By Robert Haugh
Secretary of State Alex Padilla created Vote Safe California, a $35 million statewide voter outreach and education campaign.
TV ads started airing last month across California to tell voters how to use mail-in ballots.
But it looks like Padilla didn’t have the money or the approval for the program. Whoops.
Here’s what the the Sacramento Bee reported:
“The state Controller’s office, which acts as the chief financial officer for the state, said this week that the Secretary of State has not cited an appropriate budget authority to spend local assistance funds on its contract with consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker, as the office has claimed…
Through an emergency process, the Secretary of State this summer awarded the $35 million contract to the public affairs and political consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker. Although the firm and Padilla’s office have defended the contract as a nonpartisan effort to inform voters, the firm touts itself as on “Team Biden” on its website.”
Padilla is also being investigated by Congressional Republicans for misusing taxpayer money for political purposes.
Santa Clara voters last saw Padilla when he campaigned against our Measure C and told us how to vote. We might see him again soon because he has the same consultants as the 49ers.
Padilla’s Ethics Violations
If Vote Safe California leads to ethics violations for Padilla, it won’t be the first time.
In a 1999 city race, Padilla overspent his limit by $54,000. Wow.
Three years later, he received the largest Los Angeles ethics fine against an elected official in the city’s history.
In 2009, Padilla was fined again by the Los Angeles Ethics Commission for an independent expenditure committee he controlled.
Padilla was trying to help the 2005 mayoral bid of Antonio Villaraigosa. But he didn’t report stuff in time as required by local elections law.