Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pelosi Pulls Another Bait & Switch?

Yeppers, gang......Nancy Pelosi is at it again....

Her new choice for the "Alcee" post is having an ethics problem according to Mickey Kaus....

"Virtual Fence = Virtual Corruption? Speaker Pelosi's post-Hastings fallback choice to head the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Silvestre Reyes, voted against building the 700 mile border fence. He prefers a system of video surveillance cameras, apparently. And gee, it seems that his daughter works for a firm that won a government contract to provide such surveillance services! What's more, according to WaPo's John Mintz (who broke the story) the firm did a really bad job. TPM Muckraker summarizes:

In 1999, IMC [the firm in question] won the contract, worth over $200 million. And at the advice of the Immigration and Naturalization Service official who was managing the operation, the company hired Reyes' daughter, Rebecca Reyes, to be his liaison at the company, the Post reported.

IMC's performance on the program was so bad it verged on criminal, according to later investigations. Millions of dollars in overcharges were alleged, installation was so bad that some cameras never worked properly, and the entire exercise wasted money and "placed. . . national security at risk," according to a GSA inspector general report. [E.A.]

Those who feel that a CW-endorsed "virtual fence" will be as effective a Bush-era bureaucratic initiative as, say, training a new Iraqi police force or providing Karina relief will not be encouraged by the history of Reyes' project. ... Doesn't an actual, non-virtual fence offer sufficient opportunities for sleazy contracting? Or is it too cheap and effective? It would seem distressingly easy (from an incompetent contractor's point of view) for the press and public to look and see what portions of a non-virtual fence have actually been built (as opposed to which high-tech surveillance devices are actually working). ... P.S.: It would be nice to have some Gates-like oversight hearings at which Reyes could be grilled about this video-surveillance debacle. But of course Reyes is the overseer, not the overseen. .."

Thanks Mickey.....nice to know someone is watching while the DEMs self-destruct! Anyone for a good round of "honesty and lack-a-corruption"????