Another Warren Tompkins Scandal October 14, 2007Posted by fitsnews in SC Politics.
INSURANCE SCAM LATEST EXAMPLE OF CONSULTANT’S UNETHICAL DEALINGS
FITSNews – October 14, 2007 – It’s shaping up to be quite a couple of weeks for veteran GOP consultant Warren Tompkins, the ethically-compromised lead S.C. strategist for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Only a month after Tompkins’ firm was busted operating an anonymous attack website targeting GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson, Tompkins now finds himself at the center of another brewing political scandal, this one involving millions of taxpayer dollars.
Reporter Dan McCue of the Charleston Regional Business Journal has labored to produce a brilliant piece of investigative journalism highlighting Tompkins’ connection to a multi-million dollar state insurance contract that hasn’t been competitively bid in 19 years – a cozy backscratching relationship that has cost South Carolina taxpayers millions of dollars a year.
Thanks to the hard work of Rep. Murrell Smith (who initially exposed the problem) and the recommendations of a recent Budget and Control Board report, the financial particulars of this shady arrangement have been widely-reported by mainstream media in South Carolina in recent months. However, the extent of Tompkins’ involvement was not widely-known until McCue’s piece was published this Friday.
The controversy centers around the not-so-aptly-named Competitive Insurance Group, LLC, which is represented in Columbia by Tompkins and his lobbying partner, Graham Tew.
Tompkins and Tew both worked in key positions in the administration of former Gov. Carroll Campbell when the State Budget Board, which Campbell chaired at the time, twice renewed an Insurance Reserve Fund contract for the company (then known as the Thomas Brown Agency) without seeking competitive bids.
Using an exemption to the state procurement code, the board bypassed a competitive bidding process entirely, as it did again in 1993, 1996 and 2001.
Fortunately, after twenty years of waste (it turns out competitively bidding this sweetest of “sweetheart deals” could have saved taxpayers an estimated $2 million last year alone), the contract has finally been reworked and put out to bid, with the Budget and Control Board scheduled to review proposals on Nov. 6.
Count on FITSNews to be there … perhaps along with Tompkins and Tew, since their client was one of 11 firms to submit proposals.
Of course neither of the lobbyists was in a mood to chat with McCue about the contract this week:
Tew could not be reached for comment. Tompkins declined requests by the Charleston Regional Business Journal for comment and directed questions to Robert Kneece Jr., who said he could not comment.
Figures … we’re sure the whole thing is just a coincidence, right?