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Requiem for California’s Governor Recall Election

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

All the political stars fell into alignment for Gavin Newsom as the state recall proposal failed by about a 2-to-1 margin. Less than two months ago, recall polls were evenly split as Newsom was fighting for his political life. Reasons for voter dissatisfaction with his performance ranged from the state’s business shutdown during COVID-19, which led to one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates, and his dining without socially distancing at the exclusive French Laundry restaurant in Napa, to his failing to solve the state employment department’s awful mismanagement of unemployment claims, which led to $32 billion paid in fraudulent claims while legitimate payments were held up for months.


Takeaways From The Recall Vote

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Thursday, September 16, 2021

Now that the dust has settled and (most of) the ballots counted, a few thoughts on what transpired in California earlier this week and a recall election that failed to oust Governor Gavin Newsom from office.


How a Winning Recall Candidate Prepared to Govern California

by Joe Rodotavia Eureka
Friday, September 10, 2021

In 2003, California voters faced a decision: whether to recall the incumbent governor, Gray Davis and replace him with someone from a list of 135 would-be chief executives, including one of the most famous individuals on the planet at the time, Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Recalling the Governor Is a Bad Idea

by Jim Cunneenvia Eureka
Friday, September 10, 2021

I have plenty of policy quarrels with Gavin Newsom.


California’s “Cicada Election”

by Bill Whalenvia Eureka
Friday, September 10, 2021

Here’s one way to look at California’s upcoming gubernatorial recall election: Why all the intrigue and drama surrounding the fate of Gavin Newsom, California’s fortieth governor?

California flag

In This Recall Election, Why 2021 Is Not 2003

by Matt Rexroad via Eureka
Friday, September 10, 2021

I’ll never forget the moment back in 2003 when I heard about the pending recall of then California governor Gray Davis.


An Ugly (Media) Campaign against California’s Governor Recall Candidates

by Lee Ohanianvia Eureka
Friday, September 10, 2021

I’ve had the privilege of advising some of the candidates running for California governor in the state’s recall election, including Larry Elder, Kevin Faulconer, and Caitlyn Jenner. (While I offer advice, I’m not a paid adviser nor do I make endorsements—my door is open to any candidate of any affiliation who wants to talk about moving the state forward).


The Simple Economics behind California’s Governor Recall Election

by Lee Ohanianvia California on Your Mind
Friday, September 10, 2021

For the last three years, my Hoover colleague Bill Whalen and I have been writing weekly in this space about California policies and politics. During this time, I have become painfully aware of how life is quickly deteriorating for many California families, including those running small and medium-sized businesses, and this deterioration reflects a decline in the quality and accountability of state and local governance.


Recall’s Closing Argument

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Maybe a recent binge-watch is to blame, but l wonder: Why isn’t Reese Witherspoon campaigning for California governor Gavin Newsom, the subject of next week’s recall election here in the Golden State?


Is It Time For California To Rework Its Framework?

by Bill Whalenvia California on Your Mind
Wednesday, September 1, 2021

You have to dig deep into this Atlantic piece on the California governor’s facing a possible voter recall to find the passage, but here’s what caught my eye: “If [Gavin Newsom] hangs on . . . he’ll consider changing the law in order to make recalls harder, and have the reform take effect for governors who succeed him.”


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California on Your Mind is a twice weekly journal about California politics and economic policies, and how they affect California’s economy. At one time, California policies helped create the “California Dream” by fostering affordable housing, creating high quality schools, and facilitating substantial infrastructure investments. These policies helped make California the 20th century destination for thousands of businesses, and for tens of millions of Americans who moved to California from other parts of the country. Today, a very different set of state and local policies is contributing to rapidly increasing housing prices, growing homelessness, lower quality schools, and insufficient public investments.

This journal discusses California political and policy developments in real time, describes how they will affect the California economy, and analyzes how reasonable policy reforms can reduce California’s cost of living, improve California schools, increase public investment, and help restore the “California Dream”.


About the Authors

Lee Ohanian

Lee E. Ohanian is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Economics at UCLA. He is an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and previously has advised other Federal Reserve Banks, Foreign Central Banks, and the National Science Foundation. He has been an economic adviser to state and national political campaigns and has testified to the U.S. Senate and the California State Legislative Assembly on economic policy issues. His research, which recently has been discussed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other media sources, focuses on economic policies and economic growth, and as been published widely in a number of peer-reviewed journals. He is a frequent columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rochester.


Bill Whalen, a Hoover Institution research fellow since 1999, writes and comments on California and America’s political landscapes. Whalen is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee and and also writes frequently for Real Clear Politics, The Hill and the Washington Times. He is also the host of Hoover’s Area 45 podcast that explores policymaking and politics as they pertain to the Trump presidency. Prior to joining the Hoover Institution, Whalen served as chief speechwriter and director of public affairs for former California governor Pete Wilson. He’s also served as a strategist for numerous California political hopefuls, including former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. A native of Washington, D.C., Whalen received a B.A. in journalism from Washington & Lee University. ​