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Montana energy company under fire after ‘shocking’ contract for restoring power to Puerto Rico leaks

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A company that few had heard of and only had two employees was chosen to lead power restoration in Puerto Rico for a whopping $300 million. Whitefish Energy, of Whitefish, Montana, is not only linked as a donor to President Donald Trump but the CEO has a financial relationship to Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

“Texas-based company HBC Investments invested in Whitefish Energy this past August, a month before Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico and left the U.S. territory in the dark,” Montana Public Radio reported.

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HBC Investments’ founder and partner, Joe Colonnetta, has donated more than $40,000 to Rick Perry’s previous campaigns. “As governor, Perry appointed Colonnetta as a trustee to the Teacher’s Retirement System of Texas,” MPR said Thursday.

In a separate report, the contract was just leaked to the press with some questionable demands.

“In no event shall PREPA, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the FEMA Administrator, the Comptroller General of the United States, or any of their authorized representatives have the right to audit or review the cost and profit elements of the labor rates specified herein,” the contract reads.

Whitefish Energy Contract leaked to press (Via Twitter)

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“Contractor will use commercially responsible efforts to perform the work in such a manner to meet PREPA’s scheduling expectations, but PREPA waives any claim against Contractor related to delayed completion of the work,” the contract continues.

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It essentially guarantees that regardless of whether Whitefish finishes the job, they’ll be paid.

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“They’re friends, but I don’t know if they talk and chat, but they obviously had a good relationship in Texas and the governor is fond of all of his supporters and friends in Texas and I’m sure over time they’ve said hello and caught up,” said Ken Luce, a spokesperson for both Whitefish Energy and HBC Investments.

A Congressional committee has already told Puerto Rico to retain all documents with regard to Whitefish Energy pending an investigation. According to The Washington Post

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources joined Oversight and Investigations Chair Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) in a letter demanding that the head of Puerto Rico’s public utility system “turn documents over to Congress.”

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You can see the full contract here or below:

   Whitefish Contract Signed 10 17 Copy by David Ferguson on Scribd


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.

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Judge blocking release of Jeffrey Epstein records has ties to officials linked to Epstein: report

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On Saturday, the Miami Herald reported that a judge who blocked the release of grand jury material in the Jeffrey Epstein child sex abuse case has ties to three officials with a vested interest in the outcome of the lawsuits surrounding the scandal.

"Krista Marx, the Palm Beach chief judge who also heads a panel that polices judicial conduct, has potential conflicts of interest involving three prominent players embroiled in the Epstein sex-trafficking saga: State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who has been sued by the Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records; Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, whose department’s favored treatment of Epstein while he was in the Palm Beach County jail is part of an ongoing state criminal investigation; and ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer, part of the same investigation in connection with his decision not to prosecute Epstein on child-sex charges," wrote Julie Brown, a reporter who has extensively covered the Epstein case.

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WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse

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According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.

MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.

According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."

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