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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:46 PM
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Post-Katrina Efforts Spawn Diverse Complaints and Inquiries

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sep 27 (OneWorld) - Multibillion-dollar White House plans to aid recovery from Hurricane Katrina have spawned complaints by a broad array of civil rights, economic justice, and environmental groups even as congressional investigators look into possible corruption.

At issue are measures that critics--including People for the American Way, the AFL-CIO labor federation, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), and the National Education Association--said would roll back wages just when local workers need decent pay more than ever, sap affirmative action requirements designed to protect minorities from discrimination, and enfeeble public schools even as they scramble to enroll evacuee children. The accusations have come amid reports that more than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were awarded without bidding or with limited competition.

Winners of major contracts include the Shaw Group and Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton, the New York Times, citing government documents, reported Monday. Lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush's former campaign manager and a former leader of FEMA, represented both firms, the newspaper said, adding that such connections have fueled officials' and observers' concerns about corruption and favoritism. KBR also has been the focus of controversy involving inflated pricing and questionable billing under Pentagon contracts in Iraq. Additionally, congressional investigators are looking into a $568 million debris removal contract awarded to AshBritt, a Florida-based company that was a client of the former lobbying firm of Haley Barbour, Mississippi's Republican governor, the Times reported.


'Employers are all too eager to exploit workers. This is no time to make that easier,'' said John Sweeney, the AFL-CIO president. ''What a double tragedy it would be to allow the destruction of Hurricane Katrina to depress living standards even further. Taking advantage of a national tragedy to get rid of a protection for workers the corporate backers of the White House have long wanted to remove is nothing less than profiteering.''

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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:22 AM
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1. kick
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mom cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:03 AM
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2. Bush is using this tragedy to advance his right wing agenda, just as he
after 9-11. He is a shameless opportunist.
I am so glad to see so many buzzards circling at once.
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