Gavin Newsom praised the Biden administration’s decision to federally insure all depositors of a Silicon Valley bank — without revealing the fact that the failed lender considered the California governor as a client.
Newsom, the Democratic governor, owns three wineries in Northern California that are listed on the bank’s website as clients, According to news site The Intercept.
A longtime former Newsom aide told The Intercept that the governor also maintained a personal account with the Santa Clara-based bank, which has been placed into receivership by the FDIC.
“Governor Newsom’s business and financial holdings are managed by a blind trust, as they have been since he was first elected governor in 2018,” the governor’s spokesman, Nathan Click, told The Intercept.
The Intercept cited bank records listing clients including CADE, Odette and PlumpJack – all owned by Newsom.
In 2021, SVB also donated $100,000 to a charity founded by Newsom’s wife, actress Jennifer Seibel Newsom, according to the news site.
The Intercept reports that the bank cut a six-figure check to the nonprofit California Partners, at the governor’s request.
The Post sought comment from Newsom’s office and Silicon Valley Bridge Bank, the newly created entity that manages the lender’s accounts after it was placed in FDIC receivership.
The Biden administration has announced that it will support all filers — including those whose accounts have more than the $250,000 minimum for FDIC insurance coverage.
Over the weekend, Newsom’s office issued a statement praising the move — without indicating that the governor was the beneficiary of the move.
“The Biden administration acted swiftly and decisively to protect the American economy and enhance public confidence in our banking system,” Newsom said in the statement.
“Their actions this weekend have calmed nerves, and have had profound positive effects for California — on our small businesses that can now put together payrolls, workers who will get paid, affordable housing projects that can continue to build, and for nonprofits that can continue to build.” They can keep their doors open tomorrow.”
Newsom added, “California is a pillar of the American economy, and federal leaders have done the right thing, to ensure our innovation economy continues to grow and move forward.”
Before entering politics, Newsom became a millionaire after he opened PlumpJack Wines, a wine shop in San Francisco that began in 1992 as a joint venture with Gordon Getty, heir to the Getty oil fortune.
The business then expanded to include bars, restaurants, a Napa Valley winery, a ski lift, and an inn in Squaw Valley.
After Newsom was elected governor in 2018, he moved to place ownership of the PlumpJack Group in a blind trust.
Ownership and control of the business was transferred to Sheila Hendrickson, a family friend, attorney and certified public accountant who agreed to act as trustee. According to the Los Angeles Times.
Hendrickson is legally prohibited from speaking to Newsom about business considerations.
I made news during the pandemic when I moved to Utah, a state with far more lax trade restrictions than California.
Newsom’s administration has been widely criticized for imposing closures on restaurants, retail and other business sectors during the coronavirus pandemic.
By law, Newsom is allowed to retain an ownership stake in the company. He is also legally allowed to sign legislation from which he derives a financial benefit as long as all residents of the state can also benefit.
Newsom’s latest tax returns show that the governor and first lady reported income of $1.47 million in 2020. The couple also paid $480,223 in taxes.
The governor’s income included a $20,000 advance for a dyslexic children’s book he wrote.
The couple also donated $28,763 to charity, according to filings.
In 2019, Newsoms earned $1.7 million. Siebel Newsom derives her income from her own documentary film production company.
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