Opinion: Gavin Newsom’s cronyism threatens families like mine

Published on

French Laundry debacle, appointment of top aide raise serious questions about who the governor really represents

Op-Ed commentary by Charles Johnson, MERCURY NEWS

December 17, 2020


Gavin Newsom’s appointment as a top aide of Jim DeBoo, a protégé of his French Laundry dining partner and friend Jason Kinney, raises serious questions about who the governor really represents.

My wife tragically died after giving birth to our second son because a negligent physician disregarded her internal bleeding for 10 hours. She is one of too many African American women who die every year in childbirth, four times more often than any other group of women.

Shortly after the delivery I noticed blood in Kira’s catheter. We begged and pleaded but our cries for help were ignored.

The racial bias in California’s health care system led to my sons’ being robbed of one of the world’s greatest mothers. Black women patients’ pain and symptoms should not and can no longer be undermined or ignored. I have not come to a place of forgiveness because I have not found accountability. We must have justice before we can heal.

A California law unchanged since 1975 caps damages in medical malpractice claims and prevents accountability. Kinney and DeBoo, both registered lobbyists, are responsible for keeping the 1975 act in place. Over the past 10 years, they have been paid more than $2.8 million by the medical establishment to keep the cap.

Kinney’s political influence and 20 years’ acquaintanceship with Newsom was on display at the now-infamous dinner celebration for Kinney at the French Laundry, where an unmasked governor sat intimately with Kinney and his patrons, the president and the top lobbyist for the California Medical Association.

For me, the governor’s attendance displayed more than inexcusable hypocrisy. It showed how elite backdoor relationships with interests that spend heavily to influence state policy can uphold unjust laws for decades.

I have tried to meet with Newsom for over a year but our requests have been denied.

His latest refusal, in the wake of the French Laundry fiasco, is both maddening and inexcusable. Nominating DeBoo as his top advisor is doubling down on terrible judgment.

Newsom expressed remorse at being caught dining in the middle of a pandemic with major lobbyists but he is making it clear that the pain and suffering of victims and families are simply not worth equal time.

Families of injured patients like mine have taken matters into our own hands.

One year ago, we began a signature-gathering drive that has qualified a ballot measure to amend the unjust cap and make it comparable to 33 other states. The Fairness Act will be on the November 2022 ballot. We launched the campaign at the political landmark Frank Fat’s, site of a 1987 backroom deal by the medical and insurance interests Kinney and DeBoo represent that cemented medical negligence caps in place for another three decades.

My push for change is bigger than my family’s story. It is about hundreds of thousands of Californians who have been brutally injured or permanently disfigured. Far too many have tragically died. None of these families will ever be the same and there is no way for them to seek justice.

This is the governor’s moment to rebuild public trust and choose compassion for families who have been victimized by California’s medical establishment.

To do that, Newsom will have to step outside the glass walls of the French Laundry and choose California over Kinney and DeBoo. He should meet with me man-to-man, husband-to-husband, father-to-father, and take honorable action to amend unjust laws.

Charles Johnson is the founder of 4Kira4Moms and the chair of the Fairness Act.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdoghttps://consumerwatchdog.org
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

Latest Healthcare Videos

Video thumbnail
KERO-BFL (ABC) - Bakersfield, CA: Crystal Guijarro Rodriguez on the Negligence of Doctors
Video thumbnail
KERO-BFL (ABC) - Bakersfield, CA: "DO NO HARM: Loss and Liability in the Medical Field"
Video thumbnail
KFMB-SD (CBS) - San Diego, CA: Hundreds Wrongly Told They May Have Cancer
Video thumbnail
KERO-BFL (ABC) - Bakersfield, CA: Larcenia Taylor on the Loss of Her Husband James Taylor
Video thumbnail
KERO-BFL (ABC) - Bakersfield, CA: Monica De La Rosa Speaks About the Loss of her Daughter Sabrina
Video thumbnail
KERO-BFL (ABC) - Bakersfield, CA: Tracy Dominguez Speaks About The Loss of Her Daughter and Grandson
Video thumbnail
KERO-BFL (ABC) - Bakersfield, CA: Michele Ramos Speaks About Loss and Liability in the Medical Field
Video thumbnail
KGET - Consumer Watchdog Advocates Note The Importance of Making Change Within The Healthcare System
Video thumbnail
ABC - Bakersfield, CA; Consumer Watchdog Shows Support in Honor of the Latina Maternal Health Fair
Video thumbnail
KABC- Los Angeles, CA; Pathways Medical in Toluca Lake Owner Falsely Claims to be A Licensed Doctor
Video thumbnail
Spectrum News; CW Argues Senate Bill 815's Proposed Changes Aren't Enough To Protect Patients
Video thumbnail
WABI (CBS) - Bangor, ME; Consumer Watchdog's Jerry Flanagan Speaks Upon Medical Debt Reform
Video thumbnail
KBAK-TV; Bakersfield Report on EuroPhoria
Video thumbnail
KGO - San Francisco, CA; The Shortest, Most Expensive Ambulance Ride
Video thumbnail
23 (ABC); Tracy Dominguez and Selena Alvarez Seek Justice At The Osteopathic Medical Board Meeting
Video thumbnail
CBS 8: Chula Vista Plastic Surgeon Charged With Manslaughter Still In Practice
Video thumbnail
KTLA - Los Angeles, CA; Consumer Watchdog Group Members Calling For A Patient Bill of Rights
Video thumbnail
KNBC - Los Angeles, CA; Medical Board Member TJ Watkins Calls On Californians To Help
Video thumbnail
KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA: Gov Newsom Signs Bill To Increase Med Mal Damages Cap
Video thumbnail
KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA: Local Family Supports Passage of AB 35 To Raise Med Mal Cap in CA
Video thumbnail
KNSD NBC TV-7 San Diego, CA: CA Bill Seeks to Raise Medical Malpractice Damages Cap
Video thumbnail
KOVR CBS TV-13 Sacramento, CA: How Will State Raising Medical Malpractice Cap Affect Patients?
Video thumbnail
KERO ABC TV-23 Bakersfield, CA: Families of Malpractice Victims Push for Doctor Accountability
Video thumbnail
KABC TV-7 Los Angeles, CA: Victims of Medical Malpractice Demand Changes at California Medical Board
Video thumbnail
KCBS TV-2 Los Angeles, CA: COVD Testing Lab Defrauding Consumers in California
Video thumbnail
KCAL TV 9, CBS, Los Angeles: GOP healthcare plan may bring back the days of junk insurance
Video thumbnail
KCAL TV-9 Los Angeles, CA: What Consumers Should Know About Potential Obamacare Changes
Video thumbnail
Bernie Sanders speaks for Prop 61!
Video thumbnail
Exposed: Trump's Health Plan
Video thumbnail
AHF's Michael Weinstein speaks for Prop 61
Video thumbnail
CURES: How Far We Have Come
Video thumbnail
Who Does Your Doctor Care About Protecting?
Video thumbnail
Bernie Sanders at Prop 61 rally
Video thumbnail
"Your Money or Your Life" (Trailer #1)
Video thumbnail
"Your Money or Your Life" (Trailer #2)
Video thumbnail
KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA: Push To Reform CA State Medical Board Advances
Video thumbnail
KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA: Two Years Since Childbirth Tragedy By Alleged Medical Negligence
Video thumbnail
KGET NBC TV-17 Bakersfield, CA: Dominguez Family Testifies At Med Board Hearing To Get Justice

Latest Healthcare Releases

Healthcare In The News

Latest Healthcare Report

Support Consumer Watchdog

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, press releases and special reports.

More Healthcare Releases