Newsom crony reportedly lobbied city officials to win exclusive LA COVID testing contract

There’s simply no hiding it at this point: The COVID-19 pandemic was extremely profitable for a number of Democrat-connected operatives. Only now are we beginning to see who made out like bandits over the past two years.

As the Daily Caller reported, a close friend of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), a man called Dr. Pedram Salimpour, who happens to be a commissioner of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions board, allegedly lobbied city officials to have his company, Bluestone Safe, be the exclusive COVID-19 testing company for L.A. city employees.

While Salimpour continues to deny the allegations, a series of emails to City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo obtained by media outlets clearly show his efforts to directly pitch a proposal for the lucrative contract.

Szabo would ultimately sign off on the no-bid contract in September, which ended up being a cash cow for the doctor’s private company.

“Influence peddling”

It’s a scheme that has played out over and over again among the nation’s elite and well-connected, and it’s especially rampant in liberal strongholds in California.

“The emails from March 2020 to November 2021 show Salimpour requested a face-to-face meeting with Szabo, who offered to put him in touch with officials at the Los Angeles Personnel Department, the city agency charged with selecting a vendor for the COVID-19 testing contract,” the Los Angeles Daily News reported.

Craig Lally, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, brought the issue to light, calling it yet another addition to a “pattern” of influence peddling among the city’s elite.

Lally went on to say that not only does there appear to be insider influence peddling, but added that BlueStone was far down the list of established, experienced firms that could have handled the contract.

“These emails confirm our worst suspicions that the city rolled out the red carpet for pension Commissioner Pedram Salimpour’s Bluestone testing start-up and the city provided him an advantage over much more experienced COVID-19 testing vendors,” Lally explained.

Denials pour in

All of the parties allegedly involved in the scheme have vehemently denied the allegations to local press, including Mayor Eric Garcetti’s (D) press secretary, Harrison Wollman.

“This contract was awarded transparently, and in accordance with the normal procedure,” Wollman said, though the emails clearly paint a different picture of what actually happened behind the scenes.

As it stands, the Los Angeles Police Protective League is already pursuing litigation over the matter, and it has demanded an investigation. Only time will tell if the truth ever sees the light of day and those involved are held accountable, but given that it’s Los Angeles, one would be wise not to bet money on that outcome.

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