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Gavin Newsom’s privilege stymies his ability to reopen California

Written By | May 4, 2020
Gavin Newsome, Same-Sex Marriage, Bob Siegel

Image: Screen Shot – You Tube –

LOS ANGELES: California Governor Gavin Newsom’s favorite phrase in his 2020 State of the State address was “California leads the way”. Well, we are leading the way, just not in the manner he envisioned.

President Donald Trump did not choose to extend the nationwide stay-at-home executive orders, allowing them to expire on April 30. However, many states, including California, still have stay-at-home orders in place with no immediate plans to begin the reopening phases outlined by the Coronavirus task force.

This lack of clarity on exactly when a reopening phase might begin, coupled with the arbitrary and autocratic orders laid out by Newsom resulted in a push back by citizens. Americans feel that instead of ensuring the health and protection of its constituents, these officials are trampling on their Constitutional rights and liberties.

Gavin Newsom is a politician used to getting his way.

But he has forgotten that California was built by individualists who will forge their own way around obstacles. His dogmatic stance and capricious orders are the obstacles that keep people from surviving and rebuilding their lives in the wake of Covid-19. People are not protesting because they want a hair cut or manicure, they want to be able to save their business, pay their mortgage and rent, and know their child’s educational progress has not decelerated.

In an attempt to save our lives, we have lost our minds

Like other blue-state governors, it seems Newsom is blinded by progressive wet dreams of money for illegal aliens and control over huge sectors of the population. The New York Post covered House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes’ appearance on Fox & Friends Sunday.

Nunes represents California’s 22nd District in the San Joaquin Valley, so he had much to say about Gov. Newsom’s closures of state parks, open lands, and beaches, as well as the stay-at-home orders.

“People are becoming infuriated seeing some people being treated differently than others, and in the meantime … we still have problems protecting our older population in nursing homes,” Nunes said.

Three of California’s 58 counties decided they have had enough of stay-at-home orders that make no sense. Sutter, Yuba, and Modoc counties have independently decided to open up venues, including restaurants, bars, and churches.

Modoc County was the first to make the move, announcing on Thursday that it would begin its reopening phase the next day. Modoc County has 9,600 residents and since May 2, it has had no confirmed cases of Covid-19.

While Sutter and Yuba have higher populations and more confirmed cases, they are following suit and have plans to reopen on Monday.

According to Politico, these counties submitted plans to Gov. Newsom.

In what is well known as Newsom’s scattered fashion (in or out of a pandemic), those plans were not acknowledged in a timely manner. So the Counties made choices for the good of their residents and economic sustainability.

Heather Hardwick, deputy director of Modoc County’s Office of Emergency services told Politico,

“We’re not in this at all to defy anything. We align with the plans. We’re just at a different phase in this because of where we are and how we live.”

Gov. Newsom issued another diktat on Thursday closing Orange County beaches while allowing other state beaches to remain open with some restrictions. This was right on the heels of the May Day Reopen protests across the state in Huntington Beach, San Diego, Ventura, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.

Three of the Orange County beach cities, Huntington, Newport, and Dana Point are mounting a lawsuit against Gov. Newsom’s premeditated targeting of the county. Nunes shed light on this as well:

“The worst thing the governor did … is that he picked winners and losers,” Nunes explained. “He didn’t want to get into a fight with the mayor of San Diego who’s a Republican who’s probably going to run against and challenge Gov. Newsom in the next election so he cowered down to the San Diego mayor … other places across the state he cowered down to, but for some reason in Orange County, it’s like he had a political vendetta against him and I have no idea why he started this, but it just infuriates people.”

Indeed. People have had enough.

San Clemente, another Orange County beach city, also took it a step further, opening up restaurants to sit down dining, and retail shops for in-store purchases.

Governor Newsom’s pandemic tunnel vision

This writer suspects that part of Gov. Newsom’s leadership tunnel vision is that he has never had to forge his own way. From his very privileged childhood (which he tries to deny) to his charmed political life, his breaks have been mostly handed to him. How many people annually vacationed with the J. Paul Getty family when they were kids?

How many adults are given a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors without any prior experience?

When you have never had to claw, scrape or fight for anything, you have little appreciation or compassion for those who do.

Most of us never received seed money to open a business as Newsom did. In fact, Gordon Getty is a major partner and financial contributor to the majority of Newsom’s small businesses. These businesses alone have given Newsom a net worth estimated at $22 million. This apart from his political salary and coffers.

Like many other small business owners, this writer mounted a small business with two nickels in my pocket. Others saved up the seed money or recruited investors, while others took out substantial loans. Building any business requires leg work, hard work, and tremendous effort to forge capital from a dream.

It also costs your time, talent, and a tremendous amount of treasure—and that’s not always financial.

It is doubtful that Gavin Newsom has ever had the experience of the untold costs on individual lives, livelihoods, and families. All due to this shutdown.

The governor is still collecting the proceeds from his small businesses and his state salary. He is not required to sit at home and watch his savings or retirement rapidly dissipate.

The rest of us are battling the Employment Development Department’s archaic unemployment system.  Battling the AB5 law which has forced California independent contractors and freelancers out of work before Covid-19 even happened. Or battling lobbyist and larger business concerns for a piece of the Federal stimulus PPI funds, which have been hit or miss for the entire nation.

Dubal and AB5: A Woman of Privilege dictating how Californians can work

One California tweeter responded to San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, sponsor of AB5 with this insight:

So while Newsom sits comfortably in his $3.7 million Fair Oaks mansion, the majority of California families are forced into the decision between paying the rent or mortgage or buying food. It’s not a good look.

In his defense, Gov. Newsom has offered token helps to small businesses like a one-year sales tax reprieve. The business owner would use the money as a “bridge loan.”

But many small businesses may not even get the chance to reopen or recover their losses.

Fighting against the yoke of tyranny: 1942 or 2020, it’s the American way

The continued refusal to lay out a solid and sensible plan to Reopen California only increases the likelihood of this occurring.

With that forethought, seven small businesses are now suing Gov. Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and dozens of other city and county officials as a result of the Covid-19 closures.

Our California Scion of Privilege is trying to shut the barn door when the cattle have already stampeded onto the plain. California Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez tweeted this about Gov. Newsom’s leadership choices:


Newsom and his ilk continue to miss what most statist fail to factor: the grit, ingenuity, and intelligence of the common man in uncommon times. Californians will forge forward and remake their lives despite government fiat, and maybe because of it.

To borrow another favorite Gavin Newsom catchphrase, it’s time to “meet the moment.” Reopen California, now.

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Jennifer Oliver OConnell

Jennifer Oliver OConnell offers witty, insightful, and direct opinion, analysis and musings on local and national politics and popular culture, with occasional detours into reinvention, food, and Yoga. Jennifer also teaches Yoga, and coaches clients on careers and reinvention. You can keep up with what's in Jennifer's orbit through her As the Girl Turns website.