Law enforcement is investigating multiple threats of death, arson, and other violent attacks against Gavin Newsom, his family, and businesses owned by the PlumpJack Group, a hospitality company Newsom founded in 1992. The threats have become so frequent and extreme that PlumpJack hired armed guards to protect its shops and wineries, but that hasn’t stopped the flow of “hundreds” of menacing messages aimed at the Governor in recent months, a PlumpJack representative tells the Sacramento Bee.
A voicemail and emails obtained by the paper include graphic threats of sexual attacks against Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a reference to his children, as well as a plot to burn down a PlumpJack winery with the patrons inside.
“The tone and the verbiage of some of these death threats are shocking,” said the rep, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to security concerns. “They are very black-and-white death threats to our employees, to Gavin, his children, his wife.”
Office of Emergency Services spokesman Brian Ferguson declined to discuss specific threats, but confirmed in a statement that they are currently under investigation by law enforcement agencies.
“We can confirm that we are aware of these threats,” Ferguson wrote. “Any threats against elected officials, including public or private property, are taken seriously and closely monitored by the appropriate local, state, or federal law enforcement.”
One reason given for the fury against Newsom is the false belief that he funneled coronavirus aid money into PlumpJack, despite the fact that he placed all his businesses in a blind trust before taking office and has no say in the company’s day-to-day operations. While PlumpJack did receive roughly $2.8 million in business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, those funds are distributed by the federal government, not California.
PlumpJack hired the extra security this summer, just when frustrations with shutdown orders hit a fever pitch and protests against the measures were staged at Newsom’s home and at the State Capitol. Newsom’s popularity has not improved since then.
Newsom won no friends when he appeared to flout COVID-19 rules by sitting down to a fancy dinner with about a dozen pals at French Laundry in November. In December, a GOP-led recall campaign was gaining steam, and now even Democrats are helping that momentum by blasting Newsom for California’s pandemic response.
Earlier this month, FBI agents arrested a Napa Valley man in possession of five pipe bombs and multiple machine guns who may have been planning to target Newsom, and security at the State Capitol was significantly ramped up due to increased threats of domestic terrorism following the January 6 mob attack in Washington, D.C. and in advance of President Joe Biden’s inauguration.