By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy
High-powered political consulting firm SKDK improperly received a $35 million contract to encourage people to vote in California in 2020 while one of the founders of the firm was advising Joe Biden’s campaign.
The then-California Secretary of State Alex Padilla awarded the contract to SKDK, known for working with Democratic candidates and whose co-founder Anita Dunn works closely with Biden.
The $35 million was part of a $400 million Help America Vote Act (HAVA) 2020 CARES Act Grant Fund.
But California Controller Betty Yee said Padilla didn’t have the authority to award the funds, only the counties did, and she refused to pay the invoices.
Later, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state legislature got SKDK its money directly from the state budget.
Besides Padilla not having authority to allocate the funds, the $35 million wasn’t supposed to be used for get-out-the-vote efforts.
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HAVA gives emergency funds to states to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus for the 2020 federal election cycle. It was not to encourage people to vote.
In addition, Padilla awarded the contract to SKDK without following the state’s competitive bidding process, another firm alleged.
Mercury, one of the seven firms that bid on the contract, said SKDK was allowed to submit 49 pages, far beyond the 15-page limit that other firms were held to, and was awarded the contract in an expedited manner.
This was all going on while Anita Dunn was working for Biden’s campaign. Her firm received $35 million — improperly from several angles — to encourage voters to cast ballots.
She later joined the Biden White House as advisor and refused to fill out ethics forms.
Three Congress members, Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Jody Hice (R-Ga.), wrote several letters: first to Padilla, then to one inspector general of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, then to that IG’s successor, as well as to a commissioner of the commission, highlighting how the $35 million was illegally spent.
But all their letters have been met with radio silence. No investigation, no questions asked.
With such a blatant conflict of interest being allowed, it’s no wonder Americans don’t trust the fairness of our elections.
Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.
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