Newsom Displays Penchant for Shiny New Things on California Tour

As a species, politicians love news conferences and other events that celebrate new programs or public works projects.

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The syndrome may explain why officials often ignore long-festering problems in existing programs, such as the Employment Development Department and the bullet train project. Simply making things work better doesn’t have the political appeal of something new and shiny.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is particularly prone to the affliction, declaring early on his love for “big, hairy audacious goals” and later adding, “I’d rather be accused of (having) those audacious stretch goals than be accused of timidity.”

That proclivity led him, as a candidate, to pledge that he would try to solve California’s housing crisis by building 3.5 million new houses and apartments by 2025 and make California the first state to embrace single-payer health care.

Later, when both proved to be unattainable, he declared them to be “aspirational” rather than firm promises.

Newsom’s tendency toward the grandiose was very evident this month when he once again shunned a traditional State of the State address to the Legislature and instead toured the state for serial announcements.

One is converting San Quentin prison into a laboratory to test whether a softer approach to preparing felons for release, modeled after a program in Norway, will be more effective in steering them away from crime. Newsom boasted that the renamed San Quentin Rehabilitation Center will be the “most innovative rehabilitation facility” in the nation, displaying another characteristic, his obsession with being the first to do something.

The splashiest of Newsom’s new things is a multi-billion-dollar plan to house thousands of homeless and mentally ill Californians in new facilities that would combine shelter with treatment for their afflictions.

The project would be financed mostly by a bond issue in the $3-5 billion range to be placed before voters next year and would be an adjunct to Newsom’s “Care Court” program that allows the mentally ill to be compelled to accept treatment.

“It’s unacceptable what we’re dealing with at scale now in California,” Newsom said. “We have to address and come to grips with the reality of mental health in our state and in our nation.”

Even if implemented as hoped, the two mental health projects would make only a relatively tiny dent in the state’s homelessness crisis. California still lacks a comprehensive approach and is mired in finger-pointing among state, county and city officials over who’s responsible for dealing with it.

Billions of dollars have been spent by all three levels of California government, plus no small amount of federal funds, but the number of unhoused Californians continues to climb, officially approaching 200,000 but probably much higher.

The exchanges between Newsom and county officials have been especially pointed. He’s accused counties of dragging their feet on effectively spending state grant money while county officials say they need a dedicated and predictable revenue stream for long-term programs.

As Newsom was touring the state, the California State Association of Counties, or CSAC, issued what it said is a comprehensive approach to homelessness embracing housing, social services, education and employment with clear lines of responsibility and accountability for outcomes.

Click here to read the full article in CalMatters


  1. tracter 1 says

    The California governor is a fraud. He is totally guided by others that seek to centralize government which would approach the system used in China. It’s call communism where every thing we do is determined by others. Freedom and opportunity would NOT exist.

  2. Boris Badenov says

    How about shutting down the boondoggle of the Choo=Choo to nowhere and using that money. Oh wait that would cut into the graft to Newsom’s billionaire buddies.

  3. Paul Hillar says

    Species is right, politicians with very few acceptions are a species all their own. The lowest form of life on earth! They are scum and when they form together, they reek havoc on the rest of us normal thinking people. Top us the scum list in CA. is newscum, swallowell, nazi piglosi, fineswine, etc. and anyone else on the communist left! The train from nowhere to nowhere was a HUGE scam and the gas tax collected for it is where? And we certainly can’t return that to the people he screwed to get it, that would be ETHICAL, which he doesn’t know anything about! The state has a nearly 100 BILLION dollar surplus from his scams and he wants more for his personal project/friends slush fund! Why is it this disease wasn’t removed like the cancer he is? WAKE UP PEOPLE!

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