Monday, March 10, 2008

California Has a Redemptive Moment in Ousting Murderers for Hire


I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have always loved Cali-foreign-IA, shrinking black population and all! But sometimes, I worry. It's somewhat comforting that we're always a blue state among so many red ones. Yet we allow Enron's shady government hook-ups to confuse us into recalling Governor Greg Davis and replacing him with one of the dumbest sounding actors of all time (George W. Bush excluded - at least as an actor). We are at once progressive and regressive in a big way. Inglewood doesn't allow a Wal Mart into their hood, but then the Crenshaw District does so with relish. Basically, despite the cool weather and the beaches, it's hit or miss these days. Well, as Editor-in-Chief of Onyx Cranium, I salute a city known for enclaves of racial integration among a blatantly racist city landscape. That's right! I'm talkin' bout YOU San Diego! Democracy Now! reports that Blackwater USA, the company which colludes with Republicans and portrays itself as a supporter of the American military as it diverts funding from governmental armed forces, planned to build their West Coast headquarters in San Diego. But the citizens of the city said, "F**k That!" (not a direct quote) and this power hungry company that pays private citizens exorbitant fees for security detail in Iraq, while paying much less to mercenaries from developing countries, has to find somewhere else to build their Training Den of Dollars and Death. Now they may convince some nearby local California government to give them ridiculous subsidies to build just miles from San Diego, but for now, they ain't comin' here. Even if this has to be a short-lived celebration, Onyx Cranium will gladly take it. Oh and if you're wondering why we would call them murderers for hire instead of just security detail, it's because the company works tirelessly (and so far very successfully) to keep their contractors from facing any kind of prosecution or accountability by the U.S. government (meaning us taxpayers). You know - the government that pays a huge proportion their damn bills.

1 comment:

lloyd chapman said...

Here is another one, why was GTSI listed a small business for this multi-million dollar award "Adobe Acrobat Software Maintenance Renew"?

http://www.fedspending.org/fpds/fpds.php?reptype=r&database=fpds&record_id=8109177&detail=3&datype=T&sortby=i

Did you know the former Clinton appointee Steven Kelman, who was the Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy from 1993 to 1997, went to work for GTSI after he left. That is the same GTSI has been found to abuse Federal Small business contracting. (NYT - http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/06/business/06sba.html).

To this day GTSI continues to receive small business contracts. Federal small business contracting fraud cost US small business billions of dollars per year.

Since Mr. Kelman's departure from the Clinton administration he has issued interesting public statements opposing reform in federal contract bundling. Keep in mind he is Professor of Public Management Harvard's Kennedy School, a registered lobbyist and works for GTSI.

In 2002, Mr. Kelman stated, "The percentage of prime contract business going to small businesses is higher than it was in 1993 (before procurement reform), by several percentage points. In general, I don't see much evidence in the data that (the system) is broken." (http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-1957417_ITM)

Additional resources

Pogo blog
http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2007/04/gutting_governm.html

Kelman background
http://www.fcw.com/columnists

NYT blog
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/government-inc/2007/07/procurement_debate_goes_feline_1.html

GTSI Kelman Bio
http://investor.gtsi.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=116604&p=irol-govBio&ID=58294

Senator Kerry's comments on contracting
http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jul2006/sb20060726_786902.htm