At least eight companies affiliated with California Gov. Gavin Newsom collectively received millions of dollars from the coronavirus-related Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to reports released by the US government and analyzed by ABC7.
In 1992, Newsom founded the company “PlumpJack,” and under his leadership, the PlumpJack Management Group LLC grew to include five restaurants and bars, four Napa Valley wineries, a ski resort and retail establishments, according to PlumpJackWinery.com.
The newly-released reports indicate that the PlumpJack companies received $2.9 million dollars through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
According to reports by the SBA, one company received a loan for $918,720 on April 14, 2020. The SBA requires at least 60% of the loan be used to cover employee wages. This company had 14 employees. Hypothetically, if divided equally, each employee would received around $40,000 to cover their salary over a three month period – that would amount to an annual salary of around $160,000 per employee.
Sean Moulton, a senior policy analyst with Project on Government Oversight specializes in tracking PPP funds.
“It’s unexpected for a 14 employee organization to get nearly $1 million,” he said. “The purpose behind this program was to save entry-level jobs, people going in and working on that paycheck. That was what we put this out there for, to stop unemployment.”
On average, the small business loan for California companies with 14 employees was around $128,000. A PlumpJack company that also had 14 employees received more than seven times that amount at $918,720.
The PlumpJack Managment Group released a statement to ABC7, “”Like many other companies facing extreme financial duress during the pandemic, we used loan monies to protect our workers and keep them employed. Our staff members and their loved ones have depended on these programs for their livelihoods. Gavin Newsom is not affiliated with the operation of the companies in any way. Any suggestion otherwise is unequivocally false,” said Jeff Nead, spokesperson for the PlumpJack Management Group.
Newsom put his business holdings into a blind trust before he took office last year and is not affiliated with the operations of the companies, however, he is listed as the founder on the website and his sister, Hilary Newsom, is listed as the company’s President and Partner.
You can follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @Annalieselevy
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Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix
While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.
The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.
“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.
“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”
For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.
National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”
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