Four top Republicans on Tuesday sent a letter to California’s finance director, demanding that the state return to the US Treasury federal funds used to illegally advance Joe Biden‘s presidential campaign.
Padilla’s brazen corruption has earned him the “front-runner” spot for “California’s potentially open United States Senate seat,” if Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Ca., steps down.
Republican Reps. James Comer of Kentucky, Rodney Davis of Illinois, Jody Hice of Georgia and Jim Jordan of Ohio, signed onto the letter addressed to Keeley Martin Bosler, finance director at the California Department of Finance.
The Republicans describe SKDK as Biden’s “main election campaign advisory firm”—a description that the company itself embraces, with some employees, including Anita Dunn, serving in a senior advisor role for the Democratic candidate.
“The no-bid contract was awarded behind closed doors to a firm that employs the ‘mastermind’ of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and recently added a banner to its website with pictures of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris thanking them for ‘fighting for the soul of the nation,’” they wrote in the letter.
SKDK also supported five Democrats in California’s 2020 congressional elections.
“It is clearly a conflict of interest to provide SKD with millions of dollars in taxpayer money to contact voters while they were not only advising Joe Biden’s presidential campaign but also supporting Democrats in congressional races across California,” the group wrote.
Apart from the Democrat’s partisan corruption, which will certainly go unpunished, the contract itself is illegal.
Padilla’s office sent Help America Vote Act grant money, which was allotted in the CARES Act, to SKDK for the purpose of encouraging mail-in voting.
But HAVA funds were allocated to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, domestically or internationally, for the 2020 Federal election cycle,” not for get-out-the-vote operations.
“Instead of using federal grant money to benefit all Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary has decided to skirt the law by pushing an unnecessary and frivolous contract for his political allies to influence the federal election,” the Republicans wrote.
The letter said that “the Secretary’s decisions ensured no Californians benefited from this appropriation.”
SKDK’s contract explicitly stated the company’s intention to “deliver a tailored message to a micro-targeted universe of individuals.”
Not only does this targeted get-out-the-vote operation violate the purpose of the HAVA funds, but it is likely that SKDK, given its corruption and partisanship, specifically targeted potential Democratic voters to the exclusion of prospective Republican voters.
“We respectively request that you immediately refund federal taxpayers the millions of dollars the Secretary of State’s Office is attempting to use from the CARES Act to pay SKD,” the Republicans wrote.
Comer, Davis and Hice sent a letter in early December to Election Assistance Commission Inspector General Patricia Layfield in which they asked him to investigate the corrupt and illegal contract, but no action has been taken.
The same group also sent a letter to Padilla, asking him to produce documentation and testimony regarding his office’s decision to award SKDK the $35 million contract, but no response has been received.