Photo by Toni Atkins Twitter feed
Atkins and Newsom. Atkins’s state senate reelection bid took in a total of $2200 from Tesla in March and June of last year.
Those wondering why Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez’s twitter attack on electric car and space rocket maven Elon Musk for opening his Tesla-making plant in violation of COVID-19 quarantine rules wasn't more widely endorsed by fellow Democrats might look to Musk's political giving.
Two San Diego legislators, state senate pro-tem Toni Atkins and Assembly member Shirley Weber, both Democrats, have each received contributions from Tesla. In addition, San Diego city council Democrat Chris Ward's 2020 state Assembly campaign got $1000 from Tesla on March 28 of last year.
Shirley Weber picked up $2000 from Tesla on March 14, 2019.
Atkins’s state senate reelection bid took in a total of $2200 from Tesla in March and June of last year, according to the auto manufacturer's major donor disclosure report for 2019, and Weber picked up $2000 on March 14, 2019.
Tesla's top nine contributions to California campaigns, ranging from $4700 for Sylvia Rubio for Assembly to $2800 to Rudy Salas, all went to Democrats, with the GOP's Heath Flora tying Democrats Steve Glazer, James Ramos, and Blanca Rubio for tenth place with $2500.
The Asian Pacific Islander Leadership PAC, which backs Democrats, got $5,000, as did the Bay Area Legislative Leaders PAC, also benefiting Democrats. In all, Tesla spent $102,212 on state politics last year, the disclosure data shows.
Chris Ward's 2020 state Assembly campaign got $1000 from Tesla on March 28, 2019.
Gonzalez went after Musk with her "F*ck Elon Musk" tweet on May 9 after the car titan announced he would re-open Tesla's San Francisco Bay Area car-making plant despite Alameda County's ban on such operations during the COVID-19 crisis.
While Alameda county and city of Fremont officials tried to negotiate for settlement of the dispute, Musk threatened to sue the county, move to Nevada, and proceeded with opening the California factory, the Mercury News reported.
"We are the enforcement agency, but as of now, they are negotiating, so we're basically hoping those negotiations go well. So, we're not stepping in at this point," Fremont Councilman Vinnie Bacon, a sometimes dissident Democrat said.
"I think that's the more prudent approach as opposed to going in guns blazing," Bacon told the paper.
"Tesla is an important partner for the city of Fremont and a part of Silicon Valley," said Fremont Councilman Raj Salwan, reported by the Eastbay Citizen to be a Democratic stalwart. According to the Mercury News, Salwan owns a Tesla and said he "loves his car, 'but no one is above the law.'"
"I'm not advocating for arresting Elon," Salwan added. "But I'm sure there are ways to cease (Tesla's) operations, especially considering we are only a few days away from re-opening of manufacturing."
Meanwhile, Gonzalez has been getting political cash from a company in another car-related field. On March 27, her so-called ballot measure committee, called Our Voice, Our Vote, received $15,000 from the Motor Vehicle Software Corporation, dba ViTu, of Agoura Hills, which sells electronic vehicle registration software.
On February 20, Blue Shield of California came up with $18,800, adding to the $6200 it gave on March 19, 2019. Committee expenses included fundraising costs of $2,920 for a "portion of Lodging for 18 Guests" at the posh Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa on May 17 of last year.
Other contributions to the Gonzalez ballot measure committee included the September 12. 2019 receipt of $5200 from the Los Angeles Police Protective League PAC, now battling liberal George Gascón in his run-off against incumbent L.A. District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
On September 10. the police protective league had given $15,500 to Gonzalez's 2022 campaign for California secretary of state.