Cross posted from the Arizona Eagletarian

On April 30th, I spoke with Doug Johnson, president of National Demographics Corporation who is also a fellow at the Rose Institute at Claremont McKenna College. Johnson was adamant that any indication NDC had failed to submit pricing information with its 2011 bid for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission’s mapping consultant contract was the fault of the State Purchasing Office (which resides in the Arizona Department of Administration).

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Johnson repeated, more than once, that any person who reported to me anything to the contrary was lying and that I should never listen to that person ever again. After having verified that my understanding — contrary to Johnson’s — was correct, I called Johnson again. I had to give him the opportunity to reconsider his claim. He only repeated it, with equal emphasis.

Today, I have located the documentation, which has been posted online at the AIRC website continuously since July 2011, that casts unquestionable doubt on Johnson’s claim that the problem with NDC’s blank “attachment 3” (the schedule of deliverables and pricing) was because of technical problem for which any employee or agent of the State of Arizona was responsible.

This documentation, subject to full disclosure subsequent to the award of the contract to a different bidder, is found in two evaluation documents.

Notable in this document is that NDC was docked (by SPO) half of the available points based on its proposal’s conformance to RFP terms and conditions. That rating included this notation, “Failed to provide documents referenced in proposal response,” and “Provided no information in original pricing proposal document.” (Page 5 of the PDF document)

Notable in this document is (on page 13 of the PDF file) AIRC chair Mathis’ statement,

Their pricing sheet was submitted late, one week after all other firms submitted theirs. This was not due to a technical glitch on SPOs end but was on NDC’s end. There is no way to guarantee that they were not aware of pricing information of other firms when they submitted theirs. It is not fair to other firms.

Now I feel bad for Mr. Johnson because he was insistent, emphatic and repeated his claim to me on two separate phone conversations last night that whoever told me NDC had failed to submit pricing data originally was lying. Well, it’s actually the legal record of the proceedings that told me.

 If Mathis’ comments on the weakness of the NDC bid, and the official notation of the State Purchasing Office were disputable, it seems to me that either Commissioners Freeman or Stertz, or the Koch brothers’ (and other Dark Money) funded UNfair Trust operatives (Cantelme and Liberdi) would have said something about that specific point either immediately after the documents were posted or during litigation. Granted, the litigation over the AIRC allegedly violating its lawfully mandated procedures is still pending, but may have been abandoned.

Nevertheless, the publicly available documentation of the mapping consultant hiring process shows pretty clearly that NDC’s proposal was grossly deficient by way of omission of important documents. Additionally, individual evaluations of NDC’s proposal made by the commissioners reflect the sloppiness of the language in the proposal with the Republican commissioners downplaying this factor and while the chair and the two Democratic commissioners considered that factor to be material in nature and adjusted their scores accordingly.

BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line of this situation appears (strongly) to be that 1) “retired partner” David Alan Heslop, now convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery for incidents and events unrelated to Arizona Redistricting, was one of two owners of NDC at the time the first AIRC granted the mapping consultant contract to NDC in 2001. Doug Johnson bought out the ownership interest of both Heslop and Florence P. Adams at an unspecified point in 2006, while NDC was still under contract to the AIRC. The allegations (and several charges, but Heslop pleaded guilty to only one charge of conspiracy to commit bribery) date back at least to September 2006 according to the 20-page factual basis document signed by an assistant US Attorney and by Heslop.

The 2011 proposal submitted by NDC in hopes of winning the contract to draw this decade’s district maps was deficient for several reasons. None of those reasons is related to Johnson’s relationship with Heslop.

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 This post is meant to also supply an update to two previous Arizona Eagletarian posts, here and here.

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