Today, Democrats on the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee approved Governor Newsom’s proposal to change state law retroactively to hand over $35 million to the partisan political firm SKDK, who simultaneously campaigned to elect President Biden last year and conducted “voter outreach.” Their work included e-mails to legislative staff.
As written in last year’s budget, the money was intended to help counties cover the costs of holding the election. Senators Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), the vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), the vice chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, issued the following statement:
“Changing state law retroactively to pay for a sweetheart deal with a partisan political firm is an abuse of power.
“Sacramento Democrats would be outraged if the same contract was given to a firm who worked with President Trump.
“Taxpayers should not have to pay for the shady deal that was executed by the previous Secretary of State. We call on our legislative colleagues to side with Californians and use the much needed money as intended to help counties, not pad the pockets of political operatives at a partisan firm for partisan purposes.”
BACKGROUND: On September 29, 2020, Senators Bates and Nielsen wrote a letter to state budget officials urging them to not pay the partisan contract. Click here to read their letter.
The senators also authored an op-ed for the Sacramento Bee in December 2020 urging the Governor to send the money to local governments as originally intended by the Legislature. Click here to read their op-ed.