A top Netflix executive funneled millions to a fund aimed at opposing the recall effort of California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to financial disclosures reported to the California Secretary of State Thursday.
Reed Hastings, co-CEO of the multi-billion dollar streaming service, sent $3 million to the Newsom fund. The longtime Democrat previously donated $7 million to the California Charter Schools Association’s 2018 initiative to get Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa elected in the gubernatorial primary.
The CEO’s contribution is the largest sum donated to stop the recall. There is no limit to how much the governor can raise. Unions have also played a major role. California’s nurses union poured another $400,000 into the effort last week and the Democratic Governors Association sent $500,000. Other prominent donors include agribusiness tycoons Stewart and Lynda Resnick and 49ers CEO Jed York. JJ Abrams and Katie McGrath contributed $32,400 each.
Newsom released his 2019 tax returns this week. The $1.9 million filing shows the governor and his wife took in half a million more than in 2018. Newsom contacted Politico “expressing concern that the documents could compromise the family’s safety with sensitive information,” to which Politico decided to redact bits of information.
Critics of the governor told Newsweek a few days ago Newsom is trying to “dig his way out” of the recall effort by “throwing money at the problem.” Orrin Heatlie, a leader in the recall effort, said, “[t]his is just a governor in crisis.”
The petition to recall the governor received enough verified signatures in April to trigger an election in the fall. The last time California had a recall election was when Democrat Gov. Gray Davis lost his leadership position to GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Constituents in the state have become increasingly frustrated with Newsom’s handling of COVID-19. Aside from wielding government power to institute strict lockdowns and shut down small businesses, Newsom ate at an expensive, exclusive restaurant while instructing residents to stay home.