There’s an unspoken rule in politics: Don’t publicly criticize your party’s leader.
But more California Democratic lawmakers and allies of Gov. Gavin Newsom are beginning to break it as frustration grows nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s like he’s putting us out to die,” said Sandra Díaz, vice president and political director of SEIU United Services Workers West, which represents janitors, security personnel and other essential workers who were recently removed from the state’s vaccine priority tiers by the Newsom administration. “It’s more important for us as a union to see this get better, no matter who that upsets.”
California Republicans have consistently blasted Newsom’s actions on the coronavirus as they wage a campaign to oust him from office. Yet increasing and loud disapproval from those typically aligned with the governor in response to his ever-shifting course on vaccine policy and regional stay-at-home orders, his inability to reopen schools and poor communication on major decisions has exposed a vulnerability for Newsom. With the potential of a statewide recall election looming, the unhappiness expressed by Democratic officials and interest groups could be an indication of dissatisfaction among his base.
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