• August 26, 2021

Larry Elder, a target in the California retirement debate

YouTube star and Democratic political newcomer Kevin Paffrath on Wednesday injected a dose of partisan heat and some offbeat ideas into the latest debate among candidates hoping to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in the September election, telling the Spectators who endorse any of their Republican rivals be a “wasted vote” in left-wing California.

Paffrath, a self-described “JFK-style Democrat” said he wants high-efficiency air filters in every building to stop the spread of COVID-19, and proposed building a pipeline to the Mississippi River to alleviate California’s worsening drought.

“This sounds outlandish, but we have a huge problem,” Paffrath said of the pipeline during the hour-long debate that took place at the KCRA television studios in Sacramento on Wednesday night.

Paffrath is the first Democrat to take the stage in any of the debates so far and seemed to delight in bringing the first real challenge to the face of many of the pronouncements of his Republican rivals that were not checked in previous debates. He attacked Republican Kevin Faulconer, a former San Diego mayor, over a controversial land deal in the city of San Diego, and urged all three Republican candidates on stage to drop out of the race.

Paffrath has 1.7 million followers on his YouTube channel, which offers financial advice, earning him the distinction of being the best-known Democrat on a ballot lacking prominent party members. It has said it will offer a “backup option” if Newsom is pulled out.

The three Republicans who joined him on stage – Faulconer, businessman John Cox and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley from Rocklin – spent most of their time attacking Newsom’s record as governor, blaming him and the Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill. state for failing to alleviate California’s homeless crisis. take business out of California and overstate the actions your administration has taken to reduce wildfires.

By accusing the Democratic governor of government overreach, Republicans also vowed to roll back Newsom’s mandate that requires public school children to wear masks in classrooms to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and said they were opposed to state mandates on masking and COVID-19 vaccines.

As was the case in previous discussions, Newsom skipped the event. Also missing were conservative radio host Larry Elder, who has led the field for replacement candidates in recent polls, and reality star and former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner.

Elder may have been absent from the debate, but he certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

“Larry Elder doesn’t have the character, judgment, skill set or experience to be governor,” Faulconer said.

Last week, both Faulconer and Jenner asked Elder to withdraw from the race, and both criticized Elder’s earlier comments about women. The criticism came after Elder’s ex-fiancee made a series of allegations, including that she checked a loaded gun during a heated argument, which Elder has denied.

“It is time to stop the circus. These are very serious times for our state. We don’t want to replace one dysfunctional governor with another, ”Faulconer said.

Elder has questioned the integrity of the election. The candidates who participated in the debate were asked if the election was fair and if they would accept the results. Everyone agreed, but it took some effort to get answers from Faulconer and Kiley.

Elder has also become Newsom’s favorite target, who has gone to great lengths to unite the Conservative with former President Trump, who is highly unpopular in California.

During a virtual rally with black Democratic leaders Tuesday, Newsom called Elder’s comments about women “offensive beyond words.” Newsom also said that Elder’s conservative agenda, including calls by Republicans to eliminate the minimum wage and end mandates for COVID-19 vaccines and the use of masks in public schools, would make “Trump blush.” .

A recent poll by the Berkeley Institute for Government Studies and co-sponsored by The Times showed that the race is close among likely voters, with 47% supporting the withdrawal, compared to 50% opposing it. The poll also found that 40% were undecided when asked which replacement candidate they supported, offering a ray of hope for the candidates.

Kiley has been working hard to unite conservative Republicans across the state. That effort got a boost Tuesday when it was backed by one of its early rivals, former Northern California Republican Congressman Doug Ose, who dropped out of the race last week after suffering a heart attack.

Kiley was one of three men on stage named Kevin, which sparked some light moments. Kiley referred to Paffrath as “my namesake”. While discussing his opposition to the COVID mandates, Cox said: “I agree with Mr. Kiley. I won’t call him Kevin because we have too many Kevins. “

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