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Ducey’s $200 Million Shipping Container Border Wall Stink Just Got A Little Stinkier

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An awkward gap is shown between shipping containers at the bottom of a washout along the border where shipping containers are creating a wall between the United States and Mexico in Arizona’s San Rafael Valley, the Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. Work crews routinely erect hundreds of double-stacked shipping containers along the rugged eastern end of Arizona’s border with Mexico as Republican Gov. Doug Ducey makes a bold display of border enforcement even as he prepares to step down next month for Democratic Governor-elect Katie Hobbs.

It’s bad enough that former Gov. Doug Ducey’s stupid wall of containers on the border — the one migrants posed on as they jumped on it and slipped through — cost more than $100 million in the state.

Bad enough that it still cost us $130 million or more a few months later to take the thing apart and ship it.

But you know what’s just sad? Ducey apparently couldn’t find any Arizona company that could do the job.

Instead, the Ducey administration brought in a Florida disaster management company to do the job — a company that made an (illegal) donation to a pro-Trump super PAC.

The one who got the job under a no-bid contract.

After eight years in office – and just four months from the end – Ducey in August suddenly found it urgent to buy and drag thousands of 3,000-pound steel shipping containers to the border and pile them up. with the approximate skill of a toddler playing with blocks. .

In other words, a giant mess.

“Arizona has had enough,” Ducey said at the time. “We can’t wait any longer. The Biden administration’s lack of urgency on border security is a dereliction of duty.

It’s unclear why it took until Ducey’s final months in office for Arizona to have had enough, given Biden’s longstanding inability to manage the border.

Or why a governor, known for handing out no-tender contracts and other freebies to those who advance his political career, chose a politically connected Florida company to do the job.

Or how the lame governor’s container wall would prevent anyone from crossing the border, given that migrants could squeeze between some of them or climb over one of them.

In mid-December, the Biden administration sued the state for trespassing on federal lands and environmental harm, prompting Ducey to quickly declare victory — noting Biden’s plan to fence off part of the border – and to announce that he would dismantle the wall.

As the publicity stunts go for a politically ambitious governor about to leave office, this was gold.

Golden, too, for the politically connected Florida society brought in to do the job.

AshBritt Management & Logistics illegally contributed $500,000 to the pro-Trump America First Action PAC in 2018. The money was eventually refunded and the company fined $125,000 because the law prohibits federal contractors like AshBritt — the company at the time had a $40 million contract with the Department of Defense — to contribute to political committees. Meanwhile, the AshBritt Foundation made a $10,000 charitable contribution to the Mar-a-Lago Club in 2019.

So how, you might be wondering, would a Trump-linked Florida company land an untendered contract worth over $200 million to build and then dismantle a ‘wall’ of shipping containers? who flees to Arizona?

Beat me.

Megan Rose, spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Administration, told José Ignacio Castañeda Perez of the Arizona Republic that AshBritt was awarded the contract because their solution was “the fastest because of the urgent nature of the work”.

She told Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services that the company was chosen because it had “demonstrated turnkey rapid response solutions since 1992” and that no other company was considered “due to time constraints”.

Rose said AshBritt was recommended to the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs by their emergency management partners.

Rose didn’t answer my question asking who, exactly, directed the contract to AshBritt.

If she had, I would also have asked her why such a lucrative contract was a no-tender affair. Or how come one company from Arizona couldn’t have done the job.

This all sounds rather curious.

In the final days of his administration, Ducey decides to launch a quick political stunt to boost his profile with his political base and because there is apparently no time to waste, he hires a company with ties to Trump. to build a wall that’s up and gone in less than five months.

The public, meanwhile, is stuck with the $200 million tab and the questions.

So many questions.

Contact Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: The stench of Governor Doug Ducey’s $200 million border stunt is rising

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