70% of Post-Katrina Contracts Awarded Without Full Bidding

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Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted by FEMA in the awarding of Katrina recovery contracts, according to a U.S. House of Representatives study released today by House Democrats. Audits show that of $10.6 billion worth of contracts awarded, more than $7.4 billion were given with either no bidding or limited bidding. In addition, nineteen contracts worth $8.75 billion wasted taxpayer money in part through double-billing or non-use of purchased items.

While acknowledging that some of the contracts needed to be awarded on an emergency, no-bid basis, Democrats pointed out that, as time passed, the number of no-bid or limited-bid contracts actually increased. Bechtel, CH2M Hill Inc. and Fluor–companies with strong political connections–were found by auditors to have wasted post-Katrina recovery money. These same companies were just awarded millions of dollars worth of temporary housing contracts by FEMA.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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