Sunday, January 31, 2021

A new Lincoln Project ad labels Rep. Kevin McCarthy a "traitor," freshman Georgia Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene gives the GOP more reasons to worry and the recall petition against Gov. Gavin Newsom picks up steam

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ...KEVIN MCCARTHY: It's hard to imagine things getting much worse for Rep. Kevin McCarthy. A new Lincoln Project advertisement brands McCarthy a "traitor," he has been criticized and denounced by The Washington Post and The New York Times and now he finds himself defending the indefensible:  a member of his own caucus, Georgia Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene, who is so extreme in her conspiracy theories that  members of her own party have turned on her. McCarthy is under immense pressure to

denounce Greene, but so far he has yet to do so and in fact appointed the freshman lawmaker to an important committee. (Among other wacky theories, Greene has claimed the shooting at Parkland High School in Florida was a plot by liberals to rally support for gun control).To many, Greene is to the right what Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is to the left: an extreme voice that does great harm the message of their own party. The latest Lincoln Project ad puts McCarthy squarely in the crosshairs, labeling him an unrepentant traitor who has put him own ambition and loyalty to Donald Trump over what is best for his country. All this must be odd for McCarthy, who since his first election to Congress in 2006 has enjoyed tremendous support both at home and in the halls of Congress. But his relationship with Trump and his refusal to deal harshly with Greene has led to nightly criticism on CNN, MSNBS and even CBS and put McCarthy in the unsettling position of being viewed as a right-wing seditionist who will stop at nothing to gain power.

 * ... KMAC BACK HOME: Meanwhile back home McCarthy remains popular in his 23rd Congressional District, but even in conservative Kern County there are signs his lock on the district may be eroding. Message boards routinely take him to task and denounce his relationship with Trump and speculation is rife with reports that a well heeled Democratic challenger could emerge to give McCarthy a serious run for his money. The latest name being promoted by local Democrats: well connected criminal defense lawyer David Torres who checks all the boxes: Army veteran, active in Democratic circles, Hispanic and a respected well known name that would be capable of raising money for a challenge. Torres told me he has been approached before to run against McCarthy and has not yet decided what to do.

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I’m depressed, but not 'finding out that five attorneys on my impeachment defense team have quit on me' depressed."

 * ... RECALL NEWSOM: Another California politicians in the crosshairs is Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is facing a recall petition that has picked up steam with voters unhappy with the way he is handling the coronavirus. The recall effort has already collected a million signatures and has two months more to get 500,000 more to qualify of the ballot. "Things are going to hell here," said one Bakersfield attorney. "The 
EDD audit, taxes and the way he has handled the coronavirus is a mess."  Newsom's approval rating remains at a healthy 58 percent, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, so it's an open question whether there's enough mainstream support to kick out the governor. 

 * ... MEMORIES: You just have to love this picture of the east side of Chester Avenue north of 23rd Street around 1920. Courtesy of Richard Young and the source is the BAKERSFIELD and KERN PICTURE ALBUM by Don Pipkin and Chris Brewer. 

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