by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom criticized a proposal to kick former President Donald Trump off the ballot in California days after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the former president could not be on the ballot in the Centennial State.
Newsom claimed on Friday that Trump was a threat to democracy, but indicated that he did not support Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis’ request to California’s secretary of state to follow Colorado and move to kick Trump off the ballot. Newsom has been accused of running a shadow presidential campaign and has been seen as a potential option for Democrats should President Joe Biden step out of the 2024 race.
“There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a threat to our liberties and even to our democracy,” Newsom said. “But in California, we defeat candidates at the polls. Everything else is a political distraction.”
On Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Trump is disqualified from becoming president again for “inciting the crowd that breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021,” which the court said violated Section 3 of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, known as the insurrection clause.
Following the ruling, Kounalakis asked California Secretary of State Shirley Weber to move to kick Trump off the ballot.
“I urge you to explore every legal option to remove former President Donald Trump from California’s 2024 presidential primary ballot,” Kounalakis said. “This decision is about honoring the rule of law in our country and protecting the fundamental pillars of our democracy.”
“There will be the inevitable political punditry about a decision to remove Trump from the ballot, but this is not a matter of political gamesmanship. This is a dire matter that puts at stake the sanctity of our constitution and our democracy,” Kounalakis added.