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”.
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.
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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Rep. Patrick McHenry Announces Retirement, Adding to Congressional Exodus
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has declared that he will not seek re-election, becoming the latest in a growing list of lawmakers departing from Congress. McHenry, a close ally of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, stated that he believes “there is a season for everything,” signaling the end of his tenure in the House. Having served since 2005, McHenry is the 37th member of Congress to announce they won’t seek re-election in 2024.
In a statement, McHenry reflected on the significance of the House of Representatives in the American political landscape, calling it the “center of our American republic.” He acknowledged the concerns about the future of the institution due to multiple departures but expressed confidence that new leaders would emerge and guide the House through its next phase.
The departure of McHenry and others comes against the backdrop of political shifts and challenges within the Republican Party. The GOP has faced setbacks in recent elections, including fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Internal strife and disagreements, exemplified by the rebellion against McCarthy, have characterized the party’s dynamics. The GOP’s approval rating stands at 30%, with a disapproval rating of 66%, reflecting the challenges and divisions within the party.
As McHenry steps aside, questions loom over the fate of open seats in the upcoming election. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report identifies five open House seats as potential Democrat pickup opportunities, while none are listed for the GOP. The departures raise concerns about the party’s unity and ability to navigate the evolving political landscape.
With a total of 20 departing Democratic legislators and 10 Republicans, the changing composition of Congress adds complexity to the political dynamics leading up to the 2024 elections. As McHenry emphasizes a hopeful view of the House’s future, the evolving political landscape will determine the impact of these departures on the balance of power in Congress.
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