Republican John Cox has raised an impressive $7.7 million to replace Governor Gavin Newsom, but $7.2 million of it came from Republican John Cox himself.
I am not a supporter of the lackluster campaign to Recall Gavin Newsom, but I do follow recall candidate John Cox’s Twitter @BeastJohnCox. Why? Because I am routinely amused by his cellphone photos of his “rallies” where absolutely no one is in attendance except the press. We will embed these throughout this post, as Cox’s inability to draw a crowd is symbolically consistent with his inability to draw donors. An SFist analysis of Cox’s campaign finance filings found Cox has drawn $7.7 million in donations, but 93% of that is just money he donated to himself.
We can save California and stop our historic population loss, but it will take BEASTLY changes. I will cut taxes, open schools, boost the economy, and shake up Sacramento. #CAgov #RecallNewsom #MeettheBeast 🐻🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/AboyEbLK5e— John Cox (@BeastJohnCox) May 11, 2021
Our inspiration came from a infographic in today’s Chronicle that shows the recall candidates' top donors ($5,000 and up), a list unsurprisingly dominated by Newsom’s anti-recall supporters in tech, real estate, and organized labor. But it jumped out at us that Cox was the top donor overall, to himself, at $7.2 million. “Wow,” we thought to ourselves, “Since Cox was the leading Republican recall candidate with a mere 9% in the polls, and this growing war chest, maybe John Cox is for real.”
.@GavinNewsom is playing politics with the people's money to try and stave off the recall. The voters here in Monterey will not be bought off by special interest dollars and career politician promises. #CAgov #RecallNewsom pic.twitter.com/kRof4ySfHb— John Cox (@BeastJohnCox) June 2, 2021
But the war chest is really just his own money. Cox has given his campaign donations of $5 million (April 29), two separate donations of $1 million (Jan. 5, and Feb. 17), and a few thousand here and there on other days. Some of these are donations to next year’s John Cox for Governor 2022 campaign, for which, let’s be honest, this is all a name recognition play for.
According to the latest polling from the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies, Cox is no longer in the lead among Newsom challengers. He’s now tied with Kevin Faulconer, the former San Diego mayor, with both at 22%. (If you must know, Caitlyn Jenner is at 6%.) But the bigger picture from that poll is that the recall attempt is slipping even further, with 36% of voters supporting the recall, and 49% opposing.
California needs BIG, BEASTLY changes to address the root causes of homelessness and not just build more expensive temporary housing. It’s time for a BEAST to shake up the career politicians in Sacramento and save our state. #CAgov #RecallNewsom #MeettheBeast pic.twitter.com/gZ9At1K8Z8— John Cox (@BeastJohnCox) May 10, 2021
The novelty question, of course, is who on earth is giving money to Caitlyn Jenner? Some people are, but they largely do not live in California. Jenner has received just north of $337,000 in contributions, and $210,000 of it is from out of state, likely because of her Fox News-centric campaign. But the biggest surprise we found in our research for this post was that another one of Newsom’s opponents is longtime L.A. billboard queen Angelyne (Warning: Link contains photos of 70-year-old woman doing legs-spread-eagle erotica shots).
Image: @BeastJohnCox via Twitter