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Facing the political fight of his life and sinking polls indicating he could lose in the Sept. 14 recall election, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is now plagued by rising concerns over alleged voter fraud after the Secretary of State’s Office sent out mail ballots to 20 million voters.

Earlier in the year, the state legislature passed a measure to send out mail ballots to every registered voter whether they asked for one or not. Newsom’s opponents argue this was done as a way to protect him from losing, suggesting the only way he could win was through fraud. 

Two legislators sued Newsom last year over an executive order he issued changing election procedure. The lawsuit is on appeal and expected to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. One of the plaintiffs, State Rep. Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin), is running to replace Newsom.

“Legislators are as desperate as Newsom to stop the recall,” Kiley said. “The one thing they respond to is the fear of losing their jobs. They know that when the governor loses his job, it will be a whole new ball game.”

Blue check users on Twitter have been posting video and images of alleged ballot fraud. 

Trump administration acting Director of National Intelligence and California resident Richard Grenell asked if Newsom sent out suspiciously designed ballots on purpose, posting a video with a resident showing how small, round windows in the ballot envelopes may reveal “Yes” votes in favor of recall, making them easy to identify and discard by pro-Newsom ballot counters.  

In an article “fact-checking” Grenell,  the San Francisco Chronicle claimed, “No, California recall ballot was not designed to help Gavin Newsom and cheat Larry Elder,” his Republican challenger leading in the polls.

Should Newsom lose the vote, he would be the second governor recalled in California history. The latest polls show him losing in the polls or statistically tied.

New York Times best-selling author and podcast host Adam Carolla tweeted out a video of what he described as “two women with a post office master key … caught on camera stealing what appears to be California recall election ballots at an apartment complex in Valley Village.”

“Are they just targeting ballots or stealing all mail,” Carolla wrote. “What are your thoughts?”

Just The News reached out to Newsom’s press office, which was quick to respond. While the governor’s office couldn’t comment, the spokesperson referred the questions to several people at Newsom’s campaign and the Secretary of State’s Office. The campaign did not respond to request for comment, but the Secretary of State’s Office did. 

Regarding the “cases of mail stealing, we take any and all allegations of election crimes seriously,” said Jenna Dresner, spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office. “We are aware of the cases you highlighted and have referred it to the appropriate federal and local law enforcement authorities to investigate its validity and prosecute as needed.”

She referred to a statement issued by the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters in response to concerns raised about the hole punches in the envelopes. 

“The design of the ballot return envelope is not new and has been used for several election cycles — and the design is a recommended accessibility practice by civic design consultants,” the registrar’s office said. “The intent and purpose of the holes are two-fold, to assist with accessibility for low vision voters to locate where to sign the envelope and to ensure no ballots were missed and left in envelopes once our office has received and processed them.”

 “[V]oters have control of how they place their ballot in the envelope,” the county added, “and have multiple options for returning their ballots (mail, Ballot Drop Box, or at a Vote Center) to ensure secure and appropriate handling. Additionally, voters can track the status of their returned ballot through Ballot Trax — a free tracking application operated by the Secretary of State that will notify the voter when our office received the ballot and that it will be counted.”

Janna Haynes, Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections Office spokesperson, affirmed the position of Los Angeles County and said the holes help blind voters, even though the ballot is not printed in braille. 

“The feedback that we had received from our blind community, best practices from the Civic Center of Design, was that we needed to make some obvious indication on either side of the signature line,” she said.

The other reason is to make sure no ballot goes uncounted, she said.

Grenell pushed back against California media outlets downplaying fraud concerns. “The California media have collectively dismissed concerns about the LA County ballots,” he tweeted. “The fact is there are holes in the envelope that when the ballot is folded a certain way can expose those who voted to Recall Gavin. This is fact.”

In another tweet, he wrote: “The fact that it’s ‘only LA County’ is a ridiculous pushback. LA County is the largest in the state. It’s also a ridiculous argument to say ‘we always have these holes in the envelopes.’ Why do the holes only expose the YES votes?”

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ARMED Business Owner Single-Handedly Fends Off Gang Of ‘Smash And Grab’ Looters in California [VIDEO]

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Organized looting and rioting has wracked the state of California in recent months as law and order continues to break down in the state.  Recently, left wing mobs looted a Nordstrom in California and beat up employees.  In November, rioters attacked a news crew covering looting in Oakland, California and shot a police officer attempting to protect them.  Some small business owners in the state have had enough and have taken to defending their own businesses as left wing prosecutors go ‘soft on crime’.  This week, a man fended off a group of ‘smash and grab’ looters in California after he pulled a gun on them.  The Daily Mail Reports

“This is the moment a jewelry store owner in California takes the law into his own hands and defends his store from being robbed by armed thieves smashing up the displays.

It comes in the wake of shocking spike in smash and grab robberies across shoplifters’ paradise California after soft policies of progressives including Los Angeles County DA George Gascón.

It’s at least the third robbery attempt reported this month in the Bay Area alone, including theft attempts from a gang of hammer-wielding thugs who swiped upward of $110,000 in jewelry from a mall and a group of thieves, two of whom didn’t even bother covering their faces, who filled trash bags with cosmetics at an Ulta Beauty salon.

Amazing surveillance footage shows Usman Bhatti, owner of Maaz Jewelers in Tanofran Mall in San Bruno, California, shove away a suspect who ran into his store and began breaking the display case.

In the clip Bhatti, quickly and instinctively, can then be seen pulling out a gun and scaring the culprit and five other suspects who fled the scene, away.

Speaking to FOX KTVU, the store owner said: ‘I’m not trying to be a hero or a macho man.

‘It just happened very quick and I had no choice.’

Bhatti, who had a concealed carry permit, faced off against armed thieves on January 21.

San Bruno Police officers responded to an attempted robbery of a jewelry store around 1.06pm.

Police said five male suspects approached the store and one pulled out a crowbar to enter the jeweler’s as Bhatti yelled for him to stop.

As the burglar began to smash up glass he then turned to Bhatti, as if poised to hit him with the crowbar.

Bhatti drew a firearm at the suspect, who then ran off while another suspect pulled out a gun and pointed it a the store owner.

All five suspects fled away from the store. No one was injured and no weapons were used in the incident.”

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California’s universal health care bill dies due to lack of votes

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Lawmakers did not vote on a bill that would have created a first-in-the-nation universal healthcare system in California on Monday, bringing an end to a proposal that would have provided government-funded coverage to all state residents.

The proposal, contained in Assembly Bill 1400, was expected to be voted on by the full Assembly during a floor session on Monday. The bill would have created CalCare, a single-payer health care system to provide coverage for all Californians by levying billions in taxes on businesses and higher-earning individuals.

The bill’s principal author, Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, chose not to hold a vote, effectively killing the bill as it ran up against a legislative deadline of Monday. Because the bill was introduced last year, it had to pass the Assembly by Monday to advance.

“Despite heavy opposition and substantial misinformation from those that stand to profit from our current healthcare system, we were able to ignite a realistic and achievable path toward single-payer and bring AB 1400 to the floor of the Assembly,” Kalra said in a statement. “However, it became clear that we did not have the votes necessary for passage and I decided the best course of action is to not put AB 1400 for a vote today.”

Kalra said the lack of a vote is just a “pause for the single-payer movement,” and said he would continue to fight for reform.

The lawmaker’s decision not to hold a vote on the Assembly floor Monday sparked backlash from the California Nurses Association, who showed strong support for the bill in recent months.

“Nurses condemn this failure by elected representatives to put patients above profits, especially during the worst surge of Covid-19 yet, at a time when it’s more clear than ever before that health care must be a right, not just a privilege for those who can afford it,” the California Nurses Association, who supported AB 1400, said in a statement Monday.

“Nurses are especially outraged that Kalra chose to just give up on patients across the state. Nurses never give up on our patients, and we will keep fighting with our allies in the grassroots movement for CalCare until all people in California can get the care they need, regardless of ability to pay.”

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, voiced disappointment in Kalra’s decision to withhold the bill, saying that “the shortage of votes needed to pass this vote out of the Assembly indicates the immense difficulty of implementing single-payer healthcare in California.”

“Nevertheless, I’m deeply disappointed that the author did not bring this bill up for a vote today,” Rendon said in a statement. “I support single-payer and fully intended to vote yes on this bill.”

An analysis from the Assembly Appropriations Committee earlier this month estimated the single-payer system could cost the state between $314 billion and $391 billion annually to implement. The price tag drew opposition from several lawmakers and individuals, some of whom praised the effective end to the future of the bill on Monday.

“We applaud the Assembly for rejecting a proposal that would have required the largest tax increase in California history,” California Taxpayers Association President Robert Gutierrez said in a statement.

Several supporters took to Twitter to express their disappointment that the bill did not receive a floor vote in the Assembly on Monday. Among them were leaders from the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party, who vowed last week not to endorse any Democratic Assemblymembers who voted against the proposal.

“We are all gutted,” Caucus Chair Amar Shergill tweeted. “Will need a moment to absorb and recover.

Lawmakers did not vote on a bill that would have created a first-in-the-nation universal healthcare system in California on Monday, bringing an end to a proposal that would have provided government-funded coverage to all state residents.

The proposal, contained in Assembly Bill 1400, was expected to be voted on by the full Assembly during a floor session on Monday. The bill would have created CalCare, a single-payer health care system to provide coverage for all Californians by levying billions in taxes on businesses and higher-earning individuals.

The bill’s principal author, Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose, chose not to hold a vote, effectively killing the bill as it ran up against a legislative deadline of Monday. Because the bill was introduced last year, it had to pass the Assembly by Monday to advance.

“Despite heavy opposition and substantial misinformation from those that stand to profit from our current healthcare system, we were able to ignite a realistic and achievable path toward single-payer and bring AB 1400 to the floor of the Assembly,” Kalra said in a statement. “However, it became clear that we did not have the votes necessary for passage and I decided the best course of action is to not put AB 1400 for a vote today.”

Kalra said the lack of a vote is just a “pause for the single-payer movement,” and said he would continue to fight for reform.

The lawmaker’s decision not to hold a vote on the Assembly floor Monday sparked backlash from the California Nurses Association, who showed strong support for the bill in recent months.

“Nurses condemn this failure by elected representatives to put patients above profits, especially during the worst surge of Covid-19 yet, at a time when it’s more clear than ever before that health care must be a right, not just a privilege for those who can afford it,” the California Nurses Association, who supported AB 1400, said in a statement Monday.

“Nurses are especially outraged that Kalra chose to just give up on patients across the state. Nurses never give up on our patients, and we will keep fighting with our allies in the grassroots movement for CalCare until all people in California can get the care they need, regardless of ability to pay.”

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, voiced disappointment in Kalra’s decision to withhold the bill, saying that “the shortage of votes needed to pass this vote out of the Assembly indicates the immense difficulty of implementing single-payer healthcare in California.”

“Nevertheless, I’m deeply disappointed that the author did not bring this bill up for a vote today,” Rendon said in a statement. “I support single-payer and fully intended to vote yes on this bill.”

An analysis from the Assembly Appropriations Committee earlier this month estimated the single-payer system could cost the state between $314 billion and $391 billion annually to implement. The price tag drew opposition from several lawmakers and individuals, some of whom praised the effective end to the future of the bill on Monday.

“We applaud the Assembly for rejecting a proposal that would have required the largest tax increase in California history,” California Taxpayers Association President Robert Gutierrez said in a statement.

Several supporters took to Twitter to express their disappointment that the bill did not receive a floor vote in the Assembly on Monday. Among them were leaders from the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party, who vowed last week not to endorse any Democratic Assemblymembers who voted against the proposal.

“We are all gutted,” Caucus Chair Amar Shergill tweeted. “Will need a moment to absorb and recover.

To be clear. This bill won’t be back. Today was the last day on the calendar for this bill. We are all gutted. Will need a moment to absorb and recover.— CADem Progressive Caucus Chair (@AmarShergillCA) February 1, 2022

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California bill would create safe consumption sites for drug use

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To confront an increase in opioid-related overdose deaths in California, one state legislator is working to advance a bill that would provide access to safe drug consumption sites in multiple cities across the state.

Senate Bill 57, authored by Sen. Scott Wiener, D- San Francisco, would authorize the City and County of San Francisco, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Oakland to develop overdose prevention programs via consumption sites for people to use drugs under supervision from medical personnel.

The programs would include access to a “hygienic space supervised by trained staff” where people could consume pre-obtained drugs and provide access to program staff who would be trained to administer an “opioid antagonist” in an emergency. The sites would also offer mental health services and referrals to obtain overdose reversal medications.

The bill was initially introduced in December 2020 and has been amended several times. It was passed by the Assembly Health Committee last week and will now make its way to the Assembly floor for a full vote. If the Assembly approves, it will return to the Senate for approval before heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

“The time has come for an all-hands-on-deck approach to California’s overdose death crisis, and safe consumption sites are a proven strategy to save lives,” Wiener said in a statement. “Public health interventions to address this crisis exist, and they are working well in other countries. We can’t keep saying no to safe consumption sites and hope that somehow our challenges around addiction, overdoses and mental health will just go away.”

The bill comes as California sees a rise in opioid-related overdose deaths. According to data from the state’s Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, the state saw more than 5,500 deaths related to opioid overdose in 2020 – almost a 70% increase from 2019.

The rate of overdose deaths has increased significantly in the Bay Area, rising 170% between 2018 and 2019 in San Francisco, according to Wiener. Wiener wrote in a bill analysis that the rates continued to climb during the pandemic, with San Francisco seeing “nearly four times as many overdose deaths as COVID-19 deaths” in 2020.

Los Angeles County also saw an increase in overdose deaths during the pandemic, according to a report released earlier this month by Substance Abuse Prevention and Control.

The report found that LA County saw a 48% increase in accidental overdose deaths during the first five months of the pandemic (March-July 2020) compared to the same time frame in 2019. It also found that over the last decade, the county has seen a “steady” increase in accidental overdose deaths with “notable increases” in 2018 due to fentanyl and methamphetamine-related deaths.

Under existing federal law, it is a felony to operate a space for the purpose of distributing or using any controlled substance. But several entities, including the American Medical Association, recommend the use of facilities where people can use drugs under supervision to reduce the number of overdose deaths.

The bill has drawn opposition from individuals and groups, including the California Narcotic Officer’s Association. The CNOA said the bill “alarmingly concedes the inevitable and immutable nature of drug addiction and abuse” and would “normalize substance abuse.”

But supporters of Wiener’s bill say the legalization of overdose prevention programs has proven effective in other countries to reduce health and safety issues related to drug use.

According to the California Society of Addiction Medicine, who are supporters of SB 57, safe injection sites across Europe, Australia and Canada have been a “cost effective” intervention practice, and people using these programs are more likely to enter addiction treatment.

“We are in the midst of a devastating overdose crisis, and are losing Californians every day to overdose,” Kevin Rogers, interim CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said in a statement in support of SB 57. “We cannot afford to slow or stall the establishment of these evidence-based and life-saving services.”

According to a spokesperson from Wiener’s office, the funding to set up the overdose prevention programs in the Bay Area and Los Angeles would come from local entities, not from the state.

If passed, SB 57 would enact a five-year pilot program in the participating cities with a sunset date of January 1, 2028.

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