Newsom's Real Spring Break Begins - At an Expensive, Members-Only Bahamas Beach Resort

Baker's Bay Golf and Ocean Club in the Bahamas. CREDIT: Baker's Bay Golf Club/Instagram

When Gavin Newsom was on his Red States Salvation Tour last week, he waved off any criticism of the cost to the state for protection or travel by saying that he personally was paying for the travel (it will be interesting to find the proof of that) and that his kids are on spring break and, like many families, they’re using that time to vacation as a family.


As it turns out, that wasn’t really his family’s vacation. They’re on the real vacation now, according to Politico, at Baker’s Bay Golf and Ocean Club in the Bahamas, a members-only luxury resort.


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Baker’s Bay features 24/7 security and its own customs office, so members can just arrive at the bay via seaplane or boat and not have to worry about those formalities. Celebrities and sports stars like Jennifer Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Elle Macpherson, and Reese Witherspoon all own homes at Baker’s Bay, where prices range from $3.2 million for a condo to more than $20 million for a beachfront home.

The resort features a Tom Fazio-designed golf course, and food at its restaurants is prepared by “a team of world-renowned chefs and using fresh produce from the organic farm.” Of course, there’s also a spa, wellness center, kid’s club, boats, and more.



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This is not a place where anyone can just rent a place, though. It’s impossible to stay there unless you’re a member or have a friend who allows you to stay at their place or brings you along. Theoretically, there are 26 “rental” units at The Marina Inn, but they’re all owned by members who are simply allowed to rent them to non-members, but not compelled to.

So that leads to the question of, how it is that the Newsom family is staying at Baker’s Bay? Are they members? According to this September 2020 article in Elle Decor, membership includes purchasing a home site and building a home (or purchasing an existing home) and paying membership dues (approximately $100,000/year). We know from examining years of Newsom’s most recently available tax returns and Form 700 financial disclosures that he does not own a home there.

It’s likely that the Newsoms know someone who’s a member at Baker’s Bay, and that one of those friends is allowing the family to stay at their home. Under California’s financial disclosure rules for state elected officials, as long as that friend is present and is someone with whom Newsom has a “relationship, connection or association unconnected to the official’s position,” Newsom doesn’t have to report it. If Newsom is renting one of the few rental-qualified units at Baker’s Bay from a friend, he has to be paying the market rate or the difference between what he’s paying and the market rate would be considered a disclosable gift. And, California limits gifts from an individual to an elected official to $590/year, unless the gift-giver is a close relative.


Now, there’s no indication that Newsom is doing anything wrong or violating any California political disclosure rules with this vacation. However, it’s extremely tone-deaf considering that the state government is facing a massive budget shortfall and that California’s families are struggling to make ends meet amid continued layoffs. Every family should have the opportunity to vacation together, and there are plenty of beachfront golf resorts in California – even some that have the type of seclusion he’s enjoying in the Bahamas – that would welcome his business in this economic downturn. A great leader leads by example, and his example should be patronizing resorts in his own state, a state which is a perennial tourist favorite (until he got busy ruining it).

In addition, if lefties are going to be very concerned about with whom Justice Clarence Thomas vacations, even if it’s a decades-long friend who has no business before the Court, then we should all be very concerned about with whom a governor and likely presidential candidate is vacationing, or from whom he’s receiving an extremely expensive gift. And given that Newsom travels with a security detail (and as far as we know, he hasn’t ditched them to leave the country), Californians deserve to know where their tax dollars are going.



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