Gavin Newsom's choice to replace Sen. Kamala Harris is Hispanic
Every morning, I check SFGate.com, the free site affiliated with the San Francisco Chronicle, a habit that dates back to reading the Chronicle newspaper daily for the first half of my life. That's how I learned that Gavin Newsom had nominated Alex Padilla to replace Kamala Harris. The other thing I learned about Padilla is that he's Hispanic. And did I mention that he's Hispanic? And, by the way, did you know that Padilla's political career was shaped by his being Hispanic? The black gals in California are not pleased.
Despite checking SFGate, I don't actually pay too much attention to California politics. Not only did I lose interest when it became a one-party state, but I also haven't lived there for some years. This means that I'm not too familiar with who Padilla actually is. Fortunately, the Chronicle is there to help.
In the Chron's initial article (paywall) apprising readers of Padilla's appointment, there's absolutely no mention of his accomplishments other than being California's secretary of state. Here's the lead paragraph:
Alex Padilla, the son of Mexican immigrants who rose over two decades in politics to become California secretary of state, will be the first Latino to represent the state in the U.S. Senate.
These are the subsequent paragraphs:
¶ 2 - Padilla's appointment is historic because Hispanics are the largest single ethnic group in California but haven't climbed the political rungs of power.
¶ 3 – Dianne Feinstein launched Padilla's career.
¶ 4 – There was little fanfare because Newsom is quarantined.
¶ 5 – "This is the ask, brother," are the words Newsom said to Padilla.
¶ 6 – An emotional Padilla says his dad cooked and his mom cleaned, so he has "to make sure that our democracy is as inclusive in California as we've built." (Huh?)
¶ 7 – His Hispanic appointment will make history (along with a complimentary tweet from Newsom).
¶ 8 – Hispanic groups and politicians "had been vocal" that they wanted a seat. (Apparently, earning votes is too hard; appointments are better).
¶ 9 – The Latino Victory Fund (LVF) helped make it happen.
¶ 10 – The LVF's Nathalie Rayes, who came to America from Venezuela at 9, is emotional but needs "to continue working to ensure there is representation for all people of color" in the Senate. (I'm not sure what colors are still left out.)
¶ 11 – A Hispanic state senator said Padilla's elevation sends an inspiring message for cooks and housecleaners.
There's a lot more, but I'm sorry to report that all is not happy in diversity land. Black women, including Karen Bass (a communist) and Barbara Lee (Farrakhan ties), felt that Kamala's seat is now the official black woman seat. With the half–South Asian Harris possibly leaving the Senate, there are no black women left. Nor were black women happy that Newsom tossed them a bone by appointing a black woman (California Assembly member Shirley Weber) to take on the secretary of state job.
London Breed, San Francisco's mayor, spoke for all leftist black women she said Padilla's appointment was an "unfortunate situation":
"It was definitely a surprise and it's an unfortunate situation as we are trying to move this country forward in making sure that Black lives truly matter and that African Americans have a seat at the table, especially African American women," she said.
But what does Padilla actually stand for aside from being Hispanic? He's got a mechanical engineering degree from MIT. While in the California Senate, he banned single-use plastic bags in California (a bad decision, it turned out, when COVID came along) and made it easier to transfer from a community college to the California State University system. His triumph as secretary of state was when he expanded voter rolls by millions and implemented the all-mail election. On national issues, he's MIA: mum about single-payer, the Green Nude Eel, defunding the police, and abolishing ICE.
And then there's that little $34-million problem. Padilla entered into a $35-million state contract with SKD Knickerbocker, a member of "Team Biden," which billed the state for $34 million for an advertising campaign to get Californians to vote. Padilla, however, had no authority to enter into that contract, so the state controller, Betty Yee, wouldn't approve the contract, and the Finance Department wouldn't write the check. Given SKD's open partisanship, the few remaining Republicans in California were not pleased. No wonder Padilla tried to hide the contract from public view.
So Padilla is the best the state of California has to offer: he's Hispanic, not black, not female, and not honest. He's also such a nonentity that even Democrats don't know what he stands for.
Image: Alex Padilla. Rumble screen grab.