SacBee Hit Piece On CHP BMW Procurements - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 19 Old Dec 18th, 2006, 4:25 pm Thread Starter
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SacBee Hit Piece On CHP BMW Procurements

Sac Bee seems to think the CHP gave preferential treatment to BMW over Harley in exchange for favors.

http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/94060.html

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post #2 of 19 Old Dec 18th, 2006, 4:39 pm
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In 2004, Harley-Davidson complained that it was excluded from the bidding process. "As a U.S. manufacturer of an American designed and engineered product, we believe we should at least have the opportunity to bid," the company wrote.
Earlier this year, a Harley-Davidson dealership, offering motorcycles equipped with new anti-lock brakes, put in the lowest bid for the new CHP contract to supply 200 motorcycles over two years.

But CHP testers reported that the Harley wobbled at high speeds and the department refused to approve it. Then, the Department of General Services canceled the bid, characterizing the CHP's criteria for testing the motorcycles as ill-defined and inconclusive.

The Santa Cruz dealership that lost the bid blamed the cancellation on the CHP's preference for BMWs.

"We were experiencing a bias," said dealership owner Mike James, " not a problem with the vehicle."





Who are we supposed to believe?

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post #3 of 19 Old Dec 18th, 2006, 6:01 pm
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Overall it was some of the worst "journalism" I have yet seen from our one and only newspaper option originating from Sacramento. Very poorly written with very little specific evidence or substance on any of the supposed issues. The writer needs to do a lot more research on the specific requirements of the CHP and other government bodies before labeling them single bids. If only one company builds the acceptable technology, yes, it becomes a single bid. The part about BMW(or Eurocopter for that matter) sponsoring trips to their plants is laughable. This is a regular course of business and if they didn't sponsor it and save we taxpayers the tab then I should hope someone from the CHP would want to take a look at the quality processes involved before a huge contract is awarded. Guess what, no American company makes what we need. Is anyone up in arms over the CHP visiting the Harley plant? Is it OK because it's in Wisconsin? The writer should have made more than a tertiary effort at understanding the entire issue rather than trying to make political hay specifically for Harley. This is just more of the same from the Sac Bee where they put their unmitigated, opinionated vapor like this on the front page under the heading of "analysis" or "perspective" to help us idiots "understand our world." As an editor, I would be embarrassed to put that under my masthead as "news."

By the way, where is the story about the CHP only buying Ford Crown Victorias for the past ten years? Is Ford going to cry foul when the CHP decides to go with the new Charger? Will we then get another front page "perspective" from the boobs at the Bee?

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post #4 of 19 Old Dec 18th, 2006, 6:50 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallyho
Overall it was some of the worst "journalism" I have yet seen from our one and only newspaper option originating from Sacramento. Very poorly written with very little specific evidence or substance on any of the supposed issues. The writer needs to do a lot more research on the specific requirements of the CHP and other government bodies before labeling them single bids. If only one company builds the acceptable technology, yes, it becomes a single bid. The part about BMW(or Eurocopter for that matter) sponsoring trips to their plants is laughable. This is a regular course of business and if they didn't sponsor it and save we taxpayers the tab then I should hope someone from the CHP would want to take a look at the quality processes involved before a huge contract is awarded. Guess what, no American company makes what we need. Is anyone up in arms over the CHP visiting the Harley plant? Is it OK because it's in Wisconsin? The writer should have made more than a tertiary effort at understanding the entire issue rather than trying to make political hay specifically for Harley. This is just more of the same from the Sac Bee where they put their unmitigated, opinionated vapor like this on the front page under the heading of "analysis" or "perspective" to help us idiots "understand our world." As an editor, I would be embarrassed to put that under my masthead as "news."

By the way, where is the story about the CHP only buying Ford Crown Victorias for the past ten years? Is Ford going to cry foul when the CHP decides to go with the new Charger? Will we then get another front page "perspective" from the boobs at the Bee?
Well said Bob.

I think the root of this story is that Senator from So Cal. Wonder who's pocket she's in????

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post #5 of 19 Old Dec 18th, 2006, 7:25 pm
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Bob, I couldn't agree more with you. Unfortunately we suffer until this mess is cleaned up.

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post #6 of 19 Old Dec 18th, 2006, 7:27 pm
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The Highway Patrol has other considerations then simply the lowest bid. There are retraining issues that would have to be addressed, too, and the costs of that retraining factored into the bid. The ABS braking system on the Harley is primative, at best!

The abs unit is huge and takes up 1/2 of the right saddlebag, and although the Motor Company, now, uses the 110 ci engine in their law enforcement bikes, they would play havoc trying to accelerate and cruise at the speeds the BMW is capable.

I remember a similar outcry from the Sacramento press when the CHP decided to stay with their Smith & Wesson handguns. At that time, SigSauer was crying foul. Having rode "motors" for SFPD and after owning an FLHT series Harley for the past 9 years, I can attest that the Harley is an exceptional city motorcycle and absurdely easy to ride at slow speeds, BUT on the highway, they fall on their face.

There's a reason why so many highway patrol agencies have gone to BMW R1150RT-P's and R1200RT-P's, along with Honda ST1100 & 1300's. They simply work better in that environment. Because they do work better for highway work, officers have one less thing to worry about when they're locked into a pursuit or high speed chase.

For what it's worth, there's my $.02!

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post #7 of 19 Old Dec 18th, 2006, 7:38 pm
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It sure smells like a couple of uh, influencial people, convinced Harley if they could meet the minimum specs the powers that be would see that they got the contract. An automobile ABS system rigged up to a couple of Harley test bikes(non-production) with the specific intent of competing for the bid. The unit takes up a whole saddlebag and is completely untested in the real world environment and specific application.

How does the saying go? "And if my Grandma had wheels she would be a wagon."

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post #8 of 19 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 10:37 am
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Issue?

In looking at police requests for proposals to supply vehicles to their respective departments it appears common practice to be so specific as to aesthetic requirements as to be defining a particular make and model.

When looking at a local police department RFP, it asks the bidder to answer, "yes", or "no" as to whether the engine is an "
Air‑cooled Twin Cam 88 Vibration, isolated V‑Twin‑ EFI Idle Heat Management System".

Clearly the department will be buying a Harley Davidson. Will BMW dealers even bother to submit a bid? This type of bias is expected, at least by some of us, in many parts of the country. Wrong, but expected.

The California CHP got away from that type of blatant requirements "rigging" many years ago and went to performance based requirement, hence the switch to BMW's.

The article, in essence, raised only two issues:
1- Decision makers were "illegally" compensated to curry favor with the vendor.
2- The supplier of large ticket items was a sole source structure by the CHP, meaning that BMW's were the product of choice and the question really was which dealer would provide them along with service and at what price.

For item one above, it looks like a single dinner and a single jacket were provided to, potentially, someone that might have had influence in the decision making process. To say that the amounts are trivial is a grotesque understatement. The trip to Germany, in the case of BMW, is a bigger issue and I would not fault the vendor for offering it. BMW wants to show what is involved in it's manufacturing process and why even minor changes in requirements can have disproportionate increases in cost. Clearly, the CHP should have followed whatever the disclosure requirements were in force at the time.

For item two above, the decision by the CHP to retain a consistent vendor over a longer period of time seems desireable. However, it does raise the spectre of doubt as to whether a bid process is, in fact, open. Here is where a truly investigative reporting effort may have served to inform the public as to how their tax dollars are being utilized.

The reporting in the article fails to emphasize investigative journalism, but rather an innuendo piece commonly referred to as "muckraking". The problem with the former is that it requires work and talent to present, whereas the latter does not.

The SacBee has yet to demonstrate that it is equipped to be the primary reporting source for the Union's largest state's capitol.



Bill "Omaha"

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post #9 of 19 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 11:52 am
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I seem to recall hearing about a year ago that CHP favored BMW over HD because of the ABS availability. HD did come out with their own ABS in production bikes, and every one of them were recalled. The public is still waiting for a HD with ABS.

I had my own conversations with CHP and Atlantic City NJ PD back around 2001, and they both told me that after switching to BMW from HD, Motor Officer accidents dropped by 40%. Both departments wanted to stay with BMW for a long time, due to the reliability, ABS, and the faith they had in the machines.

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post #10 of 19 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 12:59 pm
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It is funny how the Department of General Services stated the CHP used "fuzzy" criteria. Either the bike wobbles, ot it does not. The HD the CHP would use has a fork mounted fairing. At higher speeds, the bike will wobble.

Also, how can Santa Cruz HD claim favoritism when they got the bid and they did not even have a bike that met the specifications. DGS gave HD the bid, on the basis they can produce a bike that meets specs.

The Sac Bee sucks. They produce this piece of crap article on the BMW/HD bid, but when the Michigan state police released their testing on the BMW vs. HS, the Sac Bee never even published it. Funny how that testing proved the BMW was better.

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post #11 of 19 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 1:23 pm
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Phoenix was a long time user of the now discontinued Kaw1000. I've seen a Phoenix motor officer on an HD. I don't know if it is a evaluation unit or not, but I'm looking forward to seeing the PD on that big, air-cooled iron when spring and summer gets here.

I recall years ago when Phoenix bought a fleet of MAN articulated buses. The City was assured that the bus could handle the heat because they had been used in Israel for years. By 10:00 a.m. on the first day of operation, every bus had stopped when its internal sensors registered an overheat condition. Turns out the buses in Israel don't have Air Conditioning.

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post #12 of 19 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 1:56 pm
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Sorry guys, not a Kalifornian but I need to weigh in here ...

First, I'll admit I am not a daily reader of the SacBee so I won't comment on the nature of the journalism there.

Second, to me, the meat of the article is vendors/lobbyists spending money on government officials. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. I will say this: I am a consultant for a large company (around 50,00 employees) there are VERY specific rules for how we interract with and spend money on clients. The rules for non-government orgs are different that for gov't orgs. We have very tight rules on taking any gov't folks out for a $5 lunch, let alone drinks, gifts, etc. Things are little more relaxed for non-gov't folks.

So I can of understand where the author was trying to go w/ the article, just not sure he got there .

BTW, THANKS Gino for the bugmenot website!! Just what I've been looking for . I can only register as [email protected] or gotohell.com so many times for one website .

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post #13 of 19 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 3:16 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varoom
...the meat of the article is vendors/lobbyists spending money on government officials. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. I will say this: I am a consultant for a large company (around 50,00 employees) there are VERY specific rules for how we interract with and spend money on clients. The rules for non-government orgs are different that for gov't orgs. We have very tight rules on taking any gov't folks out for a $5 lunch, let alone drinks, gifts, etc. Things are little more relaxed for non-gov't folks.
Howdy Richard,

Do you mean that the organization you are consulting for is the one laying down the rules, or the rules are being dictated by the government?

If the rules are that government employees cannot accept, or must report, gifts above a certain value, then so be it. The point I would make is that, IF a vendor was trying buy influence with a government decision maker, then $99 for a "logo" jacket and business dinner is woefully inadequate evidence to make a bribery case.

Maybe there's a law against such pitiful perks, but if that's the level of minutia that these laws are trying to regulate, then I want a tax refund based on government waste of my money.

Signed,

A tax paying Kalifornia resident

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post #14 of 19 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 3:28 pm
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post #15 of 19 Old Dec 19th, 2006, 3:54 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyOmaha
Howdy Richard,

Do you mean that the organization you are consulting for is the one laying down the rules, or the rules are being dictated by the government?

If the rules are that government employees cannot accept, or must report, gifts above a certain value, then so be it. The point I would make is that, IF a vendor was trying buy influence with a government decision maker, then $99 for a "logo" jacket and business dinner is woefully inadequate evidence to make a bribery case.

Maybe there's a law against such pitiful perks, but if that's the level of minutia that these laws are trying to regulate, then I want a tax refund based on government waste of my money.

Signed,

A tax paying Kalifornia resident

.

Hey Billy,

The rules I follow our dictated by my employer but are based on government regulations (Raffy posted an excellent example below). Because these regulations vary from state-to-state, country-to-country our management errs on the side of caution and really limits what we can do (and hopefully limits the trouble such an action would cause).

So it's not just California, everyone pays for this. I agree with the law to some extent: our elected pollutions are corrupt enough.


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(but boy, do they get you on property taxes!)

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post #16 of 19 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 7:24 am
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When I was working on the F-15 program we would have Air Force crew chiefs come to the production line and see how their airplanes were built. The trip was usually some sort of incentive award from their home squadron for a job well done. We would present to them a small model of the F-15 while they were here and have to supply a certification that the model cost no more than, I believe, $5.00 so neither one of us could be accused of either accepting or offering a bribe for future contracts. As if a $5.00 piece of plastic would have an impact on the purchase of a $40M aircraft.

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post #17 of 19 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 10:44 am
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Yes, it's ridiculous to believe that a $99 jacket or a dinner out can influence these type of decisions butt, as one who had to live under these rules for eight years of my life, I can explain that their intent is to address the "perception of impropriety" with no acknowledgement of actual impropriety.

To most of us the expense of a dinner out or a $99 jacket is not a big deal. However, we live in a world where some folks can be bought for a lot less.

Cheers!

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post #18 of 19 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 1:40 pm
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Hello all, I do love the lively discussions here.
If there were some bending of the rules or not is one subject, however the article in the SacBee is just another example of poor one sided coverage of the news. The loss of the other daily newspaper in sacramento has given the Bee the ability to twist the news into what they think will sell the most papers even if it is not a complete unbias report. If you belive more than 25% of what you read in the Bee you are mis-informed. I understand the concept of coemptive bidding Ive had to deal with it for th past 28 years, But lets not forget that these officers are putting their lives on their bikes. Buy the safest bike available.
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post #19 of 19 Old Dec 20th, 2006, 1:40 pm
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I can't say any about the helicopter, deal, but the facts about the BMW purchase are wrong. The CHP went with BMW because of ABS. HD didn't offer it. BMW and Honda did. The CHP won't go with Honda, because Honda doesn't make a complete police bike. With Honda, the CHP would have to purchase the ST1300 then purchase the aftermarket crashbars, etc, and the state does not purchase like that.

If the state (not the CHP decision) to go with HD, you will officers getting off their bikes. I know of several that will not ride the HD. Myself included. I am scheduled for motor school, but if the state goes with HD, I will not ride. It is a matter of safety. Nothing against HD, but for high speed use, the HD is not the right bike.

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