Newsom gets financial boost for reelection from Netflix CEO even as recall effort nears its goal

The CEO of streaming giant Netflix and his wife have donated huge amounts of money to the 2022 campaign of California Gov. Gavin Newsom as an effort to recall him nears its goal of 1.5 million verified signatures.

Reed Hastings contributed two separate donations to Newsom according to a campaign filing on Friday in the amount of $32,400 and $29,600. The filing noted that Hastings’ wife, Patricia Ann Quillin, donated the same amounts.

The streaming company is also based in California, where Hastings and Quillin are believed to reside, Fox News reported.

No doubt the donations will come in handy as the initiative to recall Newsom has been gaining steam and is on pace to reach its goal ahead of a mid-March deadline. Recall officials said that they have gathered more than 1.4 million signatures thus far. If they reach 1.5 million verified signatures, it will trigger a special election.

There have been nearly a half-dozen attempts to recall the Democratic governor, but none have come nearly as close as the current effort. 

“We are in the red zone at the 10-yard line,” said Randy Economy, a senior adviser and spokesman for the recall campaign, in a statement earlier this week.

Newsom has been shedding support in a state that is run by a super-majority of Democrats due in large part to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, many believe.

In an interview on Wednesday with Fox News, University of California-Berkeley School of Law Professor John Yoo, a former Bush administration official, noted reacted to a new survey showing Newsom was underwater with voters: 46 percent approve while 48 percent disapprove.

“I think the governor’s got a lot to worry about,” said Yoo. “His approval rating…dropped almost 20 points from early last fall.”

In March 2020, California became the first state to lock down in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Newsom kept much of the state under stay-at-home orders for most of last year, mandated mask-wearing, and also kept thousands of small businesses closed. California’s largest cities followed suit.

But in November, Newsom angered Californians after he was caught dining maskless in a swanky restaurant near San Francisco with dozens of politically-connected friends and associates, in violation of his own ban on indoor dining.

Newsom apologized, but the recall effort picked up steam after the incident.

Yoo went on to note that historically, there has been political and social “upheaval” after pandemics.

“It’s happening here in California, and part of it is I think California has had, I think, the most draconian lockdowns for the longest period of time,” said Yoo, noting that the state has also had one of the highest infection and death rates despite Newsom’s lockdowns.

“We’ve also had terrible unemployment, I think California is the second-worst in the country. We’ve had terrible crime, we’ve had closed schools, we’ve had large homeless problems. So the problems go on and on, they were structural even before the pandemic,” said Yoo.

Economy made similar observations, saying that recall supporters think Newsom has not handled the coronavirus well. He said while big-box retailers like Walmart and Target were allowed to remain open throughout, smaller shops, restaurants, salons, and similar businesses were forced to remain shut down, leading to permanent closures and the loss of livelihood for owners.

He said in making those decisions, Newsom “put corporate interests before the people of California.”


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