Gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer reprimands Newsom during visit to Bakersfield and urges reform of the EDD

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer visited Kern County Wednesday to campaign for Governor Gavin Newsom to be recalled and call for CA Employment Development Department (EDD) reform.

The former San Diego mayor said he believed he was the candidate to take on and replace Newsom.

“That choice is a choice,” said Faulconer. “It’s a choice between the old ways of Gavin Newsom or the new proven leadership that will shake Sacramento … I’ll be a voice for the Californians,” he continued.

During his visit, Faulconer spoke outside the BLVD! Venue next to Rep Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield) and District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer. Faulconer’s stop in Kern County came a week after the organizers of the Newsom recall campaign filed more than two million signatures with the state. At least a million and a half of the petitions must be reviewed by the end of April to qualify for a special recall election later this year.

Faulconer said if elected he will overtake the EDD. Earlier this year, the state admitted it had sent at least $ 11 billion in unemployment claims to criminals in 2020. As the department continues to scrutinize, senior state officials say the estimated fraud figure could reach as high as $ 30 billion.

Faulconer said his three-point plan did not provide for new legislative mandates, which would interrupt the new EDD-related legislation pending reform of the agency. Second, according to Faulconer, he would make sure that defining the unemployment system is his top priority. And third, if he were elected, he would reform the EDD culture. According to Faulconer, this includes hiring additional workers to cover the backlog of jobless claims.

“This is one of the largest cases of fraud in United States history. Our tax dollars should have gone to needy Californians and walked out the door instead. It’s about choosing a new governor who can do it and say this is a problem, ”Faulconer said.

Fong shared a similar feeling.

I’m glad Mayor Faulconer is here, ”said Fong during the press conference in the afternoon in front of the BLVD! Venue on Buck Owens Blvd. “[Faulconer] There are a number of reforms that will go a long way towards completely overhauling the EDD system and helping Californians get the unemployment benefits they deserve because we are not out of the woods yet. We have hundreds of thousands of Californians still trapped in red tape and red tape. “

Elsa Moore, director of sales and marketing at BLVD !, said she was one of the many Californians who had to navigate the EDD after being fired last year. Moore suspected fraud and stopped receiving unemployment benefits after nine months, Moore added.

“There was a time when – it’s sad to say – my bank account was $ 12,” she said, noting that she had to move into her parents’ house. “As a single Latina mom, it was the toughest time of my life.” Moore said the situation was resolved after asking Fong’s office for help.

The Kern County District Attorney said the EDD fraud had drained her office’s resources.

“During the prosecution im [Kern County] The Bakersfield Police Department Sheriff’s Division and the Delano Police Department have worked so hard to bring murderers to justice. [and while] The prosecutors in my office tried to focus on murder cases. I had to raise my resources to investigate and prosecute EDD fraud, where the loss keeps increasing every day, ”she said.

But leaders across the aisle, including Kern County’s Democratic Party leader Christian Romo, argued that Newsom was wrongly singled out.

“He made mistakes as we all make mistakes. He has to face it [but] What Mayor Faulconer claims is really absurd. It is unfair to hold Governor Newsom responsible for this, ”said Romo.

17 messages asked the Newsom campaign for a comment but received no response.

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