Alabama Democrats Say Campaign Promise Broke

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Some Democrats in the Legislature are accusing Republican Governor Bob Riley of breaking a 2002 campaign promise to bid most state contracts.

The Legislature began its session last week with lawmakers discussing finding more money for cash-strapped budgets and the governor's plan to make government more accountable.

When Riley gave his State of the State address last week, asking legislators to address accountability in government, Senate President Pro Tem Lowell Barron of Fyffe distributed a news release saying that Riley had approved more than one thousand no-bid contracts during his first year in office. Barron quoted data from the Legislature's Contract Review Committee. Riley had quoted from the same committee's data in 2002 when he accused then-Governor Siegelman of using no-bid contracts to reward political friends.

Riley legal adviser Troy King says the Riley administration is requiring bids or proposals on most state contracts.

Some contracts, King says, like those for personal services, do not have to be bid.