Mountain of Cash Fuels Newsom’s Surge to Recall Election End Line

Governor Gavin Newsom’s offer of defense a recall in California has been bolstered in the past few months by a tens of millions of dollars in infusion from major donors that gave him a tremendous financial advantage over his Republican rivals on the final leg of the race.

There had been moments over the summer when Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, had appeared in public polls as vulnerable as California’s unique callback rules seemed to provide an opening for the Conservatives in one of the nation’s most trusted democratic states. But Mr. Newsom raised more than $ 70 million in an account this year to combat the recall, much of it in July and August, which allowed him and his allies to dominate the television network and promote their opponents online .

California has no restrictions on donations to recall committees, and Mr. Newsom has taken full advantage of these loose rules. His contributions included an early $ 3 million from Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix; $ 500,000 from liberal philanthropist George Soros; and $ 500,000 from Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. Dr. Priscilla Chan, a philanthropist and wife of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, contributed $ 750,000 and real estate tycoon George Marcus gave $ 1 million.

Millions of dollars more came from stakeholders doing business in front of the state, including unions representing service workers, teachers and prison guards, the real estate industry, and Indian tribes who run casinos.

On the Republican side, the financial cavalry never made it.

Mr. Newsom’s aggressive efforts to deter other prominent Democrats from running for office cemented the party’s financial power to protect his post. When dismissed in California, voters ask themselves two questions: first, whether the governor should be removed, and second, who should be the replacement. During the last recall election in 2003, Democrats struggled with the notoriously unwieldy slogan “no recall; yes on Bustamante ”when Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, moved into governorship.

This year, the state’s Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on one thing ahead of Tuesday’s election: Money mattered. All in all, Mr Newsom spent more on fighting the recall than he did on his 2018 election.

“If Gavin couldn’t raise the money, he could have lost in the face of the amount of apathy and fear,” said Kerman Maddox, a Democratic strategist in California who also served as a party donor. “I’ll just be real.”

Dave Gilliard, a Republican strategist who was involved in the recall effort, said of the cash gap, “It definitely made a difference.”

Despite the large sums of money involved in the recall, the total cost of the race is actually less than that of a single election last year, than Uber and Lyft have teamed up to successfully push for rules App-based companies allow drivers and other workers to continue to be classified as independent contractors. This ballot has drawn roughly $ 225 million in spending because of the state’s many large and expensive media markets, including Los Angeles.

Mr Newsom used his financial advantage to overpower his Republican rivals and supporters of the televised recall in July and August by a ratio of almost four to one, giving the $ 20.4 million for the $ 5.6 million, according to data -Dollars of callback advocates from ad tracking company AdImpact. Some of these advertisements framed the race in the crassest of words, with a passage saying that was the result of the recall “it’s about life and death” because of the coronavirus.

On YouTube and Google, the financial inequality was even worse. Newsom has spent nearly $ 4.1 million, according to Google’s disclosure documents, while its leading Republican opponent, radio talk show host Larry Elder, has spent just over $ 600,000.

the sudden appearance of Mr. Elder As the Republican front runner – he entered the competition in July and had raised more than $ 13 million by the end of August – Mr. Newsom supplied a finished Republican slide. A blatant conservative, Mr. Elder had left a number of radio clips outlining unpopular positions with the Democrats on issues such as the environment, abortion, and the minimum wage.

“Lo and behold, he received a gift from the gods on behalf of Larry Elder, the conservative African-American version of Donald Trump,” said Maddox, adding that the specter of an elder-governor had motivated donors large and small alike.

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It hadn’t always been clear that Mr. Newsom would have such a crucial monetary advantage. Some party contributors were slow to get involved. Ron Conway, a San Francisco-based venture capitalist who made early stage efforts in the tech community to combat product recalls and fundraisers, said he was fired early. “Back then, a lot of people thought I was scare tactics,” he wrote in an email. “They don’t think so anymore!”

State records show that nearly two-thirds of donations of $ 10,000 or more went to Mr. Newsom’s primary account against recalls after July 1. And overall, more than 80 percent of the US $ 10,000 donations came from California.

“Democrats would rather not have to fund an off-year race in California,” said Dan Newman, an advisor to Mr. Newsom. “But they didn’t hesitate when it was clear what was at stake.”

Mr Newsom’s campaign said it was expecting 600,000 donations by the election after running a robust online donation program. Much of the money, however, came from huge donations, with $ 48.2 million in its main account against recalls from donations of $ 100,000 or more.

In late August, attendees at a donor retreat in Aspen, Colorado for Democratic Governors Association contributors said there was some grumbling and anger about the need to redirect all resources to a blue state like California – especially given the tough races in the world of governors are scheduled to take place in 2022.

The Governors Association has so far transferred $ 5.5 million to the Newsom operation against the recall.

“It’s not a good sign for the Democrats in 2022 when they have to burn millions of dollars on a recall in America’s most liberal state,” said Jesse Hunt, communications director for the Republican Governors Association.

From the start, Mr. Newsom’s campaign framed the recall as a Republican seizure of power, making it particularly unattractive for some major GOP contributors to get involved in the race, according to National and California Republicans. The unusual demand by the state that the names of the top donors appear in advertisements was also a deterrent, along with widespread disbelief that California could ever really be turned around.

“There are a lot of people who are for us but never believe it’s possible,” said Anne Hyde Dunsmore, campaign manager for Rescue California, one of the pro-recalls. “No, the money didn’t come in, and no, it wasn’t for lack of demand.”

Some major checks came. Mr. Elder received $ 1 million from Geoffrey Palmer, a real estate developer and major Republic donor. Saul Fox, a private equity manager, donated $ 100,000. And Mr. Elder quickly outstripped the rest of the Republican field in fundraising with donations large and small.

John Cox, the Republican who lost to Mr. Newsom in a 2018 landslide, has again spent millions of his own dollars. One of his costly moves was campaigning with a 1,000 pound Kodiak bear named Tag, Who else appeared in Mr. Cox’s advertisements.

Kevin Faulconer, a Republican former mayor of San Diego, raised more than $ 4 million for his candidacy, and Kevin Kiley, a Republican MP, raised more than $ 1 million.

Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender activist and former Olympian, received a wave of publicity their entry to the race. But their offer and fundraising have largely failed. By the end of August, Ms. Jenner had raised less than $ 1 million and had less than $ 28,000 in cash – with more than unpaid bills.

Gale Kaufman, a Sacramento-based Democratic strategist, said the fragmented and financially weak Republican field had “prevented them from ever launching a ‘yes’ campaign” – for the recall – “met with response.”

“They don’t speak with one voice and they don’t say the same thing,” she said.

Mike Netter, a Republican who was one of the early organizers of the recall, was frustrated by the Democratic attack that the push was a Republican attempt to seize power. He said there was little conservative support after supporters of the recall put the measure on the ballot.

“If we’re supposed to be so Republican, where’s our money? Where is the air cover from our supposedly right-wing secret organizations? ”Mr Netter said, referring to the lack of large donations from the party and leading Republicans such as MP Devin Nunes. “Nobody believed in us for so long. And it’s not that we have that much money. It’s not like the Koch brothers are my cousins ​​or anything. I went to the state of San Diego. “

Shawn Hubler contributed to the coverage.

Newsom’s $2 Billion College Reopening Fund Might Truly Price Districts Cash

By Richard Cano, CalMatters

Read this article below español.

In an effort to reopen school grounds in California, Governor Gavin Newsom suggested giving extra money to schools that could open by a certain date.

But the $ 2 billion in grants would come with terms that some districts say would mean paying more than if they didn’t get the money at all. That’s because of Newsom’s suggestion – and new government guidance, the first since last summer, calls for greatly increased exams for school staff and students that schools would have to pay for.

The governor “Planning Safe Schools for All” Initial release December 30th, aims Create incentives for schools to offer personal learning by sponsoring between $ 450 and $ 700 per student when schools reopen to their youngest students by February 16.

In order to receive additional government funding, the districts would have to regularly test employees and students for coronavirus. according to trailer bill language. The frequency of the tests depends on which of the state’s four color-coded reopening levels the schools are in.

For example, schools in the state’s purple and red plains are now being suggested to test their staff and students every two weeks. For schools in particularly affected counties with a case rate of more than 14 positive cases per 100,000 – most schools at this point – the guide calls for weekly staff and student testing, as per the California Department of Health. The guidelines do not suggest a specific test time for schools in the orange or yellow level.

Schools are not required to follow state testing guidelines if they do not plan to receive financial assistance from Newsom’s proposed $ 2 billion school reopening fund. However, the testing conditions associated with government support have drawn criticism from school officials and proponents of a reopening plan that has already been pushed back by major city counties and teacher unions.

Critics of the governor’s reopening plan say that requiring more frequent testing – and involving students – adds more to reopening costs than the $ 2 billion fund would reimburse. School officials have also raised Concerns about tight deadlines To qualify for the full amounts per student, as well as the fact that the money came from the Proposition 98 pot of funds already earmarked for K-12 schools and community colleges.

“I don’t know if this scholarship would be enough for everything that would be required, including the testing plan,” said Al Mijares, the superintendent of Orange County. “It made it difficult for people to jump on it with enthusiasm right away and to grab it and run with enthusiasm.”

State advocacy groups representing school boards, as well as district and district leaders, wrote a letter to the governor Tuesday asking him to make significant changes to his reopening proposal, including setting more “workable” testing requirements in order to receive funding.

“The difficulty of implementing the proposed test cadence before the proposed deadlines cannot be underestimated,” said the letter from school attorneys that included the California School Boards Association and the California County School Superintendents Educational Services Association.

“Since COVID-19 tests for students and staff are central to the reopening plan, it is important that schools are actually able to operationalize and pay for the new test requirements,” the letter reads. “Right now, the vast majority of (school districts) don’t believe there is such a path.”

Jesse Melgar, a Newsom spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday that the governor intended “to continue working with lawmakers and stakeholders in the coming weeks to move this proposal forward”.

“We appreciate that the letter recognizes the importance of our plan for safe schools for all and the value of returning to face-to-face teaching in a way that is safe for students and staff – even if they have questions about the proposed 2 billion budget US dollars. ” Said Melgar.

Most public schools that reopened last fall did not include students in their surveillance testing strategies, and some have reopened with minimal or no surveillance testing. Had the test problem angered many local districts Addressing questions about costs, availability and how often employees need to be tested. Previous government guidelines on school reopening suggested that districts should test their employees every two months. No recommendations for student testing were made.

As part of the governor’s efforts to reopen schools, the state allows schools to use the state’s contract with the Valencia Branch Laboratory for discounted testing. In addition, the state has promised to provide more technical support to schools by assembling a new team to help schools develop safety plans and implement a program new website to resolve their issues.

However, in some school districts, the costs associated with the weekly or bi-weekly testing required for staff and students outweigh the benefit of tracking the $ 450 per student grants.

Marian Kim-Phelps, superintendent of Poway Unified in San Diego County, said Newsom’s reopening plan could actually cost the district of 36,000 students money if it chose to apply for the scholarships.

In a school board meeting Thursday, hours after the state released its new guidelines, Phelps explained to her board of directors why it would not be worth continuing grant funding for Poway, one of the largest counties in California offer personal lessons. San Diego County’s superintendents had estimated it cost about $ 40 million to test all teachers in the county once. By that estimate, Phelps said, the grant funding they would receive would only pay out eight rounds of testing for all teachers with no students.

“The math doesn’t even work. So with that bill, districts would be stuck at the back of something that no one could afford, ”Phelps said.

The Impartial Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote in a short published Wednesday Newsom’s proposal was “unlikely to result in earlier personal instruction,” in part because it addressed “more complex logistical challenges in reopening” such as enhanced testing.

Chris Hoffman, superintendent of Elk Grove Unified, said the state should instead focus on prioritizing vaccinations for educators and staff to ensure that reopened sites don’t close again.

“The governor’s plan to come out and focus on testing was really disappointing,” Hoffman said. “We took that kind of effort into testing six or eight months ago.”

The state guidelines, an update to the recommendations first published in July, set new rules for reopening schools.

All K-12 students who attend school in person are now required to wear masks. While campus may reopen to kindergarten students through sixth grade as long as their county has fewer than 25 positive cases per 100,000, California schools for grades 7-12 cannot physically reopen until their county has five days long pulled out of the purple step.

The state will now track and publish data on school cases and reopened locations. The school districts must indicate from next week whether and in what capacity they personally offer lessons.

Sara Noguchi, superintendent of Modesto City Schools in the Central Valley, said she plans to continue government grants to reopen, but said she has requested more clarity from public health officials about how often staff and students need to be tested.

Noguchi said the largest school system in Stanislaus County will be able to meet the February 1 deadline for full funding of the grant, as it has been offering face-to-face learning to elementary school students since November after filing a non-existent reopening waiver. Many of the requirements for elementary waiver overlap with those for obtaining grants.

“It took us weeks and weeks to work on a letter of intent that we negotiated to open our elementary schools,” said Noguchi.

“If you weren’t in a district that requested the waiver, it would be very difficult to put all of this together by February 1st.”