Thursday, August 2, 2007

Will Katrina Be The Dems KO Punch?

I can only assume the Dems have been keeping their powder dry. Really. What other reason could there be for the muted whimpers that the pinko spin-miesters have been mewing over this.

Think about it.

This has the makings of a scandal that could destroy the republicans in '08, from misleading congress to putting thousands of people in significant danger. Believe me, people have not forgotten the horrific images from the Super Dome (if it had been a college run Lord-of-the-Flies-type experiment the professor would have gone to jail).

But this in not a rehashing of the devastation wrought, not by the hurricane itself, but by the government agencies that the people legitimately turned to in the never-ending aftermath.

Today, representatives of the Bush administration defended their awarding of lucrative government contracts to Gulf Coast contractors: an important step in rebuilding is in keeping the moneys in the area.

Some highlights:
--In addition, the review found the five agencies had claimed falsely that 259 contracts were awarded to small businesses when in fact they went to large companies or ineligible recipients. That created the false impression that more than $95 million in contracts was awarded to small companies, when the money actually went elsewhere.

--Overall, about 7.4 percent of Katrina contracts so far have gone to small businesses in Louisiana, down from 12.5 percent in April, according to the committee.

--In addition, 106 contracts worth $13 million were miscoded by DHS as going to small businesses, when in fact they were not. That's up from 61 contracts found by the committee in April.
I love this one:

--For many weeks after the 2005 hurricane, small and local companies were shut out of Katrina work in favor of large concerns with extensive government and political ties. Following public criticism, Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency pledged to rebid four large trailer contracts and give the work to small companies.

FEMA ultimately rebid only portions of the work. Government investigators later found FEMA did not take adequate legal steps to ensure that the new companies were small and locally operated, resulting in a questionable contract award to a large company with ties to the Republican Party.

It goes on, and on, and on...
Since then, Homeland Security has handed out 43 new contracts worth nearly $12 million to large companies or ineligible recipients. In contrast, it modified contracts to small Gulf Coast companies, resulting in a contract loss of $9 million in Louisiana.
My favorite exchange came when Lurita Doan, administrator of the Government services said,
"I would appreciate the opportunity to come back."

Responded Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Small Business Committee,

"You will"
Now that's good TV.

Back to my point.

This affair, from the moment mother nature left town to the present day is custom made to bring down the administration. All someone has to do is make the case.

If the Dems have any political skills they already have the case made and are keeping their powder dry until late summer '08.
More from The Associated Press via The Guardian.

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