Monday, December 3, 2007

Why isn't Waxman going after non-performing contractor in his backyard?

Private contractors are wondering why Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Cal.) is so spun up about Blackwater, while he ignores the problems of a private contractor in his own political backyard.

So far he has singled out Blackwater and KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton that builds oil drilling facilities, pipelines, refineries and the like. The trial lawyer who asked Waxman to "investigate" Blackwater was open about the partisan nature of his attack, and KBR until earlier this year was associated with Vice President Dick Cheney, who used to be Halliburton CEO.

But what about Parsons Corporation of Pasadena, California? Parsons is located in the state's 29th congressional district - adjacent to the 30th, which Waxman has represented since before many of our soldiers were born.

Parsons is famous for being the recipient of Clinton Administration contracts to work disarmament projects in Russia.

Sources close to the Iraq contracting industry say that Parsons was "front loaded" a substantial amount of taxpayer cash to construct more than 120 medical clinics in Iraq. The sources say that Parsons completed only 20 of the clinics.

If true, that's a scandal. Nobody has accused Blackwater of failing to deliver on its contracts. And KBR has also built a great reputation in Iraq of doing what it has been contracted to do. Waxman chairs the committee responsible for government reform and oversight. He's been using it as a weapon against those he deems domestic political adversaries, while looking askance at allegations of failure to deliver among his partisan friends.
Parsons is one of the top political contributors in the construction sector. In the 2006 election cycle, Parsons Corp. gave slightly more money to Democrats than Republicans: 51 percent to 49 percent, according to a total of more than $472,000.
That's a lot more in one year than the Blackwater owner has ever given away to politicians.

Maybe someone should investigate Waxman. The House Ethics Committee would be a good place to start.

No comments: