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Demand grows for FBI to launch criminal investigation into Gavin Newsom

By Samuel Lee
March 1, 2024

A growing demand for an FBI investigation into Governor Gavin Newsom's actions reveals potential favoritism towards a major donor.

In Sacramento, voices are calling for a criminal probe into Governor Gavin Newsom, following reports suggesting he might have tailored legislation to benefit a substantial donor. This investigation stems from a detailed account that highlighted a specific exemption in a new law, seemingly favoring billionaire Greg Flynn, a significant donor to Newsom's campaigns, Daily Wire reported.

Legislation raises eyebrows with specific exemptions

Flynn, owning a vast network of restaurants including Panera Bread, reportedly benefited from a legislative carveout exempting his Panera Bread locations from a wage increase mandate. This law required fast-food establishments to raise their minimum wage from $16 to $20. However,  Panera Bread was spared due to a clause exempting chains that also sell bread as a standalone product.

The connections between Newsom and Flynn, including their shared high school alma mater and Flynn's considerable financial contributions to Newsom's political endeavors, have been brought to light. Furthermore, Flynn's alleged boasts about his easy access to the governor and his purchase of a resort managed by Newsom's company have fueled the controversy.

Furthermore, California Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher expressed his concerns on social media. With that, he questioned the fairness of the law's exemptions. He even suggested that they might be linked to political donations.

Gallagher emphasized:

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.

Political and ethical implications of the exemption

Dan Schnur, a respected political science professor and ethics expert, emphasized the need for Newsom to clarify the rationale behind the exemption for Panera Bread.

Without a satisfactory explanation, the public might perceive this as a favor for a significant donor.

Schur stated:

It’s the governor’s obligation to explain why Panera (should benefit) from this. Absent that explanation, most voters are going to assume he did a big favor for a big donor.

Adding to the calls for investigation, Republican Assemblyman Joe Patterson has advocated for the involvement of the FBI. This highlights the potential conflict of interest. Moreso, it emphasizes the inability of the state's Democratic supermajority to conduct an impartial investigation into one of their own.

Community and political leaders demand accountability

The report has sparked a significant reaction among California's political circles and its citizenry. Many echoing Patterson's call for an external investigation to ensure transparency and justice. The implications of such allegations, if proven true, could have far-reaching consequences for Newsom's administration and the integrity of the state's legislative processes.

The outcry for an FBI investigation underscores the critical nature of the allegations. It also amplifies the public's demand for accountability at the highest levels of government. With the story gaining traction, more eyes are turning towards Sacramento. Many are awaiting further developments and official responses.

The situation puts a spotlight on the intricate web of relationships between politicians and their donors. This highlights the delicate balance between legitimate political support and undue influence or favoritism. This incident may serve as a catalyst for broader discussions about political ethics and campaign finance reform.

Exploring the depth of Newsom and Flynn's connections

The ties between Newsom and Flynn, particularly their shared history and Flynn's financial support for Newsom's political campaigns, are central to understanding the potential motivations behind the legislative exemption. These connections raise questions about the extent to which personal relationships can impact political decisions and public policy.

The exemption for Panera Bread, especially given Flynn's ownership of multiple fast-food chains, stands out as an anomaly in the legislation. This has led to speculation about the criteria used to determine which establishments were subject to the wage increase and which were not.

The debate over this legislation and its exemptions highlights the ongoing challenges in balancing business interests with workers' rights and fair wages. The specific carveout for Panera Bread, in the context of Flynn's relationship with Newsom, adds a layer of complexity to discussions about equity and justice in labor laws.


  • Demand for an FBI investigation into Governor Newsom's actions concerning legislation benefiting a major donor.
  • Specific exemption in new law raises questions about potential favoritism towards billionaire Greg Flynn, a significant Newsom donor.
  • Republican leaders and ethics experts call for transparency and accountability, highlighting the need for an external investigation.
  • The controversy highlights broader issues of political ethics and the influence of donors in legislative processes.