Gavin Newsom Looks to Hollywood Pals for Last-Minute Recall Survival Push

A report from THR outlines which showbiz luminaries are coming to the Governor’s rescue as the election looms

With time running out and Gavin Newsom barely keeping his nose above water in the latest polls, the Governor is calling on his big-name, big-money Hollywood allies to save him from political oblivion in the September 14 recall election.

Newsom has been scouring the entertainment industry for support as the recall draws nigh and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, showbiz luminaries are getting in line.

Snoop Dogg, for example, is ready to tweet his displeasure with talk radio’s Larry Elder—the frequent poll leader among the wide-ranging collection of 46 candidates hoping to oust Newsom—to his millions of followers when the Governor’s team gives the word, while John Legend and George Lopez have already done so.

“Don’t DeSantis our California,” Legend tweeted on Monday. “Reject the ridiculous recall. Vote No and return your ballot by 9/14.” Lopez, meanwhile, has shared his good feelings for Newsom on several occasions, such as this August 17 shoutout:

Newsom’s recall problem isn’t that any particular candidate is particularly popular—Elder keeps scoring “frontrunner” status with percentages in the middling 20s—but that he’ll be gone if more than 50 percent of voters choose “Yes” on the first ballot question, which asks whether or not he should be recalled. And “Yes” is shooting up the charts with a bullet.

RealClearPolitics’ latest average of the major polls shows “Yes” beating “No” 48 to 47.5 percent.

“It’s all about reaching the lower-propensity voters, and that group is largely made up of younger people,” political consultant and sometime Newsom adviser Nathan Ballard tells THR. “The governor is a celebrity in his own right, but the connective tissue between this administration and the entertainment industry couldn’t be greater, and we are going to need their help.”

And their money. To that end, government relations firm Gonring, Lin, Spahn organized a Zoom event this month hosted by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Casey Wasserman, Andrew Hauptman and others which raised more than $1 million to battle the recall. Katzenberg also donated $500,000 to the anti-recall effort, but Netflix chair and co-founder Reed Hastings outdid that miserly sum with $3 million while philanthropist Priscilla Chan (wife of Mark Zuckerberg), has given $750,000.

In an August letter to potential top-level donors, Katzenberg highlighted the incongruity of his friend potentially losing the most populous state in the nation to someone who probably wouldn’t stand a chance in a normal election, writing, “Governor Newsom was first elected in 2018 with 62 percent of the vote, which was greater than any Democratic candidate for governor in state history.”

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