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About that sweet $9.8 million Bay Bridge PR contract—it’s toast

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Here’s how watchdog journalism is supposed to work. The Sacramento Bee sniffed around asking for records about bridge toll money being used to pay nearly $10 million for planned on-going public relations related to the Bay Bridge construction. As part of the deal, a company called Words Pictures Ideas whose principal is a Caltrans consultant named Bart Ney was to be paid to conduct tours, and produce a video and a commemorative book about the construction.

When Gov. Jerry Brown got wind of it, he was livid, especially with voters having approved Prop 30 amid promises of budget belt-tightening. Result: end of contract. The Bee wrote about it yesterday. The Chronicle’s Matier & Ross are also on it.

Image: Metropolitan Transportation Commission
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