Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
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Trump and his pals using this to make money
No Bid Contracts
After Puerto Rico was dealt a devastating blow from hurricane Maria, a little utility company associated to a well -known Trump campaign donor has been awarded the massive contract to help rebuild the devastated island. Puerto Rico’s power grid was destroyed and people are suffering. Puerto Rico has agreed to pay $300 million to a tiny company to restore the island power grid.
This tiny utility company is primarily financed by a private-equity firm founded and run by a man who contributed large sums of money to President Trump. What is really weird about this finding is Whitefish Energy Holdings, had a staff of only two full-time employees when Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and most experts would say that this company would be ill-equipped to handle the overwhelming job of restoring electricity to Puerto Rico’s 3+ million inhabitants. Usually bigger companies would be used to tackle such a large job of restoration after such a devastating event.
Joe Colonnetta, is listed as a general partner of Whitefish, Colonnetta contributed $20,000 to the Trump Victory PAC for the general election time frame. $27,000 to Trump’s primary election campaign which was the full allowable amount by law at the time. $27,000 to Trump’s general election campaign again the full allowable amount. And $30,700 to the Republican National Committee in 2016.
Joe Colonnetta is not the only Republican association to the scandalous Whitefish contract, The Washington Post reported that Whitefish Chief Executive Officer Andy Techmanski is friends with Trump administration Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Oddly enough Whitefish is located in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana. Politicians from Puerto Rico have stated that the only assets that the Whitefish Corporation has is its association with Trumps Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who was their former Congressman and who has political ties with key people who are close to the governor of Puerto Rico.
Zinke is not the only People from Trumps administration to have ties with Whitefish, Colonnetta’s wife is involved as well as she also contributed the maximum amount to the Republican National Committee in 2016. She is pictured with Ben Carson, Trump’s secretary of housing and urban development and a picture with Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, taken at the week-long festivities during the Trumps Inauguration.
Whitefish will be nothing more than a overvalued broker to get the real providers of the services, with which PREPA [the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority] could have contracted directly,” Puerto Rico’s House of Representative Vega-Ramos said. “It is a cozy sweetheart deal in which Whitefish gets a gratuity for subcontracting the actual providers.”
Another interesting fact that has become known is that Federal agencies like FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which are normally responsible for assessing contracts for disaster responses, have attempted to distance themselves from the Whitefish contract. This department would not comment on why they are not involved in this contract decision.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on the other hand, when asked by a reporter “does not comment on contracting decisions made by external organizations that do not involve USACE.”
However, PREPA spokesman Carlos Monroig Aceveda told weather.com that its contracts “are evaluated and awarded by the U.S. Corps of Engineers in coordination with FEMA, which disburses the money.”
It seems that brazen profiteering is going on openly on the back of the devastated people of Puerto Rico. It is beyond the pale and people should be outraged and the people doing it should be held accountable.
Joe Colonnetta and his wife have donated thousands upon thousands to the Republican Party over the years, Colonnetta Has not only donated to the party greatly but is also a very prominent figure in the Republican Party of Texas, in 2013 then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry appointed Colonnetta as a trustee for the Retirement System of Texas; in 2015, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appointed Colonnetta to serve as chairman of the investment committee also at the Retirement System of Texas; and the same year, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick appointed Colonnetta to his policy advisory committee.
It looks like all the rats are involved in the crooked practice of duping the taxpayers out of millions and departments are afraid to comment on their lack of normal procedure under the Trump Administration probably because they are afraid of losing their jobs. The people suffering are the poor souls of Puerto Rico who are depending on getting their power back, and the taxpayers while the rich get even richer with no regard how they make their millions even if it is crooked and at the suffering of others.
This scheme needs to be investigated and prosecuted. But that wont happen under the Trump administration because he supports the theft of taxpayer money and he could care less about other people suffering because he made his fortune off the backs of people he ripped off, fraud and traitorous activity.