Newsom Lambasted for Prioritizing New State Coin Over Other State Crises

California Governor Gavin Newsom in Sacramento, California Jan. 19, 2021

( – California Gov. Gavin Newsom took some fire from critics after announcing his office would seek suggestions from the public for a new $1 coin honoring the state and its innovation. Some joked while others claimed it was another sign of misplaced priorities for Newsom.

On Thursday, April 25th, Newsom posted an open call on social media for members of what he called the “Tortured Coin Designers Department” to submit design ideas for a new $1 coin set to be issued in 2026 on what innovations unique to California should be displayed. The post told the public to help and asked what innovations they would “like to see featured on the coin,” concluding with an email address for submissions.

Unfortunately for Newsom, many who responded publicly to the request had more than nice things to say about the Golden State, home to Silicon Valley and the tech industry. Social media users used the governor’s request as an opportunity to criticize the Democrat-run state for fleeing businesses, homeless tent cities, crime spikes, drug addiction, and the rising cost of living.

Critics also blasted Newsom for focusing on coin designs while these issues persist, and the state legislature’s failure to address the $73 billion budget deficit. They also expressed frustration with Newsom for focusing on issues like passing abortion restrictions while neglecting the issues impacting California more directly, such as affordable housing, insurance, and utilities, as well as natural disasters like wildfires. Ultimately, the post came off as tone-deaf and out-of-touch to many of Newsom’s constituents.

GOP State Assembly press secretary Jim Stanley responded to the open call with a letter to Newsom claiming that under the governor’s “bold leadership,” the state developed a “method of incinerating money” that was “unrivaled.” He then shared images of a coin design produced with artificial intelligence (AI) depicting homeless encampments on fire.

Another added a picture of movie producer Harvey Weinstein into the template provided on the governor’s post, noting that people “think of Hollywood” when they think of California.

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