A mysterious half million bucks showed up in the bank account of the Recall Gavin Newsom effort, from an apparent shell company with a biblical name. Now we know the whole amount came from one single Orange County religious conservative.
It's been a burgeoning couple of weeks for the latest iteration of the Recall Gavin Newsom movement (mind you, this the fifth such effort of his tenure), this one called Rescue California - Recall Gavin Newsom. Their signature gathering effort has picked up steam and they're now at a million signatures of the required 1.5 million, and on December 18 their bank account curiously tripled overnight with a $500,000 contribution from something called "Prov 3:9, LLC," a company with with little track record of actually existing in any capacity.
One day after a former chair of the Federal Election Commission filed a complaint with the California attorney general over that mysterious and large donation to the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, the entity behind the donation has been revealed to be a southern California man who's still steaming mad that in-person, indoor worship isn't allowed at churches during a pandemic.
Under threat of campaign finance violation accusations, a representative for the man behind the donation came forward to the media on Tuesday, issuing a statement to KQED, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Politico, among others. The spokesperson, Thomas Liu, said in the statement that the company behind the donation, Prov. 3:9 LLC, is a "faith-based" company that has "funded charitable works in the past," and uses the proceeds of "its single member John Kruger."
The statement goes on to say that both Liu and Kruger "believe that the Governor’s Executive actions prohibiting religious assembly and worship violated the constitutional rights of Californians to congregate and worship."
And he says the "company" is "fully aware of its campaign reporting responsibilities."
The Recall Gavin effort is congealing into a strange-bedfellows coalition of the religious right, venture capitalists, and angry hairstylists. But the first two categories are where the money is coming from. The Chronicle reported this weekend on a nearly $100,000 donation to the cause from Sequoia Capital partner Doug Leone, and according to state filings reviewed by SFist, the husband and wife team behind a Silicon Valley VC firm Doll Capital Mangement also gave a combined nearly $100,000 on December 31. It seems an unlikely alliance that VCs and bible-thumpers are teaming up to take down Gavin Newsom. But in the wake of the French Laundy scandal and a hampered vaccine distribution effort, Newsom should be warned that if he's getting his hair styled, he'd better check the place for hidden cameras.
Image: Rescue California - Recall Gavin Newsom