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Gov. Newsom Denies Stay-At-Home Order Was Lifted To Appease Critics Calling For Recall

SACRAMENTO (CBS133) — Gov. Gavin Newsom is defending his decision to lift the statewide stay-at-home order against criticism it's a move to weaken the recall effort against him.

The governor was quick to clamp down on claims the surprise had anything to do with the recall attempt.

"That's just complete, utter nonsense, so let's just dispense with that," Newsom said during a press conference Monday.

"I think it's enormously tied to it," Republican political strategist Tab Berg said.

Berg is the organizer of "Re-Open Cal Now." The event was aimed at repealing COVID-19 state guideline restrictions. Berg is not part of a Newsom recall campaign, but he predicts it will reach a statewide ballot.

"Lifting the order gives him some PR, but it's not going to be enough to stem the tide," Berg said.

Democratic strategist Steve Maviglio calls the recall effort a right-wing attack.

"The only way I see it qualifying is if a court comes in and gives them additional time to get them," Maviglio said.

Maviglio said that the governor's decision to lift the stay-at-home order is already proving politically costly.

"You know he's offended Democrats today by not notifying them of his actions today," Maviglio said. "He needs to focus, build a relationship with the legislature, both parties by the way, and get things done, because right now it looks like he is flailing and that's not helping anybody."

More from CBS Sacramento:

Governor Newsom's COVID-19 guidelines. His policies and politics are facing scrutiny during this global pandemic.

"More declines in ICUs, and that's why we are lifting that stay-at-home order today," Newsom said.

The California Secretary of State's office has given the recall campaign titled "Rescue California" until March 17 the qualify for a ballot. The recall campaign needs 1.5 million valid signatures to qualify. Its website reads a million signatures have been collected so far.

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