Newsom faces criticism over massive donations from firms with state contracts 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has provided some elected officials with the opportunity to seize additional power, effectively blurring the lines between charity and influence peddling.

As one apparent example, Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing new scrutiny over reports that he solicited a whopping $226 million in “behest donations” from various entities — including some companies that received no-bid contracts with the state.

Dubious public-private connections

Such donations are legal under state law, but critics claim it is ethically dubious for them to be made at the request of public officials.

Nevertheless, Newsom’s tally last year dwarfed the comparatively paltry $12 million raised in 2019.

On its surface, the surge in donations served a virtuous purpose amid the continued public health crisis. Healthcare firms Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente, for example, donated $45 million at the governor’s direction.

The companies were also selected to manage vaccine distribution, though, which has raised questions about a possible quid pro quo.

Meanwhile, Verily Life Sciences — a subsidiary of Google — reportedly received contracts for COVID-19 testing. Its parent company was one of the tech giants responsible for funding public service announcements across California last year that focused on the pandemic.

“It’s also beneficial to the tech companies”

At the time, Jonathan Mehta Stein, the executive director of the nonprofit organization Common Cause, said: “An advertising campaign to educate people about Covid-19 is beneficial to all. The key question is: Is it also beneficial to Governor Newsom? The answer is probably yes. It’s also beneficial to the tech companies.”

According to Reason, the spike in donations was unique among state officials to the governor, prompting speculation that he took advantage of his executive powers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Of course, Newsom has come under attack on other fronts — most notably by flouting his own lockdown policies by dining inside a high-end restaurant last year. As it stands, he is the subject of growing calls for a recall election that could see him ousted from the governor’s mansion.

A lobbyist for Netflix hosted the infamous dinner at French Laundry and the video-streaming platform was among the media companies that made behested donations.

Networks including ABC and CBS were also involved, raising additional questions about whether Hollywood carved out an exception to COVID-19 protocols through these supposedly philanthropic exchanges of money.

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11 Responses

  1. burn him good take no prisoners throw the book at him and if that don’t work give him to the people he’s screwed over for years and tell them they have free raine

    1. reign um no mob actions please. Throwing the book at him is legal in nature as is impeachment and in California so is recall, these are the only acceptable actions a citizen may take other than in the voting booth or exercising your 1st Amendment rights. Please be careful in your wording or the leftist PC police will be at your door.

  2. What do people except the governor is taking lessons from his Aunt Nancy Pelosi. Nancy is queen on how to get everything for the family. And the hell with the American people.

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  4. It’s not surprising since he learned how to cheat, lie and steal from his Aunt, Nancy Pelosi. I am sure most of you know that but for those who don’t, YES, Pelosi is his Aunt.

  5. trump still working for america nancy is the biggest damn crook there she wants to divert herself by making up impeachment crap well miss nancy ur days are numbered trump is coming for your job to start so u better steal all u can so u can request it to go to the grave with u then trump will start impeachment on biden and harris and it will stick

  6. Do you not find it strange that Nancy had her plants all over the country! All about Obama’s pure hate for America! This is so transparent it would be funny , if it was not so tragic! He was the worst president we have ever had! Makes sense that his do nothing but destroy, sleepy Joe was his crooked vote. Birds of a feather!!!!!

  7. I STILL GET UP EVERY DAY AND CAN’T BELIEVE THAT A COUP D’ETAT WAS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN AND THIS COUNTRIES HIGHEST OFFICIALS WERE BEHIND IT AND HELPED IT’S FRUITION INCLUDING THE SCOTUS. WHAT A NIGHTMARE FOR THIS COUNTRY THAT ALL WHO FOUGHT AND DIED FOR IS CAUSING THEM TO CRY.

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