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All 206 House Republicans voted against raising the US debt ceiling

kevin mccarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) talks to reporters following a classified intelligence briefing.
  • All 206 House Republicans voted against raising the debt ceiling.
  • The vote was 219-206 in the House, punting the threat of default until December of this year.
  • The bill heads to Biden's desk and delays a showdown with GOP senators over the debt limit.

All House Republicans voted against a bill on Tuesday that allowed for a two-month debt limit hike to stave off a default on the US's debt.

The party-line vote was 219-206 in the House. House Republicans slammed it as a step that would unlock a wave of Democratic spending in the near future.

The debt limit deals with the US's ability to pay its bills and doesn't authorize any fresh spending by Congress.

The bill now heads to President Joe Biden's desk, and will delay a showdown with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - who has said that Democrats need to raise the debt ceiling on their own through reconciliation - until December.

"This is our debt. This is America's debt," Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on the House floor. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called out McConnell ahead of the vote, saying that he was playing, "Russian roulette with the economy."

The US Treasury Department had warned that the US defaulting on its debt could have occurred within a week if Congress did not pass the stop-gap resolution, and sparked another recession as the economy climbed out of the pandemic.

The measure buys Congress staves off the risk of a default through early December. But a fresh political battle looms.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is drawing a line in the sand against any Republican aid to lift the debt limit. Eleven Senate Republicans paved the way for the two-month extension to clear the upper chamber last week.

"I will not be a party to any future effort to mitigate the consequences of Democratic mismanagement," McConnell wrote in a scathing letter to Biden on Friday. "Your lieutenants on Capitol Hill now have the time they claimed they lacked to address the debt ceiling."

McConnell argued Democrats must employ the arduous reconciliation procedure to approve a debt-limit hike unilaterally, the same demand he's made since July. The process allows some measures to be passed with only a simple majority, shielding it from the filibuster's 60-vote threshold in the Senate.

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Matthew McConaughey, who’s called himself a ‘folk singin’, philosopher, poet-statesman,’ says he’s not sure he wants to run for Texas governor because politics is ‘a bag of rats’

Matthew McConaughey participates in a Q&A after a special screening of his new film "The Gentlemen" at Hogg Memorial Auditorium at The University of Texas at Austin on January 21, 2020 in Austin, Texas.
Matthew McConaughey
  • Matthew McConaughey told The New York Times that he's unsure of a run for governor of Texas.
  • The Academy Award winner has in the past called himself, "folk singin', philosopher, poet-statesman."
  • He said the country is too polarized and that many have told him that "politics is a bag of rats."

Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey cooled the chances of him running for office in Texas in an interview with The New York Times on Thursday, partially because politics is "a bag of rats."

McConaughey, who has fashioned himself a "folk singin', philosopher, poet-statesman," sat down with The Times' Kara Swisher on her "Sway" podcast, and said he "wasn't interested in that" when asked about running for Texas governor in 2022.

"Is that a place to make real change or is it a place where right now it's a fixed game, you go in there, you just put on a bunch of band-aids, in fours year you walk out and they rip them off and you're gone?" McConaughey told Swisher. "I'm not interested in that."

In the interview, McConaughey, who has polled high in Texas, also touched on the pressure he's received from across the political spectrum to run for office.

"One side I'm arguing is 'McConaughey exactly, that's why you need to go get in there.' The other side is 'that's a bag of rats, man. Don't touch that with a ten-foot pole. You have another lane. You have another category to have influence and get done things you'd like to get done and help how you think you can help and even heal divides,'" McConaughey said, adding that politics was a "broken business."

Throughout the chat, Swisher brought up Beto' O Rourke's criticism of McConaughey's undefined political stances.

"Coming from Beto, I don't take that as shade. He called me a good man. I say he's a good man... he believes in what he's selling, and his heart is in the right place, and he's got the right compassion that a liberal-sided politician needs," McConaughey said.

McConaughey dug deeper in the interview about where he stands, expressing openness to third parties like The Forward Party, which was recently minted by Andrew Yang.

"People want a third party and we've got one and it doesn't have a name right now and it is the majority," McConaughey said. "I'm hesitant to throw labels... but there is a sleeping giant right now. I think it's necessary to be aggressively centric to possibly salvage democracy in America right now."

McConaughey was outright critical of SB 8, Texas' abortion ban, deeming it, "juvenile in its implementation," adding that the social and political landscape in Texas and the US is fragmented and toxic.

"I go to the individual," McConaughey said. "It's not going to happen by a policy. It's going to have to be a personal choice that more of us are going to have to make on our own and that collectively will build the army that's going to get us out of this not to just survive but thrive."

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The pandemic spurred a legion of young shredders. 16 million people have taken up the guitar, Fender says.

Fender Play
  • According to a new study conducted by Fender and YouGov, young people are flocking to the guitar.
  • The study estimates that 16 million people have taken up the guitar in the US over the pandemic.
  • Insider spoke with Fender CEO Andy Mooney about the influx of young, tech-savvy shredders.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

While many Americans scrambled to find new hobbies at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, close to 16 million people took up the guitar, according to a new study from Fender and YouGov reviewed by Insider.

Fender and YouGov conducted the "Fender's New Guitar Player Landscape Analysis" study, analyzing who new players were and how they took up the instrument.

Some of the major takeaways are that most new players are women, two-thirds of new players are between the ages of 13 and 34, more than half of them use TikTok, and 38% of the new players identify as Latinx.

Fender and YouGov surveyed 10,644 Guitar "beginners, aspirers and appreciators," between the ages of 13-64 in the US, between May and June 2021.

"The population of beginners is about 7% of the total population. But as many as 72 million people are playing guitar now," Andy Mooney, Fender's CEO told Insider.

Mooney told Insider that the new research built on a six-year study Fender had previously conducted, which showed that half of new players were women and that younger players were eager to pick up the guitar.

But, according to Mooney, 90% of the beginners identified before the pandemic were walking away from the instrument, a trend that started to change during the pandemic.

"What we really learned from the pandemic is that, now that people have more time to invest in themselves, is that learning music, guitar in particular, it's just a fundamentally good investment of their time and self-development, or relaxation, mental health," Mooney said. "It's not just, although for some players it is, it's not about having your foot on the monitor at the front of the stage with the wind machine blowing through your long hair."

Sixty-two percent of study respondents said that they chose to pick up the guitar during the pandemic, according to Fender. And the decision to make "Fender Play," the company's guitar learning app, free for 90 days paid off handsomely.

"During the pandemic, we said, 'Let's offer Fender Play free for 90 days,' just to give something, just to give parents a tool, kids a tool. We thought maybe we'd get 50,000, 60,000 people would take us up on that offer. We got 100,000 people in the first week. Ultimately we topped out at just shy of a million," Mooney said, adding that today, there are a quarter-million paying users on the app.

And during these last two years, Fender's sales have skyrocketed as well.

Mooney told Insider that 2020 was a record year in terms of sales, and September 2021 was the biggest sales and orders month in the company's history. And if it weren't for supply chain slowdowns, the numbers may have been even higher.

"We believe there could be a guitar in every home. We didn't think that six years ago, but we see no reason now why there couldn't be," Mooney said.

TikTok has also proved a goldmine in terms of encouraging young players to play the guitar.

"Music is inextricably woven through everything that happens on TikTok," Mooney said, and 58% of the new players, according to Fender's study, frequent TikTok. Two-thirds of new players consume TikTok guitar content weekly, through channels like GuitarTok, which has a billion interactions.

And one of the biggest pools of new players is young, Latinx women. At least 38% of the new players identified as Latinx, and many reportedly sought out the guitar for the purpose of creating or performing.

Mooney said that Fender has worked with famous artists like Gabriel Garzón-Montano, as well as TikTok music influencers, and recently the company distributed 10,000 instruments to the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Fender's report also highlights a heightened interest among young players wanting to learn Hip-Hop songs on the guitar, something the company is paying close attention to as it develops new learning apps.

"We want to inspire people to get the first guitar, we want to educate them about what to get so it's the right guitar for them at the right time," Mooney said. "Then we want to convert them from a beginner to a committed player, and really nurture that journey all the way along the line."

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US Marines deny soldier who spoke at a Trump rally’s claim that he was the one who lifted the Afghan baby over the wall in Kabul

Former President Donald Trump.
  • The Marines denied that an officer who spoke at a Trump rally was in a viral Afghanistan photo.
  • The photo showed a Marine lifting a baby over a barbed-wire fence during the scurried evacuation.
  • The DoD is also investigating Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark for speaking at a political rally.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The US Marines said on Friday that a soldier who spoke at a Trump rally, claiming he was "the guy that pulled the baby over the wall" in Kabul, was not the man seen holding the child in the widely circulated photo.

At a September 25, Trump rally in Perry, Georgia, Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark took the stage with former President Donald Trump and claimed he was the officer in an August 19 video who hoisted a baby girl over a barbed-wire fence as US forces were evacuating Afghans from the country.

A baby is grabbed by a US soldier and lifted over a razor wire fence.
A baby is handed over to the American army over the perimeter wall of the airport for it to be evacuated, in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 19, 2021

"Hey, my name's Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark. I'm here from Warner Robins, Georgia. I am the guy that pulled the baby over the wall, and it's definitely probably one of the greatest things I've ever done in my entire life," he said at the rally.

At the rally, Trump introduced Clark and said he "helped evacuated children over the airport wall. You saw him. He did a great job," as the crowd chanted, "U-S-A."

Shortly after the incident, the Department of Defense announced an investigation into Clark, as reported by Task and Purpose, because the department restricts active duty members from speaking at political events.

A spokesperson for the Marines also denied that Clark was pictured in the photo.

"Regarding the viral photo that began circulating around August 20, 2021, the Marine identified in that particular image was not Lance Cpl. Clark," Capt. Kelton Cochran, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit spokesperson, told Insider.

Peggy Clark, Lance Cpl. Clark's mother, modified her son's claim to CNN and said that her son was, in fact, present for the moment and was handed the baby by the colleague pictured grabbing the baby.

Insider reached out to the Marines to ask whether Clark was one of the adjacent Marines.

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Ozy announces it is shutting down, following bombshell New York Times report

Ozy Media cofounder Carlos Watson
Ozy Media cofounder Carlos Watson

Ozy Media, the digital media company under fire after a bombshell New York Times report about its workplace culture and business practices, announced it was shutting down on Friday.

"At Ozy, we have been blessed with a remarkable team of dedicated staff," Ozy's board of directors wrote in a statement. "Many of them are world-class journalists and experienced professionals to whom we owe tremendous gratitude and who are wonderful colleagues. It is therefore with the heaviest of hearts that we must announce today that we are closing Ozy's doors."

Carlos Watson and Samir Rao founded Ozy in 2013 on the promise of building a new kind of media company aimed at millennials, and garnered $83 million in funding and backing from many high-profile investors and celebrities.

The unraveling started when the Times reported that Rao, Ozy's chief operating officer, was caught impersonating a YouTube executive during a fundraising call, along with raising questions about Ozy's audience metrics.

Meanwhile, Ozy alumni told Insider about the company's grueling work practices and raised doubts about the company's audience claims.

The fallout from the Times story came fast. The company was facing an FBI probe over the phone call incident. Advertisers and investors started demanding answers. Board chair and hedge fund billionaire Marc Lasry stepped down from the board.

And the world's biggest advertising company WPP just advised all its clients, which include Ford, Google, Facebook, IBM, Unilever, and Mondelez, to pause their ad buys on Ozy until further notice, said a person with direct knowledge.

The shutdown also leaves Ozy's many investors holding the bag. Its backers have included Marc Lasry, Laurene Powell Jobs, Ron Conway, and LionTree. Axel Springer, parent of Insider, also invested.

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Mitch McConnell blocks Democrats’ attempt to raise the debt ceiling on their own, pushing the country closer to a default

Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
  • Mitch McConnell blocked Senate Democrats' attempt to raise the debt ceiling on their own on Tuesday.
  • McConnell has remained adamant that raising the debt limit is something only Democrats must do.
  • The federal government is now on the verge of both defaulting on its debt and shutting down.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's request for a vote to suspend the debt limit, leaving the government closer to a debt default and shutdown.

"Democrats won't get bipartisan help paving a path to partisan recklessness," McConnell wrote on Twitter.

Since June, McConnell has been insistent that Democrats must raise the debt ceiling on their own, saying that Republicans should not play a role in funding the opposing party's $3.5 trillion social-spending bill. But even when Schumer attempted to do just that, requesting unanimous consent on Tuesday to suspend the debt limit - something Democrats could accomplish on their own - McConnell objected and said Democrats should use the reconciliation procedure to raise the limit instead.

This comes after McConnell, alongside all Senate Republicans, blocked a measure that would have averted a government shutdown and debt default on Monday; it had passed the House last week.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress on Monday that it has until October 18 to raise or suspend the debt limit, after which the government's money will run out and it will be forced to default on its debt. Earlier this month, she projected the money will run out sometime in October, but even now, with a specific date, Yellen urged lawmakers to not wait until the last minute given economic uncertainty from the pandemic.

Democrats now have more time to prevent a debt default, but they have been reluctant to address the issue through reconciliation because it would take too long to go back and amend, and debate on, the legislation. Schumer told reporters on Tuesday that going that route is a "non-starter."

"It's very, very risky," he added. "We're not pursuing that."

The consequences of failing to act promptly on prevent a debt default are dire. Yellen said last week that allowing a default would lead to "economic catastrophe," delaying Social Security payments and increasing unemployment, and White House expressed the same concerns, warning in a memo to state and local governments that a government default could lead to potential big cuts in measures like Medicaid and free school lunches.

On Tuesday, Yellen told Congress it would be a worst-case scenario for the dollar, which is the bedrock of the international financial system.

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House Select Committee investigating January 6 issued subpoenas to Trump confidants Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel

trump bannon
  • Four key Trump confidantes were subpoenaed by the House Select Committee investigating January 6.
  • Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel were asked to attend depositions in October.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

House Select Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson announced on Thursday that it was subpoenaing Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Dan Scavino, and Kash Patel. The committee investigating the events of January 6, is seeking to get information from key players who spoke with former President Donald Trump prior to the insurrection on January 6.

In a press release, Thompson described the men as, "four individuals with close ties to the former President who were working in or had communications with the White House on or in the days leading up to the January 6th, insurrection."

At the time of the riots at the Capitol on January 6, Meadows was the White House Chief of Staff, Scavino was serving as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Patel was a Defense Department official, and Bannon served as a longtime (now unofficial) Trump advisor.

The subpoenas also asked Patel and Bannon to appear at a deposition on October 14, and Meadows and Scavino to appear the following day.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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The GOP is using the format of Trump’s election lies in the California gubernatorial recall, but it’s unclear how it will work in the Golden State

Supporters of the recall campaign of California governor Gavin Newsom holding a sign
Supporters of the recall campaign of California governor Gavin Newsom prepare for the upcoming recall election with a rally and information session in Carlsbad, California, U.S., June 30, 2021.
  • GOP operatives are embracing election fraud claims again ahead of the California recall election.
  • For months, organizers, candidates, and media outlets have ratcheted up election conspiracies similar to 2020.
  • Insider spoke to political experts about how Trump's "big lie" format is playing out in the recall race.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former President Donald Trump and a crop of GOP candidates are laser-focused on reviving Trump-style election fraud claims in anticipation of a potential loss in the California governor recall election.

"In Trump's head, there are only two outcomes: Elections that his side wins and elections that are rigged," Jim Newton, a lecturer of public policy and veteran journalist, told Insider.

The premature calls of fraud in the California recall election mirror Trump's repeatedly debunked claims before the 2016 and 2020 elections - the latter which is still perpetuated and not only egged on the January 6 insurrection but sparked spurious audit campaigns and lawsuits, despite assurances from security officials that 2020 was the "most secure" election.

On Monday, GOP frontrunner and radio host Larry Elder declined to commit to accepting the results of the recall election on September 14, during an interview with NBC News.

Elder was asked if he will accept the election results - regardless of who wins - twice and did not directly answer either time.

"I think we all need to be looking at election integrity, whether you're a Democrat, a Republican, or an Independent," Elder said, avoiding to commit multiple times.

Elder's campaign website took it a step further, asking residents to sign a form, "demanding a special session of the California legislature to investigate and ameliorate the twisted results of this 2021 Recall Election of Governor Gavin Newsom."

Earlier Monday, Trump asked his and California's Republican electorate a question in the same vein.

"Does anybody really believe the California recall election isn't rigged?" Trump said in a statement ahead of the election, recycling 2020's "Big Lie." "Millions and millions of Mail-In Ballots, will make this just another giant election scam, no different, but less blatant, than the 2020 Presidential Election."

However, Newton said that aside from the recall election being, "a way for political consultants to have business in odd-numbered years," recall elections are also a perfect storm for GOP candidates in California to stoke their bases and try to win seats in office that are otherwise virtually unattainable in general elections.

Thus far the system and the pandemic have given life to the recall movement: the organizers were given more time to collect signatures due to the pandemic, Newsom couldn't list his party affiliation next to his name on the ballot because he filed too late, and a lawsuit attempt from a civil rights lawyer to declare the recall election unconstitutional failed.

In his ruling, US District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald said there was "nothing unconstitutional about placing in one ballot a vote for or against the recall of the governor and then a vote for a replacement candidate."

The conservative media ecosystem, however, has been playing up this idea of a fraudulent election for months.

According to Media Matters, Fox has run segments casting doubt about California's mail-in ballot systems, undocumented immigrants flocking to the polls, and stolen ballots.

In August, Conservative talking head Newt Gingrich recently told Fox News that Californians were printing extra ballots and mailing them in to inflate Newsom's tally, but according to Media Matters, Gingrich was referring to the Remote Accessible Vote-by-Mail system, created to assist disabled voters during the pandemic, and limited to one printout a person.

And in another pandemic election where many have voted by mail, it remains to be seen if the disinformation about mail-in ballots has suppressed participation on the Republican side.

"Typically, I think the conventional wisdom is that Republicans will vote earlier, so we would have seen a big influx in Republican numbers already if there was going to be one," Jessica Levinson, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Loyola Law School's Public Service Institute, told Insider.

"Now, with the caveat that Republicans have been told for a long time 'Don't trust vote by mail,' so if they show up in really big numbers on September 14th, then this could change," Levinson added.

If the results on Tuesday mirror Newsom's landslide 2018 gubernatorial win against Republican opponent John Cox, it will mean most of California's political ecosystem can fend off the "Big Lie" for now, the experts said. But if he wins by a slim margin, the entire referendum, initiated by Trump-adjacent Republicans, could face calls of voter fraud that echo Trump's after November 2020.

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What happened during the 2003 California Recall Election – and why it’s so different than 2021

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Schwarzenegger urged his Twitters followers to stay at home and implement social distancing.
  • On Tuesday, September 14, Californians will vote on whether or not to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.
  • This is the second recall election for Governor in California's history.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger won the recall election in 2003 - but it was a vastly different state and time.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

On Tuesday, Californians will take to the polls almost twenty years after actor and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger, "The Governator," won the last recall election to take place in the state.

In recent days, Schwarzenegger has said that "the atmosphere is exactly the same [as] when I ran" However, California's political trajectory and compounding crises at the time paint a different picture.

According to The Washington Post, between 2000 and 2001, power costs in the state quadrupled as California dealt with an electricity shortage. Gov. Gray Davis implemented "rolling black-outs" to try to conserve energy.

And in 2002, early in Davis' second term, he faced a statewide budget crisis and instituted a car tax after years of car fee deductions. In 2003, ten months after Davis won his election, voters took out their frustrations at the polls, largely blaming the governor for the crisis.

"Schwarzenegger showed that you could do it. Success tends to breed repetition," Jim Newton, a lecturer of public policy and veteran journalist, told Insider. "The crisis is different too, whatever one thinks about Newsom, it's impossible to blame him for COVID-19. The issue with the energy crisis was more a function of government."

Schwarzenegger had the right charisma and political profile in California as he threw his hat in the ring, alongside 134 other candidates when a recall race was certified in October 2003.

The story of Schwarzenegger's win over Davis also came down to a more heavily Republican electorate in California at the time and the fact that Davis was extremely unpopular with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans by 2003.

Exit polls from 2003 showed Davis' approval rating at 26% with voters, with 73% against him.

For Schwarzenegger, the opposite was true: Californians were excited about his entrance into the race, so much so that his approval rating was 79% among registered California voters, according to a 2003 Gallup poll.

"It was a not as blue state, meaning it was a more conservative state in 2003, and you had somebody who was viewed as a real viable alternative," said Jessica Levinson, clinical professor of law and director of Loyola Law School's Public Service Institute.

"He was civically engaged and he had the kind of stamp of approval from the Kennedy family, which I think made a lot of progressives comfortable because he was married at the time to Maria Shriver," Levinson added to Insider.

In the run-up to the election, Schwarzenegger benefitted from California's more solidly red base but also spoke about political issues in a way that connected with enough voters across the political spectrum.

That included a radio interview with Sean Hannity where he supported abortion rights and pushed for strict gun control and took bolder environmental stances for the time.

California's demographics - and the way they have since shifted - also played a part in Schwarzenegger's win. Recent census data showed that California's white population has shrunk to 34.7%, from 46.7% in 2003.

During Davis' reelection in 2002, he won the state with a 5% advantage over his opponent, and during Newsom's election in 2018, he bested his opponent with 24% more of the vote.

When the polls closed in December 2003, Schwarzenegger proved that he was not only more popular in polling, but he amassed more votes in total than Davis, as well as his opponents.

Schwarzenegger landed 48.58% of the Californian vote, and Davis received 44.6%, just over 200,000 fewer votes than his challenger. Although Schwarzenegger entered the recall race, he defeated Davis via the popular vote.

Davis even had then-Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, also a Democrat, run against Schwarzenegger in the field of opponents, but he also lost.

"That at least satisfies the kind of common-sense view of what transpired that's a democratic exercise. Here, there's no chance," Newton said.

Schwarzenegger would go on to win the 2006 Gubernatorial election in a landslide and serve as a Republican governor until 2011, providing a roadmap for any candidate seeking to run the perfect recall race.

Read the original article on Business Insider

California recall: Here is how we got here and what political experts foresee happening during the September 14 election

Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom looks on during a news conference with Bay Area AAPI leaders at the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco on March 19, 2021 in San Francisco, California. California Gov. Gavin Newsom met with San Francisco Bay Area AAPI leaders to discuss the increase in violence against the Asian community and the recent series of shootings at spas in the Atlanta area that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.
  • On September 14, California voters will decide whether or not to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.
  • This recall election is unique - largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic - making polling harder.
  • Insider spoke to experts about what might happen and how the recall works.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The movement to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom was birthed just weeks after Gavin Newsom would become California's governor during a landslide 2018 gubernatorial race win.

The first five Trump-inspired efforts flailed, but a sixth recall petition, led by retired sheriff's sergeant Orrin Heatlie and his California Patriot Coalition, gained some momentum.

Heatlie's second recall petition grew legs as the pandemic became reality in the golden state. Although the petition was drafted prior to March 2020 and did not include language about the pandemic, several factors eventually aided the petition's effort.

In June 2020, California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber allowed Heatlie's group to collect signatures, months after emergency health orders had been enacted by Gov. Newsom, which made the signature collection process, particularly canvassing in and out of businesses, much more convoluted.

After an official request, Judge James Arguelles of the Sacramento Superior Court granted the group an extension of the deadline to collect signatures due to the pandemic restrictions, giving the recall effort a new wind. Newsom's administration declined to appeal the decision.

And, in November, when a maskless Newsom - who pleaded with Californians to wear masks and avoid social gatherings - was spotted luxuriating with lobbyists at the swanky French Laundry restaurant, the recall petition gained signatures and political support.

"There was no real reason to think that he was especially vulnerable except for the odd nature of California's recall rules and COVID-19," Jim Newton, a lecturer of public policy and veteran journalist, told Insider.

"There's no way for there to be a COVID-19 response that doesn't agitate a lot of people, and that has given energy and anger to this race that I suspect wouldn't have really been there," Newton added.

California Patriot Coalition seized on that uproar to then generate a successful recall election petition.

What is a recall election?

A recall election is a process where voters can vote to remove an elected official from office, in this case, Newsom, through a referendum election before that official's term finishes.

In California, one of 19 states that allow recall elections, a recall petition has to be signed by the equivalent of 12% of the electorate from the last election for governor, and from at least five counties. Petitioners then have 160 days to collect signatures, unless an extension is granted.

According to CalMatters, a recall petition for Newsom needed 1,495,709 valid signatures, and on July 1, Weber certified that Heatlie's second petition had secured 1,719,900 valid signatures and that a recall election would be triggered.

How did we get here?

Once official, dozens of candidates from across the political spectrum threw their hats in the ring in their attempts to pull a repeat of Arnold Schwarzenegger's stunning 2003 recall election success.

Newsom faces 24 Republicans, 9 Democrats, 10 candidates who are unaffiliated, and three third-party candidates.

With 46 candidates now on the ballot, conservative radio host and Trump loyalist Larry Elder is leading the GOP pack, and trailing him is former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Media personality and Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner is in the mix, but a poll from the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California polled her winning 1% of the potential vote.

How does the ballot work?

During a recall election in California, the ballot itself is markedly different from a standard gubernatorial race ballot.

Voters are asked to answer two questions: first, whether they want to recall Gavin Newsom, and second, which among the 46 candidates they would like to see become the next governor.

The math after those choices is not exactly a democratic exercise, critics say.

If more than 50% of voters vote "yes," to recalling Newsom, he will be replaced by the opposing candidate who garners the most support.

"The real truth is that if Newsom were to lose, one of these people would replace him and it would be someone who most Californians do not support," Newton told Insider.

"If 10 million Californians vote to keep Gavin Newsom and three million Californians vote for Larry Elder and the three million beat the 10 million, that seems fucked up, it just doesn't seem like the way we ought to be doing it," Newton added.

In the event that Newsom is recalled, county officials would have 30 days to count votes and on the 38th day, Weber would certify the election results. The winner would essentially serve the final year of Newsom's term until 2022.

Whether Newsom wins or loses, there will be a gubernatorial election in November 2022.

If Newsom wins, then he sees out his normal term until January 2, 2023, and can run for re-election in 2022.

What is the likely outcome? And why?

According to polling from the Public Policy Institute of California, Gov. Newsom is relatively well-positioned to win with 58% of voters saying that they disagreed with the recall effort.

Newsom has also raised over $75 million in funding for his efforts opposing the recall, and candidates supporting the recall have raised less than half that sum altogether, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Still, experts like Levinson and Newton said that the kind of traditional polling for voting has been less useful during the pandemic, where mail-in voting and in-person voting dynamics have been reshuffled.

"The more the ballot return numbers come in, the more I feel positive for Newsom. If too many people feel this way, it's over for him. His biggest weakness is the complacency of the electorate," Jessica Levinson, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Loyola Law School's Public Service Institute, told Insider.

"The big question is if you have such a disproportionate number of Republicans and Decline To State voters show up and such a comparatively low number of Democrats show up to vote on September 14," Levinson said. "Without that happening, I think that Newsom will fight another day."

Newton agreed that if the turnout breaks evenly across the board with both major parties, Newsom should glide to a win, and if not, it could spell trouble on the 14th.

"The bottom line here is that the recall is opposed by Democrats and Independents and supported by Republicans. And there are a lot more Democrats and Independents than there are Republicans," Newton said.

Both experts stressed that in a normal gubernatorial race without needing to meet a higher threshold, Newsom would handily beat the candidates he's up against.

It's a different state and different race than in 2003

The 2003 recall race was largely different due to former Gov. Gray Davis and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's profiles with voters - and namely because Arnold Schwarzenegger out-polled and got more votes in total than Gray Davis.

Davis presided over an energy crisis in the early 2000s, which was partially spurred by energy deregulation laws passed by his predecessor.

According to the Washington Post, between 2000 and 2001, power costs in the state quadrupled as California dealt with an electricity shortage. Davis implemented "rolling black-outs" to try to conserve energy, and at the polls in 2003 voters took out their frustrations, largely blaming the governor for the crisis.

"Schwarzenegger showed that you could do it. Success tends to breed repetition," Newton said. "The crisis is different too, whatever one thinks about Newsom, it's impossible to blame him for COVID-19. The issue with the energy crisis was more a function of government."

Levinson added that if a GOP or non-Democratic incumbent did win the recall, they would be eventually overpowered by a Democrat-led legislature, facing a likely loss in a gubernatorial election a year after the recall election.

"So it might be a psychological win or loss for either side, but in California, most of the wins or losses are already baked into the system," Levinson said.

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