Bill Dentzer wrote a great article in the Idaho Statesman August 10th on Idaho’s system of awarding State Contracts, but what he didn’t cover was why no one has tried to fix this byzantine system of 40 years or more. We believe the real reason no one has tried to fix the system is that it is easier to hide cronyism and corruption when you don’t have any controls in the system. With $1.5 billion and over 41,000 contracts being give out by the various state agencies, you have to ask yourself who is in charge of controlling the spending our tax payer money. Who is making sure that we are getting the best deals and best pricing?
A perfect example of these bad contracts was the wifi contract with Quest which has cost over $30 million so far. Then there was the contract with Corrections Corporation of America and the contract for School Net costing another $60 million. The losses to Idaho Taxpayers from these three state contracts is reaching over $100 million. There has been absolutely no accountability to the taxpayers for the loss of these funds, everything just gets swept under the rug by this administration with the help of the liberal media. The Governor hid the fact that the State had lost the FCC money for the Idaho Education Network for ten months from the public until the Republican Primary which he had a serious challenge in was over. School Net was a program contract awarded to Pearson Corporation which didn’t even fit into Idaho’s school program. Wasted money that could have been used to pay our teachers higher salaries or to pay for more books or school supplies. How about the flubbed State investigation into the CCA contract which we still don’t know to this day how much it actually cost the state’s taxpayers not only in dollars and cents, but in harm to the inmates that were incarcerated in Idaho’s facilities while CCA was in control. The state settled for $1 million, but a proper accounting of actual losses has never been done, nor do we think that the administration wants one done.
When there are no controls on giving out state government contracts, it has been proven time and time again that they will go to friends and contributors of the politicians and agencies that have control of the purse strings. Wouldn’t it be interesting to do some real digging and find out who gets some of these contracts, and how they are connected to various politicians’ campaign contributions and government agency bureaucrats? We get no accountability in our state and haven’t for too many years. We would like to see an independent investigation into these outrageous scandals which have cost so much of our hard earned money but alas we see little chance of that happening with the current administration. Problem is that if everyone is on the payroll, then no one will want to be accountable for where the money goes or who it goes to.
We have many professional politicians in Idaho’s legislature who are in leadership and professional bureaucrats in our state agencies who have been part of the problem for too many years to count. What we need is to clean house in the next two elections and bring in some new legislators and constitutional officers who actually want to be accountable to the taxpayers, and to get rid of cronyism and corruption that has been running rampant in our state for way to long.
WE GET THE GOVERNMENT WE DESERVE.