By Yael Halon
Published November 12, 2019
Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney had strong words for Democrat California Gov. Gavin Newsom after he was shown to have financial ties to the utility company that he blames for the recent outbreak of wildfires in the state.
"What caused California's devastating fires?" asked Varney on Fox Nation's "My Take." "Governor Gavin Newsom blames climate change and the utility PG&E [Pacific Gas & Electric]. He says it's 'dog eat dog' capitalism meeting climate change ... it's about corporate greed, meeting climate change. It's about decades of mismanagement, focusing on shareholders and dividends. Well, he pushed all the far left buttons, didn't he?"
PG&E went bankrupt in January after its equipment was blamed for speaking catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018
Newsom has repeatedly called out PG&E for "corporate greed," but it turns out he and his family have benefited from PG&E money.
Newsom has faced tough questions from local media for refusing to say whether he should return or donate any of the $227,000 that the company has given to his political campaigns and affiliated committees.
In addition, PG&E's philanthropic branch gave $358,000 to Newsom's wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom's nonprofit the Representation Project between 2011 and 2018, The Washington Post reported. Her foundation bills itself as a gender watchdog organization and releases films to "challenge limiting gender stereotypes and shift norms."
"The utility also gave $10,000 to a charity led by Hillary Newsom, the governor's sister," Varney added. "So the governor and his family have been taking a lot of money from a utility which they consider the epitome of 'corporate greed.' That's either a contradiction or hypocrisy."
"And," Varney continued, "the governor claims decades of mismanagement by PG&E, even though the utility is subject to intense regulation. The state tells them what to do, but it's PG&E's fault when the state's rules lead to catastrophe. California is a one-party state. Republicans are nowhere to be seen. The result is a state where irrational climate policies hurt everyone and where a utility, despite buying influence, is driven to collapse," he said.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in California's state legislature took money from PG&E, too. Ninety-eight sitting members received donations of $1,000 or more, although some have returned or donated the money, Sacramento's ABC10 reported.
Former Governor Jerry Brown reportedly returned some of the money PG&E had given his campaigns after it failed to prevent a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in the San Francisco suburb of San Bruno.
"Will Governor Newsome now do the same?" Varney asked.
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