Gov. Sarah Palin’s signature accomplishment — a contract to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48 — emerged from a flawed bidding process that narrowed the field to a company with ties to her administration, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Despite Palin’s boast of a smart and fair bidding process, the AP found that her team crafted terms that favored only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefited the winner, TransCanada Corp.

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