quiet window when they can find one.

“When things are going well you want to get the recall over with as quickly as possible,” said Democratic consultant Roger Salazar, who advised former Gov. Gray Davis before Davis was ousted in the state’s only other gubernatorial recall. “Three months is a lifetime in politics, and you never know what could transpire,” so “you want to get the hazard behind you as quickly as you can.”

It has been clear for months that voters would decide Newsom’s fate in 2021 after anger over his Covid-19 restrictions led two million Californians to sign recall petitions. But the lack of an election date had cast lingering uncertainty over the contest even as both Newsom and Republican rivals have treated an eventual vote as inevitable. Until recently, conventional wisdom had been that the recall would occur in late October or November, the autumn window that voters are familiar with.

Republicans have struggled to gain traction and are well behind on fundraising while Newsom collects big checks from unions and business groups — most recently $ 1.1 million from the California Building Industry Association. Reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner has continued to land national interviews, particularly on Fox News and other Fox-affiliated outlets. But she polled in fourth place among Republicans in May and lacks a voter base in California as a political neophyte, raising most of her money out of state.

GOP challengers have been attacking Newsom on California’s growing levels of homelessness, one of the governor’s biggest liabilities, according to polls. Businessperson and 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox has gone around the state with an 8-foot ball of garbage in an appeal to voters over visual blight resulting from people living along freeways and streets — an association that has drawn criticism already. Kevin Faulconer is campaigning on his own record as the former San Diego mayor, asserting that he reduced homelessness in his city and would increase shelters — alongside greater enforcement against public camping.

Meanwhile, the Delta variant’s rapid spread has prompted Los Angeles officials to recommend that vaccinated residents wear masks indoors, raising the specter of the kind of renewed restrictions should things get worse. If state leaders needed a reminder, the California State Capitol itself experienced a surge of seven cases since relaxing its guidelines — including two breakthrough infections of vaccinated individuals — prompting health officials to recommend that all lawmakers and employees get a Covid-19 test this week.

Rising temperatures, combined with a withering drought, have California bracing for a fire season that could again set new records for destruction. And the state’s energy grid operator is already invoking emergency powers to buy extra electricity supplies this summer so California avoids the blackouts that occurred last year.

Newsom and fellow Democrats, meanwhile, have never deviated from their central argument: The recall is a distraction, driven by national Republicans and allies of former President Donald Trump, that threatens to upend California’s progress on immigration, healthcare, gun control and other progressive issues.

“The eyes of the nation are on California,” said U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.). “People around the country are looking to us to see which vision of the future we choose.”

In a tumultuous election already marked by reversals of fortune for Newsom, even the process of picking a date became contentious and laced with partisan strife. The Democratic-controlled Legislature sped Newsom a bill this week that accelerated the election date by waiving a 30-day legislative review, spurring a backlash from Republicans who accused their counterparts of changing the process to Newsom’s advantage.

Assemblymember Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), a vocal recall proponent mulling a run himself, excoriated the “disturbing” decision to change the rules midway through a campaign to allow “an incumbent politician to retain his hold on power.” During floor debate, Kiley read aloud a prior tweet from state Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda), who was the most vocal about how Newsom could benefit from an earlier election.

“I don’t think anyone is pretending this is anything other than using the power of the governor’s current office to try and beat back a threat to that power,” Kiley said in an interview. “The recall is ultimately a response to the corruption of our politics,” he added, “and the response we’re now getting from our politicians is to be even more corrupt. So it just feeds into the rationale for this movement coming together in the first place.”

Democrats were unmoved by Republican complaints.

“They demanded an election, and we are delivering an election — apparently, more efficiently than they would like,” said Glazer, a former political adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown. “Their complaints are crocodile tears.”

Another potential benefit to Newsom from the Sept. 14 election date: It falls weeks before Newsom would have to act on hundreds of bills sent at the end of the legislative session. He can avoid political blowback by holding those bills in abeyance.

Democrats have projected confidence about the date, with Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia arguing on a Friday call that “whether it happens in September or happens later, it would be defeated.” But the all-mail election means ballots will land in mailboxes by mid-August, increasing a sense of urgency. While Democrats have the overwhelming numerical advantage, polls show conservatives are more motivated to vote.

“This election is just a few weeks away,” said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), urging Newsom supporters Friday to communicate with voters. “The risks of low turnout, the risks of an uninformed electorate,” Chiu added, “could be catastrophic for our state.”

Candidates and party leaders aren’t the only ones scrambling.

An organization representing local elections overseers had exhorted Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis not to set an election before Sept. 14, arguing any earlier would make it logistically impossible to train poll workers, secure voting places and locate enough paper for ballots. While Kounalakis said in a statement that the date “provides the time needed for officials to prepare and inform voters,” county overseers will have a slim margin for error.

Making their task even more daunting, Newsom has signed a law requiring elections officials to mail every eligible, registered voter a ballot. The full list of names that will appear on ballots won’t be available until 59 days before the vote, which is the filing deadline for prospective candidates. And because there are no limits on how many people can run in the recall, those ballots could be quite long.

“We still have the concerns on the supply chains for the ballots and the envelopes, plus being able to secure the locations that we need,” said Sutter County Registrar of Voters Donna Johnston, head of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials. “It will still be a crunch.”

Meanwhile, Newsom is facing a surprise headache. A filing error by a campaign attorney means that Newsom may not have his party preference listed on the ballot. Newsom’s attorneys are going to court to change that — setting Newsom against Secretary of State Shirley Weber, whom he appointed months earlier to great fanfare. A filing from Newsom’s team this week argued that leaving off his party designation would be “fundamentally unfair” to the governor and “lead to absurd results.”

Newsom’s team is due in court next Friday, a week before the cutoff to make ballot changes.

Author: Jeremy B. White
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Angela Merkel nightmare as majority of Germans want to oust CDU at next election– new poll

German Chancellor Ms Merkel has previously said she will step down from her leadership role after nearly 16 years. But just four months ahead of the crucial election, her Government have suffered a new blow. A poll from the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy of 1,028 people between April 23 and May 6 revealed two-thirds are calling for a new Government, while more than 67 percent want “different policies in many areas”.
The poll also revealed around half of those surveyed would like a clear coalition statement from the parties, while the remaining half does not consider this to be a priority.

Only a fifth (20 percent) are in favour of Germany possibly having a minority Government, while 57 percent want new elections if the winning result is not enough for a stable majority.

Environmental and climate protection are cited as the most important issues when it comes to the need for a different policy, with more than 55 percent believing there should be a change in direction on this topic.

Just over half would like a different refugee and integration policy, while this is followed by pensions, education, fighting the coronavirus pandemic and the housing market.

Allensbach differentiated according to party affiliation on the refugee policy, and the poll showed supporters of the CDU, AfD and FDP consider this to be the most important of all.

The refugee policy from Ms Merkel came in for heavy criticism from rival political parties, so there is little to suggest those surveyed in this poll have changed their minds.

For the majority of men, the issue of refugees is considered most important, while for women it is climate protection.

When compared regionally, in eastern German states the demand for a new refugee and integration policy is considered a priority, and in the western states it is climate policy.

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During their election campaigns, no political party has talked in depth about pensions, but the issue ranks second among supporters of five of the six parties, and is only different among supporters of the Green.

In another blow to Ms Merkel last week, Germany was warned in inflation could jump to above three percent as the German Chancellor’s time at the top ends in chaos.

But Isabel Schnabel, a German economist who is also currently serving as an executive board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), said this increase would be comparable to the bank’s strategy and would not require any change in the currently extremely loose monetary policy.

The financial expert told NTV in Germany: “What we are seeing is that the pandemic has caused very pronounced fluctuations in inflation.

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“You could see that inflation plummeted massively into negative territory last year, and this year we saw that there was a sharp rise in inflation.

“That will go even further. In Germany, we anticipate that inflation may well exceed three percent.”

Ms Schnabel was also asked if there is any route out of the expansionary monetary policy.

She replied: “If we actually see that suddenly there was a very rapid inflation development, which is really not apparent at the moment, then of course we would have to take our measures and of course we would have to do it gradually.

“You have to prepare for it, especially through communication, so that everyone has the opportunity to gradually adapt to it.”

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: World Feed

Daniel Ek secures Arsenal takeover funds as he vows to oust the Kroenkes

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2004 and have failed to qualify for the Champions League for the past four seasons.

Ek says his main goal is to bring success to Arsenal if his takeover attempt is successful.

“I just focus on the club, I focus on the fans and I focus on trying to bring the club back to glory,” he said.

“I first and foremost am a fan, that’s the most important thing for me and I want the club to do better, that’s my primary interest.”

Arsenal takeover: ‘Thierry Henry and two other Invincibles team up to oust Stan Kroenke’

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed

Spotify owner Daniel Ek has joined forces with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp in preparing an Arsenal takeover bid to oust Stan Kroenke, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Spotify’s billionaire owner Ek has joined forces with the three Arsenal legends and will test Kroenke with an offer.

If the takeover is successful Henry, Bergkamp and Vieira could all return to the Emirates.

All three were part of the infamous 2003-2004 Invincible team who didn’t lose for an entire season in winning the Premier League title, wrestling it back from Manchester United in the process.

Ek is worth a staggering £3.4billion according to Forbes and he is set to make a formal offer to Kroenke to buy the Gunners.

Arsenal director Josh Kroenke, the son of Stan, insisted last week the club is not for sale following the European Super League fiasco.

Ek confirmed his interest in the Gunners last week as Kroenke was the subject of protests outside the Emirates from disgruntled fans.

On Twitter, Ek said: “As a kid growing up, I’ve cheered for @Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring.”

On selling the club Josh Kroenke exclaimed: “When are we going to sell? I am not willing to answer that question because we have no intention of selling.”

Henry made clear at the weekend he was unhappy with the way Arsenal is being run.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “This club belongs to the fans, I love the club and I will support the club until I die, but I do not recognise my club and what happened just now, with them trying to join a league that would have been closed, makes no sense to me.

“They have been running the club like a company, not a football club, and they showed their hand. Maybe it’s a lack of understanding of the core football values and maybe the money was too big of a temptation. But whatever it was, they got it wrong. Badly wrong.”

Henry also gave his verdict on whether the current owners should sell.

He explained: “Fans always decide, as you saw with the ESL. You have to listen to the fans and I can understand why they protested.

“The ESL didn’t happen because of the fans, not because anyone else was talking, Not only me, you and the fans said it was wrong, they (the owners) also said it was wrong. They showed their hand and that was disappointing.

“I remember when I arrived, not the Tottenham fans or our rivals, but a lot of the time I used to hear ‘my second team, if I had to pick one, is Arsenal’, because of the history, the culture, the class, the family.

“But I don’t hear that or see that anymore and it pains me. We need to get that image back. We need our identity back.”