PaneraGate: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Biggest ‘Blunder’ Since French LaundryGate


by Katy Grimes at

We now know that California Governor Gavin Newsom exempted a billionaire buddy from California’s new $20 minimum wage law. Billionaire Greg Flynn owns more than two dozen Panera Bread locations in California, as well as Applebee’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s, the Globe reported.

And Flynn has contributed at least $164,800 to Newsom’s political campaigns, the New York Post reported.

“In 2014, Flynn, who is the largest franchisee in the US with thousands of brands including Applebee’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Wendy’s, acquired a Napa Valley resort that was managed by Newsom’s hospitality firm, according to disclosure forms.” Ahem. Good friend.

And as the Globe noted, “This is what corruption in plain sight looks like.”

KCRA Channel 3 reported Monday that 6 months ago they asked Gov. Newsom about this exemption for Panera Bread in AB 1228 by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Los Angeles).

The Globe found the language in the bill, which appears to be the exact business model for Panera Bread:“Fast food restaurant” shall not include an establishment that on September 15, 2023, operates a bakery that produces for sale on the establishment’s premises bread, as defined under Part 136 of Subchapter B of Chapter I of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, so long as it continues to operate such a bakery. This exemption applies only where the establishment produces for sale bread as a stand-alone menu item, and does not apply if the bread is available for sale solely as part of another menu item. (emphasis the Globe)