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Defund the corrupt military? the Alan Grayson phenomenon





handfleisch
Alan Grayson is a new Congressman making a lot of waves by speaking bluntly to and about the Republicans and now taking on the taboo subject of corrupt war spending. A straight-talking guy from the Bronx, he is quickly making a name for himself standing up to corrupt banks and championing health care reform. He is fighting fire with fire -- if the Repubs are going to use incendiary language in their lies ("death panels"), he's going to use provocative words in reply when speaking the truth.

Grayson's rich so he can't be bought and doesn't have to depend on campaign contributions. At the same time, his brash words have brought in hundreds of thousands of small donations from regular folk (the kind Obama gathered during his campaign) so paradoxically, being rich enough to speak his mind has helped him fund his campaign.

His next target seems to be that gigantic sacred cow, corrupt military contractors. It turns out, ironically, that anti-ACORN legislation passed by Congress could be used against any federal contractor, and by far the worse ones are military corporations, and the Project of Government Oversight shows:
Quote:

rank Contractor # Misconduct (Since 1995) Misconduct $ Since (1995)
1 Alliant Techsystems Inc. 2 $8.3 m
2 AmerisourceBergen 8 $36.1 m
3 Armor Holdings, Inc. 3 $49.4 m
4 AT&T 7 $15.3 m
5 BAE Systems 3 $1.3 m
6 Battelle Memorial Inst. 2 $0.6 m
7 Bearing Point 6 $135.7 m
8 Bechtel Corp. 15 $359.6 m
9 Blackwater USA 2 $0
10 Boeing Co. 31 $1.5 b


http://www.pogo.org/pogo-files/alerts/contract-oversight/co-ca-20090929-1.html

The Grayson Phenom mainly started with this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-usmvYOPfco
Quote:
Alan Grayson on the GOP Health Care Plan: "Don't Get Sick! And if You Do Get Sick, Die Quickly!"'

Continued with this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPAtYGlgiqI
Quote:

Alan Grayson on GOP on the Olympics: "Someone should remind them what team they're really on"


and has resulted in this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWEB0r-CT3M
Quote:
Former Republican Stops By to Thank Alan Grayson for Standing Up on Health Care

This is Katrina Walker, a former Republican voter who came in to the office last week to thank Alan Grayson for standing up for health care and for her family. The Alta corporation fired her mother after she injured her back, and now her mother can't get health insurance because she is in the pre-existing condition pool. Walker saw Rep. Grayson on CNN and wanted him to know that she stands behind him on health care, and wants a strong public option to fix the system.


And is leading to this:

Quote:
Rep. Alan Grayson on de-funding corrupt defense contractors
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) -- my guest on Salon Radio today -- yesterday pointed out that the bill passed by both the Senate and House to de-fund ACORN is written so broadly that it literally compels the de-funding not only of that group, but also the de-funding of, and denial of all government contracts to, any corporation that "has filed a fraudulent form with any Federal or State regulatory agency." By definition, that includes virtually every large defense contractor, which -- unlike ACORN -- has actually been found guilty of fraud. As The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim put it: "the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops."

I spoke with Rep. Grayson this morning regarding the consequences of all of this. He is currently compiling a list of all defense contractors encompassed by this language in order to send to administration officials (and has asked for help from the public in compiling that list, here). The President is required by the Constitution to "faithfully execute" the law, which should mean that no more contracts can be awarded to any companies on that list, which happens to include the ten largest defense contractors in America. Before being elected to Congress, Grayson worked extensively on uncovering and combating defense contractor fraud in Iraq, and I asked him to put into context ACORN's impact on the American taxpayer versus these corrupt defense contractors. His reply: "The amount of money that ACORN has received in the past 20 years altogether is roughly equal to what the taxpayer paid to Halliburton each day during the war in Iraq."

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/radio/2009/09/23/grayson/
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:
He is fighting fire with fire -- if the Repubs are going to use incendiary language in their lies ("death panels"), he's going to use provocative words in reply when speaking the truth.

Do I sense a double standard here?

Anyway, it's about time somebody worked on defense contracting reform...
Gates was doing some of that, but it seems to have fallen out of the limelight recently, to be replaced by health care. Perhaps this 'fight fire with fire' politician can put further impetus to that important task.
deanhills
I like feisty politicians who stick to their guns. Sounds like a good guy. Maybe Ophois knows more about him. He may be from the Bronx, but he is representing Florida's 8th District, whatever that means. They also call him the whistle blower.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Grayson
Ophois
deanhills wrote:
Maybe Ophois knows more about him.
No more than handfleisch. This guy is in Orlando, I believe. That's about an hour and a half away from me. He does seem like a good guy, hopefully he can get some stuff done.
deanhills
Ophois wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Maybe Ophois knows more about him.
No more than handfleisch. This guy is in Orlando, I believe. That's about an hour and a half away from me. He does seem like a good guy, hopefully he can get some stuff done.
Wish there were more guys like these. Think we need a completely new generation of politicians in Congress and the Senate, so that when it gets to the next Presidential selection that there would be at least a few decent guys that are eligible to stand for election.
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
Ophois wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Maybe Ophois knows more about him.
No more than handfleisch. This guy is in Orlando, I believe. That's about an hour and a half away from me. He does seem like a good guy, hopefully he can get some stuff done.
Wish there were more guys like these. Think we need a completely new generation of politicians in Congress and the Senate, so that when it gets to the next Presidential selection that there would be at least a few decent guys that are eligible to stand for election.

Al Franken looks good so far, with the way he talks down tea partiers and now has sponsored an amendment against federal contractors like KBR if they restrict employees from taking rape and sexual assault cases to court.
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Al Franken looks good so far, with the way he talks down tea partiers and now has sponsored an amendment against federal contractors like KBR if they restrict employees from taking rape and sexual assault cases to court.
That is definitely not what I meant. I was talking about serious investigators who would not even be thinking about tea parties and who would do it impartially regardless of what party they happen to vote for.
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