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Locals sign onto Newsom recall effort
• Locals sign petition to oust state’s governor through ballot inititative
Recall gov
Two retired women from Modesto set up a Recall Newsom booth for petition gathering on Friday at the corner of Whitmore and Moffet. One of those standing in line to sign the petition is local garbage contractor Bert Betolotti (in red hat). - photo by Jeff Benziger

Bert Bertolotti stood in line at a table set up in front of My Garden Café Friday morning to sign a petition to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The owner of the local garbage company, Bertolotti expressed dismay that Newsom’s administration has filed a lawsuit against the federal government to take up to 40 percent of water stored in three local reservoirs for the purposes of fish protection.

“He wants the water to flow out to the ocean,” said Berolotti. “They need to keep that water. They flow enough to the south.”

The businessman also complained that state Air Resources Board regulations forced him to abandon use of his garbage company trucks because of age.

He was just one of many who signed the petition set up by Modesto retirees Connie Goesch and Phyllis Lawlor.

Brandy Nowaya of Ceres stopped after seeing the booth while gassing up across the street at the AM/PM.

“I just don’t think things are going well under him,” said Nowaya. “I think he’s signing bills that are not important and he needs to really focus on what’s going on here. We have a homeless issue, a border issue, we have a lot of issues that are way more important than signing a bill that our kids, the bells can’t ring until 8:30. That’s stupid.”

Goesch, who is a member of the Central Valley Patriots, regularly makes her rounds in various local towns in the effort to recall the newly seated governor.

“I’m retired and I cannot sit around and keep on bitching about this if I’m not doing anything about it,” said Goesch. “Jerry Brown started it and Gavin Newsom is just destroying us. He’s not even been in there a year and look at what he’s done. This in non-partisan; we have Democrats signing, we have Libertarians and Republicans signing. We also have people changing their party status.”

Goesch said Californians are upset up the recent gas tax increase, Newsom’s push to fund free healthcare for illegal aliens on the backs of taxpayers, the attack on Proposition 13, tying the hands of police officers in the use of lethal force, sanctuary state policies of protecting illegal immigrants from federal ICE agents and the unconstitutional push to make President Trump to release his tax returns in order to be on the ballot in California.

Lawlor said she’s upset that state lawmakers are releasing inmates out of state prisons before their full sentences are served and telling voters he supported the death penalty only to enact a moratorium on capital punishment sentences. She said voters were tricked into voting for Proposition 6 to keep the SB 1 gas tax through misleading ballot language supported by state Democrats including state Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Instead of describing it as a repeal of gas taxes, the official title was “Eliminates certain road repair and transportation funding. Requires certain fuel taxes and vehicle fees to be approved by the electorate.”

“Everyone we’ve talked to thinks it was crooked the way it was written,” said Lawlor. “It was just misunderstood.”

Goesch said she appreciates how Sheriff Jeff Dirkse has followed law by turning over illegal aliens who have committed crimes over to federal immigration authorities.

This was the second time Goesch set up a petition drive in Ceres. The last time she collected 133 signatures.

In a day outside of the Modesto Costco she and others collected over 300 signatures. That was the day Goesch was called names by a woman opposed to the recall.

“I had one looney woman come up and yelled at the top of her lungs, ‘You’re KKK, a fake Christian and f*** you, b****.’ And she drove around the block screaming out of the window again.”

Lawlor said she’s seen “a lot of birds” flashed as motorists drive by.

The petition would need to amass 1.5 million signatures by February to land a spot on the November 2020 ballot, which would ask voters to consider recalling the Democratic governor who was elected over Republican John Cox by a margin of three million votes in 2018.

Complicating matters is the fact that there are two independent petitions being circulated which apparently won’t be counted as one. That could dilute the strength of recall efforts. One effort is being organized by La Jolla physician James Veltmeyer. The petition circulated in Ceres last week is the one organized by congressional candidate Erin Cruz of Palm Springs who cited his Medicare for All proposal and laws helping immigrants living in the country illegally.