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Political patronage misdirection by any other name...

by: Eric B.

Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 13:40:07 PM EDT

A week or so ago, we shared the sorrowful tale of a wealthy furniture manufacturer who faced the prospect of not getting even wealthier and who had to turn to his political contacts to prevent it from happening. You will be happy to know that his good fortune continues.

LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. awarded a contract worth more than $731,000 to Haworth Inc. and DBI Business Interiors to reconfigure and remodel its downtown Lansing headquarters.

The quasi-governmental agency, which receives state funding, did not seek competitive bids for the project, noting that other options would have been cost prohibitive.

The governor's cousin got a no-bid furniture contract from the state? What's to complain about?

Meanwhile, the point, she was missed.

The companies recently made news when Michigan Democrats pointed out that a state budget provision that would have negatively impacted Haworth and DBI was changed after George Snyder reached out to one of the governor's top aides.

The Snyder administration denied any foul play, noting that the state spent roughly $18.5 million on contracts held by DBI in the three years before the governor took office, but only $17 million in the three years since.

What the state had done previously is entirely beside the point. It's assumed that the state has to buy furniture from someone, and a Michigan furniture manufacturer is a logical source for it. What isn't beside the point is the behind-the-scenes influence peddling that prompted what were going to be spending cuts to not take place.

Eric B. :: Political patronage misdirection by any other name...
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Government contracts!
The freest of free markets!  

Snyder's defense of this is hilarious.  He really thinks we're stupid.  Whether DBI has a contract with the state before is irrelevant.  What's relevant is that under his governance, not only was the contract in danger of not being renewed actually renewed, but the size of the contract was doubled.  And, this all the after his cousin is literally writing his office and his office replying "we're on it."  This smells just like Christie's Bridgegate in that regard.

His defense isn't even a defense; and I don't think he really thinks he's going to get away with this without it being investigated, if not by the media by law enforcement.

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