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Push to recall Gov. Newsom receives $500K donation from firm

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Gavin Newsom California Governor

The movement to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has just received its first six-figure donation, Politico reported Tuesday.

The consulting firm Prov 3:9, LLC—based in Irvine—donated $500,000 to one of the committees aiming to give California voters a recall election on their governor.

Additionally, the campaign also obtained about $100,000 from Sequoia Capital partner Douglas Leone and his wife Patricia Perkins-Leone, according to the Politico report. During the 2020 election cycle, the couple gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to President Donald Trump and allied Republican organizations.

As for why all this matters, Politico‘s Jeremy B. White writes that “[s]tatewide campaigns require lots of money, usually in the millions of dollars, and political observers have been closely watching to see if major donors step up for the recall effort.”

“Now the first major sum has landed, bolstering the recall’s chances,” he added, though he called the effort a “longshot.”

In recent months, the recall effort itself has picked up traction, amid Newsom receiving criticism for his handling of the pandemic in the nation’s highest-population state. Notable supporters of the recall effort include the California Republican Party and former Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox, while conservative media figures such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have given the effort their blessing.

In particular, Newsom faced fierce criticism for going against his own COVID-19 guidelines back in the autumn in order to attend a dinner party at a swanky Napa County restaurant called French Laundry, violating the limits at the time on the size of gatherings. This incident, White writes, “crystallized frustration” in the Golden State “with stringent restrictions”.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom apologizes for attending guideline-breaking party, says it was a ‘bad mistake’

Like Newsom, other high-profile Democrats across the country have been accused of violating COVID-19 guidelines such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock among others.

RELATED: McEnany slams Gov. Cuomo on religious gatherings, other high-profile Dems for violating COVID-19 guidelines

Last month, a judge gave proponents of the recall effort three additional months to gather the approximately 1.5 million signatures they would need to certify a recall. According to the proponents, they have collected about 800,000 signatures so far. However, “getting enough valid signatures,” White notes, “would likely mean collecting close to 2 million given that a share of them are typically deemed invalid.”

Back in 2003, there was a successful recall of former California Gov. Gray Davis (D). Why the 2003 recall succeeded, according to White, is in part due to former Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) donating money to the effort. On the other hand, the Newsom recall effort has only seen a series of smaller five-figure donations.

While $500,000 is certainly something to write home about, it’s “still not enough to collect all of the remaining signatures needed,” White concludes. Nonetheless, this surge in donations could indicate to potential donors that the recall effort is serious, thus opening the door for more money.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

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Screen Shot 2024 03 13 at 9.50.09 AM
Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

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