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.

2 Responses

  1. Janis Madonick

    Really? Recall Newsom is a coup attempt?? Sounds like now since everything is related to last week’s DC incident (regretful), every political actions will be judged by that event?

    Every politician is evaluated on the the job they do for their constituents, regardless of party affiliation. Newsom has not governed for all of California’s citizens regardless of their liberal or conservative affialations.

  2. Durbin Lenocker

    Hey Rusty. You call “A Constitutionally-protected and legal activity in California” a coup attempt? You serious? You trying to make your fellow wokie Nelson look like a low information politician in his hometown? I’m embarrassed for you, buddy. Calli is a huge state so I realize the heavy hitters get SD, LA and the Bay Area and you are trying to work your way up from maybe Reedley or Del Rey, all wonderful places by the way. So next time you might check with your handlers for some better talking points. Many of us received our 8th grade promotion certificates do that we understand John Deere manuals, and recognize obvious political bs. Good Luck. And Rusty, there’s a great motel just down from Reedley College on Reed ave which rents cheap to students so it might be a good place to get out and learn your craft.


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