Sunday, June 25, 2006

Doyle's campaign contributor admits "pay to play".

Hat Tip - Fraley's Dailytakes
Spivak and Bice

Finally, a Doyle campaign contributor is admitting their role is the "pay to play" game. Only this time, a $55 million contract was on the line and the winning bidders donated $51,000 to Jim Doyle's campaign.

KBS executive, Patrick Babe admits that campaign contributions get a company a seat at Doyle's table-

Another KBS exec, Patrick Babe, said it's common practice for contractors to get into the political giving game.

"You've got to remember that the biggest builder in the state is the state, whether you're a road builder or a building builder," Babe said.

"If you don't contribute, you're not included," he continued. "It doesn't hurt to contribute if you believe in any cause."

This is why we call it "pay to play". If you pay your money to Jim Doyle, you get a chance to play the game and win a multi-million dollar contract.

This is the gist of this new "pay to play" story-

1. A 55 million dollar contract was on the line to restore a building near the UW-Milwaukee into student housing, classrooms, condominiums and retail space.

2. At the front of the line, a company called Prism was said to be favored for the work.

3. Another company called JP Cullen and Sons threatened a lawsuit because they said Prism was given an unfair advantage during the bidding process.

4. Cullen then donated $1500 to Doyle's re-election campaign and "magically" they got the attention they wanted.

5. Marc Marotta- who stated just this past week to state legislators, that he was NEVER involved in the procurement process after the bidding started, stepped into the middle of this bidding process.

6. Based on Marc Marotta's suggestion the chancellor of the school thought the entire process should be started over again.

7. The Building Commission- chaired by Governor Jim Doyle, voted unanimously to throw out all the work that already been done and start the entire bidding process over again. At the time, Marc Marotta was one of the attorney's representing the Building Commission.

8. As luck would have it, neither Prism or Cullen won the new contract. A completely different team won the bid- Weas Development, KBS Construction and Hammel, Green & Abrahamson.

9. The original company thought to have the upper hand in the bidding process has now filed a law suit against the state. After hearing Marc Marotta's testimony this past week, company execs at Prism were infuriated. They know that Marotta was involved in the bidding process and the reason they did not get the contract they desired. They have emails to prove it.

After the Prism lawsuit was filed- Spivak and Bice decided to dig a little deeper. Turns out the new team of companies that won the $55 million contract donated tons of money to Doyle's campaign. Here is how the companies involved donated:

Prism- $0.00
Cullen- $1500
Weas Development, KBS Construction and Hammel, Green & Abrahamson- $51,000

Once again- "magically" the team donating the most money to Jim Doyle won another state contract.

It is going to be real hard for Jim Doyle and Marc Marotta to claim they had no involvement whatsoever in this contract. After all, Doyle and Marotta were part of the Building Commission.

Jim Doyle and Marc Marotta's headaches are just beginning. This was a huge contract worth $55 million.

I wonder how many more of these lawsuits will be filed over the next few weeks and months. How many companies have be pushed out of the bidding process because they did not give to Doyle's campaign?

The lesson for all contractors to learn here is that if you do not donate to Doyle's campaign, you will not get any state contracts.

It's called "Pay to Play", and if contractors don't pay, they don't get to play! That is until next January when we get oust Jim Doyle and Mark Green is the new governor.

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