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Companies linked to Gov. Newsom received nearly $3 million in PPP loans

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Gavin Newsom California Governor

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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Nation

White House Confirms It Is Looking Into Shutting Down Oil Pipeline Amid Fuel Crisis

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Gas Pipeline

The Biden administration confirmed that it is considering shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan despite the ongoing fuel crisis in the country.

“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked about the report during Monday’s press briefing, asking, “why is the administration now considering shutting down the Line 5 pipeline from Canada to Michigan?”

“So, Peter, that is inaccurate,” Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed. “That is not right. So, any reporting indicating that some decision has been made, again, is not accurate. … So, again, I would — it is inaccurate what you just stated, but —”

“What’s inaccurate?” Doocy asked.

“The reporting about us wanting to shut down the Line 5,” Jean-Pierre said.

“I didn’t say ‘wanting.’  I said, is it being studied right now?  Is the administration studying the impact of shutting down the Line 5?”

“Yeah. Yes, we are. We are,” Jean-Pierre admitted.

 

The news comes as gas prices have reached their highest since 2014, when Biden was vice president, and are currently about 50% higher than they were when Biden entered office.

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