“That whole thing was a joke,” California native Duane Beach, 49, says of the failed recall effort in which Gov. Gavin Newsom (pictured below) blew away the grassroots effort to end his first term.
Beach, who witnessed the recall results from a new home in Mississippi, says the Republican minority in his native state was doomed to lose because, he says, ballot harvesting and early voting favors Democrats who are willing to cheat to win.
That view was seconded, sort of, by The Associated Press. The wire service reported Newsom was enjoying a 30-point lead before Election Day that was “built on” votes cast by mail, mostly by Democrats, before the polls opened Tuesday.
Back in mid-August, when polls showed the recall still stood a chance of succeeding, Duane Beach and his family were closing on a rural lakeside home in North Mississippi. That meant they were leaving Stockton, a city of 310,000, and the only state Duane and wife Grace have ever known, to start a new adventure in the Deep South, where they had never visited. Ever.
A culture shock was, indeed, inevitable.
“The way of life is just more laid back,” he says of the locals. “Back in California, everybody is in a hurry on the freeway, in the stores, on the sidewalks. Nobody is in a hurry here. Nobody yells at you in traffic. People say ‘Hey’ to you in the stores.”
A ‘tipping point’ in California
Wagon trains brought settlers by the tens of thousands to California’s fertile valleys 170 years ago, and the beautiful, promising, and prosperous state has boasted the biggest population of any U.S. state ever since. And it still does today. Today, however, instead of wagon tracks, the Beach family can follow the U-Haul trucks that are leaving daily and heading east.
That is because The Golden State population declined, for the first time ever, in 2020, Politico reported. California is losing a congressional seat, too, for the first time, too.
Reacting to the recall results, attorney Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute says California is overrun with serious problems: high taxes, far-left public school indoctrination, a surging homeless population, and spiking crime. Now that Gov. Newsom will stay, Dacus says, it appears there is little hope of fixing them.
“I think it’s going to result in being a tipping point for many people,” he says, “who are thinking about leaving the state, who will now go ahead and make that decision, and leave the state.”
You wouldn't know that by listening to Gov. Newsom, who said voters who voted "no" on the recall ballot voted "yes" to other issues.
"We said yes to science. We said yes to vaccines. We said yes to ending this pandemic," he said in a victory speech. "We said yes to people’s right to vote without fear of fake fraud or voter suppression. We said yes to women’s fundamental, constitutional right to decide for herself what she does with her body and her fate and future."
Meanwhile, the issues Dacus rattled off to American Family News were also mentioned by Duane Beach in a separate interview. It is virtually impossible, he says, for a middle-class California family to stay afloat financially unless both husband and wife earn $100,000 annually. The taxes, debt, and bills, he says, just pile up.
“California has the sixth largest economy in the world,” he points out, “but you are heavily taxed and there are homeless people everywhere. I mean, they’re everywhere you go. The crime rate is beyond what people can believe.”
Before moving to Mississippi, the Beach family researched the move, including the crime rate per capita and job opportunities in the area. There is virtually no crime, he says, and he laughs at people who warned him there were no good-paying jobs to be found in rural Mississippi. A technician for AT&T told him the company is hiring, he says, and he has also learned an Amazon warehouse has opened and is seeking workers, too.
“Everybody’s hiring down here,” he says. “For people saying that, that’s just not true.”
The hourly pay and annual salaries are obviously much lower compared to Stockton, Beach acknowledges, but the cost of living is much lower, too. An automobile tag that cost $600 annually in California, he says, cost $38 annually in Mississippi.
"My wife's jaw just dropped to the floor," he says of that trip to the county courthouse. "We just couldn't believe it."
The very best part of the California-to-Mississippi move for his family was what they were able to purchase. After selling their quarter-acre home in Stockton for $480,000, the family paid cash for a home with 25 acres, which they bought for $160,000. The debt that had been piling up to afford California was paid off, too.
Not long after moving in, Duane Beach did something else that is unheard of in California.
“I set up a gun range,” he says. “It was one of the first things I did when we moved in.”