LA County: $400,000 to hire 2 PR firms to guide coronavirus messaging—Feds/State to Pay

This is corruption, pure and simple.  The L.A. County Board of Supervisors, the Health Department, every Board member, the Sheriff, all have PR people on the government payroll.  Since this is a crisis the grifters get to bottom feed.  Two politically connected PR firms are going to be paid a total of $400,000-for PR during the crisis.

What can they do, except taking tax dollars?  They can issue reports on what the Board is doing?  Why can’t the current government employees do this?  Same for the Health Department and the Sheriff.  Why are they doing this?  This looks like a political payoff, pure and simple.  Second, it does not cost the L.A. County Board of Supervisors a dime—it will be paid by the State of California and the Federal government.

If Schiff and Pelosi want an oversite committee, this is where they start, with payoffs to the political connected to do the work that is supposed to be done .  “On March 30, global public strategy firm Mercury Public Affairs was retained by L.A. County, also at a cost of $200,000.

The contract reveals the county is submitting to have the cost reimbursed via federal, or state disaster aid money.

The disaster is that the DA does not step in stop the contracts and investigate the corruption.

LA County spending $400,000 to hire 2 PR firms to guide coronavirus messaging

By Bill Melugin, FoxLA,  4/4/20 

LA County spending $400,000 to hire 2 PR firms to guide coronavirus messaging

LOS ANGELES – FOX 11 has obtained contracts showing that Los Angeles County has hired not one, but two public relations firms to craft and guide the county’s coronavirus messaging, despite the fact that the county already has fully staffed, paid communications teams, and the county is also hoping to be reimbursed with disaster relief funds.

In an email to FOX 11, Fraser said they were hired to draft press releases and talking points, monitor public perception of COVID-19, and the county’s response to it, amongst other things.

On March 30, global public strategy firm Mercury Public Affairs was retained by L.A. County, also at a cost of $200,000.

The contract reveals the county is submitting to have the cost reimbursed via federal, or state disaster aid money.

“Ultimately, FEMA is going to ask why they are trying to get refunds for a PR firm in a time like this,” said L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

The Sheriff told FOX 11 he feels the county’s move to hire the PR firms doesn’t make much sense.

“It’s kind of a strange set of priorities because we have a fully staffed communications team, and we spend millions of dollars on that communications apparatus within county government,” Villanueva said.

As FOX 11 reported Wednesday night, Villanueva was stunned when he says the county informed him they will not pay his deputies who were ordered to quarantine in March. Now, the Sheriff questions why the county will spend $400,000 for PR purposes.

“I’d like to know how many ventilators that would have paid for, how many masks?” Villanueva asked.

Campaign finance reports also reveal that Fabian Nunez, a former lawmaker in the California State Assembly, whose now a consultant at Mercury, donated the maximum $1,500 allowed to supervisor Kathryn Barger’s campaign in February.

[Photo] Campaign finance record showing a consultant at Mercury, one of the PR firms that was hired by the county, donated the maximum amount of money allowed to Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s campaign.

For the past two days, FOX 11 has reached out to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors for comment as to why the hiring of these PR firms was a necessary expense, but the Board’s communications director never responded.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office told us she’s unavailable to respond.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office referred FOX 11 to county CEO Sachi Hamai.

Hamai’s office told FOX 11 she has no comment.

“What added resource does hiring these firms bring to the problem?” Villanueva said. “Probably nothing that I’m aware of, and that’s something that they’re going to have to defend with the taxpayer.”

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

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