How Corrupt is Gavin Newsom?

Gavin Newsom

Ruthless socialist states that impose one-party rule and muzzle the press might be jealous.

If President Dementia finally falters for good and Vice President Cackler is somehow persuaded to allow herself to be eased into a comfortable and lucrative retirement, and if the persistent rumors about a Michelle Obama presidential campaign prove to be just that — rumors — the Commissar of the California Soviet Socialist Republic, Gavin Newsom, is waiting in the wings. In 2028, he won’t have so many people ahead of him in the Democrat food chain, and he could conceivably turn out to be the occupant of the Oval Office someday. But some of his recent dealings in the tarnished Golden State may end up derailing his ambitions before he even announces a formal run for the presidency.

As part of his relentless efforts to destroy California as an economic powerhouse and make it the perfect prototype of the borderless socialist hellhole that the left wants to make out of the entire country, Newsom several months ago signed a law raising the minimum wage of fast-food workers in the state from $16 an hour to $20 an hour. This should have been enough in itself to kill Newsom’s presidential ambitions, for minimum wage hikes are among the cruelest and most damaging of the many tricks and deceptions that leftists use to gain support.

Raising the minimum wage seems to be an act of looking out for the little guy. Minimum wage laws are supposed to ensure that the greedy top-hatted capitalists of leftist myth are forced not to keep all the profits for themselves, but to ensure a decent living for those whose labor they’re exploiting. Socialist politicians such as Newsom, however, never tell voters about the downside. The New York Post reported Wednesday that “earlier this month, Chipotle executives warned that consumers in California should expect to see ‘significant’ price hikes due to the minimum wage hike.”

Business owners large and small don’t generally take minimum wage hikes as a cue to tighten their belts and make sacrifices. Maybe in a perfect world they would, but this is not a perfect world. Instead of absorbing the increased costs themselves, they pass them on to the consumer in the form of price increases, or they lay off a few workers and make the ones who are still employed work harder for almost the same money. Minimum wage laws thus increase both prices and unemployment. Under the guise of giving ordinary workers a fair shake, they make life more difficult for them.

It gets even worse than that. Much worse. The Post noted that Newsom has just “signed a law that exempts Panera Bread from a new $20-an-hour minimum wage hike for fast food chains after the billionaire owner of several of the chain’s locations donated to his campaign.” This is the epitome of socialist rule: the elites make laws that the common folk have to obey, or else, while the elites themselves luxuriate at their sumptuous villas, exempt from all the burdens they have placed upon those who make it possible for them to live in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

It seems that Newsom’s Fast-Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Act) “includes an unusual carve-out that exempts ‘chains that bake bread and sell it as a standalone item.’” The person responsible for this “unusual carve-out” was reportedly Gavin Newsom himself, and the exemption “benefits among others Greg Flynn, the billionaire CEO of Flynn Restaurant Group, the company that owns some two dozen Panera Bread locations in the state.” Flynn, as it turns out, “attended the same high school as Newsom” and “has been involved in business dealings with the California governor.” He also “has donated at least $164,800 to Newsom’s campaigns.”

What a coincidence! For his part, Flynn insists that “he played no role in crafting the bread exemption,” and Newsom shrugged it off, dismissing the sweetheart deal for his well-heeled donor as just “part of the sausage-making” in politics. Yeah, and who’s enjoying the sausage that gets made? Gavin Newsom and his cronies. The Post says that Michelle Korsmo of the National Restaurant Association asserted that “everyone’s scratching their head” about the big exception in Newsom’s minimum wage bill, but there is no reason for anyone to be puzzled or confused about anything. What is happening here is crystal clear. Newsom scratched Flynn’s back, and Flynn scratched Newsom’s.

This is a level of naked corruption that we usually only see in corrupt socialist states that impose one-party rule and muzzle the press so that it only reports what the elites want it to report. That’s nothing like Old Joe Biden’s America — oh, wait…

Robert Spencer

Photo: flickr

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About the Author

Robert Spencer
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 26 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest books are The Critical Qur’an and The Sumter Gambit. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.