Federal Stimulus Contract Watch

Member Group : Freindly Fire

Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing series examining how state government contracts are awarded federal stimulus money.

For many years, conflicts of interest and pay-to-play scandals have played a significant part in how government business is conducted in Pennsylvania. Given the billions in federal stimulus money being doled out to the states, and the huge potential for conflicts, The Bulletin will be maintaining a "stimulus contract watch" to ensure that open, transparent and fair business practices are incorporated in the awarding of state contracts.

PennDOT Contract To Rendell Donor

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has received $257 million in federal stimulus money for transportation-related projects. To date, contracts have been awarded on six of the 21 projects earmarked by PennDOT.

The James J. Anderson Construction firm of Philadelphia was recently awarded a $1.43 million contract to build 600 sidewalk curb ramps in Philadelphia. The company was the lowest bidder in the process.

James Anderson, the firm’s CEO, is a significant contributor to Gov. Ed Rendell, D, whose administration oversees PennDOT.

Mr. Anderson donated $91,000 to the governor’s campaigns, including $25,000 in 2007 and 2008, two years after Mr. Rendell’s last election. The governor is prohibited from running for another term.