Lambert here: This post is short and sweet. It’s worth reminding ourselves that on some axes of evaluation, Republicans and Democrats are far more alike than different.
By PEU Report. Originally posted on their blog, Private Equity Report.
Holding the public in contempt is a bipartisan effort. Consider the following stories. The first involves Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas:
Information contained in a blistering state audit shows that at least five of the recipients… which got tens of millions of dollars from the fund — never actually submitted formal applications. At issue are at least five recipients of Texas Enterprise Fund money: Vought Aircraft…
Texas Governor Rick Perry gave Vought, a Carlyle Group affiliate, $35 million for fifteen years. Ten years later it’s unclear if Vought provided even one additional new job. Governor Perry’s job number is fanciful and the recent audit gives no overall job number. In 2010 Carlyle sold Vought for $1.44 billion but not one penny was returned to Texas taxpayers.
Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel is as free with taxpayer money for his political benefactors and purposely evasive about those relationships:
Emanuel’s administration has for weeks blocked the release of correspondence between his administration and one of the Democratic mayor’s top donors, Michael Sacks. The administration has also refused to release details about tens of millions of dollars in shadowy no-bid city payments to some of Emanuel’s largest campaign contributors.
Rahm’s top donor is a private equity underwriter (PEU):
The CEO of the Chicago private equity firm Grosvenor, Sacks has been described as Emanuel’s closest ally in the private sector, and has been called Emanuel’s “go-to guy” and his “top troubleshooter.”
PEU sponsored politicians are above the law:
Illinois’ open records law mandates that communications to and from public officials like Emanuel be made available for public inspection.
Back to how Rahm rewards his donors:
…firms that have received tens of millions of dollars’ worth of shadowy “direct voucher payments” (DVPs) from the Emanuel administration have given more than $775,000 worth of campaign contributions to the mayor’s political organizations.
Chicago’s DVP process is permitted thanks to loopholes in Illinois’ procurement law that allow municipal officials to circumvent the traditional contracting process. Unlike standard government contracts, DVP payouts do not require any type of public documentation. Emanuel appointees retain substantial discretionary authority to approve DVPs. The payments are not required to go to the lowest bidder; vendors receiving the payments do not have to list their qualifications and never need to document the services they provide to the city in return for the money. The DVPs appear to have been used for everything from phone service to interest payments to financial firms, but unlike the George W. Bush administration’s no-bid contracts, DVP payments do not even require a formal contract, so it is impossible to verify what the money purchased.
No application, no contract and no accountability. It’s our PEU world, where politicians Red and Blue love PEU.