In a blitz of TV ads and a last-minute rally, California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom urged voters Sunday to turn back a looming recall vote that could remove him from office, while leading Republican Larry Elder broadly criticized the media for what he described as double standards that insulated Newsom from criticism and scrutiny throughout the contest.

The sunny, late-summer weekend was a swirl of political activity, as candidates held rallies, continued bus tours and cluttered the TV airwaves with advertising offering their closing arguments in advance of the election that concludes Tuesday.

Newsom — who is expecting President Joe Biden on Monday for a capstone get-out-the-vote rally in Long Beach — was in a largely Hispanic area on the northern edge of Los Angeles, where he sought to drive up turnout with the key voting bloc.

Elder also was in Los Angeles, where he was joined by activist and former actress Rose McGowan, who repeated her claims from recent days that Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, attempted to persuade her in 2017 not to go public with her allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

Siebel Newsom’s office described the allegations as a “complete fabrication.” In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Newsom characterized McGowan’s claims as a “last-minute classic hit piece” from one of Elder’s supporters.

The governor called Elder desperate and grasping, saying McGowan’s claims about his wife “just shows you how low things go in campaigns these days.”

He echoed his earlier criticism of Elder, saying the conservative talk show host and lawyer “doesn’t believe that women have the right to their own reproductive freedoms, he’s devoutly opposed to Roe v. Wade, doesn’t believe there’s a glass ceiling, doesn’t believe in pay equity laws.”

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During her appearance, McGowan spoke warmly of Elder and lambasted Hollywood Democrats who she said traumatized her life. She now lives in Mexico.

“Do I agree with him on all points? No,” McGowan said. “So what. He is the better candidate. He is the better man.”

The last-minute exchange highlighted growing tensions in the election, which largely grew out frustration with Newsom’s pandemic orders that shuttered schools and businesses during the pandemic. Voting concludes Tuesday. Recent polling shows Newsom is likely to hold his job.

As Newsom’s “first partner,” Siebel Newsom, an actress turned documentary filmmaker, has championed gender equality and society’s treatment of women and families.

McGowan, 48, who is known for her role in the “Scream” movie franchise, was one of the earliest of dozens of women to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, making her a major figure in the #MeToo movement.

Elder, who could become the state’s first Black governor, targeted some of his sharpest remarks at what he described as skewed media coverage.

Earlier this week, his walking tour of homeless encampments in LA’s Venice Beach neighborhood was cut short after a woman bicyclist wearing a gorilla mask threw an egg toward Elder and then took a swing at a member of his entourage. The confrontation set off strong reactions on Twitter, with conservatives charging …read more

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