With the unsurprising news that California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he selected the state’s elected Secretary of State Alex Padilla to finish out Senator Kamala Harris’ tenure as U.S. Senator, many involved in state politics are flummoxed. Padilla has not had to answer for dubious actions while in office, including his most recent clearly partisan actions surrounding the presidential election.
In September, Secretary Padilla, a former Democratic State Senator, awarded a $35 million voter outreach contract with a “Team Biden” consulting firm with obvious ties to the Democratic Party. The $35 million was spent on ads telling state voters that mail-in voting is “simple, safe” and “secure” during the coronavirus pandemic, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom insisting that he investigate and cancel the $35 million contract to the public affairs firm with deep Democrat ties.
“California’s chief election office has been compromised. The state budget this year allocated $35 million to individual counties to help them with their vote by mail program,” Grove said in a statement. “Yet, the Secretary of State unilaterally bypassed these counties and took it upon himself to use these funds for a ‘voter outreach’ campaign through a Democrat PR firm.”
“We contacted several county elections officials and asked about this only to discover that they had not been contacted and did not ask for, nor want, the SOS’s assistance,” Grove said in the letter.
“This contract is problematic, questionable, and reeks of political bias using taxpayer dollars. I ask Governor Newsom to immediately cancel the contract and investigate its legality and appropriateness. The integrity of our elections must not be compromised,” said Grove.
But at the following noon press conference, when Gov. Gavin Newsom was asked about the $35 million contract, he dodged the important issue claiming he said he was not aware of the details, despite the letter Sen. Grove sent to him. The governor was not pressed by media when he lied, because there is no media present at his press conferences “due to COVID,” and all media questions are screened.
Padilla has not responded to the legitimate questions either.
While it is no surprise that crony politics are in play in California and Washington D.C., the state was warned of the crony politics.
As the Globe reported, the word salad from the Secretary of State’s office left us with more questions than answers.
- Why are they hiding the contract?
- What’s in it?
- Why didn’t they clear it with the Department of Finance or the Controller’s Office first?
- And why play into Donald Trumps hand about the legitimacy of the election?
There never were answers to valid questions, making it painfully clear that with a super majority political party in power, there is no one to stop the governor, his cronies, or his corruptness. And no other media outlets asked the obvious questions about this corruption.
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