November 20, 2007

Chenega -- Governmentese For 'Hose The Taxpayer'

Another no-bid government contract, another half-billion dollars thrown down the hole … another Alaska story? It seems so on the surface, but as with many pork pulls, it gets spread around quickly. The Department of Homeland Security now admits it made a mistake in assigning a no-bid federal contract to Chenega Technologies for radiation-detection equipment at security checkpoints on the basis of disadvantaged ownership for Alaskan tribes, an effort pioneered by Hall of Fame porker Senator Ted Stevens. However, Stevens hardly is the only member of Congress benefiting from Chenega’s sweetheart deals.

At Heading Right, I take a deeper look into Chenega and its connections in Washington. Chenega execs have an interesting pattern of contributions, one that calls into question its supposed Alaskan Native status. It also shows that no-bid contracts at Chenega have not been limited to this one award -- and readers may be surprised at the amount and percentage of federal money Chenega has received in that manner over the last seven years. And while the usual Alaska caucus suspects are involved in this story, a few more familiar names from back East also have their hands in the pie.

UPDATE: Jazz Shaw has more at Middle Earth Journal. Could Chenega have just been a convenient -- and politically correct -- middleman for General Dynamics and L-3 Communications?


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