Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, pushed for state funding that benefits her own nonprofit.
Siebel Newsom is credited as a driving force behind the $4.7 billion in mental health funding that her husband championed last year. The initiative included hiring 10,000 school counselors.
Siebel Newsom, meanwhile, founded The Representation Project nonprofit, which touches on mental health issues. The group licenses “gender justice” films and curricula to thousands of public schools in every state and has raked in at least $1.5 million in revenue from fees since 2012.
However, in California, the billions in mental health funding will also create greater demand for Siebel Newsom’s nonprofit, ultimately boosting its bottom line. Loretta Whitson, the director of the California Association of School Counselors, which represents 3,000 public school counselors, acknowledged as much following the investment.
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“While the governor’s recent investment will add additional school counselors to the workforce, there will be an even greater need to access films and curriculum support material such as Siebel Newsom’s documentary series,” Whitson told EdSource in November. “(We) would love to work with her and support her efforts.”
Siebel Newsom’s influence in the Golden State expanded after Gov. Newsom created The Office of the First Partner in 2019, which includes nine staffers and has received nearly $5 million in funding. From this office, Siebel Newsom can promote her policy agenda with the help of taxpayer funds.
The first partner also deals with children’s mental health concerns through The Representation Project, which she established in 2012 to fight “sexism through films education, research and activism.” She writes and directs “gender identity” films produced through her for-profit operation, Girls Club Entertainment. Public schools then license the movies from her nonprofit by paying fees ranging between $49 and $599.
Siebel Newsom’s films, which include “Miss Representation,” “The Mask You Live In,” “The Great American Lie” and “Fair Play,” sometimes contain sexually explicit imagery and at points push students to feel “shame and sorrow” about American society split by privilege and oppression, Fox News Digital previously reported.
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Several of Siebel Newsom’s movies also promote her husband. The curriculum accompanying the films pushes students into political and social activism, including urging students to gather friends and vote for politicians that support a “care economy” that “embraces universal human values.”
“The Newsoms might consider their legalized pay-to-play scheme a virtuous circle,” said Open The Books founder Adam Andrzejewski, whose watchdog group has extensively tracked Siebel Newsom’s nonprofit and shared its findings with Fox News Digital. “In fact, it’s a model of endless mutual benefit for the friends and members of Newsom, Inc. – that’s paid for by taxpayers. It’s a closed-loop system. The Newsoms create the problems, ‘solve’ them, and cash checks along the way.”
Gov. Newsom said the COVID-19 pandemic added more stress for children when he unveiled the billions toward mental health initiatives. His policies in response to the pandemic, including his lockdown measures, were some of the strictest in the country. In May 2021, only half of California’s schools were open for in-person instruction.
“Our investigation illustrates the power Siebel Newsom has to both lay the groundwork for her social and political agenda in classrooms and then put on her hat as first partner to advocate and implement hard policy changes,” Andrzejewski continued. “As wins stack up for the governor to tout, so, too, do they stack up for Siebel Newsom’s nonprofit, her production house and even special interest groups like the California Association of School Counselors.”
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The Representation Project previously came under scrutiny after the Sacramento Bee reported that several of its publicly disclosed donors were also trying to influence Gov. Newsom.
Siebel Newsom’s nonprofit also recently operated while out of compliance in the state. While it’s unclear exactly when the nonprofit slipped into delinquency, a rejected filing in the state charitable database from nearly one year ago was the last to appear as of Jan. 11.
Delinquent nonprofits cannot operate or solicit funds as they remain out of good standing. The Representation Project, however, still moved forward after its rejected annual filing and throughout 2022, including holding lavish fundraising events, Fox News Digital previously reported.
However, on Jan. 12, the day Fox News Digital published its initial report, The Representation Project scrambled to file paperwork to the attorney general’s office, which was immediately processed and pushed the group back into good standing, even though the process typically takes days or even months.
The Representation Project did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.