Friday, April 18, 2008

Or $170,000 Per Wife?

Something I'm going to miss from this administration is that no matter when you think you've seen just about everything, a new piece of utter weirdness or corruption comes around the corner. Sure it's bad for the country, but where will our comedians and editorial cartoonists be in a post-Bush era?

The latest piece of fun from this administration is the revelation that $1.7 million in defense contracts have been paid out to companies owned by leaders of the same polygamous sect that is now on every cable news channel. Yup, Warren Jeffs' sect.

As CNN's site notes:

CNN has learned that between 1998 and 2007 the United States Air Force and Defense Logistics Agency purchased more than $1.7 million worth of airplane parts from three companies owned by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which practices polygamy.

Those companies are Utah Tool and Die, Western Precision and NewEra Manufacturing. Today, the companies all operate under the name NewEra Manufacturing, a company based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ah, but one of the best pieces of this all is that some of the deals were made with Jeffs' sect AFTER (yes, that is AFTER) Jeffs was placed on the FBI "Most Wanted List" and was on the run.

And what does the Pentagon have to say (let's remember this was all taking place while Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense) about all of this?

"We do not consider religious affiliation or marital status when selecting vendors, but illegal activity is certainly cause for termination of a contract and perhaps even debarment, which could prevent a contractor from doing business with department ever again. However, DoD is not aware of any criminal allegations against anyone managing the companies in question."
Ok yeah, sure, with Afghanistan & Iran, they are busy over there in the Pentagon, but you think they might take a look at the FBI most-wanted list from time to time, don't you?


Anonymous Greg from CO said...

Your argument is no better than saying that any organization that donates to the catholic church or it's charities should be denied consideration for a contract because the bishop of that particular diocese was convicted of molesting a child. It's absurd to think this way.

If the business is a legitimate one and the managers of the particular govt. contracts are not convicted of a crime, that company has every right to seek a government contract, regardless of the nonprofits that the company donates to.

If the FLDS Church were deemed a Terrorist organization by the State Department that might be a different case. But it's not. If the company were owned by the FLDS Church with Jeffs as CEO, your argument would hold water. Unless Jeffs' name is on the payroll of that company, his crimes are irrelevant to this company's eligibility for govt. contracts.

As it stands, it's just a company who donates to it's favorite nonprofit (it's probably a tax write-off too). I don't see any cause yet to deny them Government contracts based on the information you have given.

It is perfectly reasonable to deny a company eligibility for a contract because one its own emplayees has broken the law. It is absurd to punish that company because a member of the nonprofit it donates to has broken the law.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting twisting around there, but this is about government funds going to companies headed by folks who are breaking the law already, the FLDS, not to mention group whose leader is being hunted down as a most-wanted. You know that list, Osama bin Laden is on it.

6:59 PM  

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