California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that there was no conflict of interest between his administration and his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s filmmaking work, following a Sacramento Bee report that donors to her nonprofit also were companies that have lobbied his administration.
“Absolutely none whatsoever. There is no correlation. Period. Full stop,” Newsom told reporters Friday.
The Sacramento Bee reported that a nonprofit Siebel Newsom founded, The Representation Project, has promoted her causes, financed her documentary films and paid her for her work, but it also has received donations from a host of companies that have lobbied the administration or are involved in significant regulatory issues before the state. They include PG&E and Kaiser Permanente as well as AT&T and Comcast. The companies denied that there was a connection to their donations and to Newsom’s work before the state, but a concern of campaign-finance reform advocates has been the practice of making donations to charities aligned with elected officials to get in their favor.
“I am incredibly proud of my wife,” Newsom said. “She has been running a nonprofit for well over a decade, well before my time here in Sacramento. And I am really proud of the work in particular around gender equality, woman and girls.”
He said that his wife “adheres, certainly going further in terms of disclosures, we certainly expect nothing less. I expect nothing less.”
He said that his wife’s work has been “inspiring not only here” in the state but “around the world.” The Representation Project’s mission to shift public attitudes around gender. Some of the documentary projects include Miss Representation, The Mask You Live In and The Great American Lie.
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