New records found California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom rewarded his campaign donors with multi-billion dollar state contracts.
Since 2010, California has given billions of dollars of projects to companies that donated money to Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign.
California Governor Used Taxpayers’ Money to Win
A government transparency group, OpenTheBooks, found Newsom poured big money in state contracts to almost 1,000 entities that donated to his campaign over the last 12 years.
Just last year, the donors won nearly $6 billion in projects from state contracts, per the records.
According to the founder of OpenTheBooks, Adam Andrzejewski, the state of California has the worst laws regarding campaign donations. This helped Newsom’s donors to accumulate big money by donating to the most powerful man in the state.
Andrzejewski cited the laws of Illinois, where contractors who get work of more than $50,000 from the state are not eligible to donate to the gubernatorial campaigns.
Furthermore, Andrzejewski argued that Newsom’s donors are maintaining business monopolies in California. In this particular state, they are donating a small amount of profit back to gubernatorial campaigns just to get repetitive work from the governor.
Reportedly, the shady contracts were given to Newsom’s donors in the healthcare, telecom, utility, legal, and banking sectors.
One non-profit says millions in donations to Governor Gavin Newsom's campaign have resulted in billions of dollars worth of contracts. That information, uncovered after CA's government line-by-line spending was made public. @open_the_books filled me in on their findings: pic.twitter.com/WoWQLKEkGf
— Mayra Franco (@MayraFrancoTV) September 1, 2022
California Tech Infrastructure Tried to Protect Newsom’s Shady Business
The top 30 contractors who contributed almost $1.5 million to Newsom’s campaign won contracts of a whopping $5 billion in 2021.
As per the investigative records, Anthem Blue Cross is the biggest winner in the whole episode, as the company donated only $70,000, but ended up getting contracts worth $844 million.
Likewise, another group, Centene Corporation, donated $243,000 to get the work of $206 million in return.
In addition to that, California energy giant, Pacific Gas and Electric, accumulated $323 million in contracts last year by donating a mere $123,000 to the gubernatorial campaign of Newsom.
NEW: @BlueShieldCA has made millions in charitable and political donations to Gov. @GavinNewsom. Newsom has rewarded the insurer with a $15 million no-bid contract to lead the state’s covid vaccination distribution.
— CaliforniaHealthline (@CalHealthline) March 19, 2021
Meanwhile, OpenTheBooks found great difficulties in accessing public records in California to conduct their research.
Despite being the hub of technology in the United States and the home of Silicon Valley, the state of California struggled to provide public records to the watchdog group.
Andrzejewski asserted that California had invested more than $1.1 billion in an accounting and transparency infrastructure of the state, but still, most of the state’s records are not present online.
So, Andrzejewski continued, OpenTheBooks had to file 442 different requests within four months to get all the data from various offices of the state.
The only way to protect taxpayers’ money in California is to impose donation restrictions on contractors as a means of ensuring that state contracts only go to the deserving firms, Andrzejewski concluded.
However, Newsom dismissed all concerns about the controversial funding. A spokesperson of Newsom’s office claimed contracts are only given to companies that can protect the interests of Californians.
This article appeared in TheDailyBeat and has been published here with permission.