CALIFORNIA’S POWER OUTAGES ARE MAKING GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM RESEMBLE RECALLED GOV. GRAY DAVIS:
As wildfires scorch California and Pacific Gas & Electric turns off electricity in large swaths of the state to reduce the fire risk, our new progressive governor, Gavin Newsom, is facing the first real crisis in his young administration. “I own this,” he said, regarding the fires and related blackouts, but his press conferences have seemed less about a governor who is in control and more about a deer staring at the headlights.
Newsom isn’t the first California governor with national aspirations, but he’s not garnering comparisons to Hiram Johnson (who became U.S. senator), Earl Warren (later a U.S. Supreme Court justice), Ronald Reagan (the 40th president) or even Jerry Brown (who ran for president). Instead, the media is comparing him to Gray Davis, who was recalled in 2003 during the last round of rolling blackouts. That’s not a particularly good thing.
It’s a Red Queen’s Race: California has been in crisis mode over environmentalism and homelessness for decades, and “unexpectedly,” both of those problems continue to get worse and worse for the state. It’s also not surprising that Newsom is being compared an earlier fellow Democrat, since his administration is a reckoning over decisions made by his most recent predecessor, Gov. Jerry Brown, both in the immediate past, and during the 1970s.