Home Top News A Full Voter's Guide to the California Recall Election of Governor Newsom

A Full Voter’s Guide to the California Recall Election of Governor Newsom

They also note that if U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s term ends prematurely, the governor will appoint her replacement, which could flip the balance of power in the U.S. Senate and allow Republicans to block, for example, President Biden’s nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Newsom’s supporters have lauded the governor’s handling of the pandemic, citing California’s relative success in controlling the virus, record state aid for families and businesses hurt by the pandemic and California’s swift rebound to economic health.

The recall is being funded mostly by conservative and Republican donors. Geoff Palmer, a Southern California real estate developer and Donald Trump supporter, for instance, has donated more than $1 million. John Kruger, an Orange County charter school supporter who objected to pandemic restrictions on religious gatherings, donated $500,000 to the recall at an early key point. The Republican Party has pumped money into the effort, as have national figures such as Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor.

But money in favor of the recall has been dwarfed by the fund-raising against it. California law treats the recall question as a ballot issue, which means the campaigns for and against the recall can accept unlimited donations. The replacement candidates, however, must abide by a $32,400-per-election limit on individual contributions. All the donations to replacement candidates, put together, are still smaller than the governor’s war chest.

Among individual campaigns with the most money, those who have donated the maximum to Mr. Elder largely reflect the recall’s broader funding, with substantial contributions from conservative and Trump-supporting Republicans. Mr. Faulconer’s top donors include more moderate Republicans such as William Oberndorf, a major G.O.P. donor who opposed Mr. Trump’s election, and a variety of business interests. Mr. Cox, a Republican who lost in 2018 to Mr. Newsom, has largely self-funded his campaign.

The recall opposition is being funded mostly by establishment interests, organized labor and Democrats. The founder of Netflix, Reed Hastings, has donated $3 million to defend Mr. Newsom, for example. Show business and Silicon Valley have heavily donated against the recall. Labor groups — unions for teachers, prison guards, health workers and other public employees — have made major donations. So have tribal organizations in the state and major business groups such as the California Association of Realtors and chambers of commerce. Mr. Newsom used his financial edge to swamp his Republican rivals and proponents of the recall on television by a nearly four-to-one ratio in July and August, spending $20.4 million to the recall supporters’ $5.6 million, according to data provided by the ad-tracking firm AdImpact.

The Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Mercury News, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Sacramento Bee have urged voters to vote no on the recall, arguing that, at a cost of some $276 million, it is a waste of money or that the time to vote for or against the governor is next year, when he runs for re-election.

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