Who Shall Build The Wall? Oh, Just Some Fox Dude Who Loves Licking Trump's Butt
After Donald Trump personally lobbied the Army Corps of Engineers to award WALL contracts to a North Dakota contractor who repeatedly promoted his business on Fox News, the Defense Department announced Monday it had given that company a $400 million contract to build some WALL in an Arizona wildlife refuge. The Washington Post reports the company, North Dakota-based Fisher Sand and Gravel, got a contract to build 31 miles of new WALL in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Yuma County, Arizona. And you just know this was a triumph of the free market, where the best jobs get done by the best people!
Or possibly not!
Trump has repeatedly pushed for Fisher to get a wall-building contract, urging officials with the Army Corps of Engineers to pick the firm — only to be told that Fisher's bids did not meet standards. Trump's entreaties on behalf of the company have concerned some officials who are unaccustomed to a president getting personally involved in the intricacies of government contracting.
Trump has been enamored with Tommy Fisher, the company's chief executive, who has made multiple appearances on Fox News to promote his firm and insists that it would do a better job than those the government had already chosen. The company's attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Monday.
Sometimes the Invisible Hand needs a bit of guidance, is all.
As part of its May reporting on Trump's love for Fisher, the Post put together a nice collection of Tommy Fisher making his case for special treatment on Fox, because that's what democracy and free enterprise are all about: Go on the "president's" sole source of information about the world, and make your case to The American People. Or at least the one American Person who can pull the strings.
How a CEO's repeated appearances in conservative media might get him the border wall contract www.youtube.com
As we've noted previously, Fisher also has other friends who have been pulling for him to get a big fat WALL contract. Fisher's a big campaign contributor to Trump's very good friend Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), and Cramer has previously bitched about the "arrogance" of the Army Corps when it refused to show him "proprietary information" on other companies' winning bids. Cramer has taken up the case for Fisher, who argues that he can do the job cheaper and betterer than companies the Corps has already contracted with. And who knows, maybe Fisher has also promised to add extra sharp edges and killer bees to his segments of WALL.
Sen. Cramer even seems to be acting as a spokesperson for Fisher, which is a heck of a constituent service! WaPo notes Cramer issued a statement specifying the company will be putting up 31 miles of new bollard fencing, and praising the deal in general:
"I am glad to see more progress being made to secure the southern border, and I am grateful to see a good North Dakota company like Fisher Industries getting some of the work," Cramer said. "I know they will do very well, performing high quality work at a good bargain, all for the security of the people of the United States."
But wait, there's even more on Fisher's connections to the many fine people in the wingnuttosphere that keeps funneling ideas and staff into Trumpworld!
Fisher has worked with some Trump allies — including former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach and ex-White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon — to build border fencing on private land using private donations. After the activist group We Build the Wall hired Fisher to construct a span of barrier outside El Paso, the company purchased riverfront property in South Texas where it said it plans to erect a 3.5-mile segment of fencing on the banks of the Rio Grande.
The company's construction plan has not been approved by the International Boundary and Water Commission, which regulates construction in the Rio Grande flood plain, but Fisher and We Build the Wall have won praise from senior U.S. Border Patrol officials.
That November WaPo story on Fisher's work on the private WALL offers a hint of how the company might save big money on its federal contract: After the International Boundary and Water Commission asked We Build The Wall to stop excavating on the land it bought because it had no construction permit, the outfit's grifty leader, Brian Kolfage, said nah, we'll just keep building, because freedom!
"Who else loves the fresh smell of diesel in the morning when we're building the wall?" Kolfage wrote on Twitter, posting videos of the banks of the Rio Grande scraped bare by graders and bulldozers. "Does it look like we were told stop? NOPE! Burning & Churning suckers."
Hey, if he's going ahead and illegally building WALL, maybe Kolfage isn't a grifter after all, just a criminal! Heck, maybe he's both! And Fisher Sand and Gravel seems an awfully convenient choice to build in a national wildlife refuge, particularly given Donald Trump's fondness for taking shortcuts around pesky little obstructions like environmental law and property rights.
Ever the responsible journos, WaPo's Nick Miroff and Josh Dawsey don't come right out and say the fix is in when it comes to the awarding of a contract to Fisher Sand and Gravel. Until the inevitable documentation emerges to show Trump pulled strings, they ain't speculating. But the pieces of a $400 million scam all seem to be in place, now don't they? Time to get some FOIA requests flying, huh?
Also, if you want to add one MORE tantalizing coincidence to the pile, although it's not mentioned by WaPo: The area where Fisher will be plowing up the desert, the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, JUST HAPPENS to be the very stretch of desert where the Trump administration has been bringing federal prosecutions against people trying to save lives of undocumented border crossers. It's the same deadly stretch of desert where several members of the group No More Deaths were prosecuted for littering, entering the refuge without a permit, and illegally going off-road, for their criminal acts of premeditatedly leaving water and food for migrants. One member of No More Deaths, Scott Warren, was also recently acquitted -- a second time! -- on felony charges for giving food and shelter to two border-crossers.
Nahh, that couldn't be a factor at all. Pure coincidence. We're clearly just making up crazy conspiracy theories here.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.