UPDATE BELOW: Last week, California Globe reported California Secretary of State Alex Padilla awarded a $35 million voter outreach contract with a “Team Biden” consulting firm with obvious ties to the Democratic Party.
Republicans announced California State Controller Betty Yee rejected the contract with SKD Knickerbocker, a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm whose managing director is Anita Dunn, a senior advisor on Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and White House communications director under President Barack Obama.
California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson had plenty to say about regarding the Controller rejecting Padilla’s $35 million voting contract to the “Team Biden” PR firm:
“It’s disgraceful to Californians that the State Controller had to explain to Secretary Padilla that he has no budget authority to make this wasteful and completely partisan $35 million expenditure and had to step in to protect the integrity of our elections system,” said California Republican Party Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson.
“And it’s even worse that Governor Gavin Newsom has remained silent when the integrity of our election was in jeopardy. For a headline-chasing politician like Gov. Newsom to not comment about this partisan contract, raises the question of his potential knowledge and involvement.”
“We join the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and also ask that California’s election chief stop any further expenditure and payment on an illegal contract and recover any funds they may have paid.”
“After more than a month of excuses and contradictions by Alex Padilla, California’s election chief, I am thankful the State Controller agreed with us and stepped in to reject this partisan, get-out-the-vote contract with a ‘Team Biden’ PR firm,” Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) said. “Handing 35 million taxpayer dollars to a PR firm with a history of working on high-profile Democrat races in California was a reckless and unacceptable action. The integrity of our election system should have never been in doubt, especially by the state election’s chief.”
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association said in a statement that Padilla has been spending millions of taxpayer dollars on this contract illegally. HJTA demanded the Secretary of State stop the spending immediately, and warned if the spending did not stop, they would seek immediate relief from the court.
- 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?
UPDATE: The Controller has not yet released a formal statement about the cancellation of the $35 million contract with SDK Knickerbocker for voter outreach. California Globe has learned there were conversations about the contract over the weekend, with the Controller’s office taking the position that the Secretary of State did not have the authority to authorize the contract under the budget bill, or any other legislation.
This is the contract with SDK Knickerbocker:SOS SKDKnickerbocker contract
California Globe will be updating this article as more information is available.