With echoes of a similar cronyism scandal that recently ensnared the office of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat firm in California was granted a $35 million contract to promote mail-in voting.
The office of California Secretary of State Alex Padilla in mid-August announced the plan to grant the contract to SKD Knickerbocker after and expedited bidding process.
“This $35 million expedited state contract screams conflict of interest, and the abuse of power calls into question his integrity,” said Jessica Millan Patterson, chair of the California Republican Party.
“Under this Democrat regime, our elections are simply being run by nothing more than a bunch of politics hacks,” she added.
The consulting firm is linked to Josh Isay, a former campaign manager for Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY. Other staffers have close ties to former President Barack Obama and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, both Democrats.
The firm also is reported to have financial ties to the campaign of current Democrat presidential contender Joe Biden.
On its website, the firm includes a banner that says “SKDK is proud to be a part of Team Biden,” according to Breitbart.
And the campaign paid the firm more than $800,000 in the first two months of 2020, which marked a massive haul for it at the time.
Nonetheless, Heather Wilson, the managing director and head of the firm’s California office, coyly denied the possibility of any conflicts of interest.
“As a public affairs firm, a great deal of our work (including this Vote Safe campaign) is nonpartisan,” Wilson claimed in an email to the Sacramento Bee.
California is one of several states that plans to mail ballots to all the voters on its rolls, despite the numerous concerns over how that might undermine election integrity.
Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom greenlighted the plan to issue the ballots to some 21 million voters, even as a watchdog group has challenge in court the effort, citing at least 23,000 dead people on the rolls and countless other voters ineligible due to reasons like change of residents or immigration status.
California has brazenly supported past efforts to undermine voter-integrity, such as its legalization of ballot harvesting, even as it has fought tooth and nail to resist updating its rolls, with the potential to purge millions of inactive voters.
The state—and its questionable election procedures—likely played a significant role in Hillary Clinton’s official count of 2.8 million more voters than Donald Trump in the 2016 election, even though Trump won the Electoral College by a landslide.
Clinton has now called on Biden not to concede the election under any circumstances, maintaining that drawn-out legal challenges will help Democrats prevail even if it means reversing the will of the voters.