Failed California Bank Was Major Donor, Supporter To Newsom Family Nonprofit
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the California firm that collapsed late last week after a bank run, donated $100,000 to a nonprofit founded by the Jennifer Siebel Newsom, wife of Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, auditors at Open the Books, a nonprofit dedicated to transparency in government spending, discovered.
In 2021, SVB contributed $100,000 in a “behested” corporate gift to California Partners Project (CPP), meaning it was given “at the request, suggestion, or solicitation of, or made in cooperation, consultation, coordination or concert with the public official” — in this case, with Newsom himself, filings show. The $100,000 payment was paid in four installments of $25,000, with three of them being described as a “General grant to support gender equity in corporate governance,” referring to CPP’s stated mission of promoting “gender equity across the state.”
Additionally, the president of the investment banking arm of SVB, John China, is a founding board member of the Newsom nonprofit and is listed as a director on the CPP website.
The CPP’s first board chair, Elizabeth Gore, was also tied to SVB, according to Open the Books. Her company, Hello Alice, received funding from SVB; China serves on the board of Hello Alice as well.
SVB deleted its Twitter account on March 13, but in December 2021, the company promoted CPP’s report on corporate board gender quotas from its account, according to a screenshot by Open the Books.
“None of that gives them a pass when it comes to their failure to manage their risk and protect their depositors,” said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of Open the Books. “Simply deleting their social media posts won’t cover up the fact that SVB’s mission and values were simply at odds with its duties to investors and regular people who entrusted them with their hard-earned assets.”
Newsom, California Partners Project, Gore, China and Silicon Valley Bank did not immediately respond to Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. Gore told Open the Books that she volunteered as board chairman and served a two-year term before new board chair was named, adding that she doesn’t work with Siebel Newsom today.
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