Today, I called for a formal investigation into Gavin Newsom’s use of “emergency powers” to award massive no-bid contracts to his top campaign donors. You can read my full release here.
This follows a Capital Public Radio report finding “an overlap of at least a half-dozen companies that made substantial contributions to Newsom and received no-bid contracts from the state, influential appointments, or other opportunities related to the state’s pandemic.” For example:
- Blue Shield: gave $342,000 to Newsom campaign accounts before, during, and after receiving the most spots on Newsom’s testing “task force” and getting a $15 million no-bid contract for vaccine distribution.
- UnitedHealth: Gave $210,400 to Newsom campaign accounts before, during, and after one subsidiary got a $177 million no-bid contract and other subsidiaries received at least $315 million in contracts through expedited bidding.
- Bloom Energy: Received a $2 million no-bid ventilator contract before and after giving $85,000 to Newsom campaign accounts
- BYD China: Its President gave $40,000 to Newsom before receiving a $1.3 billion no-bid mask deal.
Bob Stern, a Democrat and former general counsel to the California Fair Political Practices Commission said: “I really think that the governor has a tin ear in terms of receiving huge campaign contributions and providing sole-source contracts for corporations that were giving him these contributions.”
Dan Schnur, a professor of political communications at UC Berkeley said “the governor and his team needed to make more of an effort to explain to the people of California why these decisions didn’t violate the public trust, and why his donors were given these opportunities.”
This is all of course on top of Newsom keeping schools closed because his largest campaign benefactor insists on it. Our State Capitol is corrupt, and no one has ever embodied that corruption like Gavin Newsom.