California Gov. Gavin Newsom is currently facing a tough recall battle, but he has the support and mobilization of the Democratic Party’s old faithful: Hollywood.
Tinseltown has cracked open the pocketbooks and passed the hat, with all manner of actors, executives, producers, and directors chipping in, Fox Business reported. Donations have poured in with $10,000 from the Motion Picture Association, $40,000 from Paramount Pictures, and The Entertainment Software Association contributing $50,000 to the Newsom PAC (political action committee).
Individuals are chipping in as well, often more than the big studios.
According to California Secretary of State’s Office records, high profile names such as Steven Spielberg and Barbara Streisand donated $25,000 and $2,500, respectively. Dagmar Dolby gave $100,000. Marissa Meyer, former president of Yahoo, gave $200,000. Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of famed Apple CEO Steve Jobs, gave $200,000 as well. Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, donated a cool $3 million to Newsom’s battle for political survival, via his PAC.
Fundraisers are also being thrown, allegedly over popular conferencing program Zoom, organized by consulting firm Gonring, Lin, and Spahn, and hosted by notables Jeffrey Katzenberg, Casey Wasserman, Andrew Hauptman, and Van Fletcher. The event was reportedly attended by about a dozen wealthy and well-connected entertainment figures, such as Alan and Cindy Horn (CEO of Walt Disney Studios), Rob and Michelle Reiner, Byron Allen, Janet and Barry Land, Ann Sarnoff, and Matt Walden, and drew in over $1,000,000 to aid Newsom.
Even the hard-left fringe of the remnants of Occupy Democrats have joined in:
Thank you to everyone stepping up. Yes it’s true we are activating our network across platforms of over 10 million Americans to say NO to the recall. Please retweet & support our efforts. We are approximately 1,872 supporters away from where we need to be https://t.co/kiKL0ExDyd
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) August 28, 2021
The debate over COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates has been at the front and center of the recall effort against Newsom with popular resentment against strict and unending lockdowns. Even the Supreme Court had to weigh in and warn him that his anti-church efforts were in violation of 1st Amendment guarantees of religious freedom. Hypocrisy isn’t a good look on anyone, and there has also been an outcry over the double standards of his selective enforcement, such as attending dinners at French Laundry in violation of his own restrictions.
On the other side, the Newsom’s defenders have made COVID-19 fears their rallying cry. Singer John Stephens, popularly known as John Legend, used Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as his rallying cry in defense of Newsom:
Don’t DeSantis our California. Reject the ridiculous recall. Vote No and return your ballot by 9/14.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 23, 2021
The leading GOP recall candidate he refers to is California Republican Larry Elder, who is the favored candidate in a post-Newsom election and is confident the recall will succeed. Elder was quick to quote the New York Post’s sentiments that, in spite of the frantic left-wing scramble to defend Newsom, it was Newsom himself who created his current crisis:
“You almost can admire the chutzpah of lefties attacking Elder…Among the attacks is that Elder lacks big gov’t experience. (But) the recall effort was sparked by Newsom’s extraordinary failures. Not having that experience is Elder’s strongest appeal.”
–Michael Goodwin, NYPost
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) August 29, 2021
In California, the recall process is in two stages, with voters first deciding whether or not to recall the governor, and then, if the recall succeeds, voting to decide who will be the new governor.
According to FiveThirtyEight, Newsom is maintaining a narrow lead against the recall effort, with 50.6% in his favor, and 46.3% in favor of recalling him. To succeed, a recall effort requires 50% of the vote plus one in favor. The vote is scheduled for September 14th, but early voting has already begun in some areas.
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