Competitive Bidding could save SD taxpayers millions, but how could King Rounds pay back his campaign contributors?

Woster writes an article on competitive bids;

South Dakota’s state government has hundreds of active contracts worth millions of dollars for professional services ranging from legal work to health care to advertising, and most are provided by private sector businesses and individuals who are awarded the jobs without going through a competitive bid process.

There are 1,800 of these contracts currently active and on file with the South Dakota auditor. But nobody — including Gov. Mike Rounds, his budget director Jason Dilges or contract manager Rob Swanson in the auditor’s office — knows exactly how many of the 1,800 were awarded without bids or competitive proposal.

Mike just can’t figure out where we could make cuts in the state budget?

“I think it’s very important that we learn the nature of all these contracts,” Senate Democratic leader Scott Heidepriem of Sioux Falls said. “The taxpayers have a right to know how their dollars are spent. If there’s a good reason to avoid requests for competitive proposals, then say so. Then the taxpayers will either agree with you, or they won’t.”

I think it’s time Scott and other Democrats and Republicans who actually care how our tax money is being spent give Mike a good thumping and don’t let him spin them in a corner.

“Look, it’s your money,” said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Chicago-based Better Government Association. “If they don’t know how it’s being spent, does that give you confidence? At a bare minimum, it’s reasonable to expect our public servants to know where the money went.”

Mike knows exactly where it went – scratching backs.

“Gosh, this is just way too secretive,” Heidepriem said. “It’s clearly simpler for the governor’s office to operate that way, and it allows them to favor who they want with taxpayers’ dollars.”

I truly believe that Scott wants to fix the system – but we had known for years how Rounds operates his office, in a cloak of secrecy. I think it has gotten so bad that the only solution is impeachment. You can slap his hands with a ruler all you want, but once a spoiled brat – always a spoiled brat.

Woster also touches on the ‘amazing job’ Louser and Shister does for the SD tourism department;

The 32-year-old agency currently holds exclusive contracts with the South Dakota Department of Tourism and State Development worth more than $7 million. And since Gov. Mike Rounds took office in January of 2003, Lawrence & Schiller has been awarded more than $23 million in state contracts, most with tourism, and virtually all without competitive bids or alternative proposals from other firms.

During that time, Rounds received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Lawrence & Schiller officials, something that critics say poses ethical issues that need to be addressed in state law.

“I would hope pay-to-play is not taking place here,” said state government reform activist Lee Breard of Pierre. “But I will let the taxpayers of South Dakota draw their own conclusions.”

Nah . . . Mike would never ‘repay’ his campaign contributors, that is above him to use state resources for his own benefit (choke, cough, spit). All aboard Rounds Airlines!