California Governor Gavin Newsom issued draconian Chinese coronavirus orders last year — shuttering businesses and keeping kids out of schools — only to be caught maskless, dining out with elites at a highbrow eatery called the French Laundry.
The governor’s fanciful dinner party is what conservative recall candidate Jenny Rae Le Roux called the “tipping point,” leading to two million Californians demanding Newsom’s replacement.
“It was an iconic moment that exposed exactly how hypocritical Gavin Newsom is. Meanwhile, women like me were at home balancing homeschooling, balancing the actual laundry,” Le Roux said in an interview with Breitbart News on Saturday.
Organizers of the recall campaign began collecting signatures in June 2020 and amassed more than two million signatures by March 2021. The secretary of states’s office found 1.7 million valid signatures, which is more than the nearly 1.5 million needed to trigger an election. Now, more than 40 candidates are on the recall ballot, a majority of whom are Republicans. Californians will ultimately decide whether to keep Newsom or toss him for someone better during the election on September 14.
Le Roux, who moved to California in 2008, joined the race with the goal “Free California” — the slogan of her campaign.
“What I’m hearing all across the state is that people want to be freed from government, not have government be the solution. They want someone who will tell them the truth about the actual state of affairs,” she said, noting that the recall is a “movement and a message of the people.”
Le Roux, who graduated with an MBA from Columbia Business School, worked for years using data to consult companies and government organizations at Bain & Company. She then co-built tech companies in the energy and financial services industries before purchasing Management Consulted, a private tech-enabled services company. She is also the mother of three children, two of whom attend public school, and she lives on a 181-acre ranch with her husband outside of Redding, California.
“We live the issues of California — in public schools, in our business, and also on our farm,” she said. Le Roux lost her home in a wildfire a few years back and blames California’s failed environmental policies, which have drained the state’s water supply and increased the size of wildfires.
She argued California is not hopelessly blue, despite the state’s past penchant for “progressive” leadership.
“California is actually eminently winnable,” she said. “The lie that we’ve been told for such a long time is that blue is the stranglehold on California. But this is a unique opportunity where people have seen that someone who is the biggest hypocrite on the planet make the rules. So when he excuses himself from the rules, that’s what’s encouraging people to rise up and say, ‘We’re looking for someone who can actually get results to the problem, not just lock us down and spend our money in the meantime.”‘
On Chinese Coronavirus Lockdowns
There are many incidences of mismanagement that have brought Newsom’s governorship to a potential demise, Le Roux said. In most cases, Le Roux argued, Newsom has used the “wrong science” and the “wrong metrics” to serve himself instead of the people.
“If you understand data, data can serve its master. So what Gavin did was determine that there were two goals: one was keep California closed, and the second was defined closure by an arbitrary metric, like case numbers of COVID,” she said. “I define the crisis as ICU’s being full, which I do believe is a public health crisis and something that the public is searching for answers for from the government. But good government doesn’t define a crisis to serve itself. It defines a crisis to solve it and to serve the people.”
Le Roux said if she had been governor of California, she would have used the data analysis model she created using public data to guide her pandemic policy.
“On the day Newsom closed the schools of California, for what we knew at that time is going to be at least a few months — ended up being almost an entire year — I felt that that was the wrong decision,” she said. “And my model shows that [we should have had] 43 counties open, 10 counties on watch, and five counties closed with resources re-diverted to those counties.”
California, which still has not fully reopened and is, in some counties, reverting back to the nightmarish policies of 2020, had 7.7 percent unemployment in June, one of the highest in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
For the first time since officials have been measuring it, the Golden State’s population decreased instead of increased, as 182,000 weary residents likely left the state in search of a better, more affordable life. The state also has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country, with more than 161,000 estimated to be experiencing homelessness in 2020.
Once again, Le Roux slammed Newsom for using the wrong metrics to try to, reportedly, solve California’s homelessness problems.
“I have a solution for homelessness. It’s in contrast to Newsom, which is create more programs and spend more money….Clearly, that is not working in California because we have a rise in homelessness,” she said. “So we have to solve the actual problem.”
“Newsom believes the problem for homelessness is housing. The problem for homelessness, chronic sustained homelessness, is substance abuse and mental illness. So that is what the government needs to focus on,” she said.
Le Roux proposed a two-step program, similar to programs implemented in Fresno and Bakersfield, California.
“The first part is coordinated care, actually using a data-driven approach to write down the names, the ages, the veteran or non-veteran status of our homeless and to match them with the services that they need the most,” she said. “The second piece of this is mandatory shelter. So saying to somebody ‘here are your options, but if you don’t choose these, you can’t sleep here.’ That’s a longer term solution that we would work on with the cities next.”
On Critical Race Theory
As a parent, Le Roux said she is incredibly concerned by the “social engineering” she is seeing in public schools due to the implementation of Critical Race Theory.
Critical Race Theory teaches that in the United States all of its institutions are inherently racist because they were first founded during a time of slavery. The theory has been a hot topic in California schools, long before conservatives began rallying against it nationwide.
“We passed an ethnic studies curriculum a few years ago under Newsom. Well, that ethnic studies curriculum has embedded in it, the principles of Critical Race Theory,” she said.
Now, there is a bill in state legislatures that aims to mandate California’s ethnic studies curriculum for high school graduation. Newsom previously vetoed the bill because of concerns over the draft of the curriculum. Critics of the bill said the course went far beyond teaching students about what ethnic groups make up the U.S. population and was, in fact, teaching antisemitism, Breitbart News previously reported.
Le Roux said she would “derail” that bill and instead publish the curriculum that is easily accessible and transparent so parents can see what their children are learning. She also said she would by no means scrap conversations about race altogether — something leftists often accuse conservatives of trying to do.
“So it’s a program I called ‘remove and replace.’ Remove Critical Race Theory, but replace it with active conversations about race that come from personal experience, not through a lens of indoctrination,” she said.
The Race Ahead
As of March 2021, 56 percent of likely voters in California were opposed to recalling Newsom, while 40 percent support doing so, according to a poll from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).
By last week, conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder was leading the pack with 16 percent of respondents choosing him in the poll, Breitbart News reported.
John Cox and Kevin Faulconer tied for second behind Elder at six percent. Kevin Kiley and Caitlyn Jenner tied for third at four percent. A majority of voters said they aren’t sure who they will vote for — 53 percent were undecided.
Whoever comes out on top, Le Roux said she believes in a better future for her state.
“‘California free of the burdensome regulations, free of the crazy punishment for businesses and families, will once again be the Golden State,” she said.
Editor’s Note: At the time of publication, this article incorrectly referred to Bain & Company as Bain Capital. The article also stated that three of Le Roux’s children attend public school when only two currently do. The language has been updated.