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CNN analyst hits Newsom for playing 'extreme' identity politics with Laphonza Butler appointment
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CNN analyst hits Newsom for playing 'extreme' identity politics with Laphonza Butler appointment

CNN political analyst Errol Louis condemned California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) over the criteria he used to select the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein's replacement in the U.S. Senate.

On Monday, Newsom announced that he chose Laphonza Butler to complete Feinstein's term, which ends in January 2025. Butler is the president of EMILYs List, a radical pro-abortion group. And consistent with Newsom's pledge to nominate a black woman if Feinstein could not finish her term, Butler is a black LGBTQ woman.

Newsom's decision, Louis said on "CNN This Morning," is a demonstration of "extreme" identity politics that doesn't make sense politically.

"Look, Gavin Newsom was playing California politics. And outside of, you know, San Francisco — not even the whole Bay Area, outside of San Francisco — this may not make sense," Louis said.

"It may seem like identity politics taken to an extreme," he declared. "I mean, he really sort of announced in advance what the criteria would be. ... He's decided both that it was going to be a black woman who he was going to appoint, but that it wouldn't be anybody who was currently running."

That criteria, Louis explained, didn't "make a lot of sense" because Newsom chose not to help any of the Democrats vying for the seat in a contested primary.

"You know, there's a lot of different ways to do your politics. That wasn't necessarily the best way from a governing standpoint," Louis said.

Butler is already facing controversy over her residency.

Documents filed with the Federal Election Commission just one month ago showed that Butler lives in Maryland. She lives in Silver Springs, Maryland, and registered to vote there last year.

Newsom's office said Butler will re-register to vote in California before being sworn in.

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