Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bill White the hurricane profiteer...

The Houston Chronicle's Bradley Olsen who covered Bill White while he was mayor is just now getting around to reporting on Bill White's shady deals (link). Excerpt follows...
Perry again called on White to quit the governor's race after the former mayor revealed more than he previously had acknowledged about his role in the contract dispute between BTEC Turbines and the Coastal Water Authority.

At White's urging, the authority signed BTEC for a maximum $2 million contract to provide the generators while CenterPoint Energy worked to restore power permanently, according to documents and interviews.

Drawn into dispute

The dispute began when authority officials balked at an estimated $160,000 in charges from BTEC for fuel tankers, saying it was BTEC's choice to use them and the contract did not require payment.

According to documents and interviews, White, his chief of staff Michael Moore and the chief administrative officer Anthony Hall all were drawn into the dispute.

In a March 2006 e-mail, Coastal Water Authority General Counsel Hank Coleman told another CWA official that he and Hall had discussed the possibility of White becoming a witness in any potential litigation. Hall suggested arranging a mediation, according to the e-mail, which was provided to the Chronicle by the Perry campaign.

The two sides resolved the dispute in exactly that way one month later, with BTEC receiving only $264,000 in fuel costs that the water authority had not disputed, according to documents. That was in addition to $1.6 million paid to BTEC in January under the terms of the emergency contract.

The problem with this entire BTEC story is that while it is really shady and really sinister it seems like the reporters covering it aren't really cutting to the heart of the matter... the whole situation is pretty complex so the stories are boring and your eyes glaze over...

The important thing to take away is that Bill White used his public position to privately enrich himself following hurricanes in the Houston area... he was a hurricane "profiteer."

Being a Hurricane Rita profiteer is a pretty terrible thing no matter how you slice it.


  1. I don't think that's the main issue. The most important thing to take from this is the part that the reporters are refusing to acknowledge (Bill White keeps denying it): Bill White profits DURING his time as mayor from this company. BTEC's parent company was paying him at the time this business was recommended by White and fought for by White. The White campaign keeps denying any issue because they claim he didn't make money until AFTER his terms was up....a blatant and proven LIE!

  2. Oh, the evils of making sure vendors get paid. What damning hit will Rick Perry think of next?


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.