Someone's About to Get Rich off the Louisiana Floods

In what is at best a stunning display of bad optics, Louisiana is going to be giving one and only one contractor the job of handing out aid money to flood victims AND they made sure contractors only had twenty-four hours to submit their bids.

The Hayride posted the news, along with some excerpts, after state representative Jay Morris (R-Monroe) discovered the bid. From Morris’s Facebook post:

Isn’t this going to simply require small contractors and workers to have to go through the bureaucratic of the winning contract bidder to get work approved? I predict this centralized bureaucratic process will not work well. The legislature was not alerted to this and probably not consulted.

Who knew this was coming? Someone had to. There is no way any business could reasonably put in a bid without advance notice. It will be interesting to see who gets this contract. Note also that the Governor’s office is not bound to pick the low bidder and strict compliance with purchasing contracts has already been relaxed pursuant to Executive Order 55.

And from The Hayride:

This won’t be a lowest-bidder contract. Do political campaign donations to the governor count as “technical approach?” Asking for a friend.

The only way a company can get this contract is if they were already tipped off by someone in the governor’s office or they had someone in mind. This brings back the lessons we should have learned from the Road Home program debacle which is we should competitively bid out something like this and not hang our hat on one company. It just looks bad and will probably turn out bad.

Now, this may not be as heinous as your initial reaction (and mine) is. After all, there aren’t very many contractors out there who could take on a job this big, but look at the evidence here:

  1. This is Louisiana
  2. There was only 24 hours to get a bid in for this
  3. All money flows through one contractor
  4. This is Louisiana

Someone’s getting a sweet government check out of this, and it’s probably going to be a friend of John Bel Edwards/Louisiana Democrats*. So we’ve got that going for us.

 

*It is worth noting that the one letting Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards get away with these shenanigans is Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, whose Division of Administration is letting out the contract. A former Republican gubernatorial opponent of Edwards, Dardenne sold his soul (and his support) to Edwards in exchange for the cushy job he now has.