Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pay To Play in Montco...Part 2

C-BIZ, Jimbo and J-Huff have loads of 'splaining to do.

It seems that, according to the Times Herald, there is nothing at all (yet), in writing, that authorizes C-BIZ to act as an agent, on the County's behalf, to obtain competitive health care plans for County employees.

The Times Herald has yet to receive a resolution or contract showing the county authorized the consultant to act on the county’s behalf. However, more county documents related to CBIZ are anticipated by Jan. 29.
But, it only gets 2007, while running for county commissioner, both Jimbo and J-Huff received healthy doses of C-BIZ dollars into their respective campaign funds. From today's Times Herald:
The Times Herald previously reported that since 2006, CBIZ officials have contributed a total of $24,463 to Matthew’s political campaign coffers. In 2007, contributions totaled $14,875, with five executives making monetary contributions adding up to $12,375 on Oct. 9, 2007, less than a month before the 2007 election, according to campaign finance reports.
Just 12 days earlier, CBIZ gave the Damsker-Hoeffel campaign five equal contributions adding up to $12,500. However, Castor, who was favored to win a seat on the board, was apparently not on the consultant’s donors’ list.

On Feb. 12, 2008, CBIZ senior executive F. Bruce Walter gave Matthews, by then the commissioners’ chairman, a $1,000 campaign donation. Three months later, Walter gave $200 to Hoeffel’s campaign, according to 2008 campaign records.
So, J-Huff has been a willing recipient of C-BIZ campaign contributions, as has Jimbo, C-BIZ gets a sweet no-bid contract, a seemingly verbal (and therefore illegal) contract, without a paper trail, yet, this isn't "Pay to Play"?

The Times Herald and Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr., have requested the RFP (request for proposal) and have been told both that one "doesn't exist" and that one does exist, but is "proprietary". (see below)
Calling the RFP’s information proprietary, Walter refused to provide Castor with a copy when he requested one in December. As a result, the commissioner also filed an open records request with the county in an effort to determine if one exists. The Times Herald has also submitted a written request for the RFP with the CBIZ executive.

In response to the newspaper’s first request in December for the RFP, the county said it did not issue the document and therefore couldn’t provide a copy.
The County did not issue the document...lets let that sink in, shall we? (cue Jeopardy music) Okay, our tax dollars are going into the pocket of a company who procures health insurance for the County employees on the County's behalf, and there's no competition for this contract. Why? Because there was no bidding and there is no contract, C-BIZ got the "job" because the gave tons of money to both Hoeffel's and Matthews' political campaign funds.

As for Castor? Well, Castor did not receive one penny in political contributions from anybody at C-BIZ, so one can only assume that one of two things happened...C-BIZ was assured that Castor would lose the election (unlikely, as he polled highest throughout the campaign) or, even more egregious, C-BIZ, knowing that they would have one of the two democrats on board already, "bought" Jimbo on the off chance he would win.

No wonder J-Huff didn't get all up in Jimbo's grill about this, like he did on the recent NMS Contract debacle (Jimbo's proposal that only union contractors be allowed to bid on the correctional facilities building expansion contracts)...he (allegedly) was already in on it and didn't want to bring attention to the fact that he was (again, allegedly) already in C-BIZ's pocket.

Either way, it's Pay to Play, it's not legal or ethical, and the players in this farce should all have to answer to the people of Montgomery County, one way or another.

Click here to read the entire article in today's Times Herald.


Click on the link above and scroll down to read the comments..they're priceless!


And here is the rest of it.


Lisa Mossie said...

My, my my. Is anyone here really shocked that Hoeffel got some payola from CBIZ? I mean really shocked? I'm just surprised it took the Herald this long to connect the dots.

Furthermore, it's a more than a little fishy that the RFP supposedly created for the benefit of the county and at the request of the county has hereby been classified as "classified" to one of the county commissioners.

Keep the heat on!

Anonymous said...

And the guy receiving the contributions for Matthews is his campaign treasurer Barry Miller. The county solicitor we pay $130+K to a year in direct violation of Hoeffel and Matthews own "Ethics" policy. Philly-style pay to play. Someone needs to go to jailover this.

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