California Governor Gavin Newsom Didn't Just Praise the Bailout of a Bank He Has Ties to - He Lobbied for It

California Governor Gavin Newsom, a darling of the progressive left and one of the most powerful governors in the country, has been very vocal about his happiness that Silicon Valley Bank’s depositors were bailed out.


He has been vocal about it without actually disclosing his ties to the bank, either. My colleague Bob Hoge wrote about this yesterday, though he did note that Newsom’s business holdings were in a blind trust that Newsom himself didn’t control. But, it’s actually worse for Newsom than that.

Newsom also had personal accounts at the bank, which makes his happiness a little more understandable. What’s more, his wife, Jennifer Siebel, has professional ties to the bank, according to The Intercept.

Newsom also didn’t mention his wife Jennifer Siebel’s professional ties to the bank. In 2021, Silicon Valley Bank gave $100,000 to the charity founded by Siebel, the California Partners Project, at the request of Newsom. John China, president of SVB Capital and responsible for SVB’s funds management, is himself a founding member of the California Partners Project’s board of directors.

Newsom added on Monday that he had been in close contact with the administration about SVB. “Over the last 48 hours, I have been in touch with the highest levels of leadership at the White House and Treasury,” Newsom said of SVB’s collapse in a statement released on Saturday. Asked about the nature of the interactions, the governor’s deputy communications director Brandon Richards did not respond.

Virus Outbreak California
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

So, Newsom’s praise of the bailout is a bit personal. Again, like the blind trust issue, the business ties aren’t exactly a smoking gun here. But things get a bit more suspicious because we now know that Newsom wasn’t just thrilled that it happened.

Nope. As my colleague mentioned in his story yesterday, Newsom was actually lobbying for it, and Business Insider has more on that.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom lobbied the White House and the Department of the Treasury about the pending bailout of Silicon Valley Bank, even as three of his private wineries had apparently been among the bank’s clients, according to a Tuesday report by Ken Klippenstein of the Intercept.

According to Klippenstein’s reporting, Newsom’s personal relationship with SVB went beyond the wineries. One anonymous former employee who handled Newsom’s finances told Klippenstein that Newsom “maintained personal accounts at SVB for years.”


On Saturday, Newsom’s office issued a statement that Newsom had “been in touch with the highest levels of leadership at the White House and Treasury.” He said the goal was to “stabilize” “the entire innovation ecosystem that has served as a tent pole for our economy.”


That is, almost certainly, not legal.

As an elected official, Newsom is prohibited by state law from influencing a governmental decision “in which the official knows or has reason to believe the official has a financial interest.”

We don’t know if Newsom disclosed his holdings to the Biden administration when he lobbied for a bailout, but it’s clear that he was able to benefit from it. That is something that the people of California and the legislature should find interesting. It’s just a matter of whether or not anyone chooses to investigate, though – which, given where we are today, I am seriously doubting.


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