Individuals and businesses who made donations at the request of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) were rewarded with state contracts.
In California, Newsom rewarded those who made donations at his request with lucrative state contracts. It was recently reported that behested payments which are donations made to an organization at the request of a politician; were made at record levels eclipsing all prior donations previously on recorded by almost $100 million.
Many of the donations supported Covid-19 relief efforts but as some have reported like “Reason.com” that “while most donations supported covid-19 relief efforts a closer look suggests Newsom’s fundraising was supercharged not just by the pandemic but also by the broad emergency powers the democratic governor has assumed because of it.”
Looking at some of the financial data Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Paul Markovich Blue Shields CEO to co-chair the governors Covid-19 testing task force. Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield were awarded state contracts to manage the vaccine. Newsom raised $45 million last year from these insurance companies Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanete toward his housing initiative, Project Homekey.
These are not the only companies there are a number of companies that lined up to receive some of the nearly $4 billion on bid contracts Newsom committed to as long as they “donate” to Newsom’s relief efforts at Newsom’s request.
Since March, Verily Life Sciences has received $44 million in three different contracts to help operate COVID-19 testing sites. Verily falls under the same parent company as Google, and in April, Google donated $7 million in ad credits to the governor’s COVID-19 ad campaign. That same month, Verily registered to lobby the governor’s office. Similarly, AT&T received over $40 million in contracts from the Office of Emergency Services. They donated $310,000 to the governor’s office and spent millions more lobbying the state last year. Other donor-contractors include McKinsey & Company and advertising firm Runyon Saltzman.
This type of company and political interplay has come under much scrutiny and angst. Especially since behested payments are being debated in LA City Council as whether to ban them since behested payments give politicians like democratic governor Gavin Newsom untold financial campaign or project advantage. When looking at a year-to-year comparison of capital raised. Newsom raised $226 million in 2020, he only raised $12 million the year before. That spike is unique Newsom. Even if you exclude payments that explicitly mention COVID-19 and related programs, such as Project Homekey, Newsom still raised $8 million more than he did in 2019, a nearly 70 percent increase,” Reason reported.
Many are outraged as big business, Hollywood, and others with deep pockets were able to lobby Newsom; while small business and ma and pop stores closed their doors or were forced to lockdown as they could not lobby. Giving what seems to be preferential treatment to some businesses.
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