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For the last two decades, Gavin Newsom has been rising to the highest levels of California politics. At the same time, he also has become a multimillionaire businessman, with an upscale chain of wine stores, wineries, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels and retail shops stretching from the Bay Area and Napa Valley to Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs. While Newsom has focused his campaign for governor on his progressive politics, he also has touted his success as an entrepreneur and jobs creator, citing the 23 businesses and employees under the umbrella of his PlumpJack Group.
Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa hammered him during the primary campaign for making millions in the wine industry while serving as lieutenant governor. Newsom, who declined to be interviewed for this article, has defended himself against the attacks, downplaying the involvement of billionaire Gordon Getty, a longtime family friend who was the first investor in the businesses more than 25 years ago and still has a stake in some.
All are part of a privately held collection of limited-liability corporations and holding companies, many with multiple investors. Their actual values and ownership stakes are difficult to determine because that information is not publicly available. His Airelle Wines Inc. The economic interest statements are an imprecise gauge of wealth. Newsom has made no secret of his longstanding business and personal ties to the descendants of the late oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, at one time the most wealthy man in the world. His father, William A. After his parents split when he was 2, Newsom and his sister Hilary were raised mainly by their mother, Tessa, a bookkeeper and secretary who sometimes worked more than one job to make ends meet.
As a youngster, he traveled with Getty, his wife Ann and their family to Africa, the Grand Canyon and other destinations that would have been out of reach for a single mom with two kids. In light of such gestures, Newsom has been quick to note that, although close friends with the Gettys, he never forgot who his real family was. A year after Brown appointed Newsom to the parking commission, he tapped him in to fill a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Newsom later was elected mayor and, after taking office in , announced that he had divested of his businesses in San Francisco to avoid any conflicts.
Getty also loaned Newsom an undisclosed sum to buy back his stakes, according to his disclosure. His opponent, Cox, also a multimillionaire, has attempted to contrast his business record with that of Newsom. Phil Willon covers Gov. Column: Congress has a chance to take bipartisan action on Facebook. All Sections. About Us. B2B Publishing. Business Visionaries. Hot Property. Times Events. Times Store. Facebook Twitter Show more sharing options Share Close extra sharing options. By Kim Christensen, Phil Willon. Phil Willon. Follow Us twitter instagram facebook.
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