Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger accepted generous campaign donations from a medical company that got a $434 million no-bid contract with the state to help fight COVID-19.
This, according to a new article in The Georgia Health News.
According to its website, The Georgia Health News (GHN) is a nonprofit that covers health care issues throughout the state.
The medical company, Jackson Healthcare, is based in Alpharetta, according to its website.
Jackson Healthcare spokeswoman Jessica Lacy told The Georgia Star News in an email that she was out of the office and unavailable for comment Monday afternoon.
Press secretaries and other communications staff members for Kemp, Duncan, and Raffensperger did not return The Star News’ requests for comment before press time Monday.
Jackson Healthcare reportedly provides medical staff to several of Georgia’s hospitals and nursing homes through its subsidiary HWL. The contract expires in March, The Georgia Health News reported.
The no-bid process, The Georgia Health News reported, has generated controversy. The article cited Jackson Healthcare CEO Rick Jackson, who has long reportedly donated to Georgia Republican candidates.
“Rick Jackson, his companies, employees and immediate family members gave roughly $1 million directly to candidates (mostly Republicans) or their PACs since 2010, a GHN analysis found last year. The Georgia politicians who received the donations include Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. They also include such past officeholders as Nathan Deal, who was governor from 2011 to 2019, and Casey Cagle, who was lieutenant governor from 2007 to 2019,” according to GHN.
“The Governor’s Office, the state agency that’s executing the contract, and Rick Jackson himself all told GHN last year that the contributions did not influence the decision to hire HWL. State officials say Gov. Kemp’s emergency declaration on COVID-19 let them pursue a contract without a bidding process.”
Jackson launched Jackson Healthcare in 2000. The company is among the three largest healthcare staffing firms in the United States. Jackson Healthcare crossed the billion-dollar annual revenue mark in 2018, the company’s website said.
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