Monday, March 10, 2008

Enemies List: Waxman Steals Page from Tricky Dick

Congressman Henry Waxman has stolen a page from Richard Nixon's playbook and is trying to use the Internal Revenue Service to go after his political enemies.

Near the top of Waxman's enemies list, Blackwater is the subject of the California Democrat's call for an IRS probe. Waxman has complained loudly about Blackwater's alleged Republican connections, and the fact that the company and its owner have given money to Republicans but not Democrats.

According to Politico, Waxman is "reviving a long-dormant congressional inquiry of the North Carolina-based security firm that has protected US personnel in Iraq," pressuring the IRS to go after the company. Not convinced that the IRS will be enough, Waxman is also leaning on the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration, we learn. This coming from a man who has already been accused of destroying the independent oversight system.

Meanwhile, we already know that Waxman has already been abusing his chairmanship by doing the bidding of a California lawyer who stands to make millions by suing Blackwater.

Blackwater is dismissing Waxman's latest headline-generating stunt. "Blackwater’s classification of its personnel is accurate, and Blackwater has always been forthcoming about this aspect of its business with its customer, the US government," company spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said. "The company regrets the Chairman’s decision to publicly air misleading information."
Next question: Will the IRS respond in a politicized way by answering Waxman's request? Or will it stay out of politics as it's supposed to?

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