Monday, January 29, 2007

What is Tom Davis Up To? Part II -- Parsons in Iraq

Here is a recent story on the corruption and incompetence on an Iraq War contractor in Waxman's sites, Parsons. The company incompetence has been diaried here on DKos.

More recently, Waxman leveled his sights on Parsons Corp. The California-based international engineering and management services firm has been cited by Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, for delays and other problems in the construction of dozens of health care centers across Iraq, and for work so shoddy in the construction of police academy barracks that raw sewage leaked through ceilings onto recruits.

James McNulty, chairman and CEO of Parsons, doesn't dispute the problems the IG has cited with his company's work, but he says the projects have been far more difficult than anyone anticipated.
So, the job is hard. That's why Parson's is paid top dollar. Instead of hiring Americans, or grateful natives, Parsons has used the cheapest imported labor to save even more money. If the job is so hard, shall we expect Parsons to give up the contract and give some money back? Admit they can't do it, and let another company take over? Certainly not.

How does Parsons get away with getting paid top dollar for its incompetence? Campaign contributions to Tom Davis (R-VA), the corrupt politician and oversight committee chair who was supposed to oversee their spending.


Parsons PAC also gave generously to the National Republican Congressional Committee, $5,000 every March since the Iraq War began in 2003, for a total of $20,000.

Davis's wife hires herself out for ICG Government to help witnesses prepare testimony for his Committee. Davis got her the job with his friend Don Upson. Hiring her is a potential conflict of interest - if not an actual conflict - that goes on anyway. Witnesses know paying her can't hurt their chances for softball questions from him.

Parsons also gave to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but only one-tenth of what the NRCC got, and only starting in December 2005 when it became evident that Davis, the Committee Chair, was losing his majority rule. Parsons gave no money to incoming Reform Committee chair Henry Waxman.

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