Utah Nomi Health expands in Hawaii and donates to Dems in blue state

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As Nomi Health expands in Hawaii, the company, its CEO and others associated with the Utah business have donated the highest amount, or near the legal limit, to Democratic campaigns in the politically blue state, USA TODAY found.

In the year In the 2022 election cycle for six prominent Hawaii Democrats — whose party controls the governor’s office and state legislature — It’s after Republican governors in five states have donated to GOP campaigns. Nomi Fundraiser for Covid-19 Testing, No Bids.

Nomi, CEO Mark Newman and others associated with the company have given nearly $35,000 to Hawaii Democrats since December, most of it to Democratic candidate and gubernatorial front-runner Lt. There were no contributions to Republicans, who had little political power in Hawaii.

Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green speaks at a press conference at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oct. 15, 2020, in Honolulu.
Hawaii Lt. Gov. Josh Green speaks at a press conference at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Oct. 15, 2020, in Honolulu.
Marco Garcia, AP

The money is a fraction of the more than $1 million that Domo, a Nomi subcontractor, gave to Republican campaigns after Nomi was adopted. Testing contracts were found today in Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Tennessee and Utah, USA.

Compared to states with no or high campaign contribution limits, Hawaii has A relatively low maximum giving cap, $6,000, is what a person or entity can give to a gubernatorial candidate, according to Green.

Newman gave the largest amount to the candidate, who is a doctor, while Newman’s wife, Amber, and the company itself gave $5,000 each to the lieutenant governor.

Nomi has registered as a “non-candidate committee” similar to a political action committee to make corporate campaign contributions in Hawaii.

Hawaii Campaign Expenditure Commission In the year On Aug. 26, Commission Associate Director Tony Baldomero said Nomi was fined $500 for failing to report corporate political donations to Green.

Baldomero said it is common for non-candidate corporate committees not to report their political contributions. He added that the commission, acting on an anonymous tip, launched a month ago to find out whether Nomi had any Hawaii government contracts that barred the company from making campaign contributions.

“We know they have 11 places, but we couldn’t get a (government) contract,” he said. “So there’s nothing there.”

Newman confirmed his company currently does not have any government contracts in Hawaii, and is offering services at independent retail locations and toll cities. County fees for renting space.

Nomi spokeswoman Maggie Habib said the company “supports local community organizations across Hawai’i and stands behind local leaders like Dr. Green. Nomi deeply respects her approach to uplifting the entire community in education, homelessness, health care and more.” She also said the Newman family lived part-time in Hawaii and that campaign contribution penalties are normal given the way Hawaii rules are set up.

Based on more than 30,000 documents and dozens of interviews, a USA Today study found that business connections, financial and connected political leaders tipped the balance in favor of Nomi Health, subcontractors and suppliers during the pandemic. These state Republican leaders awarded Nomi contracts for tens of thousands of Covid-19 tests and PPE despite the company’s lack of experience.

In March 2020, when the outbreak began, Nomi joined three other Utah companies to begin offering COVID-19 testing in Utah and four other states, costing Nomi at least $219 million, with at least one no-bid contract in each state.

Brigham Young University-Hawaii selected Nomi to offer weekly Covid-19 testing in December 2020, and the company has provided behavioral health services to nurses and first responders. Nomi has grown its presence in Hawaii this spring, offering free cholesterol and blood pressure screenings at health fairs.

Mark Newman (right) is a successful entrepreneur who founded Nomi Health in 2019 to tackle healthcare.  He had no public health experience, but his company has become the face of the public health crisis by offering COVID-19 testing in several states, including his home state of Utah.  His company received $110 million in funding from new investors on December 8, 2021.  Joshua Walker (left) is co-founder and COO at Nomi Health.
Mark Newman (right) is a successful entrepreneur who founded Nomi Health in 2019 to tackle healthcare. He had no public health experience, but his company has become the face of the public health crisis by offering COVID-19 testing in several states, including his home state of Utah. His company received $110 million in funding from new investors on December 8, 2021. Joshua Walker (left) is co-founder and COO at Nomi Health.
iki Chan Wiley for America Today

“To this day, we’re testing Hawaiian as a service at no cost and we’re ‘thank you’ to the community,” Newman said. He added that Nomi is presenting health fairs “because the basic health care of the state is very weak.

Almost all of the campaign contributions to Hawaii politicians, who are running for the legislature and lieutenant governor, came after Nomi announced in December that it had raised $110 million from new investors. The company bought at least three more businesses, including Artemis Health, which paid Green nearly $5,600 about six months after the acquisition.

Nomi also gave $3,000 to Sylvia Luke, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor and chair of the House Finance Committee. The company has contributed $1,000 each to four lawmakers seeking re-election, including the chairs of the health committees in the state House and Senate.

Sitting at the table

Newman previously told USA TODAY that campaign contributions were made in part to ensure Nomi would continue to “be at the table” and compete with other businesses for future health contracts.

Larry Noble, former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission Newman, who has practiced campaign finance law for 45 years, told USA TODAY that he wants to sit at more tables.

“Money buys access,” Noble said. “It’s a huge problem that leads to a corrupt government and it’s part of the system we have now. The fact that they’re willing to speak up is how far we’ve fallen.”

Larry Noble, former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission
Money buys access. It is a huge problem that leads to a corrupt government and is part of our current system.

Brendan Glavine is a senior data analyst at the campaign finance site Open Secrets In Washington, D.C., giving to Democrats in Hawaii shows that political ideology was not a driving factor for Newman or Naomi after giving so much to Republicans.

“If their goal is to expand their business in Hawaii and they believe Green is going to be the next buyer, that’s where they’re going to direct their contributions,” Glavine said.

Glavin added that while Hawaii has a relatively modest $6,000 per capita contribution limit for the governor, totaling those contributions makes a significant difference to candidates.

And if that candidate is a governor, that’s an important relationship.

“When you talk about the state level, governors hold a lot of power,” Glavine said. “Decisions are made about how money is used in the budget.”

Nomi's biggest donation was to DeSantis.

Newman previously told USA TODAY that Nomi is not unique in its funding of public officials, noting that other companies make campaign contributions to politicians. Company officials also indicated that Nomi had contributed to Democrats.

However, the company has given more to Republican candidates in the 2022 election cycle by a margin of more than 18 to 1, according to data compiled by the fund.A related organization with open secrets.

That website shows Nomi has given $288,705 to 34 candidates and three campaign committees in Florida, Hawaii, Nebraska, Texas and Utah.

The Florida Governor’s Office, from February 4 to June 17, 2021, paid Nomi at least $46.5 million. For Covid-19 testing and vaccination work, records show.

On July 20, 2022, Newman was one of several Utah hosts at a fundraiser for DeSantis, also the 2024 GOP presidential candidate.

Nomi's participation in the investigation

In Hawaii, campaign contributions linked to Nomi, Newman and Co. are being investigated.

Kai Kahele, US Congressman Defeated by Green in the Democratic primary for governor, he was released At the end of July, a 47-minute video of why Nomi and Newman was invested in a political race far beyond Utah.

Kahele told USA TODAY that Newman will have allies in the governor and lieutenant governor if he wins the Democratic ticket in November.

Although Newman and Nomi’s affiliates donate much less than the politically red states in Hawaii, the dollars add up and open the door to political access to government contracts.

“It just smells like fish,” Kahle said. “Something’s not right.”

Green’s campaign says it has received more than 4,000 donations, including some from health care providers and companies.

“Dr. Green was well connected to the Nomi team leading up to the outbreak, and to our knowledge, Nomi has no government contracts,” the campaign said in a statement.

Green, who won the Democratic primary in August, will face Republican candidate Duke Iona in November. to replace Gov. David Ige, a Democrat who is barred from re-election by term limits.

Former Hawaii Lt. Governor James R. "Duke" Iona waves to passing cars while campaigning in Kailua, Hawaii, on August 9, 2022.  He is the Republican gubernatorial candidate and has criticized Nomi's campaign contributions to his Democratic rival.
Former Hawaii Lt. Gov. James R. “Duke” Iona waves as cars pass while campaigning in Kailua, Hawaii, Aug. 9, 2022. He is the Republican gubernatorial candidate and has criticized Nomi’s campaign for his Democratic challenger.
Audrey McAvoy, AP

“Nomi Health is committed to the next generation of leaders like Dr. Green because we believe they will embrace the new thinking and bold action needed to better serve Americans in healthcare,” Newman said. “We engage leaders from all walks of life who share our mission to make health care more affordable and more accessible.”

Iona told USA TODAY that Democrats had an uphill battle to defeat Greene, who held 71 of the 76 legislative seats.

However, he said it may be Green’s case to explain campaign contributions from Nomi to voters.

“We know that corporations like this would never come to power if it wasn’t for gaming,” Iona said. “It’s an absolute red flag.”

Have a tip on business or investigative stories? Reach out to the journalist Craig. Harris@usatoday.com or 602-509-3613 or on Twitter @CraigHarrisUSAT or linkedin.com/in/craig-harris-70024030/



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