Despite almost two million Californians winning the petition drive to force Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom to compete in an expected fall recall election, he is raising more money than any of his challengers.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Newsom raised $16.5 million, with most of the funds donated over the past two weeks. That doesn’t include the $9.3 million he has raised for his 2022 re-election campaign.
And the money is coming from sources that approve of Newsom’s heavy-handed rule over the state highlighted by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic — labor unions, big tech, and tribal entities.
The Chronicle reports that the only candidate who comes close to Newsom’s war chest is San Diego businessman John Cox, who has raised $7.7 million, “most of it from his own pocket.”
The Chronicle, using data from the California Secretary of State’s office, put together a lengthy list of all of Newsom’s donors, from more than $3 million from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to $1.3 million from state Democrat party and dozens of others, including two tribes donating $1 million between them and millions more from labor unions.
The Forty Niners Football Company donated $100,000 and $31,000 came from Amazon.
You can read the entire list here.
The Chronicle detailed Newsom’s effort to fight back:
David McCuan, a political scientist at Sonoma State University, said timing has clearly been on Newsom’s side. He said the governor has seized on that good fortune and gradually built a fundraising “tsunami” to drown out opponents on the airwaves.
“That’s a really hard background to raise money if you’re any Republican,” McCuan said of California’s pandemic rebound. “The dollars are a reflection of the stock price of the candidate, and a forward looking average.”
However, Newsom’s opponents say the governor’s fundraising lead isn’t necessarily an indicator of how voters feel. Several accused the governor of using his office to benefit large donors like state-employee labor unions.
Cox, for example, said Newsom is raising money by doing political favors for people and organizations but that it is regular Californians who have suffered under his leadership, not wealthy donors, who will cast a ballot in the recall election.
“So many things are mismanaged in this state that I won’t need but a tiny fraction of what he’s able to get from his cronies and favor seekers,” Cox, who lost to Newsom in 2018, said in the Chronicle report.
Third on the list of candidates campaign cash is former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who has about $2.4 million.
“The two other prominent Republicans in the race, reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, and former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose, have lagged far behind in reported fundraising,” the Chronicle reported. “Jenner has raised about $295,000 while Ose has reported about $157,000.”
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