The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

California’s Recall Election:
Don’t Get Bamboozled

Sep 13, 2021

On September 14, there is an election to recall the current governor of California, Gavin Newsom, a Democrat. If the governor receives less than the majority of votes, the next leading contender will automatically be voted in as governor.

The entire process is undemocratic considering that the next leading contender, Larry Elder, a Republican, is polling at 20%. Elder could be the next governor if Newsom does not get the majority. What a democracy!

Besides the undemocratic nature of the election, both leading candidates are vying to show that they can better represent the interests of the capitalist class.

Gavin Newsom’s record shows he has continuously stood on the side of business interests. Even though investigators have found the utility company, PG&E, at fault for several wildfires that incinerated several towns in California, killing many, Newsom has continued to bail out PG&E with taxpayer money.

Newsom’s administration has used the pandemic to provide numerous no-bid contracts to large tech companies, like Google, which have nothing to do with healthcare. Despite paying out hundreds of millions of dollars to private consultants, the state unemployment department continues to be unable to respond to unemployment claims. After nearly two years, hundreds of thousands still wait weeks and months for their claims to get through.

In the fifth largest economy in the world, 17% of Californians are under the poverty line after adjusting for cost of living. While earmarking 5.6 billion dollars in this year’s state budget to tackle homelessness, most of that money goes into the pockets of so-called “non-profit” companies. In fact, the situation is only getting worse with homelessness increasing 25% in just the last two years.

Yet, the leading Republican, Larry Elder, fares no better. Elder is a right-wing radio personality, one among many. To create a niche among so many right-wing reactionaries, he acts more outrageous than the rest. Elder says that families of former slave owners are entitled to reparations for the freeing of the slaves. He calls the minimum wage and climate change a “crock.”

It is no wonder billionaires are openly supporting both candidates. The founders of Netflix and Facebook contributed to Newsom while several tech investors donated to Elder.

The working class has no horse in this race. Regardless of the outcome of this recall election, the capitalist class will win. This recall will only replace one politician with another. Rather, the working class must recall the entire capitalist system, relying only on our own capacity and candidates to fight.