Open Letter to Governor Newsom: Pick Two New Senators, Not One

by on November 16, 2020 · 5 comments

in California

By Colleen O’Connor

Dear Governor Newsom:

You are wading through a recall signature collection petition.  Also, a difficult COVID-19 escalation in California infections, hospitalizations and deaths; with more to come.

Add to this, the huge financial strains on the state’s revenues, due to the catastrophic fire season; the strain on the state’s health care systems; huge tourism declines; massive job losses; school shutdowns; and an iffy stimulus rescue package that could rescue states and cities.

So, here is a diversion that might help you in the interim.

California needs you and the best two Senators you can choose to take office on January 21st.

Not just one.  Not just the one replacement for Vice-President elect, Kamala Harris, but a second Senator.  A Senator to replace Diane Feinstein. At 87, she is ready to retire.  She deserves to retire.  And she needs to retire.

Feinstein and Barbara Boxer came to the Senate at the same time.  Two Jewish women, elected in 1992, the “Year of the Woman.”  Calling each other the dynamic duo of “Thelma and Louise,” and “Cagney and Lacey,” they campaigned as a team. And were elected as such.

Because Feinstein was elected to an unexpired term, she became a senator as soon as the election was certified in November while Boxer would not take office until the expiration of Alan Cranston’s term in January.

So, Feinstein became California’s senior senator and eclipsed Boxer by just two months. Feinstein claimed title as the first female Jewish U.S. senator, even though Boxer was also Jewish.

More to the point, Boxer retired in 2016.  Now is the time to graciously help Feinstein exit.  Though her term runs through 2025.

Then, Governor, you can provide two excellent (and preferably young) Senators to add heft to California’s future.

Because, Kamala Harris took Boxer’s seat; that should be filled by a black woman.

Might I suggest the most loyal of all Speaker Pelosi’s allies, and former Speaker of the California State Assembly, now southern California Rep., Karen Bass, who also serves as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus?

Then, move on to the enormous second selection from among a very deep bench. That makes your choice much easier.

It will be impossible to name two Jewish women or even two women to those seats, as other constituencies ask for their due.

Dear Governor, as you yourself, have admitted, “We are working through the cattle call of consideration. I want to make sure it’s inclusive, I want to make sure that we are considerate of people’s points of view.”

Lots of constituencies.  Lots of names. The list is long.

Latino. Experienced. Secretary Alex Padilla, 47, the son of Mexican immigrants, comes to mind.  Good friends with the Governor with a reputation for election voting reforms.

Asian-American. Andrew Yang, tech-savvy and cognizant of the warp-speed of innovation in the biotech, AI and medical spheres.  He also understands the need for Democrats to “craft a new message;” to prove that the “government is working for them.”

White male. L.A. Mayor Garcetti, may want to escape the problems plaguing L.A., but perhaps Biden can offer him a Cabinet post.

But, Southern California deserves some recognition.  The Bay area has reigned supreme long enough.

That leaves a host of others vying for the position; U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, who rose to national prominence during President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings; U.S. Rep. Katie Porter of Orange County, (a rising Democratic star who had nearly $10 million in her campaign chest).

Both white. Both unlikely.

Furthermore, Harris’ term runs through 2023, the replacement must be staffed up with loads of money and an ability to fend off competitors (even among Democrats).

And here is another idea, appoint a place holder. Pick your Lt. Governor, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, an ambassador to Hungary during the Obama administration and heavy-duty fundraiser.

Then you could pick her replacement, too. Keep your options open, but at least, picking a fine future leader for California, is a break from all the disasters you are facing.

Enjoy it.









{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlie Best November 16, 2020 at 10:14 am

Barbra Bry immediately comes to mind. But we really can’t afford to lose her; not with that downtown pack of scamps running around loose.


triggerfinger November 17, 2020 at 11:49 pm

I’m glad this article is honest about the racial prejudice that is embraced by the Democrat party… To state so plainly that someone’s race is their first qualifier… or disqualifier… Sad!


Frank Gormlie November 18, 2020 at 10:11 am

Sorry, that ain’t racial prejudice, my friend, it’s an acknowledgement of 400 years of white supremacy that has ruled this society and an effort to ensure Black lives matter in the electoral arena.


Frank Gormlie December 22, 2020 at 11:04 am

California Gov. Gavin Newsom selects Alex Padilla to replace Kamala D. Harris in the Senate

Newsom (D) on Tuesday announced his choice of Padilla, the California secretary of state, to fill the remaining term of Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris.

Padilla would be the first Latino to represent California in the Senate. Harris is expected to resign her seat next month before she is sworn in as vice president on Jan. 20.


triggerfinger December 22, 2020 at 1:53 pm

Well he’s certainly qualified if his most notable achievement is being Latino. Say no more!


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