Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has contributed tens of thousands of dollars to the campaign of California Gov. Gavin Newsom as an effort to remove the Democrat from office nears the required number of signatures to trigger a mid-year election.
Hastings was listed for two donations to Newsom’s 2022 campaign, according to a filing on Friday, for $32,400 and $29,600.
Hastings’ wife, Patricia Ann Quillin, donated identical amounts.
Netflix is headquartered in California, which is where Hastings and Quillin are also said to live.
Meanwhile, the campaign to recall Newsom has reached more than 1.4 million signatures. While only 1.5 million are needed by mid-March to trigger a special election, the campaign is hopeful they will comfortably exceed that number.
“We are in the red zone at the 10 yard line,” Randy Economy, senior adviser and official media spokesman for the campaign, said in a statement this week.
It’s not uncommon in California for residents to seek recalls, but they rarely get on the ballot, and even fewer succeed. Several others launched against Newsom have faded.
However, people may be particularly displeased this year with Newsom, who has faced criticism over a number of recent events, including for violating his own strict coronavirus restrictions when he attended an indoor dinner party at the end of last year. Attendees at the expensive restaurant gathering were seated closely and were not wearing masks.
The California governor eventually apologized for the incident, deeming it a “bad mistake.”
Economy suggested supporters of the movement believe the governor mismanaged the coronavirus situation, adding that many small business owners in the state – like restaurant, boutique shop owners – have completely lost their livelihoods, while big-box stores, like Target, have been allowed to remain open.
Newsom “put corporate interests before the people of California,” Economy said.
Gray Davis, who was recalled in 2003, was the first governor recalled in the United States since 1921. Davis was ultimately replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former bodybuilder and actor.
If the recall qualifies, Newsom would be forced to fend off rivals in the midst of a pandemic that has cost the state millions of jobs, depleted government coffers and upended life for nearly 40 million people.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.