As Newsom threatens covid curfew, California lawmakers party in Hawaii

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, November 17, 2020

As of Monday, 41 of the 58 counties in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s autocracy — also known as California — were in the so-called “purple tier,” the most restrictive tier of coronavirus lockdown.

Newsom also threatened to impose a statewide curfew and was looking at curfew strategies from other cities, states, and countries (including that bastion of freedom Saudi Arabia).

California Gov. Gavin Newsom / C-SPAN

Meanwhile, as millions of residents have been devastated by the economic and emotional hardship caused by the government’s lockdowns, Newsom and some California lawmakers are partying as if covid never existed.

Several California lawmakers are in Hawaii this week, living it up at the luxurious Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui’s southwest shore while attending a legislative convention.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported: “Although the coronavirus pandemic has largely grounded the global travel industry, it did not stop the annual political conference that brings California lawmakers to Hawaii for five days of policy discussions and schmoozing with corporate sponsors.”

California issued a travel advisory last week in which it discouraged non-essential out of state travel. As if sensing that some important event for state lawmakers was coming up, the advisory did not go so far as to ban “non-essential” out of state travel.

Got that Californians: You can’t go to Disneyland in your own state, but your state government officials are free to travel to Hawaii for some “schmoozing with corporate sponsors.”

By the way, Newsom broke his own covid order on Nov. 6 by partying at the famed French Laundry in Yountville in Napa County with at least a dozen people.

Rules for thee, but not for me.

In the purple tier, indoor businesses like restaurants, gyms, museums, zoos and aquariums, and movie theaters are forced to close. Places of worship are forced to close. “Schmoozing with corporate sponsors” is important but your faith is not.

In the red tier, indoor dining can remain open at limited capacity, all non-essential offices must close and capacity must be reduced to 10 percent at fitness centers and gyms and to 25 percent at museums. San Francisco remains in the red tier because, after all, Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done is essential.

With Thanksgiving approaching, the state put out this guidance for gatherings last week:

• Gatherings should be kept short.
• You shouldn’t gather indoors with other households in purple or red counties.
• In orange and yellow counties, keep windows and doors open, wear a mask, and distance.
• High-risk individuals should avoid gatherings, but if they attend a gathering, they should wear a surgical mask or N95 mask that fits snugly.

Kevin Kiley, a legislator representing California’s 6th Assembly District, noted in a Monday op-ed for The Daily Caller:

This erratic leadership is why California is struggling as much as any state. During the COVID-19 era we have the 3rd worst unemployment in the country, the 5th worst excess deaths west of the Mississippi, the biggest backlog of unpaid jobless claims, and are one of only seven states with a school closure order.

We are also the only state ordering lockdowns in the name of “equity.” Once Newsom moves a county back a tier, his “equity metric” can keep it there based on things like low voter turnout or insufficient tree canopies. Other states are doing the rational and decent thing by targeting resources to disparately impacted communities.

The costs of Newsom’s failures continue to pile up. Certain counties are facing a “tsunami” of mental health crises and suicides. This is a humanitarian crisis of the government’s creation.

California’s one-man rule, evidence-free policymaking, and worst-in-the-nation COVID performance are all related: an autocrat need only convince himself he’s right. Thankfully for the people of California, the judicial branch is starting to restore the rule of law and representative government that’s been taken away from them.

Kiley was referencing a State Superior Court ruling on Friday which said Newsom overstepped his authority when he changed state law during the pandemic in violation of California’s constitution.

The judge’s ruling broadly barred Newsom “from exercising any power under the California Emergency Services Act which amends, alters, or changes existing statutory law or makes new statutory law or legislative policy.”

Newsom had requested to delay the enforcement of the decision, but that request was denied.

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