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Secretary Lanier Cansler’s gone and landed Governor Perdue in the soup again with one of his no bid contracts.
 
This time Cansler got caught by WRAL giving a $30 million contract to a company that’s only been in existence two months and whose owners – Ramzi Abulhaj and Rich Admani – got sued in Florida for stealing another company’s patent, then got threatened with jail because they ignored a judge’s order to stop selling products they shouldn’t, then went bankrupt and finally were sued by the bankruptcy trustee for transferring millions of dollars out of the bankrupt company to hide their assets from creditors.
 
When he interviewed Cansler WRAL’s Cullen Browder got right to the point when he asked Cansler if he’d stopped to check out Prodigy Incorporated before awarding them a contract to sell diabetes testing equipment and supplies to every Medicaid patient in North Carolina – Cansler, dapper as always, turned a little ‘green around the gills’ then in effect said, Er, yes, sort of. Then Browder asked, well, had Cansler checked out Prodigy’s owners? A little more of the starch went out of Cansler and he mumbled, “That’s not something we usually do.”
 
Cansler has a legion of employees – anyone could find the information with a mouse-click and a ten-minute Internet search.
 
Last January when Governor Perdue appointed Lanier Cansler a lot of folks said it wasn’t such a good idea to put a lobbyist in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services but she told them not to worry, saying, ‘Whoever he [Cansler] worked for in the past, he is 100% owned by the people of North Carolina now.’
 
Back then that sort of sounded like faint praise and reminded me of the old hard-bitten pol’ who once told me, Sure I know how to buy a politician – what I don’t know is how to keep him bought.
 
Anyway – when it comes to hiring lobbyists – maybe it’s time the Governor rethought her position.
 
 
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