ICYMI: FOX News: "California GOP lawmakers demand Newsom cancel $35M voter outreach contract awarded to Dem consulting firm"

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

By Bradford Betz | Fox News

California’s secretary of state has reportedly awarded a $35 million voter outreach contract to a consulting firm with close ties to the Democratic Party. Now, California Republicans are calling upon Gov. Gavin Newsom to cancel the contract for compromising the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.

The California agency responsible for overseeing elections awarded the contract last month to SKD Knickerbocker, a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm whose managing director is Anita Dunn, a senior advisor on Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and White House communications director under President Barack Obama. …

But the nature of the contract and the process by which it was awarded to SKD Knickerbocker – who have openly declared themselves on “Team Biden” – has come under some scrutiny.

…  the heads of the state Republican caucuses sent a letter to Republican county supervisors across California questioning the handling of the contract.

“We have spoken to several county supervisors, and we have yet to find a single county that asked the Secretary of State to do this work on their behalf,” California Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove and Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron said in the letter obtained by the Sacramento Bee.

Grove said she has demanded that Governor Newsom “not only investigate, but cancel this contract,” adding that the “integrity of our elections cannot be compromised.”

Asked by a reporter Monday to comment on the $35 million contract, Newsom said he was unaware of the details, according to a letter Grove sent to Newsom on Tuesday.

In her letter, Grove pointed to two statements quoted in the Bee from officials within Newsom’s administration that “call into question the legality of the contract and well as questions from both of us regarding the appropriateness of the contract, given the political bias of the firm selected for the contract.” … 

“Instead the [secretary of state] used the money for a statewide voter outreach campaign. When asked about this, SOS officials, said this was appropriate because they had been told by various county election officials that they did not have the capability provide countywide voter outreach campaign,” Grove said in her letter.

She said her office has contacted several county election officials to ask about the contract “only to discover that they had not been contacted and did not ask for, nor want, the SOS’s assistance.”

Furthermore, the administration’s Department of General Services (DGS), which is responsible for approving state spending, and the state controller’s office have not yet received a copy of the contract, Grove said. …

The Senate Republican leader said H.D. Palmer, deputy director for external affairs for the Department of Finance, has yet to approve of the contract and notify state lawmakers, which is required for funds to be allocated.

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