During his rally Saturday night at Clover Island, GOP Governor Candidate Loren Culp dropped a bombshell on attendees (one of several) when discussing Gov. Jay Inslee's performance.

Culp mentioned that Inslee (the state) has been paying a consulting firm $164K a week to, in his words, 'tell him what to do' with state's Phase Re Open plan.

We don't recall seeing a press release about this. When the Phase plan was released, Inslee mentioned his 27 economic "experts" and advisors; most of whom have little or no business or market experience. They come from special interest groups, labor unions, and social justice advocacy groups, even self admitted economic "anarchists."

We did a number of stories, as did others, about how these advisors did not include anyone from Costco, Boeing, Amazon, chambers of commerce, or other real business leaders. However, we saw no mention of any consulting contract for advising.

Culp's statement refers back to June, when the state entered into a contract with one of the largest consulting-management firms in the world, McKinsey  & Company.  The purpose was, according to Northwest Public Broadcasting, to provide a "Governor's Decision Support Tool," or in layman's terms, tell him what to do.

McKinsey would provide all sorts of data, analytics, economic information etc. etc upon which Inslee apparently used to make many of his controversial shut down and re open decisions.  A thorough search about this plan revealed only one story; the one written August 10th by NPB with help from a Seattle Times reporter.

It makes sense, really; many wondered where Inslee came up with the Safe Start--A Phased Approach program.  It began with the four phases, but has now splintered into Phase 1.5, 1.75, and as some Tri-Citians mockingly say "1.8675309."

It is very likely his Safe Start Phase Approach ideas came from the consulting firm.

But the price tag is what got people's, and Culp's, attention. The contract was originally signed for 8 weeks, at $164K a week. And according to the NPB story, was a bargain. The price tag?  $1.312 million in taxpayer dollars.

Inslee Communications Director Tara Lee told NPB "we recognize that's a lot of money but this is a strange time and the Governor needed the information to help him make his decisions."

In addition, using certain 'clauses' and 'rules' stemming from executive orders etc, Inslee and the state enacted this contract in what's called a "no bid" process, meaning they did not seek multiple offers from various firms, with the hopes of finding the most cost effective program. They just went with McKinsey.

To find out about what other consulting COVID related costs the state has rung up, click on the button below.

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