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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:15 PM
Original message
Katrina's big contracts go to companies in political loop
http://www.nola.com/newsflash/louisiana/index.ssf?/base...

Katrina's big contracts go to companies in political loop
10/19/2005, 12:50 p.m. CT
By HOPE YEN
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) When Hurricane Katrina struck, Ashbritt Inc. was well-positioned to take advantage of the torrent of government dollars that followed.

The Pompano Beach, Fla., firm had spent years cultivating its relationship with the federal government, contributing tens of thousands of dollars to the Republican Party and, more recently, hiring a powerful firm to lobby the Army Corps of Engineers on "disaster mitigation."

After Katrina hit, Ashbritt was given the largest award to date a deal worth up to $1.1 billion from the Corps for debris removal.

It is a story of government ties that is repeated time and again for the winners of the 10 largest Katrina contracts, according to an Associated Press review. At least four of those contracts are now being reviewed for possible waste and abuse.

<snip>
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highplainsdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kick. This is a fairly long, detailed article, well worth reading.
I wish I could quote more from it. There are paragraphs about a company that's getting up to a billion dollars in contracts; in addition to the company having given heavily to the GOP, it hired Haley Barbour's lobbying firm. And another company, which got nearly $300 million to build temporary housing, isn't licensed to build manufactured homes in several states.
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Mike03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent article
Good catch. Thank you for posting this. It is well worth reading.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. the companies are cashing in on their investments!





......"This shows the best government contractors don't always get hired, the most politically influential do," said Keith Ashdown, vice president of the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. "We need to strive for more competitive bidding."

Some of the deals:

_A $521.4 million contract to Gulf Stream Coach of Nappanee, Ind., for travel trailers to house evacuees. Since 2000, company founder James F. Shea and his family have contributed more than $20,000 to GOP candidates, including President Bush and Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee.

_A no-bid modification to an existing contract with Landstar Express America Inc. for about $300 million worth of trucking services. Company chairman Jeffrey Crowe recently headed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, whose political action committee regularly contributes to the GOP.

In a preliminary review, government auditors this week found that the Transportation Department approved payments on the Landstar contract without issuing written orders or otherwise recording them in ways to allow adequate oversight.
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TacticalPeek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. Barbourous.
"Ashbritt earlier this year hired the lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers, which was founded by Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and paid the firm $40,000 to lobby the Army Corps and Congress, according to Senate records.

Investigators are examining the contract for possible waste as well as whether Ashbritt had improperly registered with the government previously as a small business, allowing it to get priority for certain kinds of work, according to a congressional staff member who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the review hasn't been made public.

Barbour Griffith & Rogers, which began representing Ashbritt in March, declined to comment; Ashbritt referred media inquiries to the Army Corps."




Republican pigs at the trough. :grr:



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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
5. EXACTLY WHAT I SAID WOULD HAPPEN
back when the media were wringing their collective hands over flood victims taking a six-pack of soda and potato chips from the local wal-mart...where is the national outrage now?
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madmark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. Of course, you think Cronyism stops at the supreme court?
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Mountainman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. Don't you know that companies that contribute to the RNC are to only ones
really qualified to do the work?

Don't worry about it.

Sarcasm off>
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