Drip. Drip. Drip.

The Washington Post has a story today about a government contract being awarded to a teeny-tiny Whitefish business.

Whitefish Energy received the government contract to restore Puerto Rico’s power.

The whole story is worth a read, particularly because of the absurdity that a company with two full-time employees could be the best option for a $300 million contract to bring back power to Puerto Rico, but this part sticks out:

Whitefish Energy is based in Whitefish, Mont., the home town of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Its chief executive, Andy Techmanski, and Zinke acknowledge knowing one another — but only, Zinke’s office said in an email, because Whitefish is a small town where “everybody knows everybody.” One of Zinke’s sons “joined a friend who worked a summer job” at one of Techmanski’s construction sites, the email said. Whitefish said he worked as a “flagger.”

Zinke’s office said he had no role in Whitefish securing the contract for work in Puerto Rico. Techmanski also said Zinke was not involved.

Here at the Cowgirl blog, we started to receive tips and comments about this story five days ago, when Montana Public Radio ran a story on it.

While MTPR did not mention Zinke, many of the e-mailers and tipsters did.

Apparently, Techmanski likes to brag around town about how connected he is with Zinke.  As reported in the Post’s story, Zinke’s son used to draw a paycheck from the company.  I am sure that had nothing to do with this company, of two people, securing a ginormous government contract.

Impeccable, irrefutable, and never irresponsible, Ryan Zinke would never be involved in such a thing.  Unless, Zinke was full of crap all along.

I’ll bet you $300 million.  Any takers?

 

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12 Comments on "Drip. Drip. Drip."

  1. See the Flathead Beacon article about Techmanski and his Brazilian partners and their plans to locate at the old CFAC site in C. Falls.

  2. Executive summary: at this point the GOP is just one giant reacharound.

  3. This is from Wikipedia: Whitefish Energy, or Whitefish Energy Holdings LLC, is a small company based in Whitefish, Montana. After Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in October 2017, Whitefish received a $3.7 million contract from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) worth up to $300 million over two years to rebuild their electrical grid.

    PREPA chose Whitefish Energy rather than using their mutual aid agreements with mainland utilities. The American Public Power Association (APPA) said PREPA didn’t respond to mutual aid offers, and “had already contracted with Whitefish Energy by the time [APPA] convened a conference call to coordinate aid”.[1] Whitefish Energy sent 300 workers, mostly subcontractors, to Puerto Rico after receiving a $3.7 million initial payment and contract to rebuild 100 miles of transmission lines. Whitefish expects to have 1000 workers involved with the contract, which is worth $300 million total.[2][3][4][5]

    Before PREPA, Whitefish’s largest contract was a $1.3 million electrical upgrade in Arizona.[2] Whitefish had two employees when the hurricane struck; their primary investor, HBC Investments, was founded by Joe Colonnetta. Colonnetta was a “major Trump donor” during the 2016 presidential campaign. Whitefish’s CEO Andy Techmanski was reported as being a friend of United States Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, who is also from Whitefish, Montana.[6]

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  5. As soon as the pickup is gassed up and ready, Whitefish Electric will be heading to Puerto Rico to solve all the problems. How can you doubt this?

  6. #kickback

  7. Congrats to Whitefish Energy for bringing a huge contract to Montana and may you be just as successful in bringing CFAC to co falls. It’s naive to think that the existing agreements with PR weren’t secured with similar political might and sway, quite possibly with Democrats. At least we’re seeing the benefits of having one of our own in Office. Are we still so bitter that we have to root against businesses in Montana who could very well do great things for the people hurting in PR?

  8. Larry, just how many Montana linemen went to PR?

    This is just another fleece job. If you bitch about government spending and waste and abuse, this looks like it.

  9. and Larry I’m sorry but some of the guys I went through basic with would like to have electricity for their grandchildren sooner than 6 months-didn’t take that long anywhere else! They ARE Americans although they aren’t being treated like it. They deserve better than being used as props for another political grift. DC and 1600 seem determined to push the bounds of corruption to the bursting point just to see how much grifting the public will allow.

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