Thursday, December 20, 2007

McHorny's $3.25 mil haul belies his anti-earmark "crusade"

Two earmarks for $3.25 million.

That's what Pat McHorny wrote letters asking for this year while promoting himself as an anti-earmark crusader on the House floor:

"We need to lay clear these earmarks . . . so the American people can judge the worthiness of the programs and the money allocated to them."

And now he's saying he won't ever ask for an earmark, starting next year.

mommy lyingFrom the Winston Salem Journal:
This year Sen. Patrick McHenry, R-10th, has emerged as one of Congress’ most outspoken critics of earmarks. He also has pledged, starting next year, not to seek earmarks for new projects unless they had been authorized - but not yet paid for - by Congress
Click here to see his April letter for a $2,250,000 grant to a company called Mariner Containers in Granite Falls, NC. They are supposed to be making "Smart Containers" but so far they haven't made anything smarter than a plastic septic tank. I wonder what other companies would have liked to bid for this project? And would they have done the work better or cheaper?

Click here for his request for $1,000,000 to go to a Valdese, NC subsidiary of a French Corporation called Saft, which already had a $31 million contract to provide batteries to the US military. They hardly need a $1 million rebate. And the profit from this essentially no-bid contract goes to some wealthy Frenchmen? I'm sure 10th District constituents can appreciate that irony.

Yeah, Pat, it's obvious you are a true crusader against earmarks.

From the Winston Salem Journal, these are some other North Carolina earmarks:

❑ $1 million for “alternatives to transplantation” research at Wake Forest.

❑ $100,000 for “technology for rural schools.”

❑ $150,000 for electronic medical records at Alleghany Memorial Hospital.

❑ $500,000 for sewage and water infrastructure in Mount Airy.

❑ $376,000 for high-tech equipment for the Winston-Salem Police Department.

❑ $300,000 for biofuel research at Appalachian State University.


[Note that no traditional press has reported either of McHorny's earmarks.]

From The Crypt at polico.com in July when he was asked about a $129,000 Christmas Tree earmark that even fellow Republicans voted against.
"Look, the important thing is transparency and openness," McHenry said when asked about the earmark, which he confirmed that he had inserted into the bill. "I have never been opposed to directed spending."

McHenry added: "I just think that it's critical for members to know what they are voting on when a [spending] bill comes to the floor."
Now, Pat, I have to say you're right. Not knowing what is being voted on is a bad thing.

So we don't know why these two companies you like so much had to avoid the normal Pentagon procurement process. Is there some reason they otherwise wouldn't have gotten these contracts? Are there other American companies who would have done the work for less, or sooner or of a better quality? If not, why the end-around? Why the secrecy? You were right, Pat, that transparency is important. That would seem even more significant in regard to defense contracts where lives could be at stake.

And now the American people are left to wonder what are you hiding about your connection to these companies that inspired you to procure them millions in secret?

Crossposted at BlueNC and Scrutiny Hooligans. h/t Greg Flynn

UPDATE: It was announced as a grant in November on some kind of business community website called SwampFox where I can't access the author's profile . . . but the Sunlight Foundation lists it as an earmark so it did not go through the defense appropriations process like the SwampFox author, Jim Roberts, wants us to believe.

Apparently, the feds have basically funded this entire company from day one. This is from the Hickory Record a few years ago (I think)
After an uncertain year, a start-up business in Caldwell County has gained forward momentum courtesy of the US government.

The Department of Homeland Security's Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded Granite Falls-based Mariner Container Corporation a $100,000 grant for the development of a "smart" container system. The Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant is funding a feasibility study of Mariner's proposal to build high-tech, largely recyclable shipping containers that could be used for military and commercial purposes.

A Phase II grant, if awarded, will provide Mariner with up to $750,000 for the development of a prototype. Phase III is commercial application of the research and development, and in Mariner's case would likely include contracts with the Department of Defense and/or the Department of Homeland Security, said Mariner founder Rick Lampe. If Mariner gets to the third phase, it could also mean hundreds of new manufacturing jobs for the area.


Still no explanation why they can't go through the regular procurement process and why these people get to start a company on federal dollar.

You're hiding something, dear Patty.


saft-ltr.jpgmarinecontainer.jpg

5 comments:

William said...

Hey Patrick, we here at Pat go Bye Bye want to wish you a Merry Christmas. As for next year.....

We are going to make 2008 the worst year of your life. We know everything.

Bill said...

Can anyone please tell me what the following sentence means:

"The funding would be used to provide world-wide ITV/TAV and (security, temperature, humidity, shock and vibration) sensors, to me the U.S. Army and USTRANSCOM requirements to save the Department of Defense millions in monthly charges due to demurrage/detention or lost/stolen cargo."

In what language is this sentence written? Is it a sentence written by a person with a college education?

Why the bizarre intrusive parentheses early in the sentence?

And is Mr. McHenry the U.S. Army? The sentence literally says that this is the case.

Bill said...

Questions that leap to my mind as I read about these appropriations:

1. Are there any connections between these two companies and Blackwater?

2. Because Blackwater is headed by a right-wing Catholic Erik Prince, are there thick ties between these two companies and right-wing Catholic groups in the U.S.?

3. What role do influential right-wing Catholics in the U.S. play in promoting and protecting McHenry?

4. Why in God's name is basic literacy apparently not a requirement for obtaining a federal appropriation? What does the following sentence even mean:

"The funding would be used to give Warfighters more energy in a lighter package, reduce the logistics burden as less batteries would be needed in the field and reduce annual procurement costs by millions each year versus current battery purchases."

Is it in English? Did a college-educated person write it? Can a U.S. representative truly not know the difference between "less" and "fewer," and how to use the words in a clear sentence?

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