Gavin Newsom Vetoes Vote-by-Mail for Farm Workers; Union to March to French Laundry

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images, Thomas Kriese/Flickr, BNN Edit

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) vetoed a bill on Wednesday that would have allowed farm workers to vote by mail in union elections. In response, the United Farm Workers (UFW) will march to the French Laundry restaurant in protest.

The bill, AB 616, would have allowed farm workers to use the same mechanism that Democrats have championed in recent elections, including Newsom’s own recall election last week. Democrats have also characterized Republican efforts to rein in the practice as “racist,” brushing aside concerns about potential fraud.

Newsom’s veto marks the second time this year “progressives” have resisted vote-by-mail when it comes to their own interests; Amazon did so in a union vote in January.

In response to Newsom’s veto, the UFW has announced that it will march to the French Laundry, the elite establishment where the governor dined, maskless, with lobbyist friends last November after issuing guidelines to discourage other Californians from eating in restaurants. The incident motivated efforts to recall Newsom — which the UFW opposed.

Now, the Fresno Bee notes, the union is joining Newsom’s critics in using the French Laundry as a symbol of opposition.

Newsom claimed in a veto message that there were “inconsistencies and procedural issues” with the vote-by-mail process proposed by AB 616.

Agricultural interest groups have praised Newsom’s decision, which followed a 6-3 Supreme Court decision in June that prevented union organizers from approaching workers on private farmland, saying a California law allowing that practice since the 1970s had amounted to a state “taking” of private property under the Fifth Amendment.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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