Scandal Erupts In California Over Attorney General's Wife Overseeing His Budget

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Feb 18, 2023 - 02:20 AM

A political scandal has erupted in California, after it was revealed that Attorney General Bob Bonta's (D) wife, assemblymember Mia Bonta (D), is in charge of his budget.

Attorney General of California Rob Bonta, left, and his wife, Assemblymember Mia Bonta, mingle with state lawmakers and staff before Gov. Newsom’s 2022 State of the State address in Sacramento. Xavier Mascareñas Sacramento Bee file

On Friday morning, journalist Ashley Zavala cornered Mia Bonta to ask about conflicts of interest and whether she will recuse herself from overseeing her husband, to which Bonta replied "There is no violation of ethical rules in my holding this position."

When pressed, Bonta became hostile.

On Thursday, Zavala asked Governor Gavin Newsom (D) if it's ethical for Bonta to lead the budget committee that oversees her husband, to which Newsom suggested he had no idea this was happening.

The conflict is so ripe that the editorial boards of the Sacramento Bee and the Fresno Bee chimed in, in an op-ed titled: "Lawmaker Mia Bonta should not oversee the budget for the CA attorney general — her husband."

California Assemblymember Mia Bonta will now help determine the budget for California Attorney General Rob Bonta. If that sounds suspicious to you, then you’re in good company.

Let us explain: Rob Bonta is California’s attorney general. His wife Mia Bonta is an Assemblymember representing Oakland and other parts of the East Bay. Both are Democrats and leading voices in their party.

Mia Bonta has been appointed by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to chair a budget subcommittee that has responsibility for public safety agencies. Included in that mix is the California Attorney General’s Office.

While Rob Bonta was an Assemblymember, he made donations to his wife’s foundation that, while not illegal, raised ethical questions. Now Mia Bonta is the one skirting to the edge of proper, ethical practice.

Sacramento’s NBC affiliate KCRA broke the news about Mia Bonta’s appointment and Rendon’s defense of it. The Assembly speaker said he sees no issue.

"I believe Ms. Bonta will continue to be independent and unbiased in her legislative judgment, as she has been since starting her service in the Assembly," said Rendon, adding that the assembly has a "robust and transparent budget process designed with checks and balances to ensure the best possible budget is passed."

Unsurprisingly, when Zavala polled California's 80-member assembly over the issue, 59 wouldn't comment, five said Mia Bonta overseeing her husband's budget was inappropriate, and 14 said it was just fine.

Broken down by party, no Republicans said "yes," while just one Democrat said "no."

Amazing how they circle the wagons, no?