Fraud, Katrina Contracts Could Waste $2 Billion | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Fraud, Katrina Contracts Could Waste $2 Billion

The Associated Press is reporting on staggering waste and loss of funds due to no-bid and fraudulent contracts, especially to Republican supporters, after Katrina, as well as how few minority-owned firms got contracts due to Bush's initial waiver of contracting requirements:

The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top $2 billion next year because half of the lucrative government contracts valued at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work are being awarded without little competition. Federal investigators have already determined the Bush administration squandered $1 billion on fraudulent disaster aid to individuals after the 2005 storm. Now they are shifting their attention to the multimillion dollar contracts to politically connected firms that critics have long said are a prime area for abuse.

In January, investigators will release the first of several audits examining more than $12 billion in Katrina contracts. The charges range from political favoritism to limited opportunities for small and minority-owned firms, which initially got only 1.5 percent of the total work.

"Based on their track record, it wouldn't surprise me if we saw another billion more in waste," said Clark Kent Ervin, the Homeland Security Department's inspector general from 2003-2004. "I don't think sufficient progress has been made."

He called it inexcusable that the Bush administration would still have so many no-bid contracts. Under pressure last year, Federal Emergency Management Agency director David Paulison pledged to rebid many of the agreements, only to backtrack months later and reopen only a portion.

Previous Comments

ID
90379
Comment

uh huh. its all Republicans. Bectel is a company with Republican ties. If I remember, correctly, George Shultz and other Republicans have been employed there. However, there is the Shaw Group that is mentioned in the story. Not familiar with the Shaw Group? Jim Berhnard is a former head of the Louisiana Democratic Party who has used his Democrat ties to repeatedly land large contracts from the government for his company as well. Saying that they landed huge contracts from the Republicans because of their political connections is pretty damn funny actually. I wouldn't blame Republicans for it. I would say blame who is in charge for steering contracts. Where Blanco and Nagin had the power to steer them to friends, they did so. Where Bush and Barbour had that power, they did so as well.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T16:43:22-06:00
ID
90380
Comment

Kingfish, your devotion to balance (when the balance sheet is working against your party of choice) is admirable, but even you can't rewrite history. Sometimes, friend, it's just not split down the middle.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T16:46:31-06:00
ID
90381
Comment

I'm not rewriting history at all. You dont' believe me? Do some research on Jim Berhnard and the Shaw Group that is mentioned in the story. My whole point was not to bash Dems or defend Republicans. My point was that after Katrina, whoever was in charge of a government that was awarding contracts tended to steer it to his/her friends or allies. Blanco gave a waiver to a friend of hers for a license to sell trailers to FEMA that had no experience at all in the business, in violation of licensing procedures and laws, who then got a huge contract to sell said trailers to FEMA. Bernard got contracts for his company through Democrat connections. Barbour's neice-in law got one worth several hundred thousand dollars even though she had little or no experience in the business for some type of services. That is my point. They all have steered contracts to their pals. If you want to call reciting facts rewriting history, go ahead.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T16:55:41-06:00
ID
90382
Comment

I know about the Shaw Group. The point is that a very bad Republican administration and congressional leadership has the country rotting in corruption right now. It's not split down the middle between Dems and Repubs, even if you'd like it to be. Good Republicans need to face that, and step up and tell the rascals to go jump in the Potomoc, or the Mississippi, or some such. Pretending this level of corruption is bipartisan is rewriting history at this juncture. That's simply fact.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T17:09:05-06:00
ID
90383
Comment

wrong Ms Ladd. Fact is that the powers that be have steered them to their friends regardless of party. In the federal government and Mississippi, its been Republicans. In Louisiana its been Democrats. If Clinton was still president, it is a certainty he would've steered contracts to his pals as well. I have supported my statements with facts and examples, not just opinions. I can list many more. Current fiasco is The Road Home in Louisiana. I'm waiting to see who lined who's pocket on that one. In fact, this is an excellent opportunity for you to bash the AP as well for sloppy reporting as that story was negligent in reporting the Shaw Group and its Democrat connections.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T17:19:34-06:00
ID
90384
Comment

Wrong, Kingfish. You're missing the point, as usual (sorry, but true). Of courses, some Dems do this, too, but they are not running a Culture of Corruption from the White House and the leadership offices of Congress. They weren't just sent back to the hinterlands for just that reason. I'm as critical of Dems as I am of Repubs as needed, but this cake just don't cut down the middle. And helping weight the scale against the Repubs is one hefty ole guv and former (?) lobbyist from Mississippi named Haley Barbour. Stack his "connections" alone up against the contracts that have gone to Dem cronies and see how it shakes out, 'Fish. Something smells real bad here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T17:23:38-06:00
ID
90385
Comment

BTW, 'Fish, do you happen to know who Joseph Allbaugh is? How close he is to Haley Barbour? (Not to mention his wife, Diane.) That he was a campaign manager for Bush? Would it surprise you to know that the Shaw Group was a big client of Allbaugh's? You need to do some more homework, 'Fish; start with Google. Combine words like Allbaugh, Shaw, Bush and Barbour.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T17:35:16-06:00
ID
90386
Comment

some Dems? I can assure you that any so called corruption by Barbour at the state level after Katrina has been FAR outpaced by Blanco. Current fiasco: The Louisiana Road Home program. ICF receives a contract from Blanco worth 756 million dollars. It has no experience in handling disaster relief, just in doling out federal grant money. It has given out the same money in bonuse for employees and executives that it has given out to homeowners in LA. I wonder who is getting rich off of this one. Give hundreds of millions of dollars to a company with no experience in this area. Only a few million is given out to applicants. Keep the program going even though the legislature and the rest of the state is screaming for you to dump it. Then there is Nagin and the car removal disaster where he tried to award contract to company where NO would have to pay for the removal instead of receiving money from the salvage company which is standard practice. Like I said, then there is the Shaw Group and its prominent landing of Katrina contracts (there have been more than one) and its mention in this story. I can keep listing examples if you like. I have done nothing but cite examples and facts. I even mentioned a suspicious deal where Barbour's relative got a contract worth quite a lot of money. however, I've yet to see you mention any evidence of large scale corruption by Barbour related to Katrina. All you've done is state your opinion but no facts. I'm waiting to see what they are. You can state I am wrong all day but I am backing myself up with facts. You'd be better off nailing Haley for lobbying for the ChiComs. That always burned me up.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T18:10:59-06:00
ID
90387
Comment

The Shaw group has received business from Republicans. Bernhard is a political animal and has friends on both sides of the aisle. He receives the lion share of his government contracts due to his Democrat connections though. Anyone that is informed in Louisiana would laugh at the idea of Bernhard and Shaw group being Republican cronies.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T18:14:37-06:00
ID
90388
Comment

Kingfish, you don't understand this, I know, but you're making my argument for me. The problem is that you don't know what I'm saying to you because you're hearing what you want to hear. I believe your facts, so far, have consisted of pointing out a "political animal" player who sells to both sides who got Katrina contracts. I haven't actually seen you mention the rest of your roster of Democratic cronies who have gotten all this Katrina-rebuilding contract money, showing that it's such a bipartisan problem. Which is fine, because I'm not the one who is trying to argue that this cuts down the middle. We're not talking about regular old party politics here, 'Fish. There will always be individuals of all parties and persuasions who are corrupt, unethical or plain ole have no personal character (ahem, Mr. Clinton). We are talking the level of collective skank that comes with being cronies of the Allbaugh/Delay/Abramoff caliber. This is Corrupt Republicanism that deserves its own wing of the party. (Unfortunately, until recently, it was the heart of the party, but hopefully they are exorcising their demons as we speak.) And don't worry, friend. *Plenty* of facts are on the way. They won't appear in the NoiseBlog first, though.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T18:35:20-06:00
ID
90389
Comment

Shaw has for the most part gotten contracts from Dem. Friends. My point is that at the state level, the cronyism has been used to full effect by each party in their respective states where they are in power. That is not defending Republicans or Democrats, just stating facts. NOW on to the national level. Lobbyist spreading money is nothing new. Clinton took quite a bit of money from Loreal (sp?) and the Chinese got alot of access. Tony Coelho perfected the concept of extorting money from businesses you govern/regulate. I'm not surprised at all by Abramoff and he deserves what he gets as does anyone else who engaged in corruption with him. However, we could go back ten years and see that there was high level of corruption with Clinton as well. Remmber Marc Rich? Made a nice donation to the Democrats for a pardon, then made alot of money helping Saddam skirt sanctions. I don't think there is a Republican or Democratic culture of corruption. I think that whenever a party occupies office for awhile the temptation to reward friends becomes easier to succumb to and that such a temptation doesn't discriminate based on party affiliation.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T18:45:39-06:00
ID
90390
Comment

'Fish, you crack me up.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T18:55:17-06:00
ID
90391
Comment

likewise. ;-)

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T19:00:10-06:00
ID
90392
Comment

Of interest, in the Baton Rouge Advocate Saturday: FEMA on Friday defended its decision to give Mississippi four times as much alternative disaster housing money as Louisiana, which suffered more damage, saying the grant process was competitive. Gil Jamieson, deputy director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Gulf Coast recovery, said the $281.3 million approved for Mississippi was set through competition of five states hit by hurricanes last year. The agency decided to grant money for the best project in each state except Florida. Louisiana was approved for up to $75.4 million. Had the process been fully competitive, Jamieson said, Mississippi would have gained all the money. “Mississippi had the most acceptable housing solutions that were out there,” Jamieson said. “The goal was to maximize the housing solutions.” Louisiana government officials decried the process, saying need should have been the most-overwhelming consideration. Louisiana had more than 200,000 housing units destroyed by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, while Mississippi had about 62,000 wrecked by Katrina. Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, called the process “rotten party politics” and a “parting shot from a Republican-led Congress.” Blanco and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., vowed to try to appeal the decision. “We were given little encouragement by the agency’s attempts to defend its decisions today,” Landrieu said in a statement Friday. “They described the process as ‘competitive,’ but neglected the most important measure of all: need. A formula that distributes recovery funds with no regard for where they are most needed simply does not make any sense.” The goal of the program is to establish such permanent housing as “Katrina cottages,” and reduce FEMA’s reliance on less solid mobile homes and travel trailers. About 75,000 people in Louisiana are living in mobile homes or travel trailers, said Natalie Wyeth, spokeswoman for the Louisiana Recovery Authority advisory board to Blanco.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T19:04:56-06:00
ID
90393
Comment

Yeah, I read that. I have mixed thoughts about that one. I'm not sure I like the competitive nature of it. One way to look at it is that our delegation and Barbour did a good job of getting aid for the state. The Louisiana people are mad. They are mad at Blanco saying s he dragged her azz on it and are mad at the competitive nature of the awards. I'm not going to blame Barbour for this one. He did have to fight the Bush admin on Katrina aid just to get the amount that Mississippi did obtain. However, I don't think the grants should be competitive in nature. We shouldn't be in competition with anyone else for aid and vice versa.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T19:31:20-06:00
ID
90394
Comment

It's sweet of you not to blame Barbour, 'Fish.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T20:11:05-06:00
ID
90395
Comment

Also, Barbour's earlier chiding of Louisiana for asking too much federal Katrina money is particularly delicious (and dishonest) in the light of all this, eh? What a political animal he is. I refer back to an earlier column I wrote about the Repubs' Mississippi-Louisiana divide-and-conquer strategy. You know, maybe it's just me, but I truly don't think that milking such politics out of such a tragedy hitting our two states is going to get anybody past the pearly gates. Just one woman's opinion.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T20:15:40-06:00
ID
90396
Comment

King, I agree that you're being a bit disingenous here. We're not talking about what happened 10 years ago. It seems like you're trying to argue that Republicans are not inherently more corrupt than Democrats, but no one has tried to make that point. What we're talking about is corruption today. It is not Democrats who built the K Street machine. In fact, having said that, even if we do go back 10 years, the Dems' corruption pales by comparison to what Republicans have done over the last six years. Own up to it.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-12-26T20:52:35-06:00
ID
90397
Comment

Pfft. The first rule is they're all corrupt. No one is a saint when it comes to political pork.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-12-26T20:57:53-06:00
ID
90398
Comment

Exactly, Brian, 'Fish is throwing apples to try to obscure my oranges—Fallacy #113. And, Iron is also woefully missing the point. You gotta love the old oh-they're-all-crooks excuse that comes out when evidence mounts against particular people. Convenient, but fallacious and unconvincing. W'ere kinda past that point with the current crop of corruptoids, folks. This is a particularly nasty and ruthless breed. And Barbour can't escape the fall-out that has cold-cocked his buddies for much longer. The Katrina shield will wear thin.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T21:02:53-06:00
ID
90399
Comment

If you want Barbour out (and have him replaced by a JFP endorsed Democrat, I'll assume), you're going to have to work hard to get past the "Katrina Shield". It'd also be nice if the new Democratic congress didn't hamstring all Katrina relief, and thus make Barbor more of a martyr. I also love the off-handed dismissal of my opinion, too. Since I don't believe anyone in politics is innocent, I'm obviously missing the point.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-12-26T21:10:14-06:00
ID
90400
Comment

It could be a JFP-endorsed Republican, Iron, just not one of the Corruptoids. Can't you boys get past the idea that everything is a matter of us-vs.-them, Dem-vs-Repub, liberal-vs.-conservative. Often, it's a matter of Corrupt-vs.-Not-So-Corrupt, and the not-so-much is a helluva lot better. With such binary thinking, it's a small wonder that the Kulture of Korruption, or the Southern Strategy for that matter, was able to grow such strong legs. I also love the off-handed dismissal of my opinion, too. It's hard to take a sweeping stereotype seriously, Iron. That would be beneath any of us to assume that all Repubs or Dems or any other affiliation are corrupt. I assumed you were kidding with such extreme cynicism. If that's the way you feel, that's your business, but I'd hate to be you.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T21:25:20-06:00
ID
90401
Comment

Ladd, ya feel like your defending the Dems way to much. Greed is non partisan. While I agree we have Goldwater Republican's in charge, Fish & Host make good arguments. "He who is in charge of the gold, makes the rules....."? And I notice in the press, when the aid is slow in coming, it's government ineptness/callousness . But when it's handed out quickly to stem "suffering", it's fraud/waste. Which way do you want it? Learn the lesson, government is inefficient at reacting to disasters.

Author
Doc Rogers
Date
2006-12-26T21:27:39-06:00
ID
90402
Comment

Oh, and people worked hard in the past to get past the Bigot Shield in this state. Sometimes you have to fight the good fight, whether or not it's the popular one. My conscience is clear on Bush, the Iraqi War and Frank Melton—and not because I took the easy, popular opinion in either case. I've no reason to start kowtowing now just because people don't want to face realities they won't wish to be true.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T21:30:03-06:00
ID
90403
Comment

Doc, you too aren't listening, or thinking this one through. Sure, greed is nonpartisan in the sense that anyone can be greedy. That's not what we're talking about here, even if you boyz do keep trying to change the subject. We're talking about a political party that has built its entire current persona on massive greed and corruption. That anyone would even question that part is laughable at this point. Even Republican journalists in Washington are shaking their heads at the folks they've been covering. The only thing left to do now is face that some nefarious types have taken over that party and rip it back from them. Trying to lump the remaining good Republicans and the Democrats under the same extreme umbrella just won't keep the rain off your a$$ this time. The storm's too big. And if you try to twist that into saying that I'm saying that no Democrats are greedy, then you're not as smart as you've seemed in other posts, Doc. Folks, stop being reactionary and defensive and actually read what's written before telling me I've said something I'm too smart to think or say. With due respect.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T21:33:59-06:00
ID
90404
Comment

Also, defensive Republicans who aren't willing to separate themselves from the corruptoids remind me a bit of the rappers who don't want to distance themselves from misogynistic lyrics. And your arguments are very similar, with lots of finger-pointing at other folks intertwined in there. I will challenge y'all boyz (and grrls), just as I have my friends Kaze and Banner, to stand up for what's right and eject the stuff that's ruining your party, so to speak, for the good people in it. But denial won't get you there. Oh, and here's a fun, cozy little piece about the intricate web the corruptoids have woven. And you can even find juice on Allbaugh's Wikipedia page, such as: Allbaugh also started his own firm, which he merged in 2004 with that of his wife Diane, who had worked as a lobbyist at the Republican firm of Barbour Griffith & Rogers during his government service.[17] [18] The Allbaugh Company is commonly described as a lobbying and consulting firm, although Joe Allbaugh himself says he only consults with clients on presenting their services to government agencies, and does not lobby the government directly for contracts.[19] The Wall Street Journal compared his work to that of his predecessor at FEMA, James Lee Witt, who also went into the private sector and used the same distinction in working for clients.[20] Major Allbaugh Company clients include The Shaw Group and Halliburton subsidiary KBR. Allbaugh traveled to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina to help coordinate private-sector support, according to his spokeswoman. His clients were among the first to win federal contracts to help with hurricane recovery: Shaw won a bid potentially worth $100 million to refurbish buildings and provide emergency housing, and KBR received $29.8 million from the Pentagon to rebuild Navy bases in Louisiana and Mississippi.[21] [22]

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T21:37:13-06:00
ID
90405
Comment

We Mississippians really don't have to be deaf, dumb and stupid about Barbour and his buddies. Here's another fun one from The Hill in Washington: Joseph Allbaugh, a lobbyist who was President Bush’s emergency-management chief and campaign manager, represents several clients who could reap financial rewards as the federal government spends billions of dollars to clean up New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After departing as the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2003, Allbaugh and his wife, Diane, founded the Allbaugh Group. Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton, hired the firm earlier this year, as did the Shaw Environmental Group, according to Senate lobbying disclosure records. Both companies are working in the Gulf Coast region. Allbaugh’s wife represents Trade-Winds Environmental Restoration Inc., of Long Island, N.Y., and MLU Services, a company based in Athens, Ga., that specializes in removing debris after disasters. Allbaugh flew to the Gulf Coast last week. His spokeswoman, Patti Giglio, said he went to coordinate private-sector relief, but did not give specifics. “He is putting his shoulder to the wheel to mobilize the private sector, getting stuff in, getting what needs to be done done,” she said, adding that he is not there to help his clients secure government contracts. “The first thing he says when he sits down with a client is, ‘Don’t hire me if you’re looking for a government contract.’” [...] After leaving FEMA, Allbaugh set up two additional outfits with the help of Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Miss.), who until 2002 had been a successful lobbyist in Washington. New Bridge Strategies helps companies secure contracts in Iraq and Blackwell Fairbanks represents Lockheed Martin, according to Senate disclosure records. Ashbritt Environmental, a Florida-based corporation, and Phillips & Jordan were selected by the Army Corps of Engineers before Katrina hit to lead the cleanup effort. The Corps retains Ashbritt in the event of large catastrophes such as Katrina. Ashbritt has close ties to top D.C. lobbyists, including Barbour’s former lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith & Rogers, which helped Allbaugh set up New Bridge Strategies, according to the Barbour, Griffith’s website. Barbour helped Ashbritt seek reimbursement for work it had done in the aftermath of hurricanes in Florida, said former Rep. Johnny Hayes (D), who represented Cajun country in Louisiana before becoming a lobbyist at Adams & Reese. Hayes represents Ashbritt in Washington. (Be sure to click and read the whole thing to get the Halliburton-Cheney angle, too.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T21:47:49-06:00
ID
90406
Comment

Touche, I agree. The current state of Republican party is "toast". Maybe they learned that in the last election . But I still think in a 2 party system, whoever is left in charge to long, seems to navigate that river. I like NP comments about earmarks, I just want to see the walk. And by the way, do ya have to toast my ass to get a point across? I ain't defending either party. Still think the boyz made some good arguments though. LA is a classic patronage system. For the record, I lean Libertarian. Don't beleive either party has the "peoples" interest at heart. Always want ya to know where I'm coming from.

Author
Doc Rogers
Date
2006-12-26T21:54:15-06:00
ID
90407
Comment

I thought you would agree, and I'm only toasting your a$$ because you turned what I said into defending Democrats. Let's put it this way: The current folks running the Republican Party are so bad that one doesn't need to defend Democrats to skewer their butts. It's so frustrating to try to have *that* conversation with all these kneejerks popping up to make it sound like I'm saying the Dems can do no evil. Keep up, folks. The problem with the boyz' point—that the Katrina problem is equally bipartisan—is that they haven't supported it. Because it's not. It might have been had Dems had as much power—although it's hard to argue that even the greediest Dems have the brass balls that the corruptoids have, or have had. In the case of Katrina, the current Republican Party turned it into a lovefest for Repubs and forced "competition" between two devastated states for federal assistance and contracts. And they were ruthless and dishonest in that quest. Those facts can co-exist side-by-side with the fact that Louisiana has a patronage system (as if we frackin' don't). It failed miserably up against the GOP force of Corrupt toasters, however. The machine won, while the country lost. And Barbour was right at the center of this mess. Meantime, many Mississippians will reward him for bringing home the bacon at the expense of Louisiana, even as he supports policies (alongside too many Dems) that have sent jobs that enabled us to make our own bacon outside the state and the country. That, Doc, is what I'm talking about—and the part that I don't think will impress St. Peter.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T22:05:36-06:00
ID
90408
Comment

Besides, I haven't blogged in days so I'm feeling a bit toasty. Sorry if I was too hard on ya, Doc. But, in 2007, I'm ready to hunt some bear.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T22:06:31-06:00
ID
90409
Comment

I like Libertarianism, too, until it gets to the utopian part that won't work, at least for humans. Same with other ideologies.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-26T22:07:23-06:00
ID
90410
Comment

I'm sorry, a headache cut my wit and wisdom short tonight. :) I don't see how we can have a corruption free system when people can make money off of it.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-12-26T22:39:23-06:00
ID
90411
Comment

I would offer something pithy about LiBT. But distracts from the blog. The RP suffered mightly in the last elections. The question, will they learn? Government patronage is embedded in the system since Roman times. With a few dollars, I can buy a "favor". With a bribe, I mean loan, to a judge, I can buy courts . When handing out aid to victims, the "people" seem to react faster and more accurately. Measure who were the real heroes to react fast, I offer the churches and the RC despite its flaws. Maybe the government should wait for the folks to react, then reimburse?

Author
Doc Rogers
Date
2006-12-26T22:42:13-06:00
ID
90412
Comment

I haven't supported it? What part of my posts did you not read? Democratic Katrina Related steering of contracts: 1. Nagins attempted ploy to give car salvage contract to a company tha required N.O. to pay for removal when there were other good proposals that would've paid N.O. 2. Blanco giving exception to a political pal of hers to sell trailers to FEMA, that to circumvent state laws barring the granting of licenses to sell trailers to people with no experience doing so. 3. Shaw Group, which was mentioned in the AP Story. The Shaw Group, led by a former head of the State Democratic Party, is well known for using its Democrat connections to land contracts. It has landed numerous contracts in New Orleans for Katrina related projects. It is named in the story for profiting. Did Shaw group use political connections to land contracts? Undoubtedly. It might get an occasional contract from Republican officials but the majority of its government contracts have been from Democrats. They are not just a political animal, they are a company that is well known in La for using its connections and staying active in the Democratic Party to steer government contracts its way. Those are three examples alone. I'd like to know how I'm not mentioning any facts. One thing I've noticed on this site, and its turned into a favorite debate technique lately by Donna and some others, is when a claim is made and is challenged, the person challenging the claim is accused of being defensive. A very disingenious technique to be sure. I'm not defensive about anything on this issue.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T23:24:39-06:00
ID
90413
Comment

I saw a story where the AP writer committed an error and gave an implication that all the companies involved were getting business because they were Republican oriented companies when one of those companies is well known as being Democrat oriented in terms of the leanings of its leadership and in terms of getting government contracts. If its ok to bash the CL for getting its facts wrong, its ok to do so to the AP. To be fair, I even cited an example where a relative of Barbour received a Katrina related contract. However, Ms Ladd you are right about one thing. There is no way to split this down the middle. At the state level, the corruption and steering of government contracts for Katrina pojects is HEAVILY tilted towards the Democrats. At the federal level, the Republicans are in charge and bear the blame and responsibility. That comes with being in power and is called accountability. I have no problem with shooting arrows at them over their performance after Katrina. In fact, I linked a story on another thread from American Spectator slamming the Bush admin. for its botched Katrina response and performance on the recovery since the hurricane. So you're accusing me, which is exactly what it is, is an accusation, not a statement of fact, of defending Republicans holds no water at all.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T23:31:18-06:00
ID
90414
Comment

Donna: the patronage system in Louisiana system is MUCH worse than Mississippi. then there are the levee boards and their patronage.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T23:32:57-06:00
ID
90415
Comment

And I'll submit this, the most sucessfull companies go both ways (is that Froidian?> They don't "protect" a party, they buy a committee. And the business I'm in, you won't see much change in what happens. We go both ways!

Author
Doc Rogers
Date
2006-12-26T23:44:38-06:00
ID
90416
Comment

Doc: In Louisiana the Shaw Group is very active with the Democratic Party and its cronies. This isn't just someone giving money to some candidates. Bernhard is pretty active in the party itself. It is well known as a Democrat Company just as Bectel is known as a Republican Company.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-26T23:53:25-06:00
ID
90417
Comment

Just poured some of that eggnog, put on Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore, and turning in. Enjoyed the thread. nite nite. Good night Emily. Good night Donna Ladd Good night LW Good night B. J. Good night I-todd. Good night Iron-Boy.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-27T00:39:39-06:00
ID
90418
Comment

Remember the multi-million dollar contract that Borbour awarded to his niece on the Coast. It was one of the largest contract awarded and guess what, this industry was NEW for her. She was not in commercial cclean-up before Katrina/Rita.

Author
justjess
Date
2006-12-27T12:10:39-06:00
ID
90419
Comment

Remember the multi-million dollar contract that Barbour awarded to his niece on the Coast. It was one of the largest contract awarded and guess what, this industry was NEW for her. She was not in commercial cclean-up before Katrina/Rita.

Author
justjess
Date
2006-12-27T12:13:25-06:00
ID
90420
Comment

King, I assume you mean only Louisiana when you write this: At the state level, the corruption and steering of government contracts for Katrina pojects is HEAVILY tilted towards the Democrats. Whether that's true for Louisiana I can't say, but it's certainly not true in Mississippi. Barbour's Ashbritt made off like a bandit in this state, tying up the redistribution of contracts in legal disputes so long that the Army Corps of Engineers eventually just awarded them the whole contract. It was ugly--uglier if less transparent than what went down with Barbour's niece. Your defense of your position entails Nagin and car removal, Blanco and cronyism and Shaw. Considering all you've tried to accomplish with these examples, they seem very thin. You have not yet presented evidence that Blanco's cronyism approaches the billions of dollars Barbour's Ashbritt received, but I'll take that and the first example from you on faith. I don't know why you're ignoring Shaw's ties to Republicans considering that you've made it the centerpiece of your argument. You have yet to present evidence that Shaw is a Democratic outfit. Donna, on the other hand, has shown that Shaw is represented by Allbaugh, who was groomed by Barbour. He used Republican pathways of power to net Shaw a $100 million contract. That seems to make your point, such as it is, very wobbly. Generally, you're playing the same desperate game Republicans have played ever since Katrina struck. Never mind Republicans' horrifying incompetence and corruption, just look at Louisiana! Even if you're right about Louisiana and Democratic corruption, there is no proportionality in your analysis. Somehow, the fact that there is some Democratic corruption in Louisiana means that Democrats and Republicans are equally corrupt. That's ridiculous. It almost seems ridiculous that we're having to debate this. Barbour practically invented the K Street system, and his tentacles seem to touch every dirty player in Washington. I don't know that you even care about Barbour, though he is a mighty elephant compared to Blanco's puny little donkey. No, somehow you've got to balance those scales, even if it doesn't make sense. Right?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-12-27T13:14:43-06:00
ID
90421
Comment

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1482210/posts http://www.businessreport.com/newsDetail.cfm?aid=7668 http://www.businessreport.com/newsDetail.cfm?aid=7421 http://www.businessreport.com/newsDetail.cfm?aid=5063 http://www.businessreport.com/newsDetail.cfm?aid=4982

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-27T13:52:54-06:00
ID
90422
Comment

And this thread began on the subject of federal corruption in awarding contracts. That is entirely the Republicans' bag to hold, isn't it? Why are we discussing Democrats' corruption at such length when Republicans control every branch of the federal government? You're just muddying the waters, King.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-12-27T13:55:02-06:00
ID
90423
Comment

'Fish is an expert at trying to change the subject when it gets uncomfortable. Not working, though. And note that the Shaw example backfired mightily. You're arguing with yourself, 'Fish. No one has said that Dems can't be corrupt. You're sleeping with fallacies again.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-12-27T13:57:15-06:00
ID
90424
Comment

So you think if you shout "Union Tank Car plant" enough times that will change anything? The first article you posted has nothing to do with Katrina. You have demonstrated, I'll grant, that there is a cozy relationship between Blanco and Shaw. The reason why that is beside the point is that Blanco did not award federal contracts. I suppose her influence may have played a role, but then so did Allbaugh's. You are wasting our time. Address the overall issue and stop farting around on Louisiana.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-12-27T13:59:46-06:00
ID
90425
Comment

Ok Brian, I'll take that bait. My point is that there has been corruption and improper steering of contracts at every level be it state, local, or federal after Katrina. If you want to focus on Katrina at the federal level, I have not really argued with you. If we want to argue about it at the state level, that is where my issue has been. However, if Republicans are going to get bashed for Katrina corruption I'm going to play some honest opposition here at the state level and show where such has occurred. By the way, yesterday in TP there was a story about Shaw scaling down on its residential project in N.O. some. Want to guess who the landowner was? A Marcello. Nice. Had to throw that in there. However, back to your point, at the federal level, there probably has been. Now my question is did they unjustly enrich themselves or did they provide services as promised and paid for and the problem occured in the awarding of the contract? If there was unethical conduct then by all means prosecute it. If you remember, I did make a point about Barbour's relative getting a contract that was not in her um, field of expertise. One thing about Halliburton and Shaw made to me by others was that in a lot of areas, there are only a few companies capable of doing what they do. that is not a defense made by me on this stuff, but something to consider. For some of these contracts, how many of their competitors could have done what they promised to do? I don't know. I'm asking an honest question.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-29T11:54:51-06:00
ID
90426
Comment

Justjess: I think it was only 400,000 dollars or so, not multi million dollars. If I am wrong my apologies but I don't think it was over a million dollars.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-29T11:59:50-06:00
ID
90427
Comment

Meanwhile, this went on in New Orleans recently. Really is a sad story that is at the same time makes your blood boil. What burns me up is we could catch these guys and it wouldn't do any good. The artwork is destroyed. Savages. http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/deberry/index.ssf?/base/News/116737465347820.xml&coll=1

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-29T17:07:58-06:00
ID
90428
Comment

What do you know???? The Telegraph in London makes almost the same points I'm making http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/31/wkatrina31.xml To be fair, it also blasts the Bush admin pretty good as well. Either way, its hard to argue with the points made and facts reported in the article.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-12-31T16:05:28-06:00

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