Hail Porkulus

Via the AZ Republic

10 of the 25 most lucrative stimulus-funded contracts for work inside the state were awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to one Alaskan company.

Bristol Environmental Remediation Services LLC, based in Anchorage, was not required to bid for the work, which is valued at more than $140 million and involves ground-pollution monitoring and cleanup at 10 Arizona sites, including San Carlos, Parker, Tuba City and Window Rock

Who wants to bet this company has had friends named Stevens and Murkowski?  What is it about Alaska?

As an added bonus, to my frequent point that regulation in general and our new emerging corporate state in general tend to favor large companies over small:

Tom Mertz is Tempe-based Sundt Construction Inc.'s federal division vice president, a position that has few counterparts among Sundt's smaller competitors.

Contracts funded by the federal government tend to favor larger companies such as Sundt, Mertz said, because there are additional steps involved in completing such a project, many of them involving protocol and paperwork.

"Federal-government work certainly is not for everyone," he said.

Sundt has landed both state and federal economic-stimulus projects, including one of Arizona's biggest, a $24.6 million contract to build federal-courthouse facilities in Yuma....

Mark Stapp, director of ASU's Master of Real Estate Development program and a longtime developer in the Valley, said that the problems smaller contractors encounter most often on public projects have little to do with the work itself.

"It's the administration of the work that kills them," he said.

As a result, many small and midsize contractors have avoided government-sponsored work, which adds to their current disadvantage now that the public sector is hosting the only game in town.


  1. Casey:

    So, if I want to land a government contract, I don't need a team that can successfully and efficiently get the job done? What I need is a team of bureaucrats that know protocol, and process can paperwork? Sweet! I worked in the airline industry for 7 years. I know a ton of paper-pushing bureaucrats.

  2. gadfly:

    The bigger question here is not about Bristol Environmental (which you would think would automatically get demerits from Obamagov for having the same name as a Palin offspring)is: "Why do we need to spend $140 million in the state of Arizona next year on typical EPA environmental voodoo projects?" After all, as Nature has demonstrated in the Gulf of Mexico, this old world has a way of fixing itself.

    The answer is: Because the incredible egos among politicians and bureaucrats keep the government spending flowing ... and because the bureaucrats are protecting their own jobs.

    The second biggest question is "What concessions would Murkowsh*t and Stevens have to agree to in order to get Obamagov to spend any money at all with GOP supporters?

  3. DrTorch:

    Another thing about Alaska companies is that they are often "owned" by indigenous peoples. Such companies get set-asides and are favored for gov't contracts.

  4. frankania:

    In my satellite TV business, I put in bids for US federal govt projects in PA. I was told by some colleagues to raise the bid a thousand bucks for the extra trouble the govt gives. The FEMA required me to buy a $1M liability policy also. So I got the job and then immediately cancelled the expensive insurance policy. I found on one of the installations, that FEMA had paid $4k for someone to install a short 4 inch pipe on a roof. My entire bid for all the electronics, dish, everything was $3k. AND, the pipe was installed wrong and had to be done over again.

    Chapter 2: We bid on installing some dishes in Veracruz Mexico for a federal voter education drive and when I was turning in the bid for about $3k each system, the govt. agent said, "we have $3.5K planned for each project", so I left the room and took out my bids and raised them all to $3.4k and got the contract.

    Let's face it; whatever govts do, they do badly. There is no cure; all we can do is LIMIT govt as much as possible.

  5. John O.:

    That Mertz guy is full of shit.

    -- John O.

  6. sch:

    The Alaska Native Corporation association is the key here. Non bid contracts can be run through ANC associated companies. Article
    in I believe WSJ last week about a company in Maryland that had an annual turnover of under $1M, getting a contract for $140M, turns
    out the small company is an ANC affiliate and will contract out all of the $140M to the companies that will actually do the work.
    This avoids the pesky requirement of requesting bids, waiting 6 mo for bids to come in and then dealing with protests over bid awards
    (worst case here the USAF air refueler process, 12 yrs going and still not awarded).

  7. caseyboy:

    All I can say is that government is FUBAR!