No longer in the running for a vice presidential nod, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer‘s corrupt, partisan bureaucrats admitted that they had solicited advice from a far-left operative about a no-bid contract to conduct coronavirus contact tracing.
Whitmer was savaged by media and GOP opponents in the state legislature over the scandal.
She was quickly forced to withdraw the $194,000 contract with Michael Kolehouse, whose so-called nonprofit, Great Lakes Community Engagement, doubled as a political canvassing operation.
“When it was brought to my attention, I told them to cancel it,” she claimed.
However, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Robert Gordon, admitted in testimony Thursday that MDHHS has actively sought advice from Ed Duggan, a well-connected political operative within the state who is currently working as political director for the Biden campaign’s Michigan chapter.
Andrea Taverna, a senior adviser for Whitmer who has refused to cooperate with the legislative probe, made contact with Duggan during a process of reaching out to “stake holders,” Gordon admitted.
“I think she thought that he would know organizations that would have the requisite—it was the view of the team at this point that field organizing experience would be highly relevant and that he would know folks who had that experience,” Gordon said.
“… Having said that, that also meant looking in a pool of entities with political affiliations—which, in retrospect, we should have avoided.”
The testimony, in response to a question from Matt Hall, chairman of the state’s Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, appeared to contradict Gordon’s earlier claim that “the staff involved were not political animals and did not have the political experience to know the platform in use was also used for political campaigns.”
It also contradicted Whitmer’s April denial of the department’s partisan dealings, when she claimed, according to MLive.com, “I do know the [MDHHS] does not have a political bone in their theoretical body.”
A conservative watchdog group, Michigan Rising Action, condemned the outrageous abuse of power and subsequent attempt at a cover-up.
“It’s clear that Gov. Whitmer’s administration specifically sought out a political vendor through a political operative for a no-bid contact tracing contract and then claimed the process wasn’t political,” said Tori Sachs, executive director of Michigan Rising Action.
The fallout from the scandal came at a crucial point for Whitmer, who was being vetted as a potential running mate for presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden after giving the official response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address earlier this year.
Already, though, her rising star had begun to fade amid backlash from Michiganders over her callous and totalitarian lockdown restrictions.
Many criticized the hypocrisy of measures that, for instance, classified marijuana dispensaries to stay open while forcing churches closed.
Whitmer also was humiliated after her husband ignored prohibitions on unnecessary travel to take a boating trip during the lockdown’s peak.
But the overt partisanship of her contract-tracing arrangement was enough to convince many that her mandates were not only poorly conceived but also politically motivated.
Biden ultimately ruled out Whitmer by pledging to pick a woman of color. He announced this week that he had selected California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate.