Dem Governor Rescinds Contract to Dem Consulting Firm

Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan announced late Tuesday that the state was rescinding a contract to track the spread of the coronavirus that she had awarded to a Democratic consulting firm, according to Crain’s Detroit.

The organization, Great Lakes Community Engagement, is run by Democratic political consultant Mike Kolehouse, who planned to use a software vendor affiliated with a Democratic data firm that is working for the governor’s reelection campaign. Whitmer’s decision to hire Democratic political operatives to run a public health project sparked immediate backlash, the Washington Free Beacon reported just hours before Whitmer’s office said she had terminated the contract.

Kolehouse is the owner of K2K Consulting, an umbrella organization tied to both Great Lakes Community Engagement and Kolehouse Strategies. Both have done extensive field work for Democratic causes. Kolehouse in turn retained as a partner in the contract-tracing operation an arm of the Democratic consulting firm NGP VAN, which is currently working with Whitmer’s reelection campaign. NGP VAN said it had not been contracted by the state but declined further comment.

For Whitmer, who has rocketed to national prominence during the coronavirus scandal in part through clashes with President Donald Trump, it was an unforced and potentially costly error. Since instituting a firm stay-at-home order in late March, Whitmer’s name has been bandied about as a potential vice presidential nominee, though she told the Washington Post on Tuesday that she hadn’t “yet” been contacted by the campaign of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Continue reading at the Washington Free Beacon.