California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman is calling for a boycott of In-N-Out Burger after the Irvine-based fast food chain this week donated $25,000 to help Republicans this November.

The burger chain started in Southern California decades ago by a Christian family, whose granddaughter Lynsi Snyder still owns the company. It proudly displays its religious views — There’s a Bible verse on some packaging — and has in recent years contributed to Republicans and pro-business causes.

In addition to its $25,000 this week, it donated $30,000 to the GOP in 2017 and $30,000 to the in 2016. It has also contributed to the California pro-business political action committee, “Californians for Jobs & A Strong Economy,” which helps elect Republicans and moderate Democrats. Most recently, it gave the PAC $80,000 in 2017.

But the popular fast food restaurant is facing a wave of backlash in deep-blue California following this week’s contribution, especially on social media.

“Wow, so we all need to stop eating In-N-Out like yesterday,” one person wrote following a tweet of the contribution Monday by a Sacramento Bee reporter.

“This is going to be the hardest breakup I’ll ever have to go through,” another person wrote, followed by another tweet reading “This is the best California publicity Shake Shack could ever ask for.”

But some social media users who identified as conservatives and Republicans cheered the contribution, including the spokesman for Republican John Cox, running for California governor.

“Time to go buy a double double animal style,” Matt Shupe wrote on Twitter.

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Another Twitter user wrote “Wait, does this mean California liberals (basically most of the state) won’t eat In-N-Out anymore? Shorter lines?!”

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In-N-Out’s political impact of the contributions to the Republican Party has been magnified by social media, said Darry Sragow, publisher of the California Target Book. But, he said, it’s unclear how political backlash will affect business.

“The question is whether the folks at In-N-Out have bitten off more than they can chew,” Sragow said. “The answer to how much impact this is going to have on the sale of double-doubles lies in what’s happened for Chick-fil-A, which has taken a lot of heat for stances its owners have taken.

“But Chick-fil-A just opened a new location in the lobby of an office building in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, and the line is always 20 to 30 people deep,” he said.

Chick-fil-A was ensnared in controversy in 2012 for comments against same-sex marriage by a company executive.

Bauman did not respond to an immediate interview request.

State Republican Party Chairman Jim Brulte also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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