House Republicans on Thursday demanded that California Secretary of State Alex Padilla disclose details about a “highly questionable” $35 million no-bid contract that he granted to an overtly pro-Biden political consulting firm, Fox News reported.
GOP Reps. James Comer of Kentucky, Rodney Davis of Illinois, and Jody Hice of Georgia, asked about the status of the investigation into Padilla in a letter to the inspector general for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
“In light of recent media reports that California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is now the front-runner to be appointed to California’s open United States Senate seat, we are writing to request a member-level briefing on the status of your review,” the Reps. wrote.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., backed Padilla for the Senate seat, saying that “he’s going to represent California very well,” NBC News reported.
“Because Secretary Padilla may become a member of the United States Senate in a matter of days or weeks, it is critical that he provide answers about his decision to award a contract to a partisan firm that appears to be both a misuse of taxpayer money and a violation of the law,” the congressmen wrote.
The secretary of state’s office sent money from the Help America Vote Act, which was included in the coronavirus bailout legislation, to pay SKD Knickerbocker, a political consulting firm that “specializes in working for Democratic Party politicians.”
Republican legislators correctly called the company “Joe Biden’s main election campaign advisory firm.”
The company’s home page says, “Biden, Kamala Harris and all of our clients who fought for the soul of the nation….Thank you.”
The company’s 2020 client list includes Biden, Harris, and many more Democrats.
One of the company’s partners, Anita Dunn, “most recently served as a senior advisor to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign,” according to SKD Knickerbocker’s website.
The Republican lawmakers sent evidence that Padilla siphoned money from the Help America Vote Act to fund partisan Democrat voter-contact and get-out-the-vote efforts.
“As you know, the use of HAVA funds for voter contact is a violation of the law,” Comer, Davis, and Hice wrote. “According to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, HAVA grants cannot be used to get out the vote or encourage voting.”
Plus, Congress specifically appropriate money in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the 2020 Federal election cycle.”
Democrats, with the help of state media, used coronavirus hysteria to create new pathways for election fraud, and in this case “apparently intended to provide a partisan firm the opportunity to use taxpayer money to influence the federal election.”
SKD Knickerbocker’s contract with California states that the proposal for “a direct mail program can deliver a tailored message to a micro-targeted universe of individuals,” Comer said in an October interview with Tucker Carlson.
“First of all, it was a no-bid contract, which is completely illegal and unethical,” Comer said Friday on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom.
“Secondly, you’re not allowed to use taxpayer dollars to micro-target voters to get out the vote. Thirdly, the firm is a partisan firm,” he added. “So, there are three instances of major violations.”