SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Gavin Newsom solicited donations totaling nearly $227 million from Facebook, Google, Blue Shield and other private California companies and organizations to combat the pandemic and help run parts of his administration.
The report Thursday by the state’s political watchdog agency examines contributions solicited by an elected official to be given to another individual or organization.
Facebook contributed nearly $27 million to the Democratic governor’s causes, mostly for gift cards to nursing home workers. Blue Shield of California gave $20 million toward homeless programs. Those companies were the two top donors according to the Fair Political Practices Commission.
Critics say that while the payments don’t directly benefit the politician, they can indirectly curry favor.