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Let’s Hear More from Governor Empty Suit

A waiter sets up a table in the outdoor dining area on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in which Gov. Gavin Newsom, who later called it a “bad mistake,” attended a birthday dinner at the French Laundry in Yountville. (Courtesy photo)

The last time I mentioned Gavin Newsom, when he vetoed a bill that would give unemployment benefits to striking workers, the comments were filled with people who feel morally compelled to Defend All Democrats. Never mind there’s no reason on the merits to do that. Never mind that this is just going to piss off unions he needs to win the 2028 nomination that he so obviously wants. Nope. MUST DEFEND DEMOCRATS!!!

So I guess my question now is what do we think about Newsom went into crazy veto mode and evidently decided that now he would be Mr. Moderate, as if that is what Democratic primary voters want.

  • Juror pay: Though he praised the measure’s aim to “create a more equal justice system” in his veto message, Newsom said no to expanding to more counties a program to raise the daily stipend for jury service from $15 to $100 for low-income residents.
  • Cannabis cafes: Raising concerns about undermining the state’s “long-standing smoke-free” protections for workers, the governor vetoed a measure that would have let cannabis lounges sell food and host live events.
  • Caste discrimination: For now, California will not become the first state to explicitly ban caste discrimination. Calling it “unnecessary,” Newsom said that current state law already prohibits discrimination based on ancestry (which caste is considered a subset of), and that “civil rights protections shall be liberally construed” by the courts.
  • Decriminalizing psychedelics: Though Newsom said he supports “new opportunities to address mental health through psychedelic medicines,” he vetoed a bill to decriminalize the use of certain hallucinogens because of a lack of state guardrails for usage. He urged lawmakers to draft legislation next year that would include such “therapeutic guidelines.”
  • Public records ombudsperson: A measure to establish an ombudsperson who investigates whether denials of public records requests comply with state law.
  • Social housing, homeless youth housing: Budget concerns came up in vetoes of two housing-related bills: One aimed at developing state-owned social housing projects and another would have required the state to help fund organizations that provide transitional housing for homeless LGBTQ+ youth.
  • Hearing aids, insulin pricing and perinatal care: Three health care-related bills got the ax: One to require health plans to cover hearing aids for individuals age 20 and younger; another that would have capped insulin copayments to $35 and a third that would have expanded perinatal care under Medi-Cal.

What the hell even is this?

That doesn’t even get to Newsom going full anti-gay:

Over the weekend, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) vetoed four bills that would have expanded LGBTQ protections in the state, bringing the total number of LGBTQ-related bills he has vetoed this legislative session to five.

One of the bills would have required out-of-state insurance sold to California workers to cover gender-affirming care and abortion care. This bill was part of a legislative package championed by the California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB Council) and introduced by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus (LWC).

“Ensuring access to reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare is about more than just keeping clinics open,” the FAB Council Steering Committee said in a statement on the bill. “States need to maintain insurance coverage for criminalized procedures, protect medical professionals who are being targeted for providing care, expand access to patient and provider abortion education, and take other measures to make reproductive healthcare genuinely attainable.”

Another of the vetoed bills would have provided protection for California workers who need time off to care for their biological or chosen family members. This bill, authored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), was strongly supported by LGBTQ advocates.

“Who we count as members of our family and choose to care for includes so many more Californians than what our current laws recognize,” Wicks said. “Employee protections must continue to evolve so workers can care for those they love, and not get punished for it.”

The third bill vetoed by Newsom, which was authored by Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Santa Monica/West Hollywood), would have eliminated loopholes and bolstered safeguards in existing law to ensure that California health insurance providers maintained their obligation to offer comprehensive and cost-free coverage for preventive services. These services include PrEP, a highly effective medication for preventing HIV transmission, as well as screenings for sexually transmitted infections.

“All Californians deserve access to life-saving preventive care without worrying about hidden fees and costs,” Zbur said. “Creating an affordable and accessible pathway to this care, which includes STI and HIV testing and treatment, will be a tremendous benefit to overlooked communities who have traditionally lacked access to these important services, including young people, people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and more.”

The last of the bills vetoed by Newsom over the weekend would have established a three-year transitional housing pilot program for homeless LGBTQ+ youth in San Diego. The bill was introduced by Encinitas Assemblymember Tasha Boerner (D) and aimed at supporting LGBTQ youth who are at risk of homelessness after experiencing family rejection through temporary accommodations.

He also vetoed a bill to give free condoms to high school students.

Understand that each one of these bills passed the California legislature. This isn’t just me here. They all had the support of a majority of both houses of that legislature. You can debate certain of these bills. You can’t debate all of them.

So what I want is for everyone who MUST DEFEND ALL DEMOCRATS and did so over the labor veto to go ahead and explain to me why Gavin Newsom is a remotely decent option in 2028. Because as far as I can tell, he really sucks. We can sure as hell do better than this and it doesn’t require the second coming of Eugene Debs to do so. Any basic Democrat is better than this. And if you realize that you can no longer defend Newsom, I would like to know why screwing over workers isn’t as morally reprehensible as these other vetoes?

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