The Daily Muck

Katrina Contractors: Reaping the Whirlwind

A House panel is preparing to look at fraud in Katrina contracting. Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), chair of the Government Reform Committee, has said he will hold “at least one hearing” on the topic. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the panel’s ranking member, has pushed for an independent commission to investigate fraud in Katrina contract.

As the Washington Post reported yesterday, tiers of subcontractors drive up the costs of reubilding New Orleans. While guys on the ground get less than $6 per cubic yard of debris they remove, the prime contractor charges betwee $25 and $30 iIn between, as many as three other contractors take cuts before hiring someone else to do the work. The Post quoted local hauler Troy Hebert:

“Every time it passes through another layer, $4 or $5 is taken off the top,” Hebert said. “These others are taking out money, and some of them aren’t doing anything.”

The Post says federal officials assured them that the system is “a normal and even necessary part of doing business in the aftermath of a major disaster.” (WPost, AP)Contracting out of Intelligence Jobs

Walter Pincus reported in The Washington Post yesterday on defense contractors making a mint off of intelligence jobs. The trend has created a “spy drain” as intelligence professionals leave for higher paying contracted positions – sometimes leaving to do the same job, only for higher pay. Such a scam was crooked contractor Mitchell Wade’s bread and butter. (WaPo)

Reed Kicks Off Campaign

Ralph Reed finally got his campaign going in Georgia yesterday – Hotline has the invitation, which features none other than former lobbyist, now Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour as the guest of honor. (Hotline)

Covered Yesterday

Virgil Goode and Mitchell Wade Pictured Talking Business in Oct. 2004…(link)

Doolittle Didn’t Disclose His Wife’s Income on Financial Disclosure Forms Because of a Loophole…(link)

And Doolittle’s Arrangement, Where His Wife Received A Cut of Donations Was Possibly Illegal…(link)

New McCain advisor Terry Nelson was possibly involved in the New Hampshire Phone Jamming…(link)
And Tom DeLay’s Money Laundering Scheme…(link)

An Extended Political Death for DeLay – Investigations are Expected to Last Through November…(link)