Obama Campaign Donor Stimulus Plan in Action, Again

“Less than two months after he was sworn into office, President Obama signed a memorandum that he claimed would “dramatically reform the way we do business on contracts across the entire government.” -from FOXNews article below.

Obama’s Campaign Donor Stimulus Plan… feed them at the no competition contract trough on Taxpayers Dollars.

yum yum yum

To the Obama Campaign Donors go the spoils - $25 million this time

One would think there is a limit to even Obama’s Arrogance in the face of Voter Rejection of his Business as Usual back washing behavior… but no! The One lives on a pretend planet where he is sinless and unaccountable for what he does and fails to do.

From… FoxNews:

Obama Administration Steers Lucrative No-Bid Contract for Afghan Work to Dem Donor

The Obama administration this month awarded a $25 million federal contract for work in Afghanistan to a company owned by a prominent Democratic campaign contributor without entertaining competitive bids, Fox News has learned.

Despite President Obama’s long history of criticizing the Bush administration for “sweetheart deals” with favored contractors, the Obama administration this month awarded a $25 million federal contract for work in Afghanistan to a company owned by a Democratic campaign contributor without entertaining competitive bids, Fox News has learned.

The contract, awarded on Jan. 4 to Checchi & Company Consulting, Inc., a Washington-based firm owned by economist and Democratic donor Vincent V. Checchi, will pay the firm $24,673,427 to provide “rule of law stabilization services” in war-torn Afghanistan.

A synopsis of the contract published on the USAID Web site says Checchi & Company will “train the next generation of legal professionals” throughout the Afghan provinces and thereby “develop the capacity of Afghanistan’s justice system to be accessible, reliable, and fair.”

The legality of the arrangement as a “sole source,” or no-bid, contract was made possible by virtue of a waiver signed by the USAID administrator. “They cancelled the open bid on this when they came to power earlier this year,” a source familiar with the federal contracting process told Fox News.

“That’s kind of weird,” said another source, who has worked on “rule of law” issues in both Afghanistan and Iraq, about the no-bid contract to Checchi & Company. “There’s lots of companies and non-governmental organizations that do this sort of work.”

Contacted by Fox News, Checchi confirmed that his company had indeed received the nearly $25 million contract but declined to say why it had been awarded on a no-bid basis, referring a reporter to USAID.

Asked if he or his firm had been aware that the contract was awarded without competitive bids, Checchi replied: “After it was awarded to us, sure. Before, we had no idea.”

He declined to answer further questions, however, and again referred Fox News to USAID, saying: “I don’t want to speak for the U.S. government.”

Asked about the contract, USAID Acting Press Director Harry Edwards at first suggested his office would be too “busy” to comment on it. “I’ll tell it to the people in Haiti,” Edwards snapped when a Fox News reporter indicated the story would soon be made public. The USAID press office did not respond further.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Fox News’ reporting on the no-bid contract in this case “disturbed” him.

Issa has written to USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah requesting that the agency “produce all documents related to the Checchi contract” on or before Feb. 5. Citing the waiver that enabled USAID to award the contract on a no-bid basis, Issa noted that the exemption was intended to speed up the provision of services in a crisis environment.

Yet “on its face,” wrote Issa to Shah, “the consulting contract awarded to Checchi to support the Afghan justice system does not appear to be so urgent or attendant to an immediate need so as to justify such a waiver.”

Corporate rivals of Checchi were reluctant to speak on the record about the no-bid contract awarded to his firm because they feared possible retribution by the Obama administration in the awarding of future contracts.

“We don’t want to be blackballed,” said the managing partner of a consulting firm that has won similar contracts. “You’ve got to be careful. We’re dealing here with people and offices that we depend on for our business.”

Still, the rival executive confirmed that open bidding on USAID’s lucrative Afghanistan “rule of law” contract was abruptly revoked by the agency earlier this year.

“It’s a mystery to us,” the managing partner said. “We were going to bid on it. The solicitation (for bids) got pulled back, and we do not know why. We may never know why. These are things that we, as companies doing business with the government, have to put up with.”

As a candidate for president in 2008, then-Sen. Obama frequently derided the Bush administration for the awarding of federal contracts without competitive bidding.

“I will finally end the abuse of no-bid contracts once and for all,” the senator told a Grand Rapids audience on Oct. 2. “The days of sweetheart deals for Halliburton will be over when I’m in the White House.”

Those remarks echoed an earlier occasion, during a candidates’ debate in Austin, Texas on Feb. 21, when Mr. Obama vowed to upgrade the government’s online databases listing federal contracts.

“If (the American people) see a bridge to nowhere being built, they know where it’s going and who sponsored it,” he said to audience laughter, “and if they see a no-bid contract going to Halliburton, they can check that out too.”

Less than two months after he was sworn into office, President Obama signed a memorandum that he claimed would “dramatically reform the way we do business on contracts across the entire government.”

Flanked by aides and lawmakers at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building on March 4, Obama vowed to “end unnecessary no-bid and cost-plus contracts,” adding: “In some cases, contracts are awarded without competition….And that’s completely unacceptable.”

The March 4 memorandum directed the Office of Management and Budget to “maximize the use of full and open competition” in the awarding of federal contracts.

Federal campaign records show Checchi has been a frequent contributor to liberal and Democratic causes and candidates in recent years, including to Obama’s presidential campaign.

The records show Checchi has given at least $4,400 to Obama dating back to March 2007, close to the maximum amount allowed. The contractor has also made donations to various arms of the Democratic National Committee, to liberal activist groups like MoveOn.org and ActBlue, and to other party politicians like Sen. John F. Kerry, former presidential candidate John Edwards and former Connecticut Senate candidate Ned Lamont.

Sources confirmed to Fox News that Checchi & Company is but one of a number of private firms capable of performing the work in Afghanistan for which USAID retained it.

For example, DPK Consulting, based in San Francisco and with offices in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere, states on its website that it has contracted with USAID and other federal agencies on more than 600 projects involving “governance and institutional development” across five continents.

Among DPK’s most recent projects are the establishment of a new public prosecutor’s office in Jenin, in the troubled West Bank area of the Palestinian Authority, and the improvement of court facilities in the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia. Similarly, BlueLaw International, based in Virginia, was awarded a $100 million contract by the State Department in April 2008 to strengthen the “rule of law” in Iraq.

Although Obama suggested in his remarks on March 4 that he hoped particularly to address problems associated with defense contracting, an Associated Press analysis last July found that the Defense Department frequently awards no-bid contracts under the aegis of the $787 billion stimulus program, and often at higher expense to U.S. taxpayers.

According to The AP, more than $242 million in federal contracts, or roughly a quarter of the Pentagon’s contract stimulus spending, was awarded through no-bid contracts. And while procurement officers say competitive bidding can actually cost the taxpayers more — because it involves delays and can thereby subject pricing for services and equipment to inflation — the AP analysis found that defense-related stimulus contracts awarded after competitive bidding saved the Pentagon $34 million, compared with $4.4 million when no bidding was involved.

Figures kept by OMB Watch, a non-profit research and advocacy group that tracks federal spending, show that no-bid contracts have been common under administrations controlled by both parties.

During fiscal years 2000 and 2001, for example, when Bill Clinton was president, as much as $139.2 billion in federal contracts was awarded without competitive bidding. The OMB Watch figures show that the practice appears to have accelerated sharply during the Bush administration, but the figures are not adjusted for inflation.

Click here to read the contract award.

Click here to read Rep. Issa’s letter to USAID.


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About VotingFemale

I am a female voter, as my blog name implies. I vote for conservatives. I am a political opponent of Leftists, Progressives, Socialists, Marxists, and Communists.
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32 Responses to Obama Campaign Donor Stimulus Plan in Action, Again

  1. Foxwood says:

    Your right Sami, the Commie in Chief is doing his best to bring down the US. Problem is his best is a sorry excuse for a sh!t shoveler let alone CIC.

    I apologize to Sh!t shovelers…

  2. Foxwood says:

    “This isn’t business as usual, because I’m doing it!”

  3. rosehips says:

    Yeah, VF. This is a bad deal. It smells like palm-greasin’, payback giving, backscratchin’ cronyism to me. There does not appear to be a legitimate reason for waiving the bidding process.
    What the heck is “rule of law stabilization services”? They are going to train lawyers to fix stuff? wtf???? Cheech and Chong will teach Afghan lawyers how to be fair????

    Checchi & Company will “train the next generation of legal professionals” throughout the Afghan provinces and thereby “develop the capacity of Afghanistan’s justice system to be accessible, reliable, and fair.”

  4. samiam60 says:

    No wonder Obama is soooo very upset with the Supreme Court Ruling in favor of Freedom of Speech.

    Transparency is non existent in the Obama Administration.

  5. samiam60 says:

    In one year I believe the Obama administration has compiled more Corruption than all other administrations combined throughout the history of the United States.

  6. VotingFemale says:

    IF Obama had not promised to be different, it would not be as bad… though it is borderline criminal to say the least.

    I did not like it when Bush did it either.
    status quo; business as usual

    grrrrr

    rosehips says

    Yeah, VF. This is a bad deal. It smells like palm-greasin’, payback giving, backscratchin’ cronyism to me. There does not appear to be a legitimate reason for waiving the bidding process.
    What the heck is “rule of law stabilization services”? They are going to train lawyers to fix stuff? wtf???? Cheech and Chong will teach Afghan lawyers how to be fair????

    Checchi & Company will “train the next generation of legal professionals” throughout the Afghan provinces and thereby “develop the capacity of Afghanistan’s justice system to be accessible, reliable, and fair.”

  7. samiam60 says:

    Obama Fate of the Union Address:

    Let me make one thing perfectly clear:

    keivnnes,iena, ibnos iejkdk ypymog jgjcuwxb cvmekei obmmsos ehahhc dlleososogldl.

    And dprcvy boepbw di w foe ahe ehose
    bush odfnahob bush eogoah bush oevjeo
    did oeevjioeio it a onev again.

  8. VotingFemale says:

    didn’t you get The One’s memo?

    The rules apply only to Conservatives

    Socialists are entitled by virtue of being Socialists

    samiam60 says

    In one year I believe the Obama administration has compiled more Corruption than all other administrations combined throughout the history of the United States.

  9. rosehips says:

    what a joke. why don’t we just drop money from the sky? We waste so much money trying to institute our system of justice into a foreign country. It seems so futile.

  10. samiam60 says:

    We really need to re-write Frank Sinatra’s song
    ” My Way” and make it a song for Obama named:

    ” Sly Way “

  11. samiam60 says:

    ‘Blame Bush’ Strategy Wears Thin as Obama Enters Second Year

    FOXNews.com

    Whether it’s the economy, national security or America’s reputation abroad, President Obama and his top advisers have been pinning the blame on the prior administration, directly or obliquely, ever since Obama’s inauguration a full year ago — including at least seven times since last Tuesday’s upset in the Massachusetts Senate election.

  12. samiam60 says:

    One year into his administration, President Obama might want to consider dropping the “blame Bush” page from his playbook.

    Whether it’s the economy, national security or America’s reputation abroad, the president and his top advisers have been pinning the blame on the prior administration, directly or obliquely, ever since Obama’s inauguration a full year ago. They’ve done so, in fact, at least seven times since last Tuesday’s stunning upset in the Massachusetts Senate election.

    While the loss of the late Ted Kennedy’s longtime seat forced Democrats to acknowledge shortcomings in persuading Americans to support their health care reform plan, it didn’t stop them from continuing to invoke the failings of the George W. Bush administration — though Obama had just completed his first year in office.

    Some Republicans, and even some Democrats, say it’s time to choose a different strategy in selling and defending the Obama agenda, noting that the anti-Bush demographic just isn’t as energized now as it was when Bush was in office.

    “What you have the last two cycles is the angry voters, the ones most motivated to turn out, were Democrats, who did not like Bush. They didn’t like his policies … You saw it, what we call the surge voters,” said former Rep. Tom Davis, former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
    related links

    *

    Week of Political Upheaval Expected to Shape Obama’s State of the Union Speech
    *

    Obama Must Start Listening
    *

    Obama to Deliver State of the Union on Jan. 27

    “Bush is gone now — they’re all asleep,” Davis said.

    But Obama appears to be trying to wake them up.

    In the first presidential postmortem on the Massachusetts race last week, Obama invoked Bush right away in an interview with ABC News.

    “The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office,” Obama said. “People are angry, and they’re frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”

    He and his top staff referenced the Bush years later in the week as they unveiled new proposals for regulating Wall Street. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Thursday said the country can’t go without stiff financial regulation, or else “we get into the same type of situation that we found ourselves in in September of 2008.”

    Obama, in a Saturday statement backing the creation of a deficit-tackling commission, referred to the “economic downturn we inherited,” the “years of failing to pay for new policies,” and the “trillions of dollars in deficits” the Bush administration created.

    Those themes were bundled up on the Sunday morning talk shows when top advisers took to the airwaves with a coordinated Bush-centered message in discussing the administration’s economic approach.

    “What we inherited when we walked in the door was an economic situation that was far worse than anybody ever knew,” Gibbs said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The hole we inherit and the hole that we have to fill is very, very deep.”

    Senior Adviser David Axelrod, on CNN’s State of the Union” and ABC News’ “This Week,” stressed the huge deficit Obama inherited from Bush.

    “When the president walked in the door, he was handed the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, a financial crisis that held out the prospect of the collapse of the financial system and a fiscal crisis,” Axelrod said on “This Week.” “President Clinton left a $237 billion surplus; President Obama received a $1.3 trillion deficit.”

    Obama contributed to that deficit with his $787 billion stimulus package and other programs, but his former campaign manager David Plouffe nevertheless urged his party not to “accept any lectures on spending” from the GOP.

    Plouffe, who is signing on as a White House political adviser, wrote in a Washington Post column Sunday that “Republicans’ fiscal irresponsibility has never been matched in our country’s history.”

    But while the Bush administration did in fact turn a projected Clinton-era surplus into a deficit, Obama has not taken any major steps to rein in the spending. He signed pork-filled omnibus packages and is pursuing another jobs-creation bill.

    Republican strategist Andrea Tantaros said Monday that Democrats should not “run against George Bush.”

    “This is about a very distracted, unfocused president,” she said.

    Politico.com reported that some Democratic strategists are also starting to reconsider that rhetorical tack — given that efforts by Democrats to link their GOP opponents to Bush failed in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races, and the Massachusetts Senate race.

    “What a stupid strategy that was,” former Obama campaign aide Steve Hildebrand told Politico.com.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/01/25/obama-administration-blaming-bush-president-enters-second-year/

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  15. tellitlikeitis says:

    Obama Moves to Centralize Control Over Party Strategy

    BuzzPermalink By JEFF ZELENY and PETER BAKER
    Published: January 23, 2010
    WASHINGTON — President Obama is reconstituting the team that helped him win the White House to counter Republican challenges in the midterm elections and recalibrate after political setbacks that have narrowed his legislative ambitions.

    Francois Durand/Getty Images
    David Plouffe, who ran the Obama campaign, has been asked to play a bigger role.
    he latest on President Obama, his administration and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion.

    »Mr. Obama has asked his former campaign manager, David Plouffe, to oversee House, Senate and governor’s races to stave off a hemorrhage of seats in the fall. The president ordered a review of the Democratic political operation — from the White House to party committees — after last week’s Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate race, aides said.

    In addition to Mr. Plouffe, who will primarily work from the Democratic National Committee in consultation with the White House, several top operatives from the Obama campaign will be dispatched across the country to advise major races as part of the president’s attempt to take greater control over the midterm elections, aides said.

    “We are turning the corner to a much more political season,” said David Axelrod, a senior adviser, who confirmed Mr. Plouffe’s role. “We are going to evaluate what we need to do to get timely intelligence and early warnings so we don’t face situations like we did in Massachusetts.”

    As Mr. Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union address on Wednesday and lay out his initiatives for the second year of his presidency, his decision to take greater control of the party’s politics signals a new approach. The White House is searching for ways to respond to panic among Democrats over the possible demise of his health care bill and a political landscape being reshaped by a wave of populism.

    Improving tactical operations addresses only part of his challenge. A more complicated discussion under way, advisers said, is how to sharpen the president’s message and leadership style.

    The reinforcement of the White House’s political operation has been undertaken with a sense of urgency since Tuesday, when a Republican, Scott Brown, won the Massachusetts Senate seat that had been held by Edward M. Kennedy. The White House was caught off guard when it became clear that Democrats were in danger of losing it, and by the time alarm bells sounded from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, it was too late.

    The president summoned Mr. Plouffe to the Oval Office hours before the polls closed and asked him to assume the new role because of the implications the midterm elections hold. Mr. Plouffe built a reputation in 2008 as a master of the nuts and bolts of campaigns, and will assemble a team to provide unfiltered information that serves as an early-warning system so the White House and party officials know if a candidate is falling behind.

    The day-to-day political operation will be run by Jim Messina, a deputy White House chief of staff, but Mr. Plouffe will coordinate the effort.

    The party is trying to become less reliant on polls conducted by candidates, which can often paint a too-rosy picture of the political outlook. The president’s leading pollster, Joel Benenson, will be among those conducting research for Mr. Plouffe, aides said, along with others who will divide the country by regions.

    Mr. Plouffe, who did not follow Mr. Obama to the White House last year, has remained in the president’s tight circle of advisers and has frequently worked on projects for the party.

    The first indication of Mr. Plouffe’s more prominent role came in an op-ed article he wrote for the Sunday issue of The Washington Post, presenting a blueprint for how Democrats could avoid big defeats in the fall. He acknowledged the challenges ahead, saying, “We may not have perfect results, but November will be nothing like the nightmare that talking heads have forecast.”

    Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said he had “no interest in sugarcoating” the defeat in Massachusetts. Several party leaders said they expected Mr. Menendez to remain in his position for the rest of the election cycle, but the move by the White House had the effect of subverting at least some of the committee’s authority.

    “Our own political operation will be more rigorously in communication with the other elements, so we can compare notes,” Mr. Axelrod said. “What we learned from Massachusetts is that we need to be more assiduous about getting our own data and our own information so we have a better sense of where things stand.”

    The White House intends to send Mr. Obama out into the country considerably more in 2010 than during his first year in office, advisers said, to try to rekindle the relationship he developed with voters during his presidential campaign.

    His first big chance will come when he delivers his State of the Union address. Rather than unveil a laundry list of new initiatives, advisers said, Mr. Obama will try to reframe his agenda and how he connects it with public concerns. In particular, he will focus on how his ideas for health care, energy and financial regulation all fit into the broader economic mission of creating what he calls a “new foundation” for the country, the key words being “rescue, restore and rebuild.”

    While presidents typically experience rough patches, this one is particularly challenging for Mr. Obama. Liberals have grown disenchanted with what they see as his unwillingness to fight harder for their causes; independents have been turned off by his failure, in their view, to change the way Washington works; and Republicans have become implacably hostile.

    The long and messy legislative fight over health care is a leading example of how Mr. Obama has failed to connect with voters, advisers say, because he appeared to do whatever it would take to get a bill rather than explain how people could benefit.

    “The process often overwhelmed the substance,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director. “We need to find ways to try to rise above the maneuvering.”

    The discussion inside the White House includes at least two distinct debates: Should Mr. Obama assume a more populist or centrist theme in his message? And should the White House do what it takes to pass compromise legislation or should it force votes, which even if unsuccessful can be used to carry an argument against Republicans in the fall?

    It remains an open question how much new legislation will pass Congress, but the coming months will help frame the campaigns. While some form of financial regulation and job creation measures may pass, Obama aides said, larger initiatives like health care, a cap on carbon emissions and an immigration overhaul may have to wait, even though the White House denies trimming its ambitions.

    “I wouldn’t say the door is shut on trying to find some places where you can develop a strategy for a bipartisan vote in the Senate,” said John D. Podesta, a former White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton who advises the Obama team.

    But he said Republicans appeared determined to oppose any initiative Mr. Obama offers. “They would try to deny him passing the Mother’s Day resolution,” he said.

    Some veterans of the Clinton White House have advised their friends in the West Wing to take a breath and not make lasting decisions in the immediate aftermath of the election, when it might be tempting to overreact.

    Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff and himself a Clinton alumnus, gave a pep talk at the senior staff meeting last week. “These things go in cycles,” participants recalled him saying. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. Keep your head up and keep going.”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/us/politics/24union.html

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