…it’s who you know. Isn’t that right, Governor Bill Ritter (D-CO)?
DENVER (AP) ? Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter has awarded some of the state’s first stimulus money to his former employer in a no-bid contract.
Ritter hired his former law firm, the Washington-based Hogan & Hartson, in a no-bid contract to review stimulus spending, The Denver Post reported Friday. It said the firm was paid $40,000 in stimulus money through June.
In this case, ‘who’ is a law firm full of political donors of Governor Ritter’s (D), including at least two “who work directly on the state’s stimulus issues.” The Governor’s (D) office is claiming that the deal was righteous, as well as legal… although they didn’t go into explaining why they paid six times what they would have if they had run things through the Attorney General’s office:
Gov. Bill Ritter turned down a $75-an-hour offer from the Colorado attorney general’s office to handle legal matters regarding the disbursement of federal stimulus funds, instead hiring his former law partners for up to six times that cost.
The governor’s lawyers told the attorney general’s office in February that they planned to hire outside counsel to help with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money. Deputy Attorney General Geoff Blue told them his office was willing to do it, but his offer was rejected.
“They thought we didn’t have the expertise or manpower,” said Blue, who handles legal policy and government affairs. “We would’ve gotten the job done. But we told them, ‘That’s your call,’ and we had nothing more to do with it.”
Mind you, in Colorado the office of Attorney General is an elected position, and the holder of it (John Suthers) is of the opposite party. No immediately obvious benefit to either Ritter or the Colorado Democratic party to have the job done by the government, in other words. A horrible thing to have to write out, to be sure – but then, I’m not the one who sent a 40K contract out to a law firm filled with my political donors. I’m also not the one who’s looking carefully blank-faced when other people point out how… complicated… that looks.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.