Bill Quigley: Robin Hood in Reverse
You can find Bill Quigley's essay here, here (scroll down past the fundraising drive) and here. A little taste:
Meanwhile, disaster profiteering continues. The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 was established by Congress to rebuild the communities devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. So far, this has been used to subsidize all kinds of private projects including the building of a mall for Target and JC Penny in Lafayette, expanding an auto dealership in Baton Rouge, converting a plantation in Livingston into a hotel. This corporate plundering follows the path taken in the immediate days after Katrina when politically connected corporations were given hundreds of millions of no-bid contracts.
Ashbritt of Florida was awarded a contract over $500 million to clean up debris in Mississippi despite not owning a single dump truck. Ashbritt had paid a GOP lobbyist firm $40,000 right before the storm and another $50,000 directly to the GOP the year before. Ceres Environmental of Brooklyn Park, MN was given a $500 million contract for debris removal in LA by the Corps of Engineers. In the previous 4 years, the company had received a total of $29 million in government contracts. The Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance listed the company as a provider of "yard waste compost and horticultural potting soil." [emphasis added]