Funny story, Dick Cheney and the like don't make decisions at this level.
When it comes to actual implementation projects with open bidding, there is a selection committee that handles the decision making. With scoring criteria based on measurable metrics.
Those selection committees contain a variety of stake holders. Typically you have someone from the brass, a couple of middle managers from the primary departments involved, an engineer, a business area expert, and management from IT.
Do you really think Cheney came up with an idea for a secondary email system to allow the Bush administration to get around the open records laws? No, it was a group of middle managers, brown nosers, political hacks, and someone from IT.
Now, there are serious issues when you wind up with no-bid contracts where senior political figures side step process and implement crap without regard for the law. But there is a lot of heat and pressure that comes along with those moves (as my own Governor has discovered).
But in other cases, IT leadership in state governments has a lot of pull on implementations. So yes, I do have the ability to shape the direction of our ATMS selection.
So if you want to do something about it, get off your pessimistic duff and get involved in government. If you don't trust others to do it right, then do it yourself!