A group of 75 Silicon Valley leaders, including Laurene Powell Jobs and Eric Schmidt, have signed a letter opposing Gavin Newsom’s recall as 2.2 million signatures have now been collected to force a vote on expelling the governor.
Some of the biggest names in technology this week publicly expressed support for the California governor and wrote a letter calling on residents to reject the “ politically motivated ” recall.
The tech leaders argued that removing the Democrat from office before his term ends would reverse the ‘growing progress’ the state is making around the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine and reopen the economy after being hammered by the pandemic.
The statement of support comes as a recall becomes increasingly likely, with organizers approaching the threshold of signatures needed to get the measure on the ballot.
Once accomplished, Californians will vote on whether or not to remove Newsom from office and choose his replacement.
Newsom has vowed to fight the “partisan, Republican” recall, which it says is backed by “anti-mask and anti-Vax extremists,” and has begun fundraising to defend its seat.
A group of 75 Silicon Valley leaders have signed a letter opposing Gavin Newsom’s recall (pictured)
Among the 75 Silicon Valley stars who support Newsom are Emerson Collective founder and Steve Jobs widow, Laurene Powell Jobs; ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt; founder of SV Angels and angel investor Ron Conway; LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman; ex-Yahoo president and CEO Marissa Mayer; and Napster co-founder Sean Parker.
Ron Conway, founder of SV Angels, led the efforts of the technical leaders Politics, who first reported on the road.
Conway told the outlet “ the distracting recall election is the last thing our state needs right now, ” just as the Californians are “ finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. ”
“Governor Newsom has made tough decisions to get us through the pandemic, and we’re finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Conway said.
Conway said the recall is politically motivated by conservatives to replace the Democrat with “ a Trump Republican. ”
“ The vast majority of people in the tech community agree: replacing Governor Newsom with a Trump Republican, and that’s what this recall is really all about would reverse our progress against COVID and be bad for California, ” he said.
The letter does not mention the issue of funding to support Newsom’s fight for its seat, but insiders told Politico that this is likely the next step for the billionaire.
Absent from the letter’s signatories was CEO of Social Capital and ex-Facebook exec Chamath Palihapitiya, who has a conflicting view of the recall from his fellow tech leaders.
Among the 75 Silicon Valley leaders supporting Newsom are Emerson Collective founder and Steve Jobs widow, Laurene Powell Jobs (left) and ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt (right).
SV Angels founder and angel investor Ron Conway (pictured) leads the tech leaders’ efforts to support the governor
Palihapitiya was very outspoken that Newsom wanted to be removed from office and donated $ 100,000 to fund the recall.
In January, sparking rumors that he wanted to flee to replace Newsom as governor, tweeted a link to a website called Chamath for California governor and announced, “ It’s on. #RecallGavinNewsom. ‘
But he later walked back on the idea by saying in a podcast interview that he’s “ not ready to do all that. ”
Newsom has dismissed the recalls as a political seizure of power by Republicans and has vowed not to go down without a fight.
In the clearest sign yet that the governor has acknowledged it is likely to vote, Newsom last week shared a link to a website to raise money to defend his seat and tackle the “ partisan ” motives.
I will not be distracted by this partisan, the Republican recalls – but I will fight it. Too much is at stake. Getting Californians vaccinated, safely reopening our economy and our kids back in school are just too important to risk, ” Newsom said in a statement on Twitter.
Absent from the letter’s signatories was Social Capital CEO and ex-Facebook exec Chamath Palihapitiya (pictured), who has called for Newsom’s removal from office.
Newsom’s campaign also emailed supporters saying he would not ‘lie’ the recall, while denouncing the ‘anti-mask and anti-Vax extremists’ and ‘pro-Trump forces’ behind the campaign .
“If they are successful, it would mean risking the progress we make to end the pandemic,” Newsom added. “We can’t let that happen.”
He closed the email saying he would fight the recall ‘because Ending this pandemic ASAP is too important to be delayed by Trump loyalists and far-right Republicans. ‘
Democrats have increasingly linked the recall to far-right conservatives and believers of the debunked QAnon conspiracy theory, as they warn that removing a sitting governor in the midst of the pandemic would be devastating to the state.
Stop the Republican Recall, the campaign to defend its seat, is backed by top Democrats including Elizabeth Warren and Stacey Abrams, and has received funding from the California Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, the effort’s organizers have claimed to be impartial, but it has been heavily backed and funded by Republicans.
In the clearest sign yet that the governor has admitted it is likely to vote, Newsom last week shared a link to a website to raise money to defend his seat and tackle the “ partisan ” motives.
The Stop the Republican Recall fundraising site blames ‘a partisan Republican coalition of anti-masks, anti-vaxxers, QAnon conspiracy theorists and Trump supporters’ for the recalls
The California Republican Party has donated at least $ 100,000, while the Republican National Committee and the Republican Governor’s Association also contributed to the $ 1 million in donations raised for the campaign.
The campaign has cited a number of issues with Newsom’s leadership, including his handling of the pandemic and his infamous visit to the French Laundry restaurant.
Newsom faced a backlash for dining at the restaurant with a group of 12 on Nov. 6 in a partially locked room at a time when he attacked the Californians for “ dropping their guard ” and having strict Thanksgiving rules issued.
Newsom apologized when the photos surfaced the following week, saying he had made a “ big mistake, ” but insisted that the dinner was taking place outside and that he did not realize the group in attendance was so large when he arrived.
Organizers have also cited the state’s ongoing power outages to prevent catastrophic wildfires and its order to ban gasoline cars by 2035.
Recall supporters must submit nearly 1.5 million signatures to place the proposal in front of voters.
Newsom’s campaign also sent an email (photo) to supporters saying he would not take the recall ‘lying down’
Newsom criticized the “ partisan, Republican ” recall, which he said was backed by “ anti-mask and anti-Vax extremists ” and “ pro-Trump forces ” seeking to reverse the 2020 presidential election.
Organizers said they had collected more than 2.2 million signatures on March 17.
They now have until April 29 to verify the signatures.
The last update on the verification to March 11, about 1.19 million signatures were verified out of a total of 1.45 million examined.
Based on this 81.7 percent pass rate, it’s likely that about 1.79 million of the 2.2 million votes will be verified – past the 1.5 million threshold.
The recall takes quite a long time and the state is then given 10 days to verify that the signatures meet the required threshold, followed by 30 days for signers to remove their names from the petition.
Given the various legal hoops that need to be cleared, it could take until September of October for the statewide vote to be cast – provided the threshold is reached.
California voters then vote whether to recall Newsom and who to replace him with.
This is the sixth official attempt to recall Newsom since taking office in 2019.