Monday, July 14, 2014

Prolific texter

Documents released by the Governor's office confirm a bunch of stuff we all pretty much suspected from the beginning.  Bobby Jindal's hand-picked Sec. of Health and Hospitals steered the state's Medicaid privatization scheme to his former employer.
An anonymous whistleblower warned federal officials about problems “dangerously close” to fraud in connection with the state award of a lucrative, now-scrapped state Medicaid claims processing contract, according to recently released documents that the Jindal administration used in making its decision to cancel the largest contract the state lets.

The email shows that federal regulators had alerted state officials of the potential issues with the nearly $200 million contract prior to its award to a company that formerly employed the state’s health agency chief. As secretary of the state Department of Health and Hospitals, Bruce Greenstein was in charge of the agency that oversaw the contract.

Greenstein repeatedly has said he was not involved in the decision to award the contract to his former employer, Client Network Services Inc., the Maryland-based technology firm known as CNSI. But phone records and other data included in the released documents show at least 2,882 contacts between Greenstein and CNSI executives and the company’s lobbyist.
Everyone who cared enough to even read a little bit said this was happening the entire time.  Legislators opposed Greenstein's appointment.  PAR raised objections to the privatization plan.

But all of this went right on through anyway. Even now Greenstein says there's nothing inappropriate about his relationship with the firm receiving this huge contract from the office he oversaw.  
The emails by CMS and the whistleblower were among those recently released by the Jindal administration in response to a public-records request. The administration provided thousands of pages of mainly text-message logs revealing frequent communication between Greenstein and CNSI executive Carroll Creighton before, during and after the selection process and subsequent bid award. Creighton is CNSI’s vice president of government affairs and business development. The records cover a June 2010 to June 2012 time frame and indicate a higher volume of activity around key events in the selection process.

Neither Greenstein, who returned to Seattle, nor Creighton agreed to interviews. Attorneys for Greenstein and CNSI said the men are longtime friends who stay in close contact.

“The vast majority of the text messages and phone calls are of a personal nature and have nothing to do with the contract,” said John McLindon, Greenstein’s Baton Rouge attorney. “Bruce is a prolific texter, and I’m told that Carroll Creighton texts a lot, too.”

Creighton, who lives in Seattle, started work at CNSI a few months after Greenstein in 2005.
Yeah ok fine.  By this point in the Jindal administration we're all pretty much used to the cynical cronyism and political calculation that guides policy on every issue from education to flood control to health care.   So, weary as well all are, maybe "prolific texting" is as good a reason as any to just shrug it off.

But remember Bobby Jindal ran for Governor pledging to wage a "War On Corruption" and his campaign was greatly aided by the propagandists who provide us with our professional news services.  Maybe they'll be less credulous when the next LABI, Louisiana Family Forum,  and oil industry backed "reformer" comes along. But probably not. 

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