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Tipsheet

Is This Why Gavin Newsom Wanted SVB to Get Bailed Out?

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

California Gov. Gavin Newsom was in contact with the “highest levels of leadership at the White House and Treasury” after the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank and cheered its bailout, but failed to mention his own interests in the decision. 

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“The Biden Administration has acted swiftly and decisively to protect the American economy and strengthen public confidence in our banking system,” he said in a statement on Sunday. “Their actions this weekend have calmed nerves, and had profoundly positive impacts on California — on our small businesses that can now make payroll, workers who will get their paychecks, on affordable housing projects that can continue construction, and on non-profits that can keep their doors open tomorrow. California is a pillar of the American economy, and federal leaders did the right thing, ensuring our innovation economy can continue to grow and move forward.”  

According to The Intercept, however, Newsom failed to disclose his own financial interest, as at least three of his wineries—CADE, Odette, and PlumpJack—are clients of SVB, and that the charity his wife founded, California Partners Project, received a $100,000 donation from SVB in 2021, at the request of her husband.

NEWSOM, A MULTIMILLIONAIRE who was a businessman before becoming a politician, has been dogged for years with ethics questions about his corporate holdings. When asked during his 2018 campaign for governor if he would sell his companies, Newsom reportedly replied, “These are my babies, my life, my family. I can’t do that. I can’t sell them.”

Instead, in December 2018, Newsom announced that he would establish the blind trust and give control of his trust to a family friend and attorney, Shyla Hendrickson. Under the arrangement, his sister, Hilary Newsom, retained her role as president of the governor’s PlumpJack Group, which includes hotels, wineries bars, restaurants, and liquor stores founded by Newsom. (The Intercept)

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Nathan Click, a spokesperson for Newsom, pointed to this blind trust in a statement to The Intercept. 

“Governor Newsom’s business and financial holdings are held and managed by a blind trust, as they have been since he was first elected governor in 2018,” he said. 



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