OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom, seen by many as a potential contender for the presidency, is said to be furious with President Joe Biden.
As Gov. Newsom hinted that he may veto legislation to make it simpler for farm workers in the Golden State to unionize, which he has done before, President Biden publicly backed the legislation, Politico reported.
The day before Labor Day the president delivered a message to the state that left Gov. Newsom “seething,” Politico said.
“I strongly support California’s Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act (AB 2183), which will give California’s agricultural workers greater opportunity to organize and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Farmworkers worked tirelessly and at great personal risk to keep food on America’s tables during the pandemic. In the state with the largest population of farmworkers, the least we owe them is an easier path to make a free and fair choice to organize a union. I am grateful to California’s elected officials and union leaders for leading the way,” the president said.
“Government should work to remove – not erect – barriers to workers organizing. But ultimately workers must make the choice whether to organize a union.
“Unions transform how we work and live: higher wages, better benefits, like health insurance and paid leave, protections against discrimination and harassment, and a safer and healthier workplace. Unions built the middle class. And, unions give workers a voice. Workers’ voices are heard and heeded. Organizing or joining a union, that’s democracy in action. And it’s especially important today for Black and Brown workers whose voices have long been silenced through shameful race-based laws and policies,” he said.
“It is long past time that we ensure America’s farmworkers and other essential workers have the same right to join a union as other Americans,” he said.
Now, Newsom must choose between the state’s powerful agricultural interests and a celebrated union — all while under a glaring national spotlight amid intense speculation about his presidential ambitions that he stoked with recent high-profile sparring with Republican governors.
“He’s getting squeezed from all sides,” said Steve Maviglio, a longtime Democratic consultant who served as communications director for former Gov. Gray Davis.
The United Farm Workers ratcheted up the pressure on Newsom last month as members of the iconic California-based union and thousands of supporters marched from their headquarters in the San Joaquin Valley farm town of Delano to the state Capitol in Sacramento.
This summer Gov. Newsom, during another holiday, found himself at odds with another possible presidential contender, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Newsom attacked Florida with a series of ads targeted at getting residents to move from the Sunshine State to his.
“Freedom is under attack in your state,” Newsom said in the ad paid for by his re-election campaign airing in a state where his voters are not.
“Republican leaders – they’re banning books, making it harder to vote, restricting speech in classrooms, even criminalizing women and doctors. I urge all of you to join the fight, or join us in California, where we still believe in freedom,” he said.
“I urge all you living in Florida to join the fight”
This appears to be the ad Newsom is running on Fox News in Florida this weekend.
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) July 3, 2022
DeSantis hit back when asked about the California governor’s ad campaign.
“Everyone wants to talk about me and Florida. I’m just sitting here, little old me, doing my job,” he said at a press conference.
“I can just tell you this, I was born and raised in this state, and until the last couple of years I rarely if ever saw a California license plate in the state of Florida, you now see a lot of them. I can tell you if you go to California you ain’t seeing very many Florida license plates,” he said.
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) July 9, 2022
It is likely that Gov. Newsom was getting desperate as there has been a mass exodus from his state, CNBC reported.
More than 360,000 people left California in 2021, in what some are calling “The California Exodus” — many leaving for states like Texas, Arizona and Washington.
And a rising number of former Californians are migrating out of the country altogether and are instead heading south of the border. Many are seeking a more relaxed and affordable lifestyle in Mexico.
California continuously ranks high as one of the country’s most expensive states to live in. The median asking price for a home in California is about $797,470 — only 25% of the state’s households could afford that in the fourth quarter of 2021.