Netflix CEO Reed Hastings donated a staggering $3 million to defend California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) from the upcoming recall election, according to Fox News.
As per the report from the California Secretary of State’s office, the hefty donation was made on Thursday to the Stop the Republican Recall committee, marking the committee’s largest single donation thus far. In addition to the bulk donation to the committee, Hastings himself had donated over $60,000 directly to Newsom’s actual campaign in February, donating $32,400 and nearly $29,600 on two separate occasions.
Hastings has been active in California Democratic politics, and has made even larger donations in the past. In the 2018 gubernatorial primary, Hastings poured over $7 million to a pro-charter school PAC that supported former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Calif.), who lost the primary to then-Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.
Despite the state’s overwhelmingly Democratic leanings, Newsom is raising as much money as possible to defend himself from the coming recall later this year. The incumbent is benefiting from a bizarre state campaign finance law which allows incumbent governors to raise an unlimited amount of campaign money, while his challengers are not allowed to raise anymore than $32,400 in each of their individual campaign accounts.
The recall election was sparked by Newsom’s widely unpopular and authoritarian lockdown measures and mask mandates throughout the massive state, which has severely damaged and even destroyed small businesses. Since the recall became official with over 1.5 million verified signatures, Newsom has done an about-face on lockdowns in an attempt to win back disgruntled voters, announcing that the state will reopen and lift its mask mandates on June 15th.
Among the Republican candidates seeking to replace Newsom are John Cox, the nominee whom Newsom defeated in 2018, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Congressman Doug Ose, and former Olympic athlete and reality TV star Bruce Jenner.