Vote Safe

A trio of Republican Congressmen worry that California's awarding of a $35M "Vote Safe" contract to SKD Knickerbocker, which boasts of being part of "Team Biden" represents a conflict of interest.

The contract to produce advertising to encourage voters to participate in the November election "will undoubtedly provide a partisan firm the opportunity to use taxpayer money to influence the federal election," according to the letter sent to Alex Padilla, California's Secretary of State.

Kentucky's James Comer, Illinois' Rodney Davis, and Georgia's Jody Hice have "serious questions about how the contract was awarded, whether the firm will have access to sensitive voter information and, if any of the firm's employees affiliated with 'Team Biden' will be involved in the project."

They note that SKD Knickerbocker "does not hesitate to trumpet its relationship with Joe Biden's political campaign, highlighting in a bold graphic on its homepage its pride in being 'part of Team Biden.'" The firm's managing director, Anita Dunn, is a senior strategist on the campaign.

The Congressmen have serious concerns "about why the contract was awarded to a firm that has such an obvious interest in the outcome of a federal election.

"In fact, being awarded a $35M contract to contact voters using taxpayer money while publicly advertising its work on behalf of Joe Biden's campaign for president and employing a serious advisor to his campaign essentially provides a pro-Biden entity the opportunity to conduct get out the vote efforts."

The letter also notes that SKD Knick was a target of a Russian hacking attempt.

The Congressmen want to receive all documents and information relating to the award of the contract, whether SKD Knick will have access to California voter information, ensuring that employees involved with the Biden campaign are not involved in the project and hacking attempts of foreign actors on SKD Knick networks.

SKD Knick, which is part of Stagwell Group, declined comment on the Republican letter.