When Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) passed away at the age of 90 last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom gained the power to appoint a person to the U.S. Senate without any say-so from voters or other state elected officials. His appointee will hold the office until at least 2025 when the term is up. Newsom followed through with his threat to appoint the most virtue-signaling person possible on October 1 by appointing a Black lesbian with no official experience.
His selection, Laphonza Butler, is the president of a non-profit organization that helps elect female Democrats who support abortion rights called EMILY’s List. Her experience does not reflect the type of person who would have solutions for the problems plaguing the state.
Further abandoning Californians, Newsom selected Butler despite the fact that she is not a resident of the state. Butler has lived in Maryland as recently as the last month and it is not clear whether she has returned to California since leaving the state. She is not registered to vote in state elections but is said to own a home in California.
Newsom said Butler would re-register in California prior to her swearing-in on Wednesday. There are significant Constitutional questions on the legality of appointing a non-resident to the Senate and Democrats are quickly scrubbing Butler’s bio of any reference to Maryland in the hope of making the truth go away. But, establishing residency in California -a requirement to be a Senator- is not as easy as deleting information from social media pages and turning off location data.
Residency is typically established in the state by a number of factors. This includes state identification, like a driver’s license, registering to vote as a resident of the state, and demonstrating that the individual intends to remain a resident permanently. The California Department of Motor Vehicles defines residency as having lived in the state for at least six months of the previous year and that the person is not transient.
If Newsom and fellow liberals are able to legally establish that Butler is a resident of the state prior to her swearing-in, there will be nothing that can be done. If questions about her eligibility are raised by the Senate, the members of that house will have the power to refuse to seat Butler and force Newsom to make another selection. State Rep. Kevin Kiley is introducing a bill that will restrict the Governor’s appointment power, but the effort is likely to be too late to prevent Butler from attaining the Senate seat.
Dianne Feinstein's successor should be chosen by California voters, not Gavin Newsom.
My legislation will assure all Members of Congress, House and Senate, are elected by the people. pic.twitter.com/v0VdTdbLmy
— Kevin Kiley (@KevinKileyCA) October 1, 2023
California is facing a number of serious issues that require strong and experienced leadership to address. California has the highest gas prices in the nation, massive numbers of homeless people, rampant drug problems, and rising crime.
Newsom is showing Californians with his appointment that what matters most to him is the party he represents pushing the agenda he supports, not addressing the issues facing Californians. Newsom is content to watch California get trashed and burn just so long as the Democrats can install people who check the progressive boxes.