Caves headshot

Michael Caves, vice chairman of the Kern County Republican Party.

The difficulty in writing about the need to vote "yes" on the Newsom recall is the reasons justifying the recall are too many to include in a readable, coherent article. But I will revert to a technique I learned when training soldiers as a sergeant in the Army: keep your content limited and easy to remember. With this in mind, remember the 5 “Fs” as you try to keep track of how Newsom has failed us:

Fires. California is burning, and like so many other issues in this state, much of this damage could have been avoided through real leadership from the governor. Even Newsom-friendly National Public Radio found Newsom’s administration overstated the completion rate of forest management projects by nearly 700 percent! Forest management is just that — getting rid of dead wood, underbrush to the tune now of more than 100 million dead trees.

Fracking (Oil). Newsom has been targeting Kern County’s oil and gas production for his entire tenure in office. Newsom’s handpicked head of the California Geologic Energy Management division rejected 35 different permits for fracking wells, not for technical reasons but for purely discretionary reasons (the first time this has ever been done). To put it bluntly, Newsom does not like Kern County’s economic productivity, and has no problem targeting our local economy for destruction (particularly in oil and agriculture). But cutting off domestic oil and gas production doesn’t take away the demand; it just means the U.S. will have to buy our oil and gas from overseas, from countries that do not respect basic human rights, or the kind of environmental protections that our oil industry honors.

Farmers. Farming feeds the nation and the world, and water is the lifeblood of farming. Newsom’s policies on water have prioritized the delta smelt and a bullet train to nowhere over water projects that our region cannot live without. Kern County (and the Central Valley) is uniquely situated for farming. We can’t simply grow the food somewhere else.

Families. Kern County families are suffering under Newsom. Through the stroke of his pen, Newsom took executive action to unilaterally close Kern County family-owned businesses, schools (but not his children’s private school) and churches, while releasing murderers early from prison back into our neighborhoods. I have personally witnessed Newsom’s policies lead to early release of baby killers, first-degree murderers, violent gang members, and some of the most dangerous individuals that I have ever encountered after over 15 years in district attorney offices in California.

Our kids are behind in school and are suffering in more ways than just academic performance. Many family-owned businesses have been destroyed by Newsom’s closures. And he says churches are non-essential? But movie production and night clubs are essential, according to Newsom. Workers who have lost their jobs are unable to get the unemployment benefits that they have earned, but Newsom paid out millions of dollars to prison inmates who filed fraudulent unemployment claims, while still serving time in prison.

French Laundry. At the same time the governor closed our businesses, restaurants and schools, Newsom sat literally shoulder-to-shoulder (with no masks and no social distancing) at this swanky Napa restaurant (where the cheapest dinner on the menu is well over $300) with dozens of other government lobbyists who paid to dine with him. It’s one thing to disagree with the rules that lawmakers have created. It’s another thing entirely to fail to follow the rules that you yourself created.

These reasons and more are why more than 2 million Californians — Democrats, Republicans, Independents — signed petitions to provide for Sept. 14th’s recall election. They and millions more are united behind a YES vote on the recall.

The buck stops with the governor; it’s time to show Newsom the door.

Vote "yes" to recall Governor Newsom.

Michael Caves is the vice chairman of the Kern County Republican Party.