Gov. Newsom to send out taxpayer-funded ‘relief checks’ to millions of California voters just prior to Election Day

Democrats nationwide are facing tough prospects in the upcoming midterm elections in November, and are predicted to lose their majority control of the House and possibly even the Senate, as well as potentially even the governorship in a handful of states.

As such, some Democratic leaders are scrambling to limit the likely electoral damage, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who appears to be attempting to literally “buy” votes with so-called “inflation relief checks” sent out just before the election, Breitbart reported.

Newsom had initially proposed the checks earlier in the year to provide relief from historically high gas prices — of which California has the highest and has done nothing to reduce — but has now redesignated the relief checks to deal instead with inflation after his plan was ultimately approved by the state legislature.

Buying voter support with taxpayer funds

According to SFGate, Gov. Newsom’s “inflation relief checks,” which are estimated to total more than $9.5 billion, will be sent to any state resident who filed a 2020 California tax return and earns less than $250,000 individually, or $500,000 for couples filing jointly.

Those checks, which will range from $200 to $350 depending upon income bracket — with an additional equivalent amount for those with dependents — will begin to be sent out in October, just before the general elections in November.

Californians who filed their tax returns electronically will receive the funds via direct deposit while those who mailed in their returns will receive in the mail a pre-paid debit card.

Ironically, Breitbart pointed out that economists have suggested that Newsom’s “inflation relief” efforts will likely have the opposite effect than what is intended and will actually make inflation even worse by injecting even more money into the economy at the same time that the Federal Reserve is attempting to slow the flow of money with higher interest rates.

Newsom bought votes ahead of the recall election last year

Interestingly enough, Breitbart noted that this isn’t the first time that Gov. Newsom has essentially attempted to buy votes with taxpayer money, as the outlet reported separately that he did virtually the same thing last year ahead of the recall election effort against him that ultimately fell short.

In that instance, Newsom used the state’s newfound budget surplus — which was only due to federal pandemic relief funds — to send $600 “Golden State stimulus” checks to millions of Californians, reportedly around two-thirds of the state’s residents, with an additional $500 on top of that for families with dependent children.

Of course, Gov. Newsom is unlikely to lose his re-election bid in November, so he isn’t exactly buying votes for himself, but the same cannot be said for many Democratic congressional candidates facing tough GOP challengers, and this scheme by the governor could help benefit some of his more vulnerable fellow Democrats.

Relief checks in Florida are not comparable to what California is doing

As an aside, Breitbart preemptively addressed likely rebuttals from the left that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has similarly attempted to buy voter support with relief checks that he sent out earlier in the year, though there are some rather significant differences between the two situations.

According to CBS News, DeSantis authorized $450 relief checks for Floridians but limited eligibility to only low-income individuals with dependent schoolchildren to aid in the purchase of back-to-school supplies. Furthermore, those checks to fewer than 60,000 families, which cost around $35.5 million, were sent out in July and August rather than right before the election.