Democrats coalesced behind the presidential nomination of Joe Biden after Bernie Sanders won the Nevada caucuses, briefly becoming the Democratic Party's front-runner. Fearing Sanders could not beat President Donald Trump, Democrats quickly united behind the more electable Biden. But compared to "democratic socialist" Sanders, is California Gov. Gavin Newsom, on policy, really any different?
Newsom hates the oil and gas industry more than does President Biden. Newsom ordered a ban on new gas-powered cars by 2035. He ordered a ban on new oil fracking by 2024. He banned the sale of gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers by 2024.
Newsom ordered a more draconian COVID-19 lockdown than did any other governor. He issued a dizzying number of directives, including ordering the closure of most school campuses; a mask mandate; the vaccination of all state employees or regular testing; the mailing of ballots to all registered voters; and in-school student mask and vaccine mandates for most grades, public and private, as well and school staff vaccine mandates. As to shutdowns, in July 2020, USA Today wrote, "All (California) counties are required to close indoor operations of restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, card rooms and all bars."
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Newsom ordered large toy stores to set up a separate section for "gender neutral" toys. The Democratic lawmaker who introduced the bill said: "Part of it is to make sure if you're a young girl that you can find a police car, fire truck, a periodic table or a dinosaur. And then similarly, if you're a boy, if you're more artistic and want to play with glitter, why not? Why should you feel the stigma of saying, 'Oh, this should be shamed' and going to a different location?"
Newsom signed a bill to restrict sentencing enhancements for certain crimes, including those committed by gang members. Gang members in California are disproportionately black and Hispanic, and to punish them severely would perpetuate "systemic racism." Never mind the disproportionate number of victims of gang crimes who are black and Hispanic.
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Newsom signed a bill to establish a first-in-the-nation task force to study and issue recommendations for reparations. The task force recently issued its first report and proposed the implementation of "a comprehensive reparations scheme." How out-of-step is Newsom on reparations? In December 2021, the liberal Brookings Institute wrote: "Recent polling data documents Americans' general opposition to reparations in the form of financial payments to Black Americans as compensation for slavery."
On abortion, The New York Times wrote: "In the past year, Mr. Newsom has ramped up funding for abortion providers; offered tax breaks for companies seeking to move from states where abortion may be outlawed; and signed bills to protect abortion patients from privacy intrusions, insurance co-pays and threats, pressure or other attempts at 'reproductive coercion.'" Newsom supports an amendment to the state's constitution to ensure "personal reproductive liberty," an amendment whose wording the California Catholic Conference found so "extreme" it could allow third trimester abortions. After the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Newsom proposed making California a "sanctuary state" for those seeking abortions. In signing a bill to provide "abortion rights" to those coming to California for abortions, Newsom said: "We will not aid, we will not abet in their efforts to be punitive, to fine and create fear for those that seek that support. We are proud to provide it – and we do."
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Newsom supports California's illegal immigration sanctuary state laws and signed legislation expanding access to state funding for health care to some illegal aliens, with a stated goal to provide state health care to all illegal aliens.
Newsom signed a bill mandating that publicly held corporations headquartered in California have a certain number of "underrepresented" board members defined as "an individual who self-identifies as black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or who self-identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender." A judge ruled that the law violated the state constitution.