Senate Republican Leader Grove Demands Investigation into Secretary of State's 'Vote Safe California' Contract to Team Biden

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

SACRAMENTO - Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) issued a statement regarding a $35 million “Vote Safe California” contract to SKD Knickerbocker that has strong ties to the presidential campaign of Joe Biden. The Sacramento Bee reports today that Congressional Republicans are launching an investigation into this multi-million dollar contract awarded by the Secretary of State. Read the Sacramento Bee story here.

“Once again, a top Democrat official has shown partisan favoritism when it comes to spending valuable tax dollars," echoed Leader Grove. "This taxpayer-funded contract is especially disturbing because it calls into question the integrity of California’s upcoming election. It appears that the state’s top election official is abusing his office to favor voter outreach for Democrat candidates.

“Imagine the outcry if Democrats found out the state awarded a $35 million contract under the guise of ‘Vote Safe California,’ to an organization with strong ties to ‘Team Trump.’ Democrats would not only demand that this contract be rescinded, but would call for the individual who awarded this contract — in this case, the Secretary of State — to resign.

“This contract reeks of partisan abuse at the taxpayer's expense. There must be a full investigation of this contract and if there is any wrongdoing or even the appearance of wrongdoing, or political bias is discovered, Secretary of State Alex Padilla must be held accountable.”

BACKGROUND:

This past June, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 89 which gives 58 counties access to $35 million identified in that bill, plus an additional $65 million for the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

The June budget funds were primarily intended for local county registrars to pay for nonpartisan voting costs, including COVID-related expenses. Was any part of the "Team Biden" contract money diverted from those actual election costs? And why wasn’t the money given to counties, as the budget requires?