Newsom has deeper ties to Silicon Valley Bank than he let on, report says
Alec Regimbal, SFGATE
March 14, 2023Updated: March 14, 2023 5:35 p.m.
Three wineries owned by California Gov. Gavin Newsom are clients of Silicon Valley Bank, and the governor has maintained personal accounts at the institution “for years,” according to a Tuesday report from The Intercept.
The news that Newsom has had personal accounts at the bank was revealed by a former staffer who spoke to The Intercept on the condition of anonymity. The three Newsom-owned wineries, CADE, Odette and Plumpjack, are listed as clients on the bank’s website.
The report also said that a Silicon Valley Bank executive made a $100,000 donation to the California Partners Project — a charity founded by Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom — at the behest of the governor and that a bank executive sits on the charity’s board of directors.
Silicon Valley Bank is the Santa Clara bank that failed last week amid a bank run, when several clients withdraw their money in a panic. Federal officials have said that all depositors will be protected and can access their funds in full — an extraordinary step given that only deposits of $250,000 or less are fully insured under federal law. Federal filings show that 85% of the funds deposited in the bank are uninsured.
“Governor Newsom’s business and financial holdings are held and managed by a blind trust, as they have been since he was first elected governor in 2018,” Nathan Click, a spokesperson for Newsom, told SFGATE in an email.
The Intercept’s article pointed out that Newsom praised the so-called “bailout” in a statement Monday without a mention of his personal ties. Newsom’s statement says the Biden administration “acted swiftly and decisively to protect the American economy and strengthen public confidence in our banking system.” Newsom also said that he’s been discussing action on Silicon Valley Bank with the White House.
“Over the last 48 hours, I have been in touch with the highest levels of leadership at the White House and Treasury,” he said in a statement Saturday. “Everyone is working with FDIC to stabilize the situation as quickly as possible, to protect jobs, people’s livelihoods, and the entire innovation ecosystem that has served as a tent pole for our economy.”
It’s unsurprising that Newsom — a multimillionaire who owned various hotels, wineries, bars, restaurants and liquor stores before he was elected govern