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Recall Election

Newsom Stumps in Fresno, Explains Controversial Parole Decision



Gov. Gavin Newsom bashes Larry Elder and encourages supporters to get out the "no" vote on the recall Thursday in Fresno. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)
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Entering a hot, stuffy union hall in west Fresno bearing pizzas as gifts, Gov. Gavin Newsom exhorted his supporters to do their part to get out the “no” votes in the Sept. 14 recall.

Either we reject this recall or we have someone who’s to the right of Donald Trump as the next governor of the state of California,” Newsom said about the leading replacement candidate, Larry Elder, at the Carpenters Local building.

Newsom said he’s been to Fresno “dozens” of times. He touted his homeless initiatives, fighting crime, and the economy. He also pointed to $600 million in economic development in the Central Valley.

“We’re, again, doing things that haven’t been done in the past to embrace an economic and workforce development strategy. And I want to just remind people, California (has outpaced) the American economic recovery,” Newsom said.

Discusses Refusal to Block Weidert Parole

When asked about why he didn’t block the parole of David Weidert — the Fresno man who served 40 years for the murder of a disabled man buried alive — Newsom did not immediately recognize the case but offered an explanation.

“We have an independent body that reviews those paroles, makes decisions on the basis of public safety. That is reviewed by a large team of people, not just the parole board. It goes through a process. And ultimately recommendations are made to me,” Newsom said.

Weidert was released from jail last month, after being granted parole on his fourth attempt. The previous three times, the governor — including Newsom in 2020 — legally reversed the decision.

“People that have served decades, that have actually conducted themselves within prison and have committed themselves to rehabilitation. I think in the spirit of the Bible that I was taught (as a) Santa Clara University graduate, the spirit of second chances and opportunity, someone who spends decades and decades and decades behind bars and has the opportunity to be paroled and plays by the rules and does the hard work and is not a risk possessed by psychologist and a parole board, I think is deserving of a consideration and an opportunity. That’s a broad statement,” Newsom said.

Bashing Elder by Name

Newsom spent most of his public speaking time attacking Elder, the media personality who has polled well above all other replacement candidates.

“In a matter of weeks, you quite literally could have a Republican sworn in as governor of California by the name of Larry Elder, who not only doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose, but as Dolores (Huerta) said, doesn’t even believe in a minimum wage, thinks it should be zero, let the market decide,” Newsom said.

Elder in Fresno, Too

Elder met with Fresno area farmers at the Picadilly Inn Airport on Thursday morning to share his views on the issues.

While he talked about crime and jobs, his big focus was on increasing water storage for parched California. One proposal: Suspend the state’s Environmental Quality Act so that dams can be enlarged and new reservoirs built.

Biden Scheduled to Campaign Monday

President Joe Biden will campaign with Newsom on Monday in Long Beach.

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