Is Newsom Recall a Coup Attempt? Fresno Councilmember Connects the Dots. - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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Is Newsom Recall a Coup Attempt? Fresno Councilmember Connects the Dots.



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Fresno City Councilman Nelson Esparza was one of several California Democratic Party officials who blasted a recall effort against Governor Gavin Newsom at a virtual news conference on Tuesday.

Even though a recall is a Constitutionally-protected and legal activity in California, state party chairman Rusty Hicks called it a coup attempt.

“This recall effort, which really ought to be called the California coup, is being led by right-wing conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, anti-vaxxers in groups who encourage violence on our democratic institutions,” Hicks said in a virtual news conference.

Calling it a coup drew pushback and unflattering media headlines.

“Violence and Vandalism has NO place in this recall movement! This is a peaceful revolution. We will NOT allow the media or Gavin Newsom conflate ANTIFA style mob violence with what we do! We will not be goaded into something we are NOT!” the Recall Newsom campaign wrote on its Twitter.

Esparza wouldn’t go as far to agree a recall is a coup.

“While some of the language used, I think, may have been a bit strong, ultimately, I think the point of the press conference was to make folks aware that the recall effort is associated with some of these real fringe elements,” Esparza said on Wednesday.

Esparza Blasts Capitol Protests

Esparza and others on Tuesday attempted to link recall supporters to those engaged in the riots in Washington last week.

“Unfortunately what we are seeing is that some of the same folks who participated in this un-American assault on democracy, are the same folks who are behind the effort to recall Governor Newsom right here in California,” Esparza said.

Esparza blasted the rioters, calling their use of the American flag offensive. He also said attempting a recall during a pandemic is a misuse of time.

“Instead of focusing on the real issues, Republicans are busy pushing their political agendas,” Esparza said.

Speaking with GV Wire℠ the day after, Esparza said fringe groups including QAnon, white supremacists and the Proud Boys support the recall.

He stopped short lumping them in with the Republican Party and others groups such as those frustrated with business and school closures as well as the vaccine roll out.

That’s not fair to say that anyone who’s Republican is associated with these fringe elements,” Esparza said.

Recall Effort

This is the fifth attempt to recall Newsom. Proponents need to gather 1,495,709 valid signatures by March 17 to qualify the effort for the ballot.

The California Secretary of State says that as of Dec. 22, proponents submitted 500,000 signatures, including 27,000 from Fresno County. Recall effort leaders said recently they have now gathered over 1 million total signatures.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email