After Mandating Electric Vehicles, Newsom Campaigns Against Law That Would Raise Taxes On His Donors To Fund EVs
Jack McEvoy on November 1, 2022
- Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is opposing Proposition 30, a ballot measure that would raise taxes on the wealthy to help low-income people buy electric cars that his state is mandating as part of its climate agenda. However, Newsom has received millions of dollars from billionaires who have also spent money to oppose the proposed law.
- California enacted a policy to ban all gas-powered car sales by 2035 in order to help cut 85% of carbon emissions by no later than 2045.
- “Newsom’s opposition to Proposition 30 shows the green agenda is in terms of its true nature, it’s not about protecting the environment, it’s about control,” founder and executive director of Power The Future, an energy advocacy organization, Daniel Turner told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom is urging Californians not to vote for a law that would raise taxes on the wealthy to help poorer Californians buy electric vehicles (EVs) despite the fact that his state will be mandating their use. Moreover, Newsom’s campaign has received millions of dollars from billionaires who have also spent large sums of money to oppose the law.
Newsom claims Proposition 30 is “fiscally irresponsible” because it puts the profits of a “single corporation” over the welfare of the state by instituting a 1.75% tax on individuals earning over $2 million annually to provide subsidies for low-income residents that buy EVs. At the same time, Newsom has received over $3.5 million in campaign funding from billionaires who have also spent over $3 million to oppose the 1.75% tax hike, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of campaign finance filings.
“Newsom’s opposition to Proposition 30 shows what the green agenda is in terms of its true nature, it’s not about protecting the environment, it’s about control,” founder and executive director of Power The Future, an energy advocacy organization, Daniel Turner told the DCNF. “And that is why the elite are trying to exempt themselves from the green agenda.”
California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) voted on Aug. 25 to ban all gas-powered car sales by 2035 in order to help cut 85% of carbon emissions by no later than 2045. Newsom touted the law, claiming that it would help reduce pollution, and said that his state would “lead the revolution” towards an EV future, according to a press release.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who has a reported net worth of $3 billion, contributed $3 million to back Newsom during the 2021 recall election, which the Democrat won, according to the California Secretary of State’s campaign finance disclosures. Hasting also gave $1 million to the No on 30 committee on Sept. 27.
Hastings also contributed $64,800 to support the governor’s 2022 reelection campaign, which Newsom is heavily favored to win, filings show.
“The burden of the green agenda falls on lower and middle-class Americans who feel the pain of gas price hikes and increasing electricity bills,” Turner said. “Here’s an opportunity for the ‘rich’ to stand up and pledge their support for green policies and they all oppose it.”
Another billionaire who has donated to oppose Proposition 30 and support Newsom is Mark Heising, founder of equity private firm Medley Partners. Heising donated $1.25 million to oppose Prop. 30 and gave $425,000 to Newsom’s recall campaign, according to filings.
Heising has reported net worth of around $3 billion, according to Influence Watch. He is also chairman of the Environmental Defense Fund, a large climate activist group that has not taken a public stance on Proposition 30.
Numerous environmental groups including California Environmental Voters, The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Coalition for Clean Air have publically endorsed the measure as they believe that it will help reduce emissions and prevent climate change, according to the Yes on 30 website.
“The elites in California have always felt that they are exempt from the rules that the masses have to comply with,” Turner said. “Newsom ignored his own rules during the COVID lockdowns by ensuring that his vineyards stayed open and going out to dinner and this is no different.”
Chair of The Gap’s governance and sustainability committee, Robert J. Fisher, has shelled out $980,000 to oppose California’s EV tax, according to campaign finance records. Fisher, who has a net worth of $1.1 billion, donated over $36,000 to Newsom’s 2018 and 2022 campaigns.
Wonderful Company Founder and Chairman Stewart Resnick, who has a net worth of $8 billion, spent $50,000 to oppose Proposition 30, disclosures show. He also donated $125,000 to Newsom’s 2021 recall campaign.
Newsom has pursued an aggressive climate agenda in California, signing as many as 40 bills targeting oil production and pollution on Sept. 16, claiming that he was “just getting started” with climate action, according to a press release.
However, the Democrat declared in a political ad that Proposition 30 is a “trojan horse” that was disguised as a climate provision by Lyft, a rideshare company that he claimed is trying to benefit from the provision. Lyft and other ridesharing companies must ensure that their vehicle fleets consist of only EVs by 2030 to comply with a separate CARB rule that went into effect on Oct. 1.
Proposition 30 could help Lyft as it would raise money to help the company’s drivers buy electric cars. The company has also spent over $45 million to get Proposition 30 passed, however, a Lyft spokeswoman previously told the DCNF that none of the law’s money was “earmarked” for the rideshare industry.
“If Gavin Newsom, really wanted to advance his green agenda for climate reasons he would do the opposite of what he is doing,” Turner stated.
Newsom’s office, Netflix, The Environmental Defense Fund and The Wonderful Company did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. The Heising-Simons Foundation and The Gap also did not respond to requests for comment.
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