Trump Cabinet Secretary's hometown, 2-person company wins $300m power-rebuilding contract in Puerto Rico


Originally published at:


Is this Zinke trying to find a way out?


No, it’s the swamp water table getting higher.



How about don’t pay for that shit?


Isn’t this kind of thing illegal?


They’re not even trying to obfuscate the fuckery anymore.

Warren G Harding is going to get an indirect reputational boost from ⊥rump.


Laws on the books don’t matter anymore.

If you have the right connections to powerful people, there are no consequences.




Going to drain the swamp by land-filling it with leeches.


Yeah, this may be legit. As NPR reports, they secured the contract prior to the hurricane because it turns out Montana has a lot of experience repairing power lines in mountainous regions by helicopter.

Puerto Rico said they were the only company who bid the contract without demanding to be paid regardless of whether or not they got hit by the hurricane.

There may be something shady but this contract was made before the hurricane, between PR and the company with no obvious connection to the Secretary of the Interior.


I think it’s a little weird that Puerto Rico could recruit mutual aid partners to help at no cost, but instead is paying all this money. The NPR article makes it sound like the justification for that is somewhere between flimsy and nonsense. And imagine if you were a Puerto Rican lineman, learning that the contractors cost $400/hour. Do Puerto Rican linemen even get paid regularly? Do they earn overtime anymore? Are they ever allowed to sleep?

On a totally separate note, as a business I would not be too eager to go work for a bankrupt utility in a bankrupt territory on the premise that cash-poor FEMA will probably foot the bill.


For USA is a luck to have such good and successful businessmen in charge. If they are so good with their companies for sure they will do a good work for the Country.




smells white-fishy



there’s an oldie but goodie.


The sections of line being repaired under this contract require specialized skills. Much of the work is being done by helicopter. Also, the operation has to be completely self contained, and provide all of the workers housing, food, equipment, and support.
It might be worth considering that the company does seem to be getting the work done, and had people on the lines within a week of the storm’s arrival. If they are able to do the work in a timely manner, to high standards, and within budget, then it does not seem that it will matter where the company is located or how many employees they had before the storm.
Of course, any illegal actions in obtaining the contract should be investigated and punished. But there are federal rules that allow awarding contracts this way in certain situations. It should be obvious that the standard bidding and procurement process would mean that none of the work would be started for many months. That would be outrageous.


Not even if your friends bankrupted them and FEMA and neither of those entities is paying you to mark-up other peoples work?


A bunch of sweethearts they are; here’s their response to questions about transparency in the process by the San Juan mayor, a threat to leave:

We’ve got 44 linemen rebuilding power lines in your city & 40 more men just arrived. Do you want us to send them back or keep working?

— Whitefish Energy (@WhitefishEnergy) October 25, 2017


They sure will, Comrade!