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After asking state workers to reduce their wages in May, California Gov. Gavin Newsom continued to collect his full monthly salary of nearly $20,000 despite promising to take a pay cut in solidarity.
Months ago, Newsom stated during a streamed coronavirus update: “Nothing breaks my heart more than making budget cuts."
The elected state official acknowledged that "you can’t have a conversation about sacrifice unless you lead by example."
"And I want folks to know that none of us in state government will be immune from tightening our belts and committing to help the cause and help support those most in need," he continued.
Newsom then explained that his administration's requesting 10% contributions in wages as his officials negotiate and bargain with each unit with the state.
"I know this is the last thing that our partners want to hear, but unfortunately, we’re in a position where it’s required of all of us," Newsom went on, adding, "and by the way, including me and including my entire staff.”
The personal leave program decreased workers’ pay by the equivalent of two days of work—a little over 9% of their monthly pay—and offers two flexible days off to use at their discretion in exchange, the Sacramento Bee reported.
According to Fox News, a spokesperson for Newsom's office responded to the hypocrisy allegations, excusing the governor's actions as an oversight: "The Governor publicly committed to taking the same pay cut as other state workers when he introduced his budget in May and has officially asked the Controller to adjust his pay, effective July 1. The reductions for both July and August will be deduced for the next pay period."
On Wednesday, Newsom reportedly sent a letter to the Controller’s Office, requesting a reduction in his pay retroactively to Jul. 1.
KOVR reported that PlumpJack, a northern California-based winery and hospitality company founded and partly-owned by Newsom, had remained open throughout early July, which was well after Newsom ordered all essential businesses to close in March.
More over, PlumpJack obtained a loan worth $150,000 to $350,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to the Treasury Department.
Newsom's PlumpJack Management Group, LLC is part of a portfolio of brands that include a resort hotel near Lake Tahoe, five restaurants and bars, four Napa Valley wineries, and a sports retailer, among others.
Before assuming office in 2019, the elected governor announced that he would step away from his businesses and place his assets in a blind trust managed by a family friend and attorney.
"You would have to ask the people that are running those businesses," Newsom had deflected a question about his company's loan application.