Data from the California Fair Political Practice Commission show that up to $ 226 million was paid in 2020, up from $ 12 million a year earlier.
Former Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill took to Facebook on Friday to bring attention to the California government. Gavin Newsom has used “behested payments,” a technically legal but highly opaque practice that can generate untold amounts of “donations” for politicians’ favorite projects. And non-profit organizations.
O’Neill, who was mayor of the coastal Orange County city between 2019 and 2020, asked readers to imagine they are running a company, and Newsom asks for donations “for a cause he cares about.” . ”
O’Nhill wrote, “Sounds like a shakedown, okay? No, it’s completely legal. ‘
Per California law, Payments of more than $ 5,000 must be reported. But unlike political donations, there is no cap. The practice is relatively vague and often not used. For example, in 2019, Newsom’s administration paid only $ 12 million.
But in 2020, during which the COVID-19 epidemic erupted and the governor’s emergency powers were expanded, Newsom’s “behest – paid up to $ 226 million,” according to data from the state’s Fair Political Conduct Commission. F p p c).
In 2020, Newsom raised $ 45 million from Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Permanente for itself Housing initiative. Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield, later served as co-chairman on the governor’s COVID-19 test task force. And last month, the governor chose both Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente to help manage vaccine distribution in California.
Since the outbreak, Verily Life Sciences – which is under the same parent company as Google – has received up to $ 44 million in three separate contracts from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to operate the COVID-19 test sites .
O’Neill cited reporting CapRadio, A Sacramento NPR-affiliate, demonstrates that, between 2018 and 2019, Unitedmast donated $ 220,000 to Newscom-controlled political committees, who subsequently sold $ 492 million in contracts to subsidiaries of United-Jeep without any bids. And provided in quick conditions.
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Bloom Energy, a California company Contribution $ 85,000 to Newsome between September 2018 and October 2020, CapRadio reported. In March 2020, the company received a $ 1 million no-bid contract – which later increased to $ 2 million – according to the outlet to refurbish the ventilator.
CapRadio also reported that Chinese construction company BYD contributed two contributions of $ 20,000 to Newsom between March 2018 and November 2019. In April 2020, the company received a no-bid contract for the mask of approximately $ 1 billion.
O’Neill, in his Facebook post, included a quote from Bob Stern, a registered Democrat and former general manager of the California FPPC, who said: “I really think the governor has a huge campaign contribution to achieve and provide sole Has a tin ear. Source contracts for the corporations who were making these contributions to him. ”
“Tin ears” is one way of saying this. What would you call it? “” O’Neill.
This is not the first time a former Republican mayor has called a Democratic governor. Last May, when California – like the rest of the nation – was on a tight lockdown to stop the spread of coronovirus, O’Neill slammed Newsome on his order for beaches in Orange County.
“During an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight, O’Neill accused Newsom of closing 43 miles of Orange County beaches,” not because of data, but because of politics. “
“At our local hospital, we have 475 beds. They have never treated more than 25 people at any given time, and yesterday they had nine people they were treating, and used only one percent of their ventilators. Was being done. ”
More than 80 editions of more than 80 newspapers have been verified.
The criticism of Behested Payments comes as Newsom faces the prospect of a recall election over its severe reaction to the epidemic. Remember gavin 2020 Senior consultant Randy Economy told Granthshala News on Sunday that the campaign has collected more than 1.72 million signatures. This exceeds the 200,000 required to qualify for the ballot, but organizers aim to have 2 million signatures in the March 17 deadline to compensate for invalid signatures.
“Our work continues … We are not stopping until the last day (until) on March 17,” Economy told Granthshala News. “We are thrilled with the progress and this movement is changing politics as we know it here in California and all over America.”
Granthshala News repeatedly attempted to contact Newsom’s press office with a request for a comment from Recall, but received no response.