University Place and All The Governor's
Deep Throat II
Chapter 9 - Boise's Watergate
– Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne, referring to his alleged rigging of the
Idaho Water Center’s bidding process with a secret 27 percent “co-location”
(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.
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.”
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
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
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
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
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