Fox News 2024-02-29 10:33:26


Third state removes former president Trump from the primary ballot

An Illinois judge announced late Wednesday that former President Donald Trump has been removed from the state’s 2024 Republican presidential primary ballot over his alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Cook County Circuit Judge Tracie Porter barred Trump from the Illinois ballot one month after the anti-Trump challenge was dismissed by the Illinois State Board of Elections. 

According to court documents obtained by Fox News, Porter gave the order on Wednesday, urging the board to remove Trump or “cause any votes cast for him to be suppressed,” for violating section three of the 14th Amendment, or the “disqualification clause,” for engaging in insurrection.

Porter’s ruling reverses last month’s decision by the Illinois Board of Elections to keep Trump’s name on the primary ballot after a group of Illinois voters accused the former president of engaging in insurrection. 

REPUBLICAN EX-JUDGE ARGUED TRUMP ENGAGED IN INSURRECTION, SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM ILLINOIS PRIMARY BALLOT

However, the order is put on hold until Friday, in case of an appeal from Trump’s attorneys to the Illinois Appellate Court, First District or the Illinois Supreme Court. 

A campaign spokesperson for Trump issued a statement to Reuters saying it “is an unconstitutional ruling that we will quickly appeal.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering for the first time the meaning and reach of Section 3 of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which bars former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from holding public office again.

The 14th Amendment, Section 3 of the Constitution states, “No person shall… hold any office… under the United States… who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States… to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

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Trump has never been charged with inciting an insurrection.

Nancy Pelosi took to X, formerly Twitter, to share her thoughts on the ruling.

“The Supreme Court is placing itself on trial with its decision to hear the former president’s total immunity claim. It remains to be seen whether the justices will uphold the fundamental American value that no one is above the law – not even a former president,” Pelosi wrote. 

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The court will make a decision no later than the end of June on whether Trump can be prosecuted for election interference, the Associated Press reports.

Illinois is now the third state where Trump was booted from the ballot, after Colorado and Maine. 

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But those decisions were paused pending the appeal of the Colorado case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The primary election is set for March 19th. 

Fox News’ Garrett Tenney and Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

Actress refused to work with ‘idiot’ co-star who screamed at her on set

Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson won’t tolerate disrespect on her movie sets, even if you’re number one on the call sheet.

The “Dune: Part Two” star reflected on a past on-set experience when an A-list star made disparaging remarks toward her.

“I did a film with an absolute idiot of a co-star,” she admitted to Josh Smith on his “Reign” podcast. “This human being was being so insecure and angry because [they] couldn’t get the scenes out. And I think I was so vulnerable and uncomfortable that I got screamed at and I would cry walking off set.”

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Careful not to give anything away about the co-star, Ferguson detailed the discomfort she felt: “This person would literally look at me in front of the whole crew and say, ‘You call yourself an actor? This is what I have to work with?… What is this?’ And I stood there just breaking.

“And I remember the next day I walked on and I said, ‘You get off my set.’ That’s the first time I [had] ever spoken — I remember being so scared. And I looked at this person and I said, ‘You can F off. I’m gonna work toward a tennis ball. I never want to see you again.’”

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Ferguson clarified that neither A-lister Tom Cruise nor Hugh Jackman, with whom she’s worked on several projects, were the people she was referencing. 

The “Mission Impossible” actress has worked alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant in “Florence Foster Jenkins,” Emily Blunt in “The Girl on the Train” and Zendaya, Timothée Chalamet and Florence Pugh in “Dune.”

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Continuing with her story, Ferguson said she didn’t feel support from executives. “And then I remember the producers came up and said, ‘You can’t do this to No. 1. We have to let this person be on set,’” she explained. “And I said, ‘But the person can turn around and I can act to the back [of their] head.’ And I did.

“It took so long for me to get to that. It’s within my last 10 years or 12 years. And I’ve acted since I was 16. But from that moment, I have never let myself get to a point when I’ve got home and gone, ‘What did, why did that happen?’”

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Ferguson’s comments have consequently gone viral, prompting one of her former co-stars to seemingly clear his name while giving his support. 

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wrote on X, “Hate seeing this but love seeing her stand up to bull—. Rebecca was my guardian angel sent from heaven on our set. I love that woman. I’d like to find out who did this.”

The two worked together on the 2014 film “Hercules.”

Widow of former Red Sox player Tim Wakefield dies just 5 months after pitcher’s passing

Stacy Wakefield, the widow of former Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim, died Wednesday.

Tim, notorious for his knuckleball during his 19-year career, died in October after a battle with brain cancer. Stacy, too, was battling cancer.

“It is with deep sadness that we share that our beloved mother, daughter, sister, niece, and aunt, Stacy, passed away today at her home in Massachusetts,” the Wakefield family said in a statement. “She was surrounded by her family and dear friends, as well as her wonderful caretakers and nurses. The loss is unimaginable, especially in the wake of losing Tim just under five months ago. Our hearts are beyond broken.

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“We will remember Stacy as a strong, loving, thoughtful and kind person, who was as down-to-earth as they come. We feel so lucky to have had her in our lives, and we take comfort in the fact that she will be reunited with Tim, the love of her life.

“We would like to thank all of Stacy’s doctors, nurses and caretakers who helped her from diagnosis to today – we are eternally grateful for your unmatched care and support. And to all of you who have sent well wishes over these last several months, we truly appreciate your kindness.”

BLUE JAYS PITCHER’S 4-YEAR-OLD SON IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER BEING STRUCK BY VEHICLE

Stacy and Tim were married from 2002 until his passing. They had two children together.

A two-time World Series champion, Tim owned a 4.43 ERA over 3,006 innings in 590 appearances for the Red Sox from 1995-2011. He made his major debut as a Pittsburgh Pirate in 1992, where he spent his first two seasons. 

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He was on the team that broke “The Curse of the Bambino” in 2004 – one year after he allowed a walk-off home run to Aaron Boone of the New York Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series. He was also on the 2007 team that defeated the Colorado Rockies in the World Series.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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Some ‘Jeopardy!’ fans vow to ‘never’ watch the show again over question

“Jeopardy!” fans are in an uproar over a clue presented on Monday’s episode.

In the category “Speech! Parts of Speech!,” one of the contestants selected the $600 clue, which, as host Ken Jennings read, was “xem, xyrs, xemself.” The same contestant buzzed in to answer “What are pronouns?,” and Jennings awarded him the money, saying, “Those are pronouns, neopronouns.”

The prefix “neo” means “new” — neopronouns are new pronouns, typically ones that are used to avoid “he” or “she.”

‘JEOPARDY!’ FANS CALL OUT CONFUSING FINAL JEOPARDY CLUE: ‘NOT THE FIRST WORD I’D USE’

The show moved on quickly, with Jennings and the contestants jumping to the next question, but many viewers were surprised to see a clue about neopronouns on the game show.

“So, in order to win at Jeopardy, you need to be able to keep up with whatever bull the wokes are coming up with?” one person asked on X.

Another former fan said they are “done” with “Jeopardy!,” and one said that if they were asked the question, “I would answer by turning off the television, never watching that effing show again.”

“So much for Jeopardy,” a complaint read. “The woke crowd has claimed another. That’s OK. I have my King James Bible to read. Like God, that will never change.”

Several viewers brought up Alex Trebek, the longtime host who died in 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer. The suggestion was that Trebek never would have agreed to such a question being presented on the show.

‘JEOPARDY!’ FANS BLAST CONTESTANTS MISSING POP CULTURE QUESTIONS: ‘NONE OF THESE NERDS KNEW THE ANSWER’

“They didn’t waste time making Alex start spinning in his grave; did they?” a fan wrote. Another asserted that “Jeopardy died with Alex Trebek.”

One more former fan insisted, “I will NEVER watch Jeopardy after this. After Alex, it all went downhill.”

But other fans applauded the clue. One person wrote, “Jeopardy just had a question about neo pronouns & it’s probably silly of me, but that was so exciting to see. And it wasn’t treated like a joke, either.”

Another commented, “I don’t really get the outrage on this one. It’s a good Jeopardy! question because those are a confusing example of pronouns that would take most people time to realize what part of speech they are.”

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Thousands of X users are discussing the moment. Popular account Libs of TikTok shared the clip of the pronoun question, and so far it’s been liked 12,000 times and retweeted 3,000 times. The video has over a million views.

Before this controversy, “Jeopardy!” fans made another clip from the show go viral for a much more innocuous reason.

During an episode last week, contestants were shown a picture of an American figure skating legend with the clue, “At the Winter Olympics, this American won gold with a four-and-a-half-minute program that featured multiple triple jumps.” The photo was of Scott Hamilton.

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Deb Bilodeau, who had $2,000 at that point, guessed, “Who is Mary Lou Retton?”

Those watching the classic quiz show at home were delighted with the answer and had some fun at Bilodeau’s expense.

“SOMEONE ON JEOPARDY JUST THOUGHT A PHOTO OF SCOTT HAMILTON WAS MARY LOU RETTON I’VE BEEN WHEEZING FOR FIVE MINUTES,” one “Jeopardy!” fan wrote on X.

Someone else wrote that they “spit out a mouthful of wine.”

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“Rough night for ol’ Scott Hamilton on Jeopardy,” one more fan chimed in.

Fox News Digital’s Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

Sheriff previously pledged not to assist ICE in county where nursing student was murdered

After the Athens-Clarke County mayor insisted that the community where nursing student Laken Riley was murdered by an alleged illegal immigrant was not a sanctuary city, residents pointed to the sheriff who campaigned on not cooperating with ICE.

A resurfaced video from 2020 appears to show then-candidate John Williams, who is now the Athens-Clark County sheriff, stating that he would not cooperate with ICE.

“It is not my intention to cooperate with detainers,” Williams told a reporter from the Athens Politics Nerd. “I see it as the sheriff’s responsibility to protect the community. We can’t help with a culture of fear in our community and expect our community to respond and help us in situations.”

LAKEN RILEY CASE: HECKLERS SHOUT DOWN ATHENS MAYOR AS HE DENIES SANCTUARY CITY, ANNOUNCES PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDS

While campaigning, Williams promised that he would not be “contributing” to a “culture of fear.”

“Building relationships is key and if we’re antagonizing people because they are undocumented, then they built that fear in them, and they’re not likely to come to us. Not only when we need their help, but when they need our help,” Williams said. “So that’s not something that we’d be doing. We won’t be doing any types of round-ups, and we won’t be contributing to that culture of fear.”

“We want people to respect the police, but we also want them to trust us,” he added.

The sheriff’s past comments were brought up after angry Georgia residents interrupted Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz on Wednesday morning as he held a news briefing on the city’s plan to increase public safety.

Protesters interrupted him as he attempted to dismiss “the notion of a sanctuary city.”

“You’re a liar,” one man shouted, repeatedly. “You’re the one who is guilty and got blood on your hands for this murder, sir!”

LAKEN RILEY MURDER IGNITES DEMANDS TO HIRE MORE CBP AGENTS, REDIRECT $15B DEMOCRAT IRS PAYDAY TO BORDER

Girtz said Georgia law doesn’t allow for sanctuary cities and repeatedly rejected the characterization of Athens as a sanctuary.

“There’s been no legislation from this government that’s created sanctuary city status,” he said.

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The community’s outrage came after Riley was allegedly murdered on the campus of the University of Georgia by Jose Antonio Ibarra, an alleged illegal immigrant from Venezuela.

Fox News’ Claudia Kelly-Bazan and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.

Former Biden admin official gives Democrats a harsh reality check on crime

Former Biden communications director Kate Bedingfield argued on Wednesday that the Democratic Party should get “more aggressive” on crime because Americans in major cities are “feeling frightened.”

Reacting to comments made by Mayor Eric Adams, D-N.Y., Bedingfield said it would be smart for Democrats to get tougher on crime. 

“I think it’s smart for Democrats to be more aggressive on it because people are feeling frightened. Now, I don’t subscribe, to borrow the mayor’s language, I don’t subscribe to the Trump vision of America as a decaying wasteland where packs of people are running wild committing crime, but it is true that people across the country, particularly in cities, are concerned about crime. It is smart for Democrats to be more aggressive about it, to be more responsive to what people are feeling,” Bedingfield said on CNN. 

But, she said it gets “dangerous” when people “veer into the demagoguery and the bashing immigrants and making immigrants scapegoats.”

MAYOR ERIC ADAMS SAYS NEW YORK CITY HAS ‘RUN OUT OF ROOM’ FOR MIGRANTS: ‘IT’S NOT GOING TO GET ANY BETTER’

“Now, that, I don‘t believe is where the Democratic Party should be. But I do think that taking on this issue of crime, being tougher is a good thing for Democrats,” she added, and said it would end up benefiting the party. 

Former Republican Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan also weighed in on the issue and said immigration had become a three-dimensional issue.

“This illegal immigration issue has become three-dimensional. When you watch these cities start to swell and you watch Democrat mayors really struggle with just how to deal with just the structure and the technical details of dealing with this influx. Brian Kemp puts it well, he says, ‘every state is now a border state.’ And, you know, we’ve watched in Georgia, over the past couple of weeks, play out just the awful scenarios of UGA student Laken Riley, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant…. There are two separate issues, but they are – they are blurred into one just horrific issue in Georgia,” he said during the media appearance.

“And I think Democrats have this wrong. I think the Biden administration has this wrong. I think Democrats know that. And I think it’s up to mayors to step up and say that out loud, not just tongue in cheek, but out loud say, Joe Biden, you’re wrong, move your feet on this issue,” he continued. 

GEORGIA STUDENT MURDER SUSPECT CONFIRMED TO BE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

The New York City mayor argued on Tuesday that people who commit violent crimes in the city shouldn’t have the privilege of remaining in the city. 

“I don’t believe people who are violent in our city and commit repeated crimes should have the privilege of being in our city,” Adams said during a press conference on Tuesday. “You don’t have the right to be in our city and tarnish the overwhelming number who are here following the rules.” 

Adams also argued on Monday that sanctuary city law needed to be modified in New York City so that any migrant who commits a felony can be turned over to ICE and deported.

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 “But those small numbers that are committing crimes? We need to modify the sanctuary city law, so that if you commit a felony… we should be able to turn you over to ICE and have you deported,” Adams said. “It is a right to live in this city… and you should not be committing crimes in our city.”

Fox News’ Greg Wehner and Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report. 

Comedian, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ star dies after suffering heart attack

Richard Lewis, the legendary stand-up comedian who also starred alongside Larry David on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” has died. He was 76.

According to his publicist, Jeff Abraham of Jonas Public Relations, Lewis died peacefully at his home in Los Angeles on Tuesday night after suffering a heart attack.

Abraham stated, “His wife, Joyce Lapinsky, thanks everyone for all the love, friendship and support and asks for privacy at this time.”

He noted that Lewis announced he was living with Parkinson’s disease in April 2023, and can currently be seen co-starring in the final season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO with creator and star Larry David.

David, in a statement via an HBO spokesperson, expressed his sadness at the loss of his dear friend and co-star.

“Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me. He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him,” David said. 

Their “Curb” co-star Cheryl Hines also expressed her heartbreak over Lewis’ death.

“When I was young I had the biggest crush on Richard Lewis. He was the funniest person on stage and the most handsome comedian. Then when I was cast on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ I got to work with him and it was a dream come true,” Hines said in a statement. 

CHERYL HINES ON ‘CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM’: IT’S ‘NOT TOO FAR OFF FROM REAL LIFE’

She continued, “Through the years I learned who Richard really was and the gifts he gave. Yes, he was the comedian I fell in love with, but he was also one of the most loving people I know. He would take time to tell the people he loved what they meant to him — especially in recent years. In between takes on ‘Curb,’ he would tell me how special I was to him and how much he loved me.”

Hines concluded, “To be loved by Richard Lewis. A true gift. I love you Richard.”

HBO also issued a statement, saying, “We are heartbroken to learn that Richard Lewis has passed away. His comedic brilliance, wit and talent were unmatched. Richard will always be a cherished member of the HBO and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ families, our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and all the fans who could count on Richard to brighten their days with laughter.”

Lewis was born in New York City in 1947 and raised in New Jersey, the youngest of three children.

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His stand-up career took off in the 1970s and ’80s, and he earned the nickname “The Prince of Pain” for his melancholy topics and pouring his anguish and torment on stage.

Comedy Central named Lewis one of the top 50 stand-up comedians of all time, and he earned a place on GQ magazine’s list of the “20th Century’s Most Influential Humorists.” He also lent his humor for charity causes, including Comic Relief and Comedy Gives Back.

In 1989, he delivered a memorable performance at Carnegie Hall, appearing on stage with taped-together yellow legal pad papers for a two and a half hour set that led to two standing ovations.

The “Howard Stern” regular also produced comedy specials for HBO and Showtime, including “I’m in Pain,” “I’m Exhausted, I’m Doomed,” and “Richard Lewis: The Magical Misery Tour.”

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In addition to stand-up, Lewis acted regularly. He co-starred on the ABC series “Anything But Love” with Jamie Lee Curtis, and appeared in films like Mel Brooks’ “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” as a deeply neurotic Prince John. Lewis also dabbled in dramatic roles, with a cameo in the Nicolas Cage drama “Leaving Las Vegas,” which led to his own indie film, “Drunks,” a picture that dealt with alcoholism.

Lewis was also open in his comedy about his addiction, alcohol and mental health struggles, something he detailed in his 2008 memoir “The Other Great Depression” and a follow-up, “Reflections From Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide on How Not to Live,” released in 2015.

The comedian sought treatment in 1994 for drugs and alcohol after a cocaine overdose and had been sober since.

In 2000, Lewis joined the recurring cast of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” created and written by and starring his friend David. Lewis played a fictionalized version of himself across the show’s 12 seasons.

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Last year, Lewis confirmed he would appear in the show’s 12th season, after having had to miss out most of the previous season to recover from surgery, and had recently completed filming. 

He also addressed his Parkinson’s diagnosis and decision to retire from stand-up on X, saying in a video, “I’m finished with stand-up, I’m focusing on writing and acting.”

Lewis added, “I have Parkinson’s disease, but I’m under a doctor’s care and everything is cool, and I love my wife, I love my little puppy dog, and I love all my friends and my fans, and now you know where it’s been at the last three and a half years.”

Fox News Digital’s Larry Fink and The Associated Press contributed to this report

Heart-stopping video shows gator charging at couple driving golf cart

A Florida couple was recently pursued by an alligator while riding in a golf cart, as seen in recently recorded footage.

The video, which was captured by bystander Denise Prues, shows the gator swaggering across residential property in Ave Maria, Florida, on Feb. 16.

The reptile was facing a pond when a couple was driving by in the golf cart.

‘ALLIGATOR’ FLOATING IN ARIZONA POND PROMPTS 911 CALLS FROM CONCERNED LOCALS

The gator is then seen opening its jaws and charging at the couple before the vehicle swerves and nearly capsizes into the water.

The man and woman fled the scene and the gator then entered the pond.

Prues can be heard saying, “Oh my God,” as she captures the frightening footage.

“I heard a noise in the side yard and looked up, and the alligator was slowly walking between the houses,” Prues told Storyful. “I was on my phone so [I] quickly switched over to video.”

AMERICA’S STRANGEST ALLIGATOR ENCOUNTERS: SEE THESE 13 STARTLING STORIES

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) website has advice on how Sunshine State residents can stay safe from alligator attacks.

“Be aware of the possibility of alligators when you are in or near fresh or brackish water,” a brochure that’s published on the FWC’s website reads. “Bites may occur when people do not pay close enough attention to their surroundings when working or recreating near water.”

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The agency says that alligators rarely cause serious injuries in Florida, despite unwanted encounters with residents. Residents who spot alligators that may pose a threat to them are encouraged to call 866-392-4286.

“Generally, alligators less than four feet in length are not large enough to be dangerous unless handled,” the FWC advises.

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Fox News Digital reached out to the FWC for comment. 

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Panera reportedly exempt from $20 minimum wage law after owner donated to Newsom

A major donor to Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to reap the benefit of an obscure exemption to the state’s new $20 minimum wage regulations for the fast food industry that will allow some of his restaurants to continue paying lower wages.

Newsom pushed for the exemption, which allows restaurants baking and selling bread as a standalone item to continue paying the current rate of $16 to its employees. That means billionaire Greg Flynn, a longtime donor to the governor, could save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year per each of his two-dozen Panera Bread franchise locations across California, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The report noted that Flynn was previously involved in business dealings with Newsom, and had contributed to his political campaigns. It also noted his opposition to the law that originally included the new regulations, known as the FAST Act, which led him to lobby Newsom’s office to exclude Panera Bread as a fast food chain, sources told Bloomberg.

CALIFORNIA GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM FACING ANOTHER RECALL THREAT, GROUP SAYS HE’S ‘ABANDONED’ STATE

Talks between labor groups and the fast food industry ultimately lead to a repeal of the law last year — which originally set the minimum wage higher than $20 — and the implementation of compromised regulations that included the bread exemption and the $20 minimum wage.

According to the report, Flynn is the largest franchisee in the U.S., and owns thousands of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Panera Bread and Applebee’s locations.

Flynn has been a prolific donor to Newsom’s campaigns. State records show he gave $8,400 to Newsom’s 2018 candidacy and later came to his rescue during his 2021 recall election with other big-name contributors.

DOMINO’S RAISES MENU PRICES MODESTLY, CALIFORNIA TO SEE BIGGER JUMP

In June 2021, Flynn donated $100,000 to the Stop the Republican Recall of Governor Newsom committee, putting him among its most prominent individual backers, alongside other billionaires such as Netflix executive chairman Reed Hastings and financier George Soros. The effort to recall Newsom ultimately failed by almost 24 points. 

Flynn later provided a combined $64,800 to Newsom’s 2022 campaign. He’s also contributed thousands of dollars more to other powerful Democrats in the Golden State, such as Attorney General Rob Bonta and Treasurer Fiona Ma.

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When reached for comment, a spokesperson for Newsom told Fox News Digital, “This legislation was the result of countless hours of negotiations with dozens of stakeholders over two years. The Governor’s office met with labor unions, business leaders and dozens of franchise owners through the course of negotiations. No one person or company held sway over the final outcome.”

Fox News Digital has also reached out to Flynn’s holding company and Panera Bread for comment. Flynn told Bloomberg he played no role in formulating the exemption.