Daines Refuses to Answer for Campaign Consultant Starting Medical Supply Company to “Capitalize On the Coronavirus Response”

Nathan Stein2020, Daines, News, Republicans

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Friday, April 3, 2020

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Daines Refuses to Answer for Campaign Consultant Starting Medical Supply Company to “Capitalize On the Coronavirus Response

Wall Street Journal: “Daines’ campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment”

Helena, MT – Senator Steve Daines is refusing to answer questions about a top campaign consultant starting a medical supply company to “capitalize on the coronavirus response” – using “relationships” to obtain equipment like testing materials and PPEs that are in short supply.Daines has been silent in the week since the news first broke that his campaign fundraiser Mike Gula launched a new company bragging about a “wide selection” of “hard to find medical supplies to beat the outbreak.” The Wall Street Journal reports Daines was “paying Gula to set up several fundraising events” including two DC fundraisers and retreats in Napa, California and Helena scheduled for this summer.

Political committees affiliated with Daines have paid Gula’s firm more than $440,000 since 2018. He has not said if he will continue to pay Gula, how much money he raised while Gula was building this new medical supply company, or what “relationships” Gula leveraged to get these supplies.

“Montana hospitals and health care workers are struggling to stay safe because we don’t have the equipment we need – but Senator Daines’ political consultant suddenly came into enough supplies to open a company? It doesn’t make any sense and the nurses and doctors on the front lines deserve answers,” said MDP Executive Director Sandi Luckey. “From voting to cap unemployment benefits, to fighting for massive corporate bailouts with inadequate oversight, to his silence as an ally works to turn a profit off of scarce medical supplies, Daines is failing Montanans.”

Wall Street Journal: GOP Fundraiser’s Coronavirus-Gear Business Puts Senate Campaigns in Tough Spot
By: Gabriel T. Rubin
Highlights:

Mike Gula, a top fundraiser for several Republican senators and other groups, told clients last week of his plans to leave politics to start a new company. The new business, Blue Flame Medical, advertises ‘hard-to-find medical supplies,’ including coronavirus test kits and respirators.

Governors and public health officials at all levels of government have warned that they don’t have enough personal protective equipment like masks to deal with the crush of coronavirus cases. Blue Flame’s website says it has “assembled the largest global chain of Covid-19 supplies.” It isn’t known how the career political consultant quickly obtained the critical equipment desperately needed in virus hot spots. Requests for comment to the company and Gula went unanswered.

Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, who faces a competitive re-election race against Gov. Steve Bullock, was paying Gula to set up several fundraising events. Those included two canceled fundraisers in Washington this week and donor retreats in Napa, Calif., and Helena, Mont., scheduled for June and August, respectively, according to emails reviewed by the Journal. Daines’ campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Read the full article here.

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