WASHINGTON (TND) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has pushed for billions of dollars in state funding to benefit the policy agenda of his wife.
Founder and CEO of Open the Books Adam Andrzejewski joined The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat Friday morning to discuss the money.
Newsom built an office for his wife Jennifer Newsom called the Office of the First Partner which included nine staff members. Almost $5 million in funding was given to that.
“He expressly tells us why he did it, essentially to bring taxpayer funding behind her issue advocacy webform," Andrzejewski said. "It had seven staffers, an annual budget of about around $800,000. That budget has grown. Today it's almost $1.2 million per year."
According to Andrzejewski, it's not uncommon for this practice on the federal level but says this instance goes a bit deeper.
Jennifer Newsom is a filmmaker who writes and directs gender identity films. California public schools pay her a licensing fee to play those films in class.
"I think the Newsoms would say that this is a virtual circle, but I'm from Illinois. We're very familiar with pay-to-play schemes, and this looks like legalizing pay-to-play," Andrzejewski said.
He says Jennifer Newsom and her husband, through the state legislature, provided billions for additional counselors in California K-12 schools. The Association of California School Counselors then said the newly-hired professionals would need films and curriculum straight from Jennifer Newsom, according to Andrzejewski.