California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D.) wife has charged the state’s public schools as much as $1.5 million to screen her documentaries on “gender justice” and “corporate exploitation.”
“First Partner” Jennifer Siebel Newsom has raised nearly $1.5 million from film licenses and nearly $1.7 million from sales since 2012, according to the watchdog group Open the Books. Her nonprofit, the Representation Project, charges schools an average $270 to license documentaries like The Great American Lie, which says sexism causes economic inequality, and Fair Play, about women who want to do less housework. While the group does not specify how much it earned from schools, Open the Books says it could easily account for all or nearly all her $1.5 million in streaming revenue.
Siebel Newsom’s nonprofit could pose an ethical problem for her husband as he considers a presidential run. The Representation Project drew criticism in 2019 for accepting $358,000 in donations from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the utility company responsible for some of the state’s worst wildfires. PG&E is listed as an associate producer on two of Siebel Newsom’s films and hosted a screening of her first movie, Miss Representation, in 2011, when Newsom was mayor of San Francisco.
PG&E isn’t the only Newsom donor with ties to the Representation Project. The governor and his wife for years have raised money from the same donors and corporations—he for his political campaigns and she for her nonprofit.