California Gov. Gavin Newsom has once again violated the public trust by demonstrating he believes he’s above the very same COVID-19 safety guidelines he single-handedly created and imposed on the rest of us.
Recently, news broke that while many school-aged children in Sacramento County, where Newsom resides, were unable to attend in-person classes while his own children, attending an expensive private school, were on a hybrid in-person schedule.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to give your children the best education possible. What stinks is that Newsom picked this specific school to take advantage of the in-person classes being offered. Meanwhile, the average Californian not making $1.2 million per year from a mix of government salary and private enterprise has to watch while his kids flounder at home.
Unlike their governor, they must follow the restrictions put in place — ostensibly to maintain public health.
More recently, the governor once again brazenly betrayed the public trust when news broke that he attended an expensive dinner with top-dollar lobbyists and other moneyed interests.
The French Laundry Scandal, named after the ritzy restaurant Gov. Newsom attended, has created a ferocious backlash to Newsom’s “health” guidelines that ban private gatherings of more than three households.
Newsom was in clear violation of his own edict when he attended this dinner.
Newsom offered a half-hearted apology, saying that the restaurant was in Napa, which at the time was in the “orange” (moderate risk) status of re-opening and had looser guidelines compared to other counties.
He also said that the restaurant offered outdoor seating and the dinner happened before the evening rush, apparently trying to downplay the severity of his poor decision making.
“As soon as I sat down at the large table, I realized it was a little larger group than I had anticipated. I made a bad decision. Instead of sitting down, I should have stood up and walked back and gotten into my car and driven back to my house,” the governor said.
Newsom claims he was not in direct violation of the laws he himself created, though he recognizes he certainly violated the spirit of those laws.
Today, Napa County is back in the “purple” (widespread) risk category, the highest possible level of spread that can currently be assigned on Newsom’s color-coded tier index.
While Newson’s actions are despicable, they aren’t surprising. You may remember several months ago when the governor promised to take a pay cut along with the rest of the state workers, many of whom took a 10 percent pay cut in the form of mandatory furlough days. You may also remember he broke his promise at least until he was publicly shamed by the media for failing to do so for three months.
But don’t worry, most of us commoners are all in this together. Pay no attention to the politicians who created the guidelines exempting themselves from the public’s shared suffering.
We’re not asking for the governor’s kids to go without an education, and we would certainly not ask for all Californians to be denied the simple pleasure of getting dinner from a restaurant every now and again.
But if we’re all going to be expected to suffer through government mandated lockdowns, it would be nice to see our leaders go through it with us.