Kamala’s Likely Replacement Linked To Dirty Money Trail

California’s top elections official is pushing the state to pay out a $35 million contract with a major Democratic consulting firm as he lobbies behind the scenes for a Senate seat.

California secretary of state Alex Padilla (D.), reportedly the favorite to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s Senate seat, awarded Democratic public relations giant SKDKnickerbocker the lucrative deal in August as part of a voter outreach program. Weeks later, however, Democratic state controller Betty Yee’s office refused to approve the contract, arguing that Padilla did not have the authority to pay for it.

The resolution of the dispute could be a make-or-break issue for Padilla. His victory in a fight that would send a tranche of money to some of the country’s leading Democratic strategists could ease his path to being appointed to fill Harris’s seat, a decision that Democratic governor Gavin Newsom plans to announce prior to inauguration day on Jan. 20.

SKDK has deep ties to Harris and President-elect Joe Biden. The firm’s managing director, Anita Dunn, led Biden’s presidential campaign, which has disbursed more than $2.2 million to SKDK since December 2019. Newsom did not make any payments to the firm during his runs for lieutenant governor and governor in 2014 and 2018.

Continue reading at The Washington Free Beacon.

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