May 6, 2009

Different Kind Of Purity

The Republicans said "good riddance" to Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter because of party purity; he was pushed out because he didn't toe the increasingly extremist line.

Now that the Democratic Party is in power, we need to enforce a different kind of party purity: integrity. Sleaze and corruption will grow in the absence of our attention. One of the mistakes of Republicans is that they placed platform adherence over competence and integrity because it was the way they fired up their base and milked the multiplier effect of regressive talk radio and TV like Fox News. Eventually they were caught in the avalanche of accumulated consequences of looking the other way.

In the interest of good government we need to embrace the press and bloggers keeping a close eye on Democratic leaders and the President, and demand integrity of them.

My worry this morning? No-bid defense department contracts like the ones that John Murtha's nephew's company is getting.

Over the years, John Murtha has proudly claimed credit for using his Appropriations Committee seat to steer hundreds of millions in Pentagon work to companies in his district, many of them fledgling enterprises run by campaign contributors. [...]

The command awarded its first storage contract to Murtech without competitive bidding, paying $1.4 million a year. Robert Murtha Jr. says the no-bid arrangement was "the government's choice" and occurred because the government "got itself in a bind." A contract with SA Scientific of San Antonio was about to lapse, and the command needed Murtech, then serving as a subcontractor to the Texas company, to store materials for the military's Critical Reagents Program. The program produces lab materials that can be used in handheld devices and sensors to detect the presence of biological toxins.

"We were uniquely qualified because we had already been doing that work," Murtha said.

That the Army got itself into a bind is a convenient excuse, but without bidding these things turn into huge problems. No bidding means no competition which means complacency, waste and a quicker path to corruption.

We need to shine a cleansing light on this sort of thing.

Hat tip to Majikthise.

Posted by James at May 6, 2009 8:36 AM
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Oh don't worry...this will be cleared up with 20,000 additional DoD civilians to oversee acquisition and contracting!

That'll clear shit up.

Frakking insanity.

Posted by: Bull at May 6, 2009 9:55 PM

The cure for corruption in bureaucracy is...


When all you've got is a hammer, every problem looks like it needs a bigger hammer.

Posted by: James at May 7, 2009 8:02 AM

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