Some relief workers in the Pajaro, California, area flooded by recent rains are furious after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) promised $42 million of aid — but only $300,000 is, in fact, available.
The confusion happened when Newsom, visiting the site of flooding on Wednesday after a nearby levee broke, promised $42 million — which had actually been allocated for coronavirus relief under a bill signed by then- President Donald Trump in 2020.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported:
Flanked by Monterey County law enforcement and other officials at the edge of the flood zone Wednesday, Newsom said, “I want folks to know, you may know this, but it’s important to reinforce today, March 15, United Way was able to get $42 million from USDA and they’re starting to send out $600 checks for farmworkers regardless of their immigration status.”
“I do appreciate the chance to clarify,” said Katy Castagna, president of United Way Monterey County. She noted that the county’s share of the statewide $42 million comes to $300,000, and “in the coming days we’ll be developing our strategy for distributing that relief.”
Pajaro is a predominantly Latino and Hispanic community just south of Watsonville, according to census data. Many of its approximately 3,000 residents are farmworkers and undocumented.
One relief worker called Newsom’s misleading claim a “slap in the face.”
Newsom has overstated the extent of his own plans before. Capitol Public Radio reported in 2021 that Newsom had overstated the progress of his wildfire prevention program by 690%.
Newsom was absent on a personal trip in Baja California, Mexico, as the state endured storms and deadly blizzards. He visited Pajaro a day before launching a series of campaign-style speeches throughout the state that are meant to replace his annual “State of the State” address — though some residents in mountain communities were still trapped in their homes this week.
The first speech, on Thursday, featured half an hour of warmup speakers. Newsom spoke for a short period, promising to reduce homelessness by 15% statewide. He also announced that the state would sponsor 1,200 “tiny homes” for the homeless in various California cities.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.