Gov Newsom Visits His CCP-Tied Donor in China

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Looking to beef up his nonexistent foreign policy expertise, future presidential contender Gavin Newsom traveled to China to discuss climate change.

While there, he visited the Shenzhen facility of an electric automobile manufacturer, Build Your Dreams. He tested their newest product.

An imported car from China would be cost prohibitive for most people, given the California state and federal fees (taxes). It’s also not ideal because of their rolling blackouts.

California has already invested heavily in Chinese battery maker BYD, and they supply their electric buses. Unfortunately, the buses don’t perform well and have many mechanical problems.

According to a  Los Angeles Times investigative report, the buses stall on hills and require more service calls than older buses. To say nothing of their unpredictable driving ranges below what they advertise. Heat, cold, and drivers’ braking habits also affect the car’s functioning.

In November of 2018, the City of Albuquerque returned its BYD buses. Mayor Tim Keller rejected all of the 15 BYD buses due to poor performance.

THEN BYD WENT TO PPES DURING THE PANDEMIC

BYD started making masks during the pandemic, and Newsom signed on.

Newsom unveiled a $316 million contract for 420 million masks with BYD, the same Chinese manufacturer with whom the governor struck a controversial and highly publicized $1 billion deal in April. BYD missed several delivery deadlines after first failing to earn mask certification from federal health officials.

The Food and Drug Administration rolled out an emergency approval process for China-based suppliers, aiming to let quality products in and keep fraudulent ones out.

The first company the FDA approved has been prohibited by law from bidding for some federal contracts in the United States. Although the company, BYD, is a major global player in the electric vehicle and lithium battery markets, it also has glaring red flags on its record, experts warn. They have a history of supplying allegedly faulty products to the U.S., and they have ties to the Chinese military and Communist Party, and possible links to slave labor.

So, Newsom gave them a no-bid $1.4 billion contract for masks. They had no experience in making masks.  There was no vetting of the masks.

Newsom regularly awards no-bid contracts to donors and BYD is one.

BYD

California Globe’s Katy Grimes found the prominent lobbyist who represents BYD is Mark Weideman of The Weideman Group. The governor’s campaign received $40,000 from BYD’s automotive division.

  • March 2018: The President of the manufacturer BYD contributed $20,000 to Newsom
  • November 2019: President of BYD contributed $20,000 to Newsom
  • April 2020: BYD received $990 million no-bid contract for masks, later extended by $316 million

BYD contacted California officials at the beginning of the pandemic and said it could churn out surgical and N95 masks at a rapid clip at its Chinese manufacturing sites.

The agreement — which many legislators first found out about from Newsom’s appearance on MSNBC — raised questions and controversy. For weeks, Newsom’s office refused to release the contract despite requests from lawmakers and the press.

In May, the company had to return about a quarter-billion dollars to the state for failing to meet a certification deadline for the masks. After delivering masks over the coming months, Newsom extended the contract in July for another $316 million.

Congress was so concerned about BYD’s ties to the CCP that a bipartisan bill banning the use of federal funds to purchase BYD’s electric buses was passed that went into effect at the end of 2021.


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