Newsom’s Big, Expensive Birthday Bash for a Lobbyists Friend was ‘Stunning Hypocrisy’
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is facing scrutiny for attending a birthday dinner for a lobbyist friend that violated his own administration’s guidelines warning such events could spread the coronavirus.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
The dinner the night of Nov. 6 at the famed French Laundry in Yountville in Napa County brought together at least 12 people to celebrate the 50th birthday of Jason Kinney, a longtime friend and adviser to Newsom who is also a partner at the lobbying firm Axiom Advisors. In addition to the governor, his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, was in attendance.
State guidelines limit gatherings, defined as “social situations that bring together people from different households at the same time in a single space or place,” to no more than three households. Representatives for Kinney and Newsom declined to specify how many households the diners represented, but did not dispute that it was more than three.
Once the newspaper printed its story, Newsom, whose representatives initially defending the dinner party, was forced to admit he was wrong:
“While our family followed the restaurant’s health protocols and took safety precautions, we should have modeled better behavior and not joined the dinner,” the governor said.
The Sacramento Bee wasn’t buying it. In an editorial, the paper said Newsom was guilty of “stunning hypocrisy,” adding:
Two years into his first term, and nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Newsom still can’t get his act together. If Newsom can’t get his head into the game, perhaps he should make this governor thing a one-term affair and leave the job open for someone with a desire to lead.