California Governor Gavin Newsom reportedly directed a staggering $226 million in “behested donations” to specific charities, some of which reportedly came from companies that also benefited from no-bid state contracts awarded to help with coronavirus relief.
“Behested” payments have come under scrutiny in California in recent years. They are legal payments that politicians are allowed to ask companies to make to charitable organizations. However, as Capital Public Radio noted in 2018, they raise significant questions about conflicts of interest. When Newsom was inaugurated, for example, he gave donors special access “in exchange for nearly $8 million in donations to his inaugural committee and a charitable fund” for wildfire relief.
Reason.com reported Thursday that Newsom’s 2020 behests “were a record-setting haul eclipsing all prior donations on record by nearly $100 million.” Moreover:
While most donations supported COVID-19 relief efforts, a closer look suggests Newsom’s fundraising was supercharged not just by