Did you see the 11/2/2012 article in the Phoenix Business Journal? "Bond Campaigns Get Heavy Support from Construction" by Kristena Hansen. You have to subscribe to see the entire article, so I’ll give you a few highlights.
The first paragraph says it all: "School districts around the Phoenix area are putting hundreds of millions of dollars in capital improvements up for a vote next week, and the strongest campaign support is coming from the same construction companies that could benefit from the voter-approved projects."
"I don’t believe it’s a conflict of interest…because it doesn’t guarantee in any way, shape, or form that they’ll get the job," said David Martin, president of the Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America.
"At least 17 political action committees have raised roughly $500,000 this year in support of most of those school elections….More than 72 percent….came directly from the construction industry…"
"The biggest construction contributors are Core Construction Services, McCarthy Building Cos., DLR Group and the Coalition for Education Excellence…."
"Construction professionals say campaign donations never guarantee a company will get jobs, because all government projects are awarded by competitive bid."
"Although campaign contributions won’t ensure work, …. many of the bid procedures districts use to pick contractors often lends themselves to favoritism." Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association.
Favoritism? Did you know that Core Construction appears to be the "favored" construction company of Gilbert Schools?
Here’s an interesting quote from an article titled Who is Behind the Gilbert Education Foundation?
"Much to our surprise, we learned that GPS does not engage in a sealed competitive bid process. Instead, a selection committee is formed with district staff members. The selection committee through a point system of ratings and while engaging in dialogue with the prospective bidders, selects a company best suited for the job. When it comes to construction projects, Core Construction is almost always chosen. It appears they thank the district for the continued business with regular sizeable donations to the Gilbert Education Foundation."
Here’s some interesting information about Core Construction’s recent contributions to Gilbert’s Override through the Gilbert Supports Education PAC, as well as to Higley’s Yes Yes Yes for Higley Schools PAC, as stated in Hayley Ringle’s recent article titled Gilbert, Higley School Board Finances Revealed:
To the $18 million Gilbert override request, Core Construction contributed 1,000 signs and stakes worth $2,350. The Yes Yes Yes for Higley Schools PAC "collected $20,000 from Core Construction and $10,000 from Hunt & Caraway Architects. Both plan to work on two middle schools if voters approve the three initiatives."