For California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the birthday party at the French Laundry Restaurant near Napa, Calif., is turning out to be much more costly than the typical $350 per person charge.
The public backlash is growing as more details of the dinner emerge. Photos released of the event show about a dozen people sitting shoulder to shoulder and one of those people included the CEO of the California Medical Association, Dustin Corcoran. The California Medical Associations top lobbyist Janus Norman was also dining at the event.
The presence of the CMA leaders along with Newsom will definitely amplify criticisms of the governor’s heavy handed approach to the coronavirus pandemic. Newsom has had the majority of the state in some form of lockdown since March.
California State Sen. Shannon Grove turned to a Twitter pop quiz to highlight Newsom’s negligence and hypocrisy, saying “In California, $350 is equal to: (a) one week’s unemployment check for millions of California workers (b) the cost of Gavin Newsom’s dinner at Napa’s French Laundry restaurant or (c) both of the above.”
While Newsom has maintained the birthday dinner was held outdoors, pictures show walls, a roof, and a closed sliding glass door. One end of the room was open to the outdoors, similar to a garage door being open but clearly, to say it was “outdoors,” would be stretching things quite a bit.
Newsom has said that he “made a bad mistake.” It remains to be seen how costly it becomes.