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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

‘We’re through’ with Gavin Newsom

Republicans in California are outraged after prosecutors revealed they found death row inmates and other prisoners received coronavirus unemployment benefits in a massive scam, with one Republican calling on Gov. Gavin Newsom to resign.

“Too many California families still wait. But prisoners got $140M in unemployment checks. Newsom issues statement listing failed steps. But any real action is absent. After French Laundry fiasco, THIS?” 2018 California gubernatorial candidate John Cox tweeted. “We’re through and he’s done.”

“This is @GavinNewsom’s California: Convicted Killers & one-year-olds get unemployment benefits but single moms can’t,” state Sen. Shannon Grove tweeted. “Large corporations like Walmart can open but small businesses can’t. Strip Clubs can open but churches can’t. Newsom can go to dinner with friends but you can’t.”

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“Countless Californians continue to wait for unemployment benefits. They worked hard and lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Desperately waiting for their debit cards to pay for rent and other bills, while prisoners are paid. Shameful,” state Sen. Jim Nielsen tweeted.

State Sen. Melissa Melendez tweeted, “35 states cross match the names of those making unemployment claims against state prison rolls. California does no cross matching at all. And our Governor refuses to even answer questions about it.”

“In Gov. Newsom’s CA, death row inmates and prisoners have no issue getting $140M in unemployment checks. But hardworking Californians’ benefits are delayed or denied. It’s more than fraud. It’s a failure of this Governor to show he understands life outside The French Laundry,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer tweeted.

“Millions of law-abiding Californians STILL haven’t received unemployment benefits, but @GavinNewsom’s administration puts death-row inmates on their top priority list. Wow,” the California GOP’s Twitter account said.

Investigators found more than $400,000 were paid out to death row inmates, and more than $140 million were sent to other inmates across the dozens of prisons in California, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.

Prosecutors said that the scam involved people outside of the prison system filing unemployment benefits on behalf of the inmates, with many of the prosecutors describing the fraud as massive.

“In my nearly four decades, I have never seen fraud of this magnitude,” Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said.

Newsom responded to the fraud on Tuesday, saying it was “unacceptable.”

“Unemployment fraud across local jails and state and federal prisons is absolutely unacceptable,” he said in a statement. “We will continue to fully partner with law enforcement and direct as many resources as needed to investigate and resolve this issue speedily. While we have made improvements, we need to do more. Everything the state does will be done in partnership with the local District Attorneys and I thank them for their commitment to resolving this issue as quickly as possible.”

The news comes after photos of the Democratic governor dining in a French restaurant with people from other households and not wearing a mask appeared online.

“EXCLUSIVE: We’ve obtained photos of Governor Gavin Newsom at the Napa dinner party he’s in hot water over. The photos call into question just how outdoors the dinner was. A witness who took photos tells us his group was so loud, the sliding doors had to be closed,” Fox 11’s Bill Melugin tweeted, accompanied by the photos.

Newsom was met with fierce pushback over the dinner at the restaurant, where meals cost $350 a person, according to a menu from 2018.

“His kids can learn in person. But yours can’t,” Faulconer tweeted. “He can celebrate birthday parties. But you can’t. He can dine on a $350 meal at one of California’s fanciest restaurants during the worst recession in generations. But you definitely can’t. Can you believe this? I can’t.”

Newsom has apologized for the dinner, saying he needs to “preach and practice.”

“I want to apologize to you because I need to preach and practice, not just preach and not practice, and I’ve done my best to do that,” Newsom said. “We’re all human. We all fall short sometimes.”

Newsom’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.



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