Emily Metzgar, former columnist for the Shreveport Times and one of Louisiana’s most well-known bloggers, recently drove down to Alexandria for an interview with KALB’s Michele Godard. Metzgar answers questions about the role of Louisiana State political blogs in shaping the news, the responsibilities of blog ownership, and the proliferation of Louisiana blogs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Click here to watch Part One of the interview, posted on KALB’s Video Blog.
Click here to watch Part Two of the interview.
In case you missed it, the Army Corps of Engineers is in hot water over the way they handled the bid process for reconstructing drainage pumps in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. An excerpt from the Associated Press:
When the Army Corps of Engineers solicited bids for drainage pumps for New Orleans, it copied the specifications — typos and all — from the catalog of the manufacturer that ultimately won the $32 million contract, a review of documents found.
The pumps, supplied by Moving Water Industries Corp. of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and installed before the start of the 2006 storm season, proved to be defective. The matter is under investigation by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.
In a letter dated April 13, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., called on the Corps to look into how the politically connected company got the post-Hurricane Katrina contract. MWI employed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, President Bush’s brother, to market its pumps during the 1980s, and top MWI officials have been major contributors to the Republican Party.
While it may not be a violation of federal regulations to adopt a company’s technical specifications, it is frowned on, especially for large jobs like the MWI contract, because it could give the impression the job was rigged for the benefit of a certain company, contractors familiar with Corps practices say.
Let’s review: The bid process was flawed because the specifications were plagiarized. The pumps are defective. The brother of President Bush, Jeb Bush, once worked for the company who was awarded the contract.
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