McHorny's $3.25 mil belies so-called anti-earmark "crusade"

Two earmarks for $3.25 million.

That's what Pat McHorny wrote letters asking for this year while promoting himself as an anti-earmark crusader on the House floor:

"We need to lay clear these earmarks . . . so the American people can judge the worthiness of the programs and the money allocated to them."

And now he's saying he won't ever ask for any earmarks, starting next year.

mommy lyingFrom the Winston Salem Journal:

This year Sen. Patrick McHenry, R-10th, has emerged as one of Congress’ most outspoken critics of earmarks. He also has pledged, starting next year, not to seek earmarks for new projects unless they had been authorized - but not yet paid for - by Congress

Click here to see his April letter for a $2,250,000 grant to a company called Mariner Containers in Granite Falls, NC. They are supposed to be making "Smart Containers" but so far they haven't made anything smarter than a plastic septic tank. I wonder what other companies would have liked to bid for this project? And would they have done the work better or cheaper?

Click here for his request for $1,000,000 to go to a Valdese, NC subsidiary of a French Corporation called Saft, which already had a $31 million contract to provide batteries to the US military. They hardly need a $1 million rebate. And the profit from this essentially no-bid contract goes to some wealthy Frenchmen? I'm sure 10th District constituents can appreciate that irony.

Yeah, Pat, it's obvious you are a true crusader against earmarks.

From the Winston Salem Journal, these are some other North Carolina earmarks:

❑ $1 million for “alternatives to transplantation” research at Wake Forest.

❑ $100,000 for “technology for rural schools.”

❑ $150,000 for electronic medical records at Alleghany Memorial Hospital.

❑ $500,000 for sewage and water infrastructure in Mount Airy.

❑ $376,000 for high-tech equipment for the Winston-Salem Police Department.

❑ $300,000 for biofuel research at Appalachian State University.

[Note that no traditional press has reported either of McHorny's earmarks.]

From The Crypt at polico.com in July when he was asked about a $129,000 Christmas Tree earmark that even fellow Republicans voted against.

"Look, the important thing is transparency and openness," McHenry said when asked about the earmark, which he confirmed that he had inserted into the bill. "I have never been opposed to directed spending."

McHenry added: "I just think that it's critical for members to know what they are voting on when a [spending] bill comes to the floor."

Now, Pat, I have to say you're right. Not knowing what is being voted on is a bad thing.

So we don't know why these two companies you like so much had to avoid the normal Pentagon procurement process. Is there some reason they otherwise wouldn't have gotten these contracts? Are there other American companies who would have done the work for less, or sooner or of a better quality? If not, why the end-around? Why the secrecy? You were right, Pat, that transparency is important. That would seem even more significant in regard to defense contracts where lives could be at stake.

And now the American people are left to wonder what are you hiding about your connection to these companies that inspired you to procure them millions in secret?

saft-ltr.jpgmarinecontainer.jpg

Comments

I always forget

Thanks to Greg Flynn for his wonderful help.

And cross posted at Scru Hooo . . . if you're inclined, go over and post a hello for the Asheville DL crowd's last 2007 gathering tonight.

What's the emoticon for a wiped tear at missing friends?

and posted also at:
 
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Keep It Up

I am just glad that the McHenry group knows they cannot operate unopposed in the 10th anymore.

The grass is always greener over the septic tank

Mariner Container Corporation's only approved product (NC DENR) is this 1, 000 gallon plastic septic tank.

Nice work if you can get it. Not exactly pork barrel, more like....never mind.

Some want us to believe this is a defense appropriation

It was announced as a grant in November on some kind of business community website called SwampFox where I can't access the author's profile . . . but the Sunlight Foundation lists it as an earmark so it did not go through the defense appropriations process like the SwampFox author, Jim Roberts, wants us to believe.

Apparently, the feds have basically funded this entire company from day one. This is from the Hickory Record a few years ago (I think)

After an uncertain year, a start-up business in Caldwell County has gained forward momentum courtesy of the US government.

The Department of Homeland Security's Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded Granite Falls-based Mariner Container Corporation a $100,000 grant for the development of a "smart" container system. The Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant is funding a feasibility study of Mariner's proposal to build high-tech, largely recyclable shipping containers that could be used for military and commercial purposes.

A Phase II grant, if awarded, will provide Mariner with up to $750,000 for the development of a prototype. Phase III is commercial application of the research and development, and in Mariner's case would likely include contracts with the Department of Defense and/or the Department of Homeland Security, said Mariner founder Rick Lampe. If Mariner gets to the third phase, it could also mean hundreds of new manufacturing jobs for the area.

Still no explanation why they can't go through the regular procurement process and why these people get to start a company on federal dollars.

You're hiding something, dear Patty.

 
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Ship Patty to Iraq in a Septic tank and let's see how it smells?

Still no explanation why they can't go through the regular procurement process and why these people get to start a company on federal dollars.

You're hiding something, dear Patty.*DQ

You are dang right! He is hiding a tank full of republican corrupted fascist sh##. One of the reasons for the new containers is that the Army has use up most of the steel shipping containers in Iraq as housing for the troops, believe it or not....My son slept and live in one of those suckers for 15 months and for two reasons only, the Motars incoming every night would bounce off the suckers and the other reason was they were a sweat hotbox for pissing off their military moral at the command......In one Motar attack one night, they refuse to let the commander in it while under attack......The container got a window air condition the next day........

Roberts

Consultant - Entrepreneur Development, Chapel Hill, NC

Founded the Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council and the Blue Ridge Angel Investors Network in Asheville, NC.

Started an entrepreneur networking firm called FirstRound in Charlotte and four other cities in the southeast.

Thanks Greg. What's his connection,

I wonder? I looked up the annual reports and found he's not listed. See comment below about how they don't seem to feel the need to file reports. I guess their contacts in Washington trump any piddly state requirements. Why should the Pentagon care if they're a company in good standing? Or do they not have to file when they're not actually doing anything?
 
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Advantage West

Looks like the connection is Advantage West/ Blue Ridge Entrepeneurial Council/ Blue Ridge Angel Investors Network/ Appalachian Regional Commission.

In addition to the Christmas Tree earmark Jeff Flake cut another earmark for Advantage West Economic Development Group Certified Entrepreneurial Community program. That was Shuler's earmark.

PS here's a piece by Roberts that mentions Mariner in passing.

Advantage West is an odd duck

Private companies getting public money. Its website and email newsletters (which I used to get regularly just to check the names) are more like a front. Nothing much there. Fake it 'til you make it. But they've been around too long to have such a thin veneer and so little to say. Especially when you look at the public money coming through their "system." I can't tell who decides these things. Nothing seems very public.

The organization used to be big time in bed with Charles Taylor. There's an old scandal involving Advantage West and Taylor's then too-recently-former or not-yet-former chief of staff Roger France (someone Mike Rogers didn't know to out).

On paper the organization crosses party lines but I know of no socially moderate Democrats on the list of event attendees. The AdWest names also show up on the invitee lists for anything state-level that happens here but I don't really know who decides on the invitations.

And I see Jim's self-description:

As a well-connected member of the business community in Charlotte

It seems he might as well add WNC to that "business community" connection.

I'm glad they're trying to help WNC build industry and technological firms that result in good jobs but something about them is really really creepy. The entrepreneurial council's website, like Advantage West, has no personality at all. Not one local photo. Weird. It could be for a German firm or Alaskan or Canadian. It is a website of generic people from nowhere.

I've always wondered what they are hiding. Probably their decision-making process. I'm sure it ain't too democratic.
 
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It sounds just like one of the shill companies that Abramoff

created to slush money over to his Republican buddies. Could it be a holdover from that era?

Have you called to support H. Res 333 Impeach Cheney Today? call 202-224-3121 & ask for your Congress member by name

No idea but I'd be supportive of anyone who had the time

to look into it. I've yet to find where he did anyone any good. Unless you consider giving something to someone who supported his campaign "doing good."
 
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Greg, you're so mean

I see on their website that they were "challenged by state and federal officials" to develop a new type of septic tank "to reduce the plastic waste being disposed in our landfills."

It's about recycled plastic! All this money is about recycling. And these nameless state and federal officials went to Rick Lampe's then-nonexistent company because there was no one else on earth who knew how to make containers out of recycled plastic.

It's all about the environment, Greg. I can't believe you don't love them for their selfless concern.

And I guess those nameless state and federal officials just vanished when it came time to pay the bills and that's why they had to go get Patty McHorny to write that letter begging the Defense Department to give them millions of dollars.

I hate it when governmental officials secretly ask me to do something and then I have to beg the taxpayer to secretly give me millions of dollars.
 
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Last annual report filed 2002

Are the online files for the Secretary of State up-to-date? Anyone know?

Because Mariner Containers only filed once, in 2002. Frederick G. Lampe Sr of Conover and Jr of Granite Falls.

I guess they're too busy cashing McHorny's secretly-obtained taxpayer checks.

This is what that old Hickory Record article said about one of the Lampes:

Lampe has spent the last three years designing and building the prototype system, but he said it has really been in the works for three decades. A graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy with a degree in mechanical engineering, he also has a master's degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a retired commander with the US Naval Reserve. Before founding Mariner, Lampe started, developed, and sold two other businesses. One of his ideas started what is now Pactiv Corp., a worldwide leader in the plastics industry.

 
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Think Oil!

One of his ideas started what is now Pactiv Corp., a worldwide leader in the plastics industry.*DQ

And who owns Pactiv Corp? 90% of plastics recy products is oil base........X-rays, bottles, those yard chairs at Krogers, so forth....the list is long........Think big Oil......Almost 80% of recyle plastic products end up in China and melted down....Do you really believe all of those plastic products your garbage service pick ups goes to those landfills in the USA?

I love this statement

"I certify that I have no finical interest in this project"

as found on the bottom of those documents. Like that makes it all good.

If you have no finical interest then your also saying that this company will not send you any contributions now, before or in the future and that if they have or will, that you will send it back and publicly state this? Nor will the owner or anyone with a vested interest in this company who might send you a contribution or anything of that nature.

OOOO wait, that is not finically connected, that is just good old boys helping a friend. It really does not mean anything.

Lying politicians. Crooked politicians.

McHenry crusades against

McHenry crusades against earmarks while he simultaneously shafts the people in his district. Not that he's already been doing that for the entire time, but at least now he has an excuse when we ask him why all of the other districts get more money and we get jack. It's like being the kid at Christmas who gets a sweater when all of those other kids get bicycles- I'm getting envious.