Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oh, THOSE pumps. . .

This really gives me confidence in the Corpse. I don't know why they didn't just hire Halliburton for the job.. But I guess that Jeb deserves a break too.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Army Corps of Engineers, rushing to meet President Bush's promise to protect New Orleans by the start of the 2006 hurricane season, installed defective flood-control pumps last year despite warnings from its own expert that the equipment would fail during a storm, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
. . . . . . . . .

MWI is owned by J. David Eller and his sons. Eller was once a business partner of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a venture called Bush-El that marketed MWI pumps. And Eller has donated about $128,000 to politicians, the vast majority of it to the Republican Party, since 1996, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

MWI has run into trouble before. The U.S. Justice Department sued the company in 2002, accusing it of fraudulently helping Nigeria obtain $74 million in taxpayer-backed loans for overpriced and unnecessary water-pump equipment. The case has yet to be resolved.

Because of the trouble with the New Orleans pumps, the Corps has withheld 20 percent of the MWI contract, including an incentive of up to $4 million that the company could have collected if it delivered the equipment in time for the 2006 hurricane season.

The state panel on Katrina failures has slammed the Corps of Engineers HARD. This is likely to have a big effect on those thousands of lawsuits filed against the Corps last week.

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