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Fishy Deal in Puerto Rico Where Two Man Firm Wins $300 Million Contract

It appears corruption  and nepotism is still alive in Puerto Rico. A tiny firm with connections to a Chumph Cabinet member gets a massive contract…

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Small Montana firm lands Puerto Rico’s biggest contract to get the power back on

For the sprawling effort to restore Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid, the territory’s state-owned utility has turned to a two-year-old company from Montana that had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall.

The company, Whitefish Energy, said last week that it had signed a $300 million contract with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to repair and reconstruct large portions of the island’s electrical infrastructure. The contract is the biggest yet issued in the troubled relief effort.

Whitefish said Monday that it has 280 workers in the territory, using linemen from across the country, most of them as subcontractors, and that the number grows on average from 10 to 20 people a day. It said it was close to completing infrastructure work that will energize some of the key industrial facilities that are critical to restarting the local economy.

The power authority, also known as PREPA, opted to hire Whitefish rather than activate the “mutual aid” arrangements it has with other utilities. For many years, such agreements have helped U.S. utilities — including those in Florida and Texas recently — to recover quickly after natural disasters.

The unusual decision to instead hire a tiny for-profit company is drawing scrutiny from Congress and comes amid concerns about bankrupt Puerto Rico’s spending as it seeks to provide relief to its 3.4 million residents, the great majority of whom remain without power a month after the storm.

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“The fact that there are so many utilities with experience in this and a huge track record of helping each other out, it is at least odd why [the utility] would go to Whitefish,” said Susan F. Tierney, a former senior official at the Energy Department and state regulatory agencies. “I’m scratching my head wondering how it all adds up.”

PREPA’s executive director, Ricardo Ramos, and a spokesman did not respond to emails asking why the utility didn’t activate the mutual-aid network. On a tour of the idled Palo Seco power plant, Ramos told reporters that Whitefish was the first company “available to arrive and they were the ones that first accepted terms and conditions for PREPA.”

Ramos said that the utility is “completely content” with the work Whitefish is doing. “The doubts that have been raised about Whitefish, from my point of view, are completely unfounded,” he added, saying that concerns about Whitefish were probably spread by jealous competitors.

Whitefish officials have said that the company’s expertise in mountainous areas makes it well suited for the work and that it jumped at the chance when other firms were hesitating over concerns about payment. The company acknowledges it had only two full-time employees when Maria struck but says its business model calls for ramping up rapidly by hiring workers on short-term contracts.

Spokesman Chris Chiames dismissed criticism about the company’s qualifications. “We are taking personal risks and business risks working in perilous physical and financial conditions,” Chiames said. “So the carping by others is unfounded, and we stand by our work and our commitment to the people of Puerto Rico.”

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2017 in American Greed

 

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House Intel Member on Trump Investigation – “I wouldn’t be surprised … that some people end up in jail.”

Jail to the Chumph!

 

 

House intel member drops bombshell: Some Trump associates will ‘end up in jail’ after Russia probe

Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-TX), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence—which is investigating ties into Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives—stunned CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday when he insisted his impression of the evidence thus far indicates that “some people” will “end up in jail.”

Asked by Blitzer if he’s seen hard evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians working to influence the 2016 presidential election, Castro replied “I guess I would say this: My impression is, I wouldn’t be surprised after all of this is said and done, that some people end up in jail.”

“Really?” a shocked Blitzer asked, wondering “how high” up in the administration Castro’s suspicion goes.

“That’s yet to be determined,” Castro replied.

Blitzer pressed the Texas Democrat over his contention that “people, plural” will end up in jail after the investigation plays out.

“That’s my impression, yes,” Castro said, declining Blitzer’s request to “elaborate” on that assertion.

“But at this point, you’re confident that at least some Trump associates will wind up in jail?” Blitzer askers

“If I were betting, I would say yes,” Castro insisted.

The CNN host asked if that includes people who are currently involved in the Trump administration. Castro said he would have to “comment on that later,” reiterating: “Again, if somebody asked me my impression—my impression is that people will probably be charged and I think people will probably go to jail.”

 

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The Drumph’s Extensive Mafia Connections…

As I said in an earlier piece, you can’t be involved in a major real estate deal in that part of the world and not wind up with some shady connections….

And the Trump is dirtier than most.

Just What Were Donald Trump’s Ties to the Mob?

In his signature book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump boasted that when he wanted to build a casino in Atlantic City, he persuaded the state attorney general to limit the investigation of his background to six months. Most potential owners were scrutinized for more than a year. Trump argued that he was “clean as a whistle”—young enough that he hadn’t had time to get into any sort of trouble. He got the sped-up background check, and eventually got the casino license.

But Trump was not clean as a whistle. Beginning three years earlier, he’d hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. That story eventually came out in a federal investigation, which also concluded that in a construction industry saturated with mob influence, the Trump Plaza apartment building most likely benefited from connections to racketeering. Trump also failed to disclose that he was under investigation by a grand jury directed by the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, who wanted to learn how Trump obtained an option to buy the Penn Central railroad yards on the West Side of Manhattan.

Why did Trump get his casino license anyway? Why didn’t investigators look any harder? And how deep did his connections to criminals really go?

These questions ate at me as I wrote about Atlantic City for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and then went more deeply into the issues in a book, Temples of Chance: How America Inc. Bought Out Murder Inc. to Win Control of the Casino Business. In all, I’ve covered Donald Trump off and on for 27 years, and in that time I’ve encountered multiple threads linking Trump to organized crime. Some of Trump’s unsavory connections have been followed by investigators and substantiated in court; some haven’t. And some of those links have continued until recent years, though when confronted with evidence of such associations, Trump has often claimed a faulty memory. In an April 27 phone call to respond to my questions for this story, Trump told me he did not recall many of the events recounted in this article and they “were a long time ago.” He also said that I had “sometimes been fair, sometimes not” in writing about him, adding “if I don’t like what you write, I’ll sue you.”

I’m not the only one who has picked up signals over the years. Wayne Barrett, author of a 1992 investigative biography of Trump’s real-estate dealings, has tied Trump to mob and mob-connected men.

No other candidate for the White House this year has anything close to Trump’s record of repeated social and business dealings with mobsters, swindlers, and other crooks. Professor Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, said the closest historical example would be President Warren G. Harding and Teapot Dome, a bribery and bid-rigging scandal in which the interior secretary went to prison. But even that has a key difference: Harding’s associates were corrupt but otherwise legitimate businessmen, not mobsters and drug dealers.

This is part of the Donald Trump story that few know. As Barrett wrote in his book, Trump didn’t just do business with mobbed-up concrete companies: he also probably met personally with Salerno at the townhouse of notorious New York fixer Roy Cohn, in a meeting recounted by a Cohn staffer who told Barrett she was present. This came at a time when other developers in New York were pleading with the FBI to free them of mob control of the concrete business.

From the public record and published accounts like that one, it’s possible to assemble a clear picture of what we do know. The picture shows that Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service…Read the Rest of This Damning Information Here

 

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in The Clown Bus

 

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Alan West’s Ties to Biker Gang Questioned

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Alan West, Tea Bagger darling and torturer, has another issue with  his connections to a violent biker gang – The Outlaws. At some point, I don’t care what the polls supposedly are saying – the American people have to be asking themselves do Mr West, and a number of the other Tea Bagger whack jobs running as Republicans who have ties to violent, racist, and extremist groups…

Really represent where the American people want this country to go for the next 2 or more years?

Florida Tea Party Favorite Spoke To, Defended Criminal Biker Gang

Allen West, a national tea party favorite and the Republican nominee for Congress in Florida’s 22nd Congressional District, has (to put it mildly) some controversial friends. According to a new report from NBC News, West has been a fan and defender of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, a national group targeted by the FBI for involvement in racketeering, “violent crimes” and “attempted murder.”

As NBC reported tonight, West has had personal dealings with the Florida chapter of the Outlaws, which lists on its website “Brothers In Prison,” which NBC correspondent Lisa Meyers says includes “many” who “were convicted of violent crimes, including murder.”

Meyers reports on email correspondence between West and a supporter nervous about his interactions with the group that appears to show West defending the group against a characterization that it’s “criminal.”

But as the FBI noted in a June press release announcing a federal indictment of American Outlaw leadership, the national group is suspected of being a “a highly organized criminal enterprise with a defined, multi-level chain of command.”

West – for your choice to associate yourself with this sort of people – you get the Stepin’ Fetchit Award.

Alan West Stepin Fetchit Black Republican of the Year Award for Association with Organized Crime Biker Gangs

 

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