Today, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association filed suit against California’s Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, seeking an injunction against any further public spending on an unauthorized $35 million contract with a national political consulting firm, SKD Knickerbocker. That firm, unlike nonpolitical advertising agencies, is a national Democratic political consulting firm with close ties to current Democrat nominee for President, Joe Biden.

The contract was ostensibly for “voter outreach” and public education. However, the lawsuit alleges that “by focusing (i.e. ‘targeting’) the voter outreach, the political consulting firm can and will necessarily affect voter turnout of certain types of voters more than others and in some parts of the State more than others.  This can and will affect the outcomes of elections – indeed, that is what targeted GOTV is intended to achieve.”

More importantly, the contract is unsupported by any line item in the state budget. In fact, the State Controller’s office rejected the contract, saying that the Secretary of State has not identified any budget authority to spend local assistance funds on its contract with consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker, as the office has claimed.

Jon Coupal, President of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said, “This is simply wrong. Not only will the proposed voter outreach be targeted in a manner most favorable to voters aligned with the political leanings of SKDKnickerbocker, but the very contract itself lacks legal authority.” 

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against any further spending that has not been approved by the State Controller.

Click here to read the complaint.

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