Riley should practice what he preaches

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 12, 2009

“Pass-through pork is corrupt, it’s wrong and it’s an abuse of the taxpayers.”

That’s what Gov. Bob Riley told college presidents in a letter this fall in which he sought disclosure from college presidents of funds being passed through their budgets for “pork” projects.

One wonders if he mailed the letter to Auburn University Montgomery, through which his finance department initially steered a $13 million no-bid computer contract. Passing the contract through AUM kept it out of the legislative review process.

The governor’s spokesperson said Friday the contract that went through AUM was “different” from state funds being hidden in university budgets by legislators.

The chairman of that review committee, Rep. Alvin Holmes, begged to differ and so do we.

The governor is busy boasting about making Alabama government more transparent than ever. Unfortunately, the $13 million contract routed through AUM makes what most legislators “hide” look like loose change.