“Whatever the good ol’ boys are running these days, I know it’s not the state of Alaska!” — Sarah Palin, October 29, 2008
Sarah Palin has that right. She’s not an old boy. She’s got girl parts. As for the corruption part? Well, she’s got that covered:
Gov. Sarah Palin’s signature accomplishment — a contract to build a 2,760-kilometre pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the lower 48 states — emerged from a flawed bidding process that narrowed the field to a Canadian company with ties to her administration, an Associated Press investigation says….
Despite Palin’s boast of a smart and fair bidding process, the AP investigation found her team crafted terms that favoured only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefitted the winner, TransCanada Corp.
In interviews and a review of records, the AP found:
• Instead of creating a process that would attract many potential builders, Palin slanted the terms away from an important group — the global energy giants that own the rights to the gas.
• Despite promises and legal guidance not to talk directly with potential bidders, Palin had meetings or phone calls with nearly every major candidate, including TransCanada.
• The leader of Palin’s pipeline team had been a partner at a lobbying firm where she worked on behalf of a TransCanada subsidiary. Also, that woman’s former business partner at the lobbying firm was TransCanada’s leading private lobbyist on the pipeline deal. Plus, a former TransCanada executive served as an outside consultant to Palin’s pipeline team.
• Under a different set of rules four years earlier, TransCanada had offered to build the pipeline without a state subsidy; under Palin, the company could receive a maximum $500 million.
Whether it’s girls or boys we’re talking about, it’s the same old deal.