Cronyism Trumps People’s Real Needs in $300 million Puerto Rico Deal with Whitefish

Puerto Rico recently announced they would be cancelling the contract with upstart energy company Whitefish, but the deal showed that cronyism had led Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to choose this unproven, tiny company (run out of a residence in a small Montana town) to get a $300 million contract to help Puerto Rico rebuild its power infrastructure.

Guess what?  Turns out the small town is the same town Zinke is from, Whitefish, Montana.  Zink pulled a Sergeant Shultz and declared “I know nothing,” ……

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From The Daily Bell

…..rather than respond in the best interest of citizens, the government engaged in a crony deal with an inadequate energy company. Puerto Rico gave a $300 million contract to rebuild their power infrastructure to the company Whitefish Energy.

The public later learned that the company only planned to send 300 employees to the island. With such a small crew, it would take years to fully restore power to Puerto Rico.

Whitefish Energy is based in the small Montana town of Whitefish. A local news station visited the headquarters and found that it was based out of a rural residence.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is also from the small town of Whitefish, Montana. He denies that he had anything to do with the contract.

Zinke is already embroiled in a handful of other scandals, involving chartering expensive flights with tax dollars, and attending donor events while on duty, which means he paid for travel with tax dollars.

We still don’t know how exactly the two-year-old company Whitefish landed the no-bid contract. But it is quite clear that it is not because of their ability as a company. For starters, the company only has two full-time permanent employees. The company has never worked on a project with the magnitude of rebuilding Puerto Rico’s power structure.

The contract has now been canceled by Puerto Rican authorities, but that decision takes 30 days to go into effect. In the meantime, the company will receive $30 million for already completed work.

 

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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines.
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