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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Cronyism, Pandering, Incompetency. What a legacy!

The President nominates David L. Norquist, brother of Grover Norquist to Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Homeland Security.


It's amazing what one sometimes runs across when looking for something else.

We've often discussed Grover Norquist, his closeness to this White House and how he is such a "shaper" of immigration and other WH policy. Good pal of Karl Rove, Jack Abramoff.

A recent Washington Post headline described Norquist this way, " "Powerful GOP Activist Sees His Influence Slip Over Abramoff Dealings"

Really? His influence doesn't seem to be waning at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. This administration is just one big Norquist family reunion!

Norquist married Samah Alrayyes, a Palestinian Muslim, said to be a Palestinian activist on April 2 2005.

[snip]A biography of Samah Norquist gives a more complete explanation of her U.S. government job. She is the Public Affairs Specialist for Arab and Muslim outreach at the Bureau of Legislative and Public affairs at USAID. In her position, she works on developing and implementing communications and public affairs planning with regard to various Muslim and Arab outreach issues including USAID activities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle and Near East and many parts of the Muslim world where AID is present. This includes serving as a liaison with Muslim and Arab American interest groups to brief them on USAID activities in the developing world and coordination of the Agency's participation in events, conferences, and discussions designed to educate the publics about American foreign assistance. In addition, Norquist attends interagency meetings representing USAID on issues related to Arab and Muslim outreach and public diplomacy.

Also, in an earlier job, "she was cultural affairs assistant at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan, where she was responsible for cultural exchange programs between the United States and Jordan

Now for the current news. Meet Grover's brother David. Someone we should have known about long ago, but the media doesn't cover such trivial matters.

For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary January 17, 2006

The President intends to nominate David L. Norquist, of Virginia, to be Chief Financial Officer at the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Norquist currently serves as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Budget and Appropriations Affairs). Prior to this, he served as Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), as well as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Financial Management). Earlier in his career, Mr. Norquist served on the professional staff of the House Appropriations Committee. Mr. Norquist received his bachelor's degree and master's degree from the University of Michigan. He went on to receive a second master's degree from Georgetown University.


Now Mr. Norquist is nominated to handle the funds at HOMELAND SECURITY after not being able to do the same same for the Defense Dept? Read on.

May 8, 2006 – 7:48 p.m.

DHS Nominee for CFO Grilled About Role in Hiding Alleged Overcharges by Halliburton

Department of Homeland Security chief financial officer nominee David Norquist faced more questions at his confirmation hearing about Halliburton subsidiary KBR than about his plans to handle the department’s complex financial management system.

Senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Monday focused on Norquist’s role at the Department of Defense in allowing prime Iraq contractor Halliburton subsidiary KBR to conceal alleged overcharges in an investigation by a United Nations oversight board.

As the deputy undersecretary of defense and comptroller, Norquist was asked by the panel about more than 450 redactions in documents drafted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency. That agency found more than $177 million in overcharges, according to committee ranking member Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn.

DOD provided the documents to the U.N. oversight board, claiming the redactions were necessary to protect proprietary information for KBR.

It is “very troubling that a contractor implicated in an overcharging scandal would be given the final say on what information to provide to the U.N. oversight board,” Lieberman said.

“This episode is relevant to today’s hearing because DHS needs a CFO who puts taxpayers first, who is committed to sound financial management and transparency and who is willing to confront agencies that may be shirking their legal responsibilities.”

Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., joined Lieberman in his concerns about the redactions.

Levin pushed Norquist to elaborate on why he didn’t take the issue to higher levels. “This goes to the heart of overcharging,” Levin said, calling the redactions a coverup but stopping short of blaming Norquist for withholding information.

Norquist told the panel that he discussed the redactions with lawyers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The Army Corps of Engineers ultimately made the decision to allow the redactions to stand. Norquist said he took the decision higher, to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which sided with the Army Corps.

“If there was a dissent [at OSD], I would have taken it further,” Norquist said.

A spokeswoman for Lieberman said it was too early in the nomination process to tell whether Norquist’s connection to the redactions would hold up his confirmation.

If confirmed, Norquist would head up DHS’ efforts to consolidate various financial management systems that exist among the department’s 22 legacy agencies.

Committee Chairwoman Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, highlighted reports by the DHS inspector general and the Government Accountability Office warning about financial challenges for the three-year-old department.

Norquist is expected to answer more questions from the committee in writing.

Norquist has the backing of at least one powerful senator: Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner, R-Va., who appeared before the Homeland Security committee to introduce the nominee.

The committee has not yet scheduled a vote on Norquist’s nomination.

More on this here: Audit Finds More Irregularities and Mismanagement of Iraq’s Revenues


Jan. 10, 2003

The Defense Department has named David Norquist the deputy undersecretary of Defense for financial management.

llegal-immigration bill weakened by unlikely alliance - Deja Vu!

The pimping of the President - Abramoff/Norquist

What has the NRA got to do with Immigration and terrorism?


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12:22 AM  

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