The next governor of California could be a right-wing radio talk show host who once told former White House aide and noted white supremacist Stephen Miller that he hoped “to live to see the day when you become president.” Republican Larry Elder served as a mentor to a young Miller—and according to some of the more recent polling, stands a very real chance of replacing Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in next month’s GOP recall.
“The poll found that 47% of likely California voters supported recalling the Democratic governor, compared with 50% who opposed removing Newsom from office—a difference just shy of the survey’s margin of error,” The Los Angeles Times reported last month. When asked who’d they want to replace to Newsom, 18% said Elder. Not a super impressive number, but it’s enough to lead the field of candidates—and that should terrify all of us.
“If Larry Elder is elected, life will get harder for Black and Latino Californians,” journalist Jean Guerrero wrote in her latest LA Times column, noting that “the state that led the charge against Trumpism could plunge into an alternate universe reminiscent of the ’90s, when California passed a racist three-strikes law and the anti-immigrant Proposition 187.” Think Pete Wilson 2.0., noting that Elder has used his platform for years to spread “outright false” claims about people of color, including citing noted white supremacist Jared Taylor.
It’s that same radio show that helped give Miller his platform. In her book Hatemonger, Guerrero noted Elder’s early influence on a then-teen Miller, who was a frequent caller to Elder’s show. She wrote in her LA Times column last month that Elder said he thought Miller was “amazingly articulate,” soon making him a regular guest. Like, a really regular guest—Miller appeared dozens of times. Miller presumably made these appearances when he wasn’t busy bullying his Asian classmates or disowning his friends for being Latino, as Univision reported in 2017.
Miller kept in touch with Elder throughout the previous president’s campaign, including a conversation where Elder said he wanted to see Miller become president. “Your kind words are heartening beyond measure,” Guerrero reports that Miller responded. He further told Elder that he was “the one true guide I’ve always had.” Vomit. But they’ve share more than love, they’ve shared the same gross viewpoints, with Elder likely to “veto legislation that conflicts with his ideology” should he win, Guerrero wrote.
“He told The Times he doesn’t believe in sanctuary laws or citizenship for Dreamers. He’s against in-state tuition, healthcare and driver’s licenses for the undocumented. He opposes birthright citizenship. He objects to cashless bail and diverting police funds to social programs.” Lifesaving measures during the pandemic? Forget those too, she continues. Elder “opposes COVID-19 vaccine and masking mandates. Inaction would disproportionately harm people of color, who’ve borne the brunt of those disasters.” Think it’s just Elder who poses a threat? Kevin Faulconer, the supposedly “moderate” GOP candidate, said during a debate that he’d also support scrapping pandemic mandates:
Elder’s “gospel of denial and his use of false race data are dangerous enough on the radio. If elected, his views on race and marginalized people would be front and center, driving state policy for some 40 million Californians,” Guerrero said. “The threat to immigrants in this state and racial justice for all would be catastrophic.” But there’s plenty we can do right now to stop him (even if you don’t live in California). Click here for both virtual and in-person get-out-the-vote opportunities. And remember, if you’re an eligible California voter, vote “no” on the GOP recall.