Blue Flame Medical smells like a Republican Scam
Maryland officials are looking into whether or not a company named after the colloquial term for lighting fart gas on fire is nothing but a scam.
On May 2 the state of Maryland terminated a $12.5 million contract for personal protective equipment with Blue Flame Medical, a firm started two months ago by a couple of well-connected Republican operatives.
Blue Flame Medical was founded in late March of 2020 by Michael Gula, a Republican fundraising and lobbying consultant in Washington, and John Thomas, a California political consultant. Using a connection inside the Maryland governor's office, the firm pitched the sale of the PPE to the state. By early April this brand-new firm had a $12.5 million contract with the State of Maryland for 1.5 million N95 masks and 110 ventilators, and the state had already wired them a $6.3 million deposit.
Michael Gula's fundraising firm The Gula Graham Group has raised campaign funds for Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), former senator and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and former congressman and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, as well as many other high-profile Republicans. The firm reportedly netted over $40 million over 11 years from federal political committees alone.
In March Gula announced he was leaving fund-raising and starting a medical supply business with Thomas.
Michael Ricci, a spokesperson for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, stated that the order was placed with Blue Flame Medical on April 1 (no foolin'), with an agreed-upon shipping date of April 14th. According to Ricci as of May 1 the State of Maryland had received no shipping confirmation or anything else from Blue Flame Medical.
The Maryland attorney General has been asked to look into the matter. At the time of publication Pigdog Journal staffers have been unable to determine if the $6.3 million deposit received by Blue Flame Medical has been returned to the state of Maryland, or if the money had simply gone up in a puff of smoke.
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