AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File

Yesterday, the Recall Gavin Newsom effort had enough signatures officially verified to force a Recall election. Naturally, Newsom and his sycophants are frothing at the mouth, and of course, money from their pockets funds the machinations to prevent an actual election from happening.

After the announcement, Governor Hair Gel sent out a tweet about fighting this dire (allegedly) Republican-led, right-wing coup:

I am still curious about what values he thinks he protecting. He’d spend better time figuring out whether the people who are fighting to recall him and his values can meet up somewhere – like at a restaurant or a concert or anywhere. Instead, he’d rather malign California citizens and blame an amorphous “other.” His Hairfulness and his party often rant about COVID deniers; well, he and his ilk are “Recall Gavin Deniers,” because instead of dealing with the reality of the situation by trying to work with constituents, he’d rather name, blame, and attempt to shame.

With lots of money from people who have a vested interest in keeping the Newsom gravy train running, that appears to be his plan of attack.

As one of the organizations helping to spearhead the Recall Newsom effort, Rescue California 2021 Campaign Manager Anne Dunsmore is seeing it up close and personal.

“A lot of what they do is bullying. It’s empty threats. We got a threatening letter from [Former Democrat State Senator] Don Peralta last week asking for copies of all petitions under threat of legal action,” she said.

“He presided over the State Senate when Prop 59, which protects voters’ privacy, was constitutionalized. It’s against the law to give copies of the petitions, and he knows that!

“He said he’s going to seek further legal action. I’m not going to waste money on a legal response to that.”

Then there are the attempts to shame and cancel, as the constant painting of voters as right-wingers and conspiracy theorists indicate.

And the investigation of donors to the Recall Gavin effort continues.

“They are also investigating some of our donors,” Dunsmore said. “That’s a waste of money that the donors have to put out.”

But, what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. California constituents have a right to know who has a vested interest in going against the will of the people.

Who is funding this Recall Gavin Denial, and why?

There are many actors at play, but some of the biggest money contributors are those who have a vested interest in California’s infrastructure.

Stewart and Lynda Resnick, who pretty much own the water and land rights in the Central Valley of California have contributed $125,000 each to the Stop the Republican Recall campaign.

Contributions to “Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom” by Stewart and Lynda Resnick. Source: California Secretary of State CAL-ACCESS

While Lynda Resnick claimed in a 2016 interview with Mother Jones that they did not give money to exert political influence, that’s exactly what is occurring. It is a true statement that Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

Five years ago Mother Jones did what was essentially a puff piece about the Resnicks and their companies, outlining their progressive causes and the money they pour into them. The tone of the piece: “Yeah, they’re robber barons—but they’re our robber barons.”

Few farmers are more at risk from the cutbacks than the Resnicks, whose 140 square miles of orchards use about 117 billion gallons of water a year, despite employing cutting-edge conservation technologies.

Lynda Resnick rejects the idea that the couple wields any political power on matters of water policy. “We have no influence politically—I swear to you,” she told me. “Nobody has political influence in this. Nor would we use it.”

Yet that’s hard to square against the Resnicks’ approach to state politics. They’ve given six-figure sums to every California governor since Republican Pete Wilson. They donated $734,000 to Gray Davis, including $91,000 to oppose his recall. Then they gave $221,000 to his replacement, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has called them “some of my dearest, dearest friends.” The $150,000 they’ve sprinkled on Jerry Brown since 2010 might not seem like a lot by comparison, but no other individual donor has given more. The Resnicks also have chipped in another $250,000 to support Brown’s pet ballot measure to fund education.

Now they’re dropping those dollars on Newsom’s desperate effort to hang on to his power.

This 2010 article gives a glimpse of the why:

Over the past two decades, the Resnicks have been at the heart of the most controversial moves in California water politics. When the Resnicks began buying land here in the 1980s from Mobil and Texaco, they acquired contracts for California State Water Project deliveries from the California Aqueduct. From far behind the scenes they helped rewrite the contracts that govern the California State Water Project, commandeered a $74 million dollar state water bank, and encouraged Senator Dianne Feinstein to intervene on behalf of agribusiness in the conflicts over the ecological collapse of the Delta.

The Resnicks’ political involvement is driven by a simple force: money. The Resnicks have made a lot of it over the past 20 years by hoarding state water resources in ways now being challenged in court. In a land of outrageous poverty, the Resnicks have built a billion-dollar fortune by growing trees with water from an artificial river while the migrant workers who tend the irrigation pumps don’t have access to potable water in their homes.

The ecology of the entire Central Valley, from Redding to Bakersfield, has been remade over the past 150 years by the engineered movement of water for large-scale agriculture in the valley and real estate development on the coast. “The Westside contains very marginal land that never should have been irrigated,” said Richard Walker, professor of geography at UC Berkeley and author of The Conquest of Bread: 150 Years of Agribusiness in California. “The California Aqueduct was for the Westside, toxic land.”

Elites protect each other’s interests, and since the Resnicks pretty much have gotten their way under every administration over the last four decades, they aren’t interested in taking chances on the wild-card of a governor that they didn’t buy.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley who supports the Newsom Recall wrote in an update:

In a sign of desperation, Newsom is personally attacking me using his “Stop the Republican Recall” Twitter account, and he just received a $25,000 donation from a high-speed rail contractor that was awarded $2.2 billion. The bonfire of corruption is fully ablaze.

In truth, corruption has defined an entire era of politics at the Capitol. This Recall election is a chance to bring that era to an end, as our state’s steady decline – now a freefall – is swiftly reversed and a new era for the California Dream begins.

Next, I will look at how the California Democrat Party is essentially laundering money through its campaign committees to assist Newsom in his fight.