In a recent editorial the Sacramento Bee, the so-called paper of record in the California State Capitol, discovered that Governor Gavin Newsom has been giving preference to his key donors when doling out no-bid contracts.
“A CapRadio investigation found 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 response,” wrote Rodd in February. “The contributions range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The contracts range from $2 million to over $1 billion — including the one awarded to Blue Shield for vaccine distribution … worth up to $15 million.”
Clutch the pearls!
This Governor is being recalled not only because of his poor governance but his craven loyalty to his donors; this includes the California Teacher’s Union, which is why California is dead last in reopening its schools.
Here in California, we have long recognized that Newsom’s first loyalty is not to the people of California, but to himself and his interests. Governor Hair Gel is under the delusion that Constitutional government of, for, and by the people does not matter—only his will and word does. And that, and $5.00 might get you a latte at Starbucks.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Newsom played fast and loose with masks with the BYD deal. Now his Hairfulness is doing it with the vaccine rollout— which is still not going well.
Millions of Californians on Thursday became eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine as the state expanded eligibility to residents over the age of 50. But throughout the day, hundreds of people reported being unable to sign up for vaccine slots online.
“There are NO appointments,” one Santa Clara resident tweeted. Other tweets read: “No appointments within 100 miles of San Francisco,” and “Is California’s new slogan ‘Perpetually behind’?”
Thursday’s problems didn’t come as a surprise. Despite its reputation as the world’s technology capital, California has struggled to develop a smooth process for Covid-19 vaccine sign-ups. At the top of Californians’ long list of complaints about vaccine distribution is My Turn, the website launched by the state as a hub for scheduling.
Since its launch in January, the system has struggled with glitches. The website often crashes, sometimes doesn’t show any appointments at all, lists appointments that do not actually exist, or at times allows users to sign up for a first vaccine dose but not for the second.
The CapRadio investigation presented detailed information on just how much donors had contributed to either Newsom’s election, re-election, or ballot measure campaigns. As stated above, Newsom awarded contracts to Blue Shield, which, in November of 2020, contributed $200,000 to Newsom’s ballot measure committee. Lo and behold, in February, Blue Shield was awarded no-bid contracts up to $15 million to lead the State’s vaccine distribution. Other corporations who greased the governor’s palms were Bloom Energy, and United Health.
While government ethics experts emphasized that there’s no evidence of a quid pro quo or criminal wrongdoing in these examples, they expressed concern about Newsom handing over lucrative contracts to major donors on a no-bid basis.
“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,” said Dan Schnur, a professor of political communications at University of California, Berkeley and University of Southern California. He is a former GOP consultant and currently registered as no party preference.
The Sac Bee came to this conclusion:
Newsom, who paid a heavy political price for his shocking decision to attend a lobbyist’s pandemic birthday party at the French Laundry in November, should heed the warning. Unfortunately, this governor excels at handing ammunition to his opponents. As he fends off a recall campaign, the billions of dollars in no-bid contracts will likely draw scrutiny.