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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Yay Senate Bill 6427!

posted by on January 22 at 9:45 AM

I have to admit that all the haters in the comments threads get to me.

But it’s stuff like this that makes it all worth while: Last night, I was speaking to a group in Olympia and right before the program started, a senate aide walked up to me and handed me a print out of a bill and said: “I work for Senator Hobbs, and he wanted me to tell you that he read an article you wrote last year about no bid contracts, and he’s running this bill this session to fix the problem.”

Last May, I wrote an article detailing how the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (the public board that manages the stadium) awarded a $100,000 lobbying contract to the Fearey Groupóa firm with interlocking ties to people on the Facilities District boardówithout an open public bid process.

Doing so was technically legal, but ran afoul of all the standards in place governing other local public agencies. Hobbs’s billówith bi-partisan supportówould fix the loophole governing public facilities districts so that they could not award such large contracts on the public’s dime without a competitive bid process.

Here’s the straight-forward description of Hobbs’s bill: Makes a public facilities district subject to the competitive solicitation requirements established in RCW 39.29.011 for personal service contracts notgoverned by the requirements in chapter 39.80 RCW.

The bill was referred to committee (Government Operations) and has a hearing on Thursday.

Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44, Snohomish, Marysville, Lake Stevens) is totally my favorite state senator right now.

RSS icon Comments

1

I love you.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 22, 2008 9:45 AM
2

who defends no bid contracts other than the people who directly financially benefit from them? people were hating you over THIS? were they all contractors?

Posted by ellarosa | January 22, 2008 9:55 AM
3

People hate for no good reason, Josh is awesome

Posted by vooodooo84 | January 22, 2008 9:58 AM
4

And one, Feit. And one.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | January 22, 2008 10:05 AM
5

Could you explain this in simpler words? I want to understand. Seriously. I am not being sarcastic-just a young mind looking for the deeper issues. Thanks.

Posted by inquire the fire | January 22, 2008 10:06 AM
6

i wish i were like you, easily amused...

Posted by SeMe | January 22, 2008 10:10 AM
7

Haters with unsubstantive arguments can and should be ignored.

Posted by Fnarf | January 22, 2008 10:22 AM
8

#5, basically some public officials needed lobbying (or did they?), so they decided to award a $100,000 contract to their lobbyist friends.

The problem is that instead of saying "Hey everyone, we need X amount of lobbying, make us an offer" they went straight to their friends. If there had been actual competition involved I'm guessing it would not have been $100,000 worth of lobbying.

At best they're bad business people (do you always go with the first price you're quoted?). At worst they're laundering public money to their friends.

Posted by w7ngman | January 22, 2008 10:33 AM
9

It's nice to see local public officials reading the Stranger's political postings...

Posted by Reality Check | January 22, 2008 10:40 AM
10

Josh, I'd say you should be giving yourself a big 'ol pat on the back right now.

Posted by Dianna | January 22, 2008 11:27 AM
11

@10: I'm pretty sure he just did.

Posted by UnReality Check | January 22, 2008 12:27 PM
12

did you see how HOT senator hobbs was? wow.

Posted by Cook | January 22, 2008 7:27 PM
13

Umm, not to throw cold water on this delightful parade, but how much do you suppose it costs to bid out a $100,000 contract? You have to advertise it, then have staff screen responses, then pull together an evaluation panel, then interview respondents, then enter into negotiations. I'm not saying it's not worth it, but really, how much do you think you're going to save? This is a Tim Eyman Republican wet dream (waste and fraud! waste and fraud!). If you think bidding out $100,000 contracts is going to free up enough money to house the homeless, think again.

Posted by G-13 | January 22, 2008 11:45 PM
14

@13,

Point isn't the $100K. Point is they shouldn't have done it the way they did it. You accept a certain amount of bureaucratic cost as a necessary expense to make sure that the process is open - who knows, maybe that company would have won the bid anyway?

But you don't do no-bid contracts in cases like this.

Posted by John | January 23, 2008 3:59 AM

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