The firms that received the contract are big GOP contributors. Adding
to the controversy regarding the Army Corps of Engineers diverting $250 million
from the SELA (Southeast Louisiana) Urban Flood Control Program to Iraq and Halliburton
reconstruction projects, is the revelation that FEMA outsourced hurricane recovery
planning to the Baton Rouge-based consulting firm Innovative Emergency Management
(IEM), Inc. to develop a "Catastrophic Hurricane Disaster Plan for New Orleans
& Southeast Louisiana." The award was announced on June 3, 2004 on the
firm's web site but was taken down just as Hurricane Katrina's winds and waves
first started pounding New Orleans. It would now appear that the hurricane plan
IEM and its team developed wasn't worth a damned thing.
IEM's team partners for the more than $500,000 contract are Dewberry
of Arlington, VA, URS Corporation of San Francisco, and James Lee Witt Associates.
Witt was FEMA Director under Bill Clinton. IEM's president is Madhu Beriwal.
The company was founded in 1985. Dewberry and URS are engineering firms. IEM
is also a Defense Department contractor and has contracts with the U.S. Army
Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) along with team members Booz Allen Hamilton
and Lockheed Martin.
Now for the interesting background on Ms. Beriwal. She is a big-time
contributor to the GOP. She's given thousands of dollars to Republicans,
including Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, Alabama
Sen. Richard Shelby, Louisiana Rep. Bobby Jindal, Rep. Richard Baker of Louisiana,
the National Republican Congressional Committee, former Arkansas Sen. Tim Hutchinson.
Vitter was the largest recipient of funds from Beriwal.
The Chairman of Dewberry Sidney Dewberry, the Vice Chairman, Barry
K. Dewberry, and Secretary of the firm, Michael Dewberry have been substantial
contributors to George W. Bush, Virginia Sen. John Warner, the National
Republican Congressional Committee, Sen. Shelby, "Every Republican is Crucial"
Political Action Committee, Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia (also fingered in
the Duke Cunningham MZM, Inc. scandal), Virginia Sen. George Allen, Virginia
Rep. Frank Wolf, Virginia Rep. Tom Davis, Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, Virginia
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican National Committee, and the Federal Victory
Fund of Annandale, VA controlled by Tom Davis. The Dewberrys have also contributed
to the financially-tainted Democrat from Virginia's 8th District, Jim Moran.
URS's board of directors includes Richard Blum, the husband of California Democratic
Senator Dianne Feinstein and retired General Joseph Ralston, the former Vice
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and current Vice Chairman of the Cohen
Group (former Defense Secretary William Cohen's firm). Ralston also served as
a director of the Timken Company, the firm of current US ambassador to Germany
William Timken, a big time contributor to George W. Bush.
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has announced that she is hiring Witt to assist
in the hurricane recovery. Just a minute here. His firm (which includes retired
Gen. Wesley Clark) was part of the IEM team that came up with the non-existent
$500,000 FEMA New Orleans-Southeast Louisiana Catastrophic Hurricane Disaster
Plan. Why pay this guy again for his incompetence? Republicans + Democrats =
Partners in Crime.
Paraphrasing Monday Night Football's intro -- ARE YOU READY FOR REVOLUTION?
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