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An Orange County donor named John Kruger has been identified as the source of a $500,000 contribution toward recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom, solving a mystery that transfixed California political watchers.

The burgeoning effort to unseat Newsom received its first six-figure infusion last week courtesy of an Orange County-based limited liability company called Prov 3:9. The firm had a virtually nonexistent business presence and no record of political spending, fueling questions about its true funder.

Signature gathering for the recall move has gained momentum in recent months as frustration mounts over the governor’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

A representative of the company making the donation said Tuesday that the funding had come from Kruger, who objects to Newsom’s orders limiting religious gatherings in an effort to limit the coronavirus’ spread.

Campaign finance records show that an Orange County resident named John Kruger has spent hundreds of thousands on California politics in recent years.

A biography on the website of the California Policy Center, a conservative think tank, uses the same image as an earlier magazine interview where Kruger spoke of doing business in Orange County and quoted the biblical verse Proverbs 3:9: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with first fruits of your crops, and your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will overbrim with new wine.”

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