NEWSOME GAVE NO BID CONTRACTS TO DONORS

Big Newsom Donors — Including Blue Shield —

Received No-Bid Contracts During COVID-19 Response

UnitedHealth has been good to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

In 2018, the health care giant made two contributions to Newsom for over $58,000. In December 2019, it dropped another $31,000 into his reelection campaign.

During the pandemic, Newsom turned to UnitedHealth to solve some of California’s most vexing challenges: COVID-19 testing and data tracking. The state awarded a no-bid contract worth up to $177 million to a UnitedHealth subsidiary to expand testing. In the months following, the state would award another $315 million in contracts to the company’s subsidiaries through an expedited bidding process.

In December, UnitedHealth contributed $31,000 to Newsom’s reelection campaign, and another $100,000 to his ballot measure committee.

UnitedHealth and Newsom deny any wrongdoing. And while there’s no evidence to suggest either broke the law, government ethics experts say even the appearance of wrongdoing raises serious red flags and threatens to erode public trust — especially if there’s a pattern.

A CapRadio investigation found an overlap of at least a half-dozen companies that made substantial contributions to Newsom and received no-bid contracts from the state, influential appointments, or other opportunities related to the state’s pandemic response. The contributions range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The contracts range from $2 million to over $1 billion — including the one awarded to Blue Shield for vaccine distribution made public Monday, worth up to $15 million.

SOMEHOW THIS GUY NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME. MYBE HE IS TRYING TO GET RECALLED.