President Obama and the Washington Republicans don’t have an exclusive when it comes to spending public money and political brinkmanship.
According to reports reaching the GUARDIAN today, the controversial payment of Greater Boise Auditorium cash to the Boise Convention and Visitor’s Bureau in the amount of $24,500 was held up for lack of a signature.
G-BAD treasurer Stephanie Astorquia signed a batch of routine checks Wednesday, but apparently didn’t sign the $24,5000 destined for Bobbie Patterson’s non-profit agency which has become the center point of a political row with the new G-BAD board. Three board members obviously attempted to circumvent the Idaho bidding law with the $24,500 appropriation. The law has a threshold of $25,000 which requires a bidding process.
At issue is a legal ruling from a Pocatello Court which prohibited that area’s auditorium district from spending tax money for promotions other than on behalf of the auditorium district (convention center). The BCVB seeks the G-BAD funds as part of its tourist promotion for the Boise area.
The G-BAD check was to have been a matching revenue source to qualify the BCVB for state Travel Council funds. Astorquia is the only board member insured, bonded and authorized to sign checks over $5,000 on behalf of G-BAD, according to sources. She has previously gone on record against the expenditure, stating she felt it was not within the law.
Astorquia reportedly left town soon after signing the routine checks and is unavailable for comment.
UPDATE 11/14–We were informed that while indeed no check was signed, it is not clear if Astorquia will sign next week or not, given her philosophical opposition to the expenditure. Mixed reports to the GUARDIAN indicate timing of the request for payment may have come AFTER she signed other checks. Most checks are issued on Tuesday.
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