Idaho's Weekly Journal of Local & National Commentary Week 2815


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Boise's Watergate
 University Place and All The Governor's Men


 Deep Throat II


Chapter 9 - Boise's Watergate



“Weighted, W-E-I-G-H-T-E-D.”
– Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne, referring to his alleged rigging of the Idaho Water Center’s bidding process with a secret 27 percent “co-location” factor
(source, Idaho Statesman)

“It looks like they may have cooked the factor (co-location) to make it come out on top.”
Idaho Senate Pro Tem Bob Geddes to the Statesman.

      As we discovered in the last chapter, the Governor and all his merry men participated in Boise’s Watergate fiasco in many ways.  But the most important participation by the Governor and his Chief of Staff, Phil Reberger, was to secure the IDWR to move into University Place’s Water Center.

   As the investigative Prince Report concluded:

   IDWR was very important, if not critical, to the UIF’s (University of Idaho) plans to finance the Water Center.”  (Emphasis added.)

   Why?  Because the perps had already spent over $21 million in UIF money for alleged predevelopment costs to the architects, Cryptic Partners, and the shark lawyers.

   As columnist Dan Popkey of the Idaho Statesman reported on June 29, 2003:

   “In 2001, Kempthorne endorsed an end-run around the state’s competitive bidding process by backing legislative approval (for SCR 113), $11.2 million, to allow Water Resources (IDWR) to take up 50,000 square feet in the U of I’s (University Place) Idaho Water Center.

   After the Legislature defeated that plan (SCR 113), the Kempthorne administration oversaw a bidding process weighted to deliver Water Resources as a tenant to the U of I.

   Despite the ‘competitive’ process, the U of I acted as if it had already bested 16 other proposals, spending millions (by UIF to Cryptic Partners and lawyers) on the assumption that Water Resources would anchor the Water Center.  In April 2001, five months before the state issued its formal Request for Proposals, or RFP, to developers, the university announced the project with Water Resources as a partner.

   In the Request for Proposals process, the state solicits bids and ranks proposals on factors including cost, location and building condition.  A committee of three, two from Water Resources and one from the state Division of Public Works, scored the proposals for the Water Center.

   Four months before the Request for Proposals was issued, officials from the U of I and Water Resources discussed the benefits of housing Water Resources at the Water Center with the U of I’s water research programs, according to state documents and interviews.

   When the RFP was issued, a new factor put a premium on housing the programs together and helped the U of I win the bid.  Called ‘collocation’ in Public Works documents, it accounted for 27 percent of the weight in the rankings.  Collocation was defined as ‘proximity’ to organizations with which Water Resources works and to ‘information resources and educational opportunities.’  Bidders were not told that collocation was vital.  But when state officials scored the bids, they knew that single factor would have the greatest influence in selecting the winner. (Emphasis added.)

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