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The Latest Corruption from Governor Empty Suit

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A waiter sets up a table in the outdoor dining area on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in which Gov. Gavin Newsom, who later called it a “bad mistake,” attended a birthday dinner at the French Laundry in Yountville. (Courtesy photo)

The deep seated desire by LGM commenters to defend Gavin Newsom’s general foolishness and lack of quality governance has frequently amazed me. See comments here, here, and here. So OK people, go ahead and defend this one.

As California prepares to implement a new law that requires major fast food chains to pay workers a minimum of $20 an hour starting in April, a new report explains why the governor’s relationship with a billionaire helped exempt Panera Bread and chain restaurants like it and now some lawmakers are calling for an investigation into the deal.

In 2022, state lawmakers passed the F.A.S.T Recovery Act, which set new wages and established a council to bargain working conditions and pay on behalf of the half a million fast food workers in the state. Baked into the legislation was a carve-out for chains that bake and sell their own bread. Bloomberg reported that the exemption is the result of the governor’s relationship with billionaire and Panera franchisee Greg Flynn, who was initially a major opponent of the bill. Multiple sources told KCRA 3 that the governor pushed for the exemption in the late stages of the bill’s negotiation in 2022 with Flynn’s influence.

“This legislation was the result of countless hours of negotiations with dozens of stakeholders over two years,” said Newsom’s office spokesman Alex Stack in a statement on Wednesday. “Staff in the Governor’s Office met with dozens of business owners as well as union representatives, as is expected when policies of this consequence are moving through the Legislature.”

According to state campaign finance data, Flynn donated $100,000 to Newsom’s campaign against the 2021 recall and $64,800 to his reelection campaign in 2022. He told Bloomberg he did not play a role in crafting the exemption. He did not respond to KCRA 3’s request for comment Wednesday night.

The California Assembly’s Republican Minority Leader James Gallagher called for an investigation Wednesday night. “Can any franchisee get an exemption from the $20 minimum wage law or do they need to donate more than $150k to Newsom first? This crooked deal needs to be investigated,” Gallagher said.

KCRA 3 reached out to the offices of Speaker of the Assembly Robert Rivas and Senate Pro Tem Mike McGuire for comment on Wednesday night. Neither responded.

This is the best use of bakeries to avoid labor law since Lochner……..

The other thing to note is that when Ezra Klein and others talk about Johnny Unbeatable, they are very much talking about Gavin Newsom. Right race, right gender, right hair, right age, maybe not the right taste in women, but hey…..

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