Balukoff rips ‘shady’ broadband deal

The disputed Idaho Education Network broadband contract is one illustration of the “shady contracts and scandals” that have beset Gov. Butch Otter’s administration, gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff said this week.

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate made the remarks in a fundraising email.

The email comes on the heels of two Idaho Statesman stories on the protracted broadband contract mess.

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a subpoena for state documents on the 2009 broadband contract. Meanwhile, as an FCC contractor reviews the contract and keeps federally administered funds on hold, the network will seek another $2.4 million from the 2015 Legislature to keep the school broadband system online through the end of the 2014-15 budget year.

Here’s an excerpt from Balukoff’s fundraising email:

“This spring, the FBI launched an investigation into the Corrections Corporation of America for falsifying staff records in Idaho’s prisons and putting us at risk.

“Just this week, the FCC subpoenaed the state of Idaho over a shady contract to provide broadband service to Idaho schools.

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“The more I learn about the millions wasted with these and the other shady contracts and scandals of the Otter administration, I’m appalled he’s asking for four more years!

“Had enough? I know I have.”