Republican Leaders Call on Newsom to Release PaneraGate Documents

Public records request includes “bakery exemption” documents, communications between Newsom admin & donor.

SACRAMENTO – Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher and Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones have sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom requesting records from his office to shed light on the origin and negotiation process of the “bakery exemption” to California’s fast-food labor law that has been at the center of the PaneraGate scandal. 

The letter calls on the governor to release all documents related to the exception, as well as communications between his administration and Greg Flynn (the Newsom donor who will reportedly benefit from the deal) and his representatives. 

It’s a heck of a coincidence that this deal, crafted in secret, just happens to carve out one of Newsom’s major donors,” said Gallagher. “If Gavin didn’t do anything wrong here, let’s see him prove it. Californians need answers, not just another politician saying ‘trust me.’” 

Obviously, the big group meetings weren’t where the Panera Bread exemption was made,” said Jones. “It was in private meetings and conversations. If Governor Newsom is as innocent as he claims, he should be eager to clear his name by handing over these records.” 

While Newsom and Flynn have used carefully-worded statements to distance Flynn from the exception, the bill’s author has denied any knowledge of its origin and no other party to the negotiations has admitted to crafting the policy.

In their letter, the Republican leaders acknowledge some of these documents may be exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, but they call on the governor to release them voluntarily to address the public’s concerns about the appearance of corruption in this issue.

The records request to the governor is available HERE.