Saturday, March 14, 2009

"All conflicts of interest should be investigated"

The Governor has a refined position on the courtesy contract controversy. According to the Inquirer, he said at a press conference in Pittsburgh on Wednesday that "All conflicts of interest should be investigated." The ever-helpful Chuck Ardo "added that the governor didn't necessarily believe the contract was wrongly awarded, 'but rather believes that the facts should be investigated and the truth should come out.'"

I like the Gov's position better. The facts are pretty plain. It's the intent and the spirit of this thing that need investigating. Which is why I'm not liking the response of PLCB Chairman PJ Stapleton to the situation. According to the Post-Gazette, Stapleton sent a letter to state Sens. Jane Orie and John H. Eichelberger Jr. (who had questioned the contract and how it was awarded) that said, in part, that the "contract is appropriate -- both in its content and in the way it was awarded." He further responded to questions from the Post-Gazette that "there was no legal basis to exclude Solutions 21." In fact, the State Auditor General will be auditing the contract, and Stapleton is sure they will find nothing inappropriate. Nothing, that is, that violates the letter of the state's Adverse Impact law.

Tell me something, PJ. If, just for an example, Governor Rendell's god-son were to bid on a PLCB contract...would that be okay? Because, you know, technically they're not related. I'm sure it would be legal, but this is the kind of thing we read about happening in third world countries, and we shake our heads about those poor countries with corrupt governments.

Get the State out of this business.

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