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Tag Archive: Defense Contracts

Defense contractors

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Nobody chews through taxpayer dollars faster than the Pentagon, and fully half the money spent on defense goes out the door to private contractors. Who gets that money? What do they provide in return, and how much competition do they face in winning those contracts? You can find out by digging into “Outsourcing the Pentagon” on the website of the Center for Public Integrity.

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Wade Pushed Contracting Practices to the Limit:

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The Washington Post provides the story behind the rise and fall of Mitchell Wade, the defense contractor convicted of bribing ex-Rep. Duke Cunningham and defense department officials, and passing along illegal donations to two other lawmakers. Wade, who learned the intricacies of the procurement process from working as a civilian worker at the Pentagon and as an apprentice to Brent Wilkes, another contractor implicated in the Cunningham bribery, took existing practices and pushed them to the limit to become a contracting powerhouse. Wade “aggressively used the ‘revolving door’ between the government's defense and intelligence bureaucracy and the private industry,” hiring “top talent” and “freely distributed title and rank, appointing more than 100 vice presidents, executive vice presidents and ‘senior executive vice presidents’” while paying higher wages than any other defense contractor would offer for officials with security clearances. Wade found the global war on terrorism good for business as a Knight Ridder report shows that the Pentagon hired his MZM to “collect data on houses of worship, schools, power plants and other locations in the United States.”

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Lewis Military Aide On Pentagon Payroll, May Violate Rules:

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House Appropriations Chairman Jerry Lewis’ (R-CA) aide in charge of tracking defense appropriations “is a military officer on the Pentagon’s payroll, an apparent violation of House rules and a possible conflict of interest,” according to The Hill newspaper. Department of Defense regulations state that military personnel can work on committee staffs but not on the personal staff of an individual member. Lewis’ aide, Marine Lt. Col. Michael Kime, has apparently worked for Lewis since 2001 while being on the Pentagon payroll. Congressional watchdogs call Kime’s role a conflict of interest and defense experts state that his position may give the Marines greater leverage over contracts and earmarks in the Appropriations Committee. Lewis has been a target of great scrutiny since his connection to the contractors involved in the Duke Cunningham bribery scandal emerged.

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