Gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer speeks in Bakersfield. Image from KGET broadcast

Gubernatorial candidate and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has launched a website to collect stories about problems at the state Employment Development Department under Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“Under Gavin Newsom, incompetence has festered in the Employment Development Department,” according to the website. “Tell Kevin how you and your family have coped this year with the EDD scandal.”

State auditor Elaine Howle has reported that the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic left the department in disarray, handing out unemployment benefits to fraudsters while delaying payments to legitimate claimants.

Faulconer announced the website following a press conference in Bakersfield, at which he outlined his three-point plan for reforming the EDD if he is elected Governor in a recall election:

  • Pausing any new programs for EDD until it fixes its unemployment system
  • Making EDD the state’s top technology project
  • Eliminating any and all roadblocks to reform of the department

“When Californians call for help, Gavin Newsom leaves them on hold,” Faulconer said. “This recall election is not just some political exercise. This is about the real, human consequences of Gavin Newsom’s failed time in office. It is unconscionable to put people out of work, then withhold unemployment benefits to which they are entitled.”

Faulconer, a Republican, will face 2018 gubernatorial candidate John Cox and potentially other Republican challengers if a recall election takes place and a majority of voters recall Newsom. Over 2 million signatures have been gathered on a recall petition and await verification.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.