Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

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By Ed Seaman

More than a third of Californians are living at or near the poverty level (Public Policy Institute of California, July 2021). We pay the highest income taxes (World Population Review, July 2021) and highest gas taxes (Statista, January 2021) in the country. 

The extent of the damage that the state government has done and continues to do to our children, our small business economy, our poor and middle class in the name of pandemic safety is massive, so add pandemic mismanagement to the list of big things California mismanages. This list includes water, forestry (wildfires), electricity (rolling blackouts), public education, housing, homelessness, immigration, and food security. 

Mr. Newsom is not the source of California’s mismanagement problems, and neither are the Democrats. I say this even though the democratic party has been mostly in charge and effectively unopposed for about twenty years, with a supermajority since 2018. The truth is, if we swapped Democrats with Republicans, we would still have big problems. There are two related reasons for this: One is the length of time that the governing party has been in power. The other is human nature.

The very humanesque pursuit of power, money, and prestige is the driving purpose of both political parties. Twenty years is a long time for our (essentially) unopposed governing political party to plan for and fix a lot of big problems, but it hasn’t happened. Long-term solutions are hard, politically risky, and don’t usually serve the driving purpose, so policies and resource distributions have recently been neither strategic nor innovative. The governing party makes every decision based on how it affects the party’s power, money, and prestige, not based on what is best for the people, economy, or environment.

For example, the bullet train is being funded on a huge scale (LA Times, June 2021), while such funding to plan for and expand water resources and manage carbon across the state is not. How many trees could we plant and care for and how many vermicast soil inoculations could we apply with bullet train kinds of money?  One thousand healthy live oaks 36” in diameter will sequester ~100,000 lbs. of carbon and infiltrate ~2,500,000 gallons of rainwater into their aquifers annually (iTreetools.org, June 2021) and every 1% increase in soil organic matter per acre results in ~25,000 additional gallons of water storage (National Resources Defense Council, May 2015). 

Another example is AB5. As a farmer working hard to build local food security, I’d like to point out that recently passed AB5, if enforced, would destroy the small farm sector and any hope we might have for food security overnight. AB5 is the so-called gig worker’s law that makes almost all businesses that hire independent contractors reclassify them as employees (Investopedia CA Assembly Bill 5, May 2021). The intent of the law is to increase Union (labor) membership among Uber and Lyft types of businesses (Capitol Research Center, December 2019), but the damage to small farms is unrecoverable. If you like your farmers markets, innovative climate-smart agriculture, and the possibility of local food security, pray this law is never enforced. Santa Barbara is part of an agriculture-rich Central Coast region of more than 5,000 small farms and perhaps 15,000 workers, so you would think our local state representatives would vote against AB5. They didn’t.

Senator Limon and Assemblyman Cunningham are victims of a lack of balance. They have no leverage and no political cover because there are not enough non-democrat lawmakers in the legislature, and our governor doesn’t provide reasoned checks & balances. 

The governing party appears to have a bias against rural, agriculture-rich counties like Santa Barbara and the small businesses that are the heart and soul of our local communities. Our voice is being “railroaded” in the capital by vote-rich counties like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

I no longer feel represented as an environmentalist or as a member of the small farm sector. This won’t happen without returning to a divided government with functional checks & balances. The quickest way to do this is through the executive branch.

I will vote to recall Gavin Newsom.

Ed Seaman is a husband, father, environmentalist, and lifestyle farmer, and he and his wife own and operate Santa Barbara Blueberries, a U-pick berry farm in the Santa Ynez Valley. Ed is also executive director of the Wild Farmlands Foundation, a nonprofit advocate for California’s diminishing small farm sector, and a member of the SB County Land Stewardship & Carbon Farming Coalition. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Voice of Reason Aug 20, 2021 09:35 AM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

"California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for the power grid on concern about supply shortages during hot summer evenings when solar production wanes. The order, issued last month, aimed to free up energy supplies and speed up power plant development to help avert blackouts. It also temporarily lifted air-quality rules."

Timely article I thought I'd share. While we're banning new natural gas connections and new drilling, closing gas power plants, closing nuclear plants, and even banning gas cars we literally can't keep the lights on and now Newsom is buying a bunch of natural gas generators. HELLO!!! This is literally a self inflicted emergency. WAKE UP!!!

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-19/california-to-build-temporary-gas-plants-to-avoid-blackouts

Voice of Reason Aug 20, 2021 01:40 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Didn't want this comment to get lost as we have a very important recall election coming up and the article highlights some of the major failures and unintended consequences of the "feel good" measures Newsom is so much in favor of (yet hardly ever actually "do good").

edney Aug 13, 2021 10:39 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Willie Brown would be a significant upgrade, plus we'd save on hair gel.
Newsom is to be admired for his ability to "fail up".
I'm thinking he wants the cushy job of do nothing but talk Senator from CA in the future and can't let a recall derail that, even if he is a lazy incompetent white eminently privileged dope of a governor.
The Getty's have too much invested in him

Stray Aug 13, 2021 07:17 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Nice try Edney and VOR. The last I looked, the governor is responsible for providing for the safety of ALL citizens in their state, living rural and in cities. Or do you believe governors and public health officials should stand back and let COVID have its way? Optional masks and optional vaccinations with the Delta variant running rampant? Live free and die? (Sorry, just paraphrasing New Hampshire's state motto). My point is these 8 states have unenviable pandemic circumstances. Their governors should be held accountable for policies that aren't working, whatever their political party. But there does seem to be a pattern with the population in these 8 states, yes? I'll give you a hint. Starts with an "R". By comparison, in fact, California is doing better. Chalk one up for our governor and our citizens. In this covid era. I suggest betting on the governor that is dealing with the challenge, and avoid those candidates in the recall election with the "R" next to their name.

a-1628970206 Aug 14, 2021 12:43 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

8:28 - A bit disingenuous to use cumulative totals, since those states were hit hardest early in the pandemic, when treatment strategies were tentative. A better measure of the status would be the current 7-day rates per 100K population:

NJ 0.5
NY 0.5
MA 0.6

FL 1.3
LA 6.5
TX 1.7

And don't try that ludicrous "seasonality" or "earlier in the trajectory" nonsense as a response.

Stray Aug 14, 2021 08:01 AM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Give it time, my friend, the final death-per-capita stats by state have yet to be recorded. With the Delta variant preying on the unvaccinnated and unmasked, and if a new variant surfaces after Delta, the COVID stats will continue to present themselves. In other words, all governors, their legislators and their policies need to be attacking the virus on all fronts if we're ever going to get to herd immunity in this country. As evidenced by the 8 red state data I cited below, Texas, Florida, et al are heading in the wrong direction. Whether you like or hate Newsom, California doesn't need an inexperienced leader installed as governor in a recall election during the beginning of a world-wide crisis.

Byzantium Aug 13, 2021 03:43 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

One good and proper role for government and taxpayer investment is to conduct open, fair and transparent elections. Elections are the fundamental and primary driver of our entire governance system. They are not "extra costs"; they are the primary duty of government itself. Everything else follows elections. You never do end runs around elections. That would be impossible. That would be rank corruption. Fight over the use or misuse of the rest of the tax revenues all you want, but never ever short-change a government's duty to conduct elections: recall elections; special elections; general elections. Elections remain the primary and sole voice of the people. Everything else follows the outcomes of full and fair elections - including the duty to keep ballots for a period of time after an election for full public review and confirmation of security and authenticity of the election process.

Stray Aug 13, 2021 03:37 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Fun Fact: eight states make up 51%, or half of Covid-19 hospitalizations in the USA. Yet these states account for only 24% of our country's population. Which are these states? Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, Mississippi, and Texas. Which of these states have Republican governors? Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas. By themselves, Florida and Texas have accounted for nearly 40% of new hospitalizations in the entire USA. A Republican governor in California, if they are anything like their Republican colleagues, would be a disaster for us.

Voice of Reason Aug 13, 2021 10:46 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

I think it’s Post-TDS, Duke. It’s going to take some time for them to recover. The most negative aspect of his presidency was how so many other grifting politicians on both sides got a pass with all the focus on him. Soon people will realize many of the aspects they hated about him are present in the very politicians they keep voting for. Red or blue doesn’t matter, the common citizen is neither’s priority.

dukemunson Aug 13, 2021 07:11 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

But the funny (sad) thing is the far left will defend newsome to the end and the far right will defend Trump to the bitter end. The fact of the matter is, it’s not inconsistent … it’s very VERY consistent dysfunction… and it’s on both your side Mas and the other.

dukemunson Aug 13, 2021 07:07 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Proper response? Everyone agreed schools needed to be the last thing to close and the first thing to open… not the opposite. Everyone except newsome and the schools boards throughout the state that is…

How many times are you going to justify doubling down on the bullet train to nowhere…? Yeah… we screwed up in 2008… stop the madness and the billions wasted… it’s a sunk cost…

edney Aug 13, 2021 06:23 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Our Governor likes to talk about data at the granular level and all the Democrats oooh and aaah over how articulate he is at using buzz words correctly.
CNN breaks down data to the state level to show Republican Governors are the problem.
I gave you granular data down to the blue county level in red states to show that within Texas and Florida, it is the Blue voting, Blue run counties and Metro Areas that have the majority of the Covid hospitalization within those red states and suddenly no one is interested in data that is more granular than state level.

In terms of granularity of data, state level is Colorado Rocky Mountains from 13,000-14,500 feet. County level is the rocks that make up the mountain

Mas Gaviota Aug 13, 2021 05:44 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

.. But it is ok for you to blame Newsom for his proper response to the pandemic and for EDD fraud that was nationwide and caught every state red and blue off guard and for a rail project that was approved by California voters thirteen years ago. You GOPers are so inconsistent and sometimes hilarious; you put the fun in dysfunctional.

Voice of Reason Aug 13, 2021 05:27 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

As much as it makes you feel good blaming a group and having a scapegoat to our problems this isn’t a red state blue state thing contrary to what the media portrays. Oregon, being very blue and heavy on the mandates / restrictions, is currently seeing the highest levels of hospitalizations and positive tests since the pandemic began. Louisiana and their democratic governor, are getting hit just as hard as TX and FL but your don’t hear about them in the media do you? Doesn’t fit the red-bad blue-good narrative too many here are falling for.

edney Aug 13, 2021 04:28 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

You do know that people are free to mask up and vaccinate in those states right?
Vaccines are free, masks are available everywhere.

Red states, but the COVID surge is in Blue voting counties

Try this.
Go to a COVID map by county in Florida, Texas.
Go to a voting map by County in those same states.
Overlay them.
I did it on the other thread for FLA. The counties that voted Blue like Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Duval, Orange etc etc all have high numbers of hospitalization.

Or maybe its just heat and humidity

Voice of Reason Aug 13, 2021 05:31 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Edney, the fact that Newsom was warned about the potential for massive fraud, did nothing to correct it, and your post still gets multiple down votes is telling how many here are incapable of being objective and evaluating facts in a balanced way.

pstarSR Aug 13, 2021 01:54 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Sorry but you lost me on the first sentence. blaming Newson for the CDC/ WHO/ SCIENTIFIC evidence to close down and provide safe pandemic restrictions is NOT a reason to recall. He did what our elected officials are supposed to do. Use logic and reason to provide safety for the citizens of this state. Logic and Reason provided BY EXPERTS. not random internet conspiracy theories. REAL LIFE EXPERTS

if I could give him a medal, I would. Thats what I will do when I vote to NOT recall him.

Byzantium Aug 13, 2021 03:47 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Newsom defied his own indoor mask orders and sent his own kids to private schools, when public schools were ordered closed. I am missing the logic, reason and/or science that backs up Newsom's decisions. Or even the EXPERTS who counseled him to makes the private decisions contrary to his public pronouncements. Time to Newsom to go back to running a restaurant in the private sector so he can be on the receiving end of government dictats.

dukemunson Aug 13, 2021 02:33 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Give newsome a medal???? I can see voting against the recall as it is a tremendous waste of time and money…but actually wildly supporting newsome … inconceivable!!!! Same goes for trump. Anyone who is wildly (GIVING A MEDAL) to either of those clowns is wildly out of touch with reality.

Mas Gaviota Aug 13, 2021 12:20 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Let's be honest GOPers. Even if Newsom is recalled and one of the clown car candidates "wins", he or she will be in power for only one year. In six months they will be running for reelection. Their chance of winning that election would be slim to none. This stunt will cost the state over a quarter billion dollars. So much for the GOPer being careful with public funds, their anger signaling exercise is more important than actually governing California.

edney Aug 13, 2021 10:30 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Is an assault rifle one of those magic guns you see in movies that never misses, never runs out of ammo?
Because other than that, the so called assault rifle is no different mechanically than any other rifle that isn't a one shot at a time bolt action or one of those old cowboy lever action winchesters and its the same mechanically as every pistol on the market that isn't a cowboy movie style revolver.
90% or more of all pistols and rifles today are semi automatic and so is a so called assault rifle. A semi automatic pistol will shoot just as fast as an AR-15, do just as much damage. (but no pistol is as accurate as any rifle beyond 20 yards or so)

There is nothing mechanically special that differentiates an AR15 from any thousands of other rifles. It shoots one bullet at a time and is only as accurate as the person using it. Some people like the ergonomics of it, others don't.

Its like taking a rubber band gun and wrapping it in a black skeletonized frame and insisting its much more lethal than the plain rubber band gun because- reasons.

dukemunson Aug 13, 2021 02:45 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

That was a horrible crime… part of a wildly horrific increase in murders over the last 18 months. As I’ve written on here dozens of times. we desperately need to wildly expand our gun control laws in this country. It needs to be exponentially harder to get a gun… and impossible to get assault rifles.

Voice of Reason Aug 13, 2021 01:53 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

I little bit about that EDD fraud that CA was warned about but failed to act: https://apnews.com/article/california-jobless-claims-coronavirus-pandemic-0281a79c0e644fbe283f970ee1227ba6

https://apnews.com/article/california-jobless-claims-coronavirus-pandemic-0281a79c0e644fbe283f970ee1227ba6

Mas Gaviota Aug 13, 2021 01:23 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Heh good one Dukie. Bomb thrower is a colloquial term used to describe people who stir up trouble, whether because of a legitimate grievance or simply because they are trolling. But on the subject of terrorism, right wing nut jobs are much more deadly. Reference Boogaloo Boy David Patrick Underwood, who killed a federal officer in Oakland and a Sheriff's deputy in Santa Cruz.

dukemunson Aug 13, 2021 12:52 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Mas - the bullet train is a disaster… so sure let’s credit Arnold for it… but we should probably give the left some credit for it too… right?

And what bomb throwing? Only bombs that come to mind were the two nutty liberal lawyers who were tossing Molotov cocktails at cop cars last year…

Mas Gaviota Aug 13, 2021 12:41 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

EDD was hit by a massive amount of fraudulent unemployment claims just like every state in the USA many run by GOP governors; FAIL Are you referencing the bullet train that was started during Ahhhhnolds reign as governor? He supported the project and so did the California voters in 2008. FAIL

VOR your arguments are as illogical as the ones from The California GOP. The reason that the Democratic Party has had such success recently in state government is that the GOP has not had a reasonable position, project, or idea in decades. They have become the party of whacky conspiracy theories and bomb throwers.

Voice of Reason Aug 13, 2021 12:24 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

To take that view you'd have to completely ignore the BILLIONS Newsom has wasted on EDD, bullet trains, failed policies and most importantly what his response to covid cost the citizens of CA (with no meaningful benefit). This isn't the red/blue fight he wants you to think it is.

Boarder760 Aug 13, 2021 10:03 AM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Couple things to say. I find it really hilarious that people are complaining about the cost of a recall when this governor gave billions upon billions of dollars to illegal immigrants from other countries. One day more of his nonsense is worth whatever cost we incur for a recall. Which, by the way is not much. Also, I love how people think this is undemocratic. It's actually part of our constitution, did you know that? We literally have a dictator right now. He's the only governor in the United States not to relinquish his emergency power. Over 40 different laws have been created out of whole cloth without congressional approval. This is allowed to happen because of his emergency declaration. Pretty undemocratic to me. Also, got to love the criticism of GOP candidates. No discussion regarding their ideas, just criticism for the sin of being conservative.

Kathryn8 Aug 13, 2021 09:39 AM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

How about some fracking next door to your farm? See any problem with that? What do you think of the GOP who bitterly moved into CA to turn our state red with corporate money, to restrict voting rights, drill for more oil, and undo anything good that's come under Governor Newsom? He can't make water, he can't fix a global environmental crisis. I believe his shut downs and mandates saved lives. If you want to see everyone suffer in CA, elect a GOP governor whose soul purpose is a money and power grab.

edney Aug 13, 2021 10:07 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Actually it did mean that. In common practice
Come on, admit it. You had one and then you got old and discovered conformity.
Raise a hand if you were one of those kids that volunteered to narc on the kids who were tardy to class

edney Aug 13, 2021 06:45 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

I'm old enough to remember bumper stickers that said Question Authority (I guess it meant only when Republicans are in office) and No Blood for Oil.
Middle East Oil is the equivalent of blood diamonds.
Stopping Keystone and exports of US Natural gas to Europe puts money and the power to turn off Europes heat during winter into the hands of Putin. But Trump not Biden was Putins "c***Holster"

Voice of Reason Aug 13, 2021 10:34 AM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

Kathyryn, no oil drilling here in CA but prefer it sourced from a far away country with little to no environmental protections surround by an impoverished population operating subsistence farming? That's environmental NIMBYism. Newsom can't make water but he could have managed what we have. He can't fix global environmental crisis but he's trying to as opposed to focusing on issues he can fix here in CA. Finally, if you think the GOP and not the DNC are only focused on wealth and power you have had the wool pulled over your eyes. (ps. how is school choice a money and power grab? )

SB_TAHOE Aug 13, 2021 09:26 AM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

California has the largest population (40M), is the 3rd largest state, 5th largest economy in the world, a border with Mexico, a long coastline, high Sierras, staggering wealth and poverty, extreme drought, federally managed forests, disastrous wildfires, huge population of homeless. A way more complicated state to govern than say, South Dakota. No one could do it perfectly, especially during a pandemic. Anyone that will let the French Laundry incident lead them to vote to recall has done zero research. Newsom has made some mistakes but none to the level of deserving recall. None of the candidates seeking to replace him have enough skill or experience. Do we really want some newby running California? This recall attempt is a huge waste of money. He should be allowed to finish his term and then let the usual election process remove him if that’s the voters’ choice.

edney Aug 13, 2021 07:04 PM
Op Ed: Why This Environmentalist Farmer Will Recall Gavin Newsom

The people who are upset at the French Laundry dinner.
1. Anyone who masked up and didn't eat out and felt like a peon when they saw how the elites live by their own rules.
2. Restaurant owners who lost their businesses and their employees
3. Commercial property owners who lost their properties because their restaurant tenants went out of business

People who are upset with Newsom over schools closing, remote learning while his own children attended private schools in person.
1. Families where one spouse had to quit a job to do home school zoom learning that their school district sucked at.
2. Single mothers and single fathers
3. The "I feel your pain, but I've got money and am a big Bay Area elite dude, so sucks to be you"

The gall to call these people above, Proud Boys, QAnon, 3 Percenters, Right wing...... plenty of restaurant owners who would never vote Republican just want Newsom out. Suburban Moms were big Newsom voters, but they had to quit their careers and teach their kids.
The list goes on.
There are plenty of Democrats that are not happy with Newsom. They aren't going to tell you that, they will say it at the ballot box.

I still think Newsom survives recall, but it will be because the state is 70-30 Democrat and I doubt all 30% of Republicans will show up, and I don't think 20-30% of Democrats will turn on him even if they are mad at him

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