Private sector poised to reap windfall
By JOHN M. BRODER
New York Times
BATON ROUGE, LA. - Private contractors, guided by two former directors of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other well-connected lobbyists and consultants, are rushing to cash in on the unprecedented sums to be spent on Hurricane Katrina relief and reconstruction.
From global engineering and construction firms like Fluor Corp. and Halliburton, to local trash removal and road-building concerns, the private sector is poised to reap a windfall of business in the largest domestic rebuilding effort ever undertaken.
Normal federal contracting rules are largely suspended in the rush to help people displaced by the storm and reopen New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts have already been let, and billions more will flow to the private sector in the weeks and months to come. Congress has already appropriated more than $62 billion for an effort that is projected to cost well over $100 billion.
Some experts warn that the crisis atmosphere and the open federal purse are a bonanza for lobbyists and private companies and are likely to lead to the contract abuses, cronyism and waste that investigations have uncovered in postwar Iraq.
"They are throwing money out, they are shoveling it out the door," said James Albertine, a Washington lobbyist and past president of the American League of Lobbyists. "I'm sure every lobbyist's phone in Washington is ringing off the hook from his clients."
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
The Corporate Whores who currently own the Government are going to make a ton from the destruction of New Orleans, just like they made a ton from the destruction of Iraq.