The Associated Press continues its assault on Sarah Palin’s credibility. First it an investigation revealing that she was flying her family around on the Alaska taxpayer’s dime. Now it’s an allegation that the bidding process she oversaw on a future natural gas pipeline was unfair:
Gov. Sarah Palin’s signature accomplishment — a contract to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48 — emerged from a flawed bidding process that narrowed the field to a company with ties to her administration, an Associated Press investigation shows…
Despite Palin’s boast of a smart and fair bidding process, the AP found that her team crafted terms that favoured only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefited the winner, TransCanada Corp…
_Instead of creating a process that would attract many potential builders, Palin slanted the terms away from an important group — the global energy giants that own the rights to the gas.
_Despite promises and legal guidance not to talk directly with potential bidders, Palin had meetings or phone calls with nearly every major candidate, including TransCanada.
_The leader of Palin’s pipeline team had been a partner at a lobbying firm where she worked on behalf of a TransCanada subsidiary. Also, that woman’s former business partner at the lobbying firm was TransCanada’s lead private lobbyist on the pipeline deal, interacting with legislators in the weeks before the vote to grant TransCanada the contract. Plus, a former TransCanada executive served as an outside consultant to Palin’s pipeline team.
_Under a different set of rules four years earlier, TransCanada had offered to build the pipeline without a state subsidy; under Palin, the company could receive a maximum $500 million.
We’ve never viewed the AP as particularly partisan. What gives? Is no other news organisation doing any work in Alaska?