"I have not seen competent leadership from Gavin Newsom, and I will state on this show, every single member of my family signed our names, provided our signatures, to recall him."
LOS ANGELES - As the effort to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom heats up, support for his removal from office has come from an unlikely source, Ana Kasparian, the progressive host and executive producer of The Young Turks.
"I would not only like to recall Gavin Newsom, I think we should also focus a little bit on Eric Garcetti, who has been a complete and utter disaster in Los Angeles County," Kasparian told FOX 11’s Elex Michaelson during an appearance on The Issue Is.
As of February 3, some 1.4 million Californians have signed the petition to recall Newsom. Organizers of the effort have until March 10 to collect the roughly 1.5 million signatures required to place a recall on the ballot.
Those numbers in support of a recall vote come the same week a UC Berkeley poll found support for the embattled Governor has fallen 18% in the past four months, from 64% in September to 46% Friday.
"I’m a native Angeleno, I was born and raised in California, I love my state, I love the people in this state," Kasparian said, "but it is an absolute wasteland right now. Every freeway bridge is full of people living in tents. There’s excrement on the sidewalks. It’s unsafe. Crime has gone up. And when it comes to coronavirus, the fish rots from the head down."
Expanding on Newsom’s handling of coronavirus, Kasparian accused the Governor of not abiding by his own shutdown standards when it came to his Napa Valley wineries, as well as flouting social distancing guidelines during his now-infamous meal at The French Laundry, a dinner first reported by FOX 11 in November.
"While Americans are encouraged to shelter in place, encouraged to practice social distancing, no eating indoors at restaurants, he was seen at The French Laundry meeting up with his lobbyist buddies," Kasparian said. "That is unacceptable."
Playing Devil’s Advocate, Michaelson asked Kasparian how she thinks Newsom could have led differently, especially as he confronts multiple crises, from coronavirus and homelessness to climate change and racial justice.
"It’s just a lack of planning, a lack of thoughtfulness," Kasparian responded, further citing what she called a "lack of humanity" in regards to the state’s homelessness epidemic.
Among her solutions, Kasparian told Michaelson she thinks there needs to be more assurance of economic relief for business owners who continue to struggle through shutdowns, and that there needs to be an aggressive push for building housing for the homeless, as, she notes, simply providing portable toilets under bridges is not enough.
"There’s just been a failure top-down in the state," Kasparian said. "I’ll be the first to admit that when Republicans point it out when right-wingers point it out, they’re correct… we might have different ideas regarding solutions, but, I mean, the sky is blue, you can see it, you can see all the failure in this state."
In a wide-ranging debate on The Issue Is with FOX News Political Analyst Gianno Caldwell, Kasparian also addressed the need for Democrats to act boldly and unilaterally on COVID relief, the importance of holding former President Trump accountable ahead of next week’s Senate trial, and her favorite Super Bowl Halftime Performers.
The Issue Is is California's only statewide political show. Watch FOX 11 Los Angeles Fridays at 10:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m. For more showtimes and information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.