Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom is looking for almost anything that would pass for “governing” as his recall election next week draws near.
In as much as all of the usual things a governor might do, combating crime, promoting commerce, and preventing a homeless takeover of public spaces have been spectacular failures, he is turning to aid for foreign refugees as his way of “doing something.”
He wants California taxpayers to fund $16.7 million in “cash assistance” and “services” for Afghan refugees sent to California as part of President Joe Biden’s resettlement plan for those displaced by his catastrophic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
Newsom stated in a press release that he is “seeking the money from California’s general fund to provide cash to the newly arriving Afghan nationals.” He said that his “announcement and request for funding signals that the state stands ready to assist anyone in need.”
To squeeze what he must believe is effective campaign language, he added in his statement that as the nation’s most diverse state, “we don’t simply tolerate diversity, we celebrate it.”
As the scope of the refugee resettlement became apparent, contractors last month asked private California citizens to open up their homes to refugees because new immigrants could not afford on their own to pay for housing in the California market. State Department officials have also expressed concern about the high cost of living in California for resettled Afghans.
The homelessness crisis is exploding in California while the governor is asking for cash to be distributed to refugees. Almost 162,000 persons residing in California on any given day are homeless. That number is probably a conservative estimate, and the situation for the homeless is occurring at the same time that California’s opioid and drug overdose crisis is surging upward.
Newsom faces an extensive list of Republican contenders in next week’s recall election. Polling currently shows the governor avoiding recall by a small margin, while radio host Larry Elder leads all other Republicans by double digits as his possible replacement.