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California Governor Newsom Angry With Biden After President’s Declaration

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s name is increasingly being mentioned as his party’s most likely presidential contender, but he’s reportedly upset with the current commander-in-chief.

Politico reported that Newsom is leaning towards vetoing a measure passed by the state’s Democratic supermajority in the legislature that would make it easier for agricultural workers to unionize — though President Joe Biden has come out in support of the bill.

The outlet reported further that the day before Labor Day, Biden made a speech that left Newsom “seething.”

“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,” said Biden.

“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,” he added.

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“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,” said the president.

“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 noted.

Politico added:

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.

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.

“He’s getting squeezed from all sides,” said Steve Maviglio, a frequent Democratic consultant who served as communications director for former Gov. Gray Davis.

As Biden’s approval remains underwater and questions about his physical and mental capacities continue to swirl, other Democrats are opining that Biden won’t run again in 2024.

New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who serves as the chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, told The New York Times in August that Biden would not campaign again for the job in a comment she intended to be off the record.

She was asked by The Times’ Editorial Board “should Biden run again and responded by saying “Off the record, he’s not running again.”

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The Times responded, “Not off the record. On the record.”

“On the record?” Maloney said. “No, he should not run again.”

The same month, Gallup noted in a survey that Biden’s sixth-quarter approval rating was the lowest for any president on record at 38 percent.

“A year ago, Biden’s honeymoon period came to an end when his approval rating dropped to 50% amid a surge in U.S. coronavirus cases. Since then, his public support has eroded after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the highest inflation in four decades, record-high gas prices, and continuing supply chain issues,” Gallup noted in a news release.

“No president elected to his first term has had a lower sixth-quarter average than Biden, although Jimmy Carter’s and Donald Trump’s ratings were only slightly better, at 42%. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan also averaged below majority approval,” the release added.

While Biden’s approval sat at 38 percent, according to Gallup, his disapproval rating was also high at 59 percent.

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