Businesses tied to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and two of the state’s legislative leaders were among those that received federal loans aimed at keeping small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, records released Monday showed.
A Northern California winery and hospitality company, PlumpJack, founded and partly owned by Newsom, received a loan worth $150,000 to $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Before taking office as governor in 2019, Newsom announced he would step away from his businesses and put his assets in a blind trust managed by a family friend and attorney.
“You would have to ask the people that are running those businesses,” Newsom said in response to a question about why his company applied for the loan.
“THE PEOPLE RUNNING THOSE BUSINESSES” ARE HIS SISTER.
McKenzie Ward, vice president of marketing for PlumpJack Group, said the governor “has no say in any decision we are making” and that the company was grateful to qualify for the aid. Federal data shows the loan helped save 14 jobs.
A labor consulting company led by state Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove, a Bakersfield Republican, received a loan within the same dollar range. Grove listed herself as president and CEO of Continental Labor Resources Inc. on most recent state public disclosure forms, reporting that she drew an income of over $100,000. The loan saved 365 jobs at the company, according to data.
Meet the President of Plumpjack Group: Hillary Newsom, Gavin’s sister. If they are on speaking terms, perhaps he could ask her why she applied for the money.