Secretary of State Alex Padilla Can’t Legally Pay for Voter Education Contract He Gave to Politically Connected Firm

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.


  1. Wow… someone associated with the 49ers most recent media ad campaigns (Measure C) is now under investigations for possible misuse of State Funds? On top of that this same person has a history of ethics violations.

    Man am I surprised.
    Burt Field

    • In san diego on Nov 2nd his office got reports with the photos that some county vote employees on overland ave in san diego were posting live from their workdesks that they were Not verifying signatures on mail in ballots , checking candidates personal info with passcodes from their supervisors since a vote count supervisor that got the info didnt advise the head person and was doing it live as they spoke again, they said they counldnt, then on the following Friday another agency had the overt acts stopped and only one low level employee was terminated, yet they try to deny it happened but they cant

    • Looks like you’re wrong!

      Alejandro Padilla (born March 22, 1973) is an American politician, Democratic Party activist, engineer, and civil servant. He has served as the Secretary of State of California since winning the general election on November 5, 2014, defeating Republican Pete Peterson, with approximately 54% of the vote.

    • if the general public had stolen $1,000( AND THATS WHAT PADILLA DID IN THIS CASE) but $35 MILLION WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION) from his employer..(IN THIS CASE THE GENERAL PUBLIC) we would be charged with theft and if convicted serve time in jail or maybe probation at minimum with fines.

      Now keep in mind NO BIDS WERE TAKEN, DID NOT CONTACT ANYONE IN FINANCE TO DISCUSS THIS FELONY, and the disgusting part was he gave the illegal contract to a Democratic Run Business. Secondly..Gov Newsome claimed he knew (NOTHING) about Padilla’s illegal move..LOL..really!! So if Gavin knew nothing about what Padilla did in this case..NO CHECKS AND BALANCES..

      If Gavin didn’t know about this, then at minimum he should (FIRE) or ask for his resignation at minimum and suggest Padilla be brought up on charges of THEFT..but we believe Gavin knew all about this move and now both should resign and Padilla still be charged with THEFT..

      PUT OUR HARD EARNED TAX PAYERS MONIES BACK INTO THE ACCOUNT OF THE STATE…NOW..The tax payers of California should demand this..So Tax Payers are we done with the Dems running this state yet..



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