Monday, December 14, 2020

Hollywood Deployed Lobbyists to Win Exemptions to Strict California Lockdown

By Lee Fang - December 14, 2020 at 09:59AM


Last month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom was caught violating his own warnings against multiple households dining together indoors. The Democratic governor was spotted at the French Laundry, an exclusive restaurant north of San Francisco, where he was celebrating the birthday of longtime friend Jason Kinney.

The dinner controversy was more than just an opulent display of political double standards — it also highlighted the backroom efforts to maintain special treatment during the pandemic. Kinney, a veteran political operative, is a lobbyist for a number of interests seeking to shape the rules governing life under the pandemic, including what kind of economic activities are deemed essential in order to stay in business.

The inside track may have paid off. One of Kinney’s clients, Netflix, has been allowed to continue to operate during the latest round of forced closures that began last week as intensive care hospital capacity has dwindled across the state.

The entertainment industry has been given extensive leeway to operate during the pandemic, even as California now faces a stay-at-home order. The state has deemed the television and movie production industry as “critical infrastructure” and has allowed Hollywood studios to continue filming projects, including in Los Angeles, which is facing the most strict lockdown order.

Many studios are still filming shows across Los Angeles, including HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method,” along with at least 40 feature films that began filming in November. Sony Pictures told investors that it began to ramp up its production schedule back in July.

This stands in sharp contrast to the strict rules applied to the average California resident or small business. Californians in many counties now face fines or imprisonment for venturing outside for any “nonessential” travel, congregating in small groups, or operating an outdoor restaurant, even one that follows federal guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.

Kinney is just one of many entertainment industry lobbyists who has sought to influence the governor’s office over essential work and coronavirus response rules. Sony Pictures, Walt Disney and Co., Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers Entertainment, and the Motion Picture Association, the trade group for major Hollywood studios, deployed lobbyists to influence California state officials during the pandemic, disclosures show.

Warner Brothers, for instance, spent $22,500 earlier this year on lobbyists contacting the governor’s office for “COVID/OUTREACH, TV/FILM PRODUCTION,” according to a disclosure. The Motion Picture Association spent $45,000 on lobbyists to shape the “COVID-19 Reopening of film/tv sector.” Paramount Pictures has spent at least $85,000 this year on the “essential business” rules developed by state agencies in California.

Netflix nearly tripled spending on lobbying in California as the pandemic hit the state. The streaming giant, according to filings, spent an average of about $24,437 a quarter on efforts to influence state policymakers in 2019. This year, during the pandemic, Netflix’s lobbying fees jumped to an average of $70,725 a quarter. The jump in spending includes increased fees to Axiom Advisors, the firm founded by Kinney.

The movie studios, Kinney, and the governor’s office did not respond to a request for comment. The Motion Picture Association referred The Intercept to a previous statement from the group noting that the industry has worked with union and guild partners “for reaching consensus on health and safety guidelines for motion picture, television and streaming productions in response to COVID-19.”

Read the rest here.

from Ron Paul Institute Featured Articles


No comments:

Post a Comment


Ron Paul America Cloud

Site Credits

Ron Paul America

is voluntarily affiliated with

Liberty Operations Group


Site created, maintained and hosted by

Liberty Web Services


#TurnOnTheTruth 2008 2012 4th amendment 911 ACTION Afghanistan war Agency Aggression Principle al-Qaeda Alan Colmes Alert America America's Fault Americans antigun AR 15 assault weapon Audit Authoritarian bailouts Believe Big Brother big government bill of rights Blame blowback bubbles Bush Campaign for Liberty Career Politician Eric Cantor Central Bank Charity China churches collapse Collectivism Commission committee Compassion Congress Conservative constitution Crash dangerous person Democrat Democrats Donald Trump Donald Trump. Planned Parenthood drones economic Economy Edward Snowden End the Fed European Union Federal Reserve Floyd Bayne floyd bayne for congress force foreign interventionism free market free markets GOP Nominee GOP Presidential Debates Government Great Depression gun control House of Representatives housing bubble HR 1745 I like Ron Paul except on foreign policy If ye love wealth better than liberty IFTTT Individual Individualism Institute Irag Iran Iraq war ISIL ISIS Judge Andrew Napalitano libertarian Liberty Liberty Letters Liberty Report Lost mass Media meltdown metadata Micheal Moore Middle East Mitt Romney nap National Neocons New Ron Paul Ad New York Times Newsletters Newt Gingrich No Non non-interventionism NSA NSA Snooping Obama Overreach overthrow Patriot Act peace Peace and Prosperity politicians Pope Francis President Presidential Presidential Race programs prosperity Race Racist Racist Newsletters Rand Paul Read the Bills Act recessions redistribution of wealth refugee crisis Repeal Obamacare Report Republican Republican Nomination Republican Nominee Republicans Revolution Rick Santorum Rick Santorum Exposed Ron Ron Paul Ron Paul Institute Ron Paul Institute Featured Articles Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity Ron Paul Institute Peace and Prosperity Articles Ron Paul Next Chapter Media Channel Ron Paul Racist Newsletters ron paul's foreign policy Ronald Reagan Rosa DeLauro russia Samuel Adams Saudi Arabia Second Amendment Security Senate Senator September 11th attacks Show Soviet Spying stimulate Stock Market surveillance Syria tech bubble terrorist The the Fed the poor US US foreign policy Us troops USA Freedom Act Virginia Virginia Republican Primary voluntarism. Liberty Voluntary Warner Warning warrantless wiretaps YouTube